VFX5212 Review

manufacturer: Crate date: 08/22/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Crate: VFX5212
The VFX5212 is a dual channel Class A/B amp that delivers 50 watts RMS from a pair of EL34 tubes, to power two internal 12" Celestion speakers. It feature 15 digital effects designed to replicate the best reverbs, delays, and vibrato effects available from any manufacturer from any era.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 8.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (1) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
VFX5212 Reviewed by: Refixer, on december 23, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Professional Musician Center

Features: I recently bought this amp a few weeks ago, and even after playing with it everyday, I'm still amazed by it. 16 built in effects, effects loop, and plenty of power. 50 Watts all tube. Even at pretty high volumes, this thing is amazingly quiet. I play mainly a lot of metal and post grunge on this, but it can cover anything. My friends have played classic rock, classical, jazz/blues, etc. and it sounded great. Definatley an amp to look at if you're looking for versatility. The built in effects are: bypass (no effect), small reverb, med. rev., large rev., slapback, delay 1, delay/rev 1, delay 2, delay/rev 2, vibrato slow, vibrato fast, chorus, chorus/rev, chorus/rev/delay, slap chorus, and t-wah (touch sensitive wah wah). // 10

Sound: Right now I'm using this through a B.C. Rich Warlock (crappy, yes I know), which was always noisy on my old piece of junk amp. But with this, when I stop playing, the amp stops making noise. As I said above, I play mainly metal and postgrunge, and this more than covers it. More gain than I'll ever need. But it can easily go to Jazz, Classical, Blues, whatever you need it to do. I've never had the chance to crank this baby up too much (highest its been is at 4 1/2), but I could tell the louder it got, the more the tone excelled. With the clean channel, I never use my bridge pickup, always my neck, which is a hassle because I hate hitting the footswitch then switching the pick-up in the middle of playing. With the B-pickup, the highs really come out and are sometimes earsplitting. Pretty much thats the only trouble I've had with it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I haven't gigged with this or had it too long, so I don't know if its that durable yet. But I would never go to anything without a back-up of some sort, so I do have spare tubes that I keep with it. Thats the only kind of back-up I would use. It's built very sturdy and has already taken some beats, and I noticed not a single thing wrong. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, I'm extremely impressed with this amp. I compared it to a Peavey XXX (half-stack), a Peavey Valve Kind 212 combo, a used Fender DeVille (I think that was the name), and a Line 6 HD147, and I felt that this fit my style of music best. There's nothing I really hate about this, except that the built in effects are really soft and the higher the level of the effects, the more fuzz in the background. It's got everything I could want, need. If the reviewer has any more questions, feel free to PM me. // 10

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overall: 7.8
VFX5212 Reviewed by: TrigFunction, on september 03, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Local Music Store

Features: I have no idea what year the amp was made, versatility wise it's not that great. I use it for blues primarily but you can't get that much distortion out of it. If you want to play metal, hardcore, or any time of very distorted music don't get this amp. The amp has two channels one clean and one distorted and does have an effect loop in it but no headphone jack. I've used this amplifier in quite a few places such as a show for our cities fourth and july (outside) and a county fair and it was load enough. 50 watts of tube gets plenty loud // 8

Sound: I'm using a Schecter C-1 classic and the sound suits my needs pretty well. I play blues and I really like the sound you can get out of it for that. It does get kinda noisy if you have the gain cranked and the volume past 5 but it's not horrible. Like I said, the distortion isnt that great for anything above a light rock. My amplifier does have tone tubby speakers though, not the kind that usually comes with this amp. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I think this amplifier is pretty durable except for a few points. I think that the cage that the put around the tubes in this amp is poorly manufactured because there too close and it rattles a little bit. Also I did blow a fuse on this amp once when I was playing it with the volume around 6. // 8

Overall Impression: I usually dislike Crate amps, they have always been my least favorite brand of amplifiers. My local music store only sold Crate amplifiers and every now and then I would go in just to jam on new guitars. I plugged into the vfx and fell in love with and knew that the 650 dollars I paid was worth it. If I lost this amplifier I would purchase a Mesa Boogie if I had extra money. If you can get this amp for less than 700 dollars it is definately worth it. // 8

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overall: 8.5
VFX5212 Reviewed by: nonpartisan, on august 22, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: The effects were nonfunctional when purchased - professionally repaired, the footswitch cable had to be replaced, the tubes needed replacement (It was a "fixer-upper"). Features: Clean / Dirty, plus digital effects. Channel switching: two effects settings programmable into the footswitch for Clean FX1 FX2; Dirty FX3 FX4. Effects can be dialed in for a fixed mix of effect on the channel. Effects loop - yeah. Headphone jack - no. I wish it had a good spring or tube reverb, the digital effects are a bit weak - tremolo, reverb &c. Limited controls that can't be combined. So far it is a "use at home to annoy the neighbors" amp. A nice 50W of EL34 tube power, four preamp tubes. // 8

Sound: Guitar: Ibanez SAS36FM - upgraded revised electronics, alternate bridge humbucker, mostly using the native neck/middle pickups for blues and a split bridge in series with the neck pup (a-la telecaster mode). Modes vary from Humbucker outputs (Middle/Neck in series, Bridge humbucker) to single coil strat. It was used... First repair was the VFX and inspection. It was maintained by a novice. The effects were digitally noisy. It badly needed new power tubes - not clear in the first 2 minutes but half an hour in it showed. New tubes and some effort to set the bias put that right. With a new pair of EL34's the sound was exquisite - low noise floor, really crisp and clean. I'm not a fan of the distortion channel. The 12" speakers are a bit boomy with an EQ that cuts the base set a bit too high. I've added a bass cut to my tone control options in my guitar to accomodate for that (also cuts the boom in PA mode... The issue is partly the pickups). // 9

Reliability & Durability: It was abused. The tubes were old and microphonic and many of the problems were due to poor maintenance (missing preamp tube canister, bolts fastening the power tube cage stripped). The VFX failure was a cold solder joint on the power access from the main board. Very peculiar and took a while for my tech to find and fix. I would say that qualifies as "broken down" and probably frustrating to a previous effort to repair it since changing the module would have had no effect. The rest was due to neglectful irregular servicing. It has seriously been around the block. Given how well it restored to excellent sound I'll give it an 9 (-1 for the cold solder joint on the VFX module). // 9

Overall Impression: Rock and blues. A good match for rock & fair match for blues. I've got 7 years of noodling but I'm not roadable. I have a Peavey Bandit, Boss GT-6, Fostex FD-8 recording mixer, stratocasters, drawer full of pickups... And a daughter who now wants to get drums. I was looking for affordable tube amps. Listening half an hour at a time in the store couldn't tell me what I can ow hear. Other considerations were a Peavey Classic 50 that also needed retubing. It is hard to say... If a Classic 50 with a 4x10 speaker came by I'd probably choose that next... Or ideally a Fender Blues DeVille. The owner made it clear the VFX wasn't working and the tubes had lots hours on them. No deception and no expectations. Given a deal like that I couldn't turn the opportunity down. Clean channel, visually stunning, I just wish it had a good native tube reverb. Oh, yeah, it is heavy. I wish it had and anti gravity unit... Lost or stolen? I'd probably consider a Blues Deville. Did I compare it to anything else? A Peavey ValveKing - "meh". The Blues Deville "yeah"... But twice the price when used and in need of a retube, Egnater Tourmaster at twice the price of the DeVille - and we are talking som serious coin outside the realm of someone who doesn't play that well. // 8

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