VTX200S review by Crate

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (23 votes)
Crate: VTX200S
1

Price paid: $ 457.482

Purchased from: Sound-control

Sound — 9
I play classic rock, pop rock, power ballads, 80s metal, blues and lots of general rock. This amp is especially great for those of you Who like that '80s hair metal/ classic rock tone. I play both a Vintage lp style guitar with 2 P90, mini-humbucker size pickups in it and a Squier showmaster with a Floyd Rose and a hss pickup configuration through this amp. Although I mostly use the showmaster I much prefer the Vintage through this amp as it naturally has a nicer sound which is warmer has better playability and has longer sustain, however the Vintage has been broken since about 3 weeks after I got the amp and I don't have the money to repair it. I still think it sound great with the showmaster on most settings. However the humbucker can add distortion to the clean channel as it is open faced, in the bridge position and high output so unless you're playing metal try not to run this sort of pickup through the clean channel. I love the heaviest distortion you can get out of this. It isn't the sort of distortion for you pantera fans out there but it most certainly is fantastic for you guys Who love to solo neo-classical style. The sound is fat and warm on most settings and strange as it may sound wide! The sound is very spacious. Just like a valve amp can cut through the mix very well, this amp could fill a pretty large room with it's sound without the need for micing up. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to play this amp through a larger cab to get the full 200 watts out of it but even at it's 10 o'clock setting on every channel it is loud enough for my band practice which is surprising considering the drummer is so loud! (as usual). The crunch channel could have been a little better but I barely ever get the chance to use it so that is no problem for me. It still sounds great for blues and jazz but for some reason it is naturally very very fat and not very trebly. With a change of eq this can be pretty easily sorted out. Also the built-in effects are amazing. They literally sound like they are coming from a dedicated effects processor. I'd say taking into account that the crunch channel isnt the same as the other channels in a strange way I can only give this a 9 unfortunately.

Overall Impression — 10
As I have said previously I play mainly hair metal, power ballads and classic rock and it gives afantastic sound for those types of music. If you play those genres of music, look no further because this amp is one fat, durable, versatile and plain amazing sounding solid-state amp I have ever played. I would buy this amp again if it was lost or stolen purely because there is not better amplifier for the amount I have payed for this one. My favourite feature is the octave minus feature. There is one thing I forgot to mention, unlike the Vox Valvetronix amp the auto wah actually works well and sounds good! When I went to buy this amp, at first I mistook it for a valve amp and when I brought it to my first practice so did all my friends. This is one beast of an amp. And there is only one thing I would change about it and that is the fact that there is no numbers around any of the pots. It would be a little handier but it's nothing special so that's still fine by me.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This is the most reliable amp I have ever seen. I wouldn't drop it out of a window like all the Boss pedal fans but that's because it is made of wood, not metal. But I would definately gig with it without a backup, and I have done roughly 4 times already. I haven't had any problems with it so far and I have had this amp for quite a while now. I think it comes with a one year guarantee but I'm not too sure. It might be a five year guarantee but I don't have those details with me atm so I can't give anything specific there. I have accidentally spilt a cup of tea on this amp but there has been absolutely no noticable damage. Apart from I suppose it would taste a bit like tea if you licked it! I love this amp so much I'm gonna have to give it a 10 just for the fact it's easily survived a tea spillage!

Features — 10
This amp has a lot of great features. It is a solid-state amp. It has 3 channels; Clean, crunch and heavy distortion. Each channel has a 3 band eq and has it's own unique sound. There are 3 different dedicated effects units. Each of these can be turned off by returning the pot to it's 6 o'clock position. The first covers these effects: 4 levels of chorus, 4 levels of flange, 4 levels of phaser, octave, phase wah and wah. The second is purely a delay unit and has 4 different types of delay: 4 levels of single delay, 4 levels of echo delay, 4 levels of ping pong delay, and 3 levels of special delay. and the third is a dedicated reverb pot. All of the effects sound fantastic. It is a stereo amp and uses a great speaker setup. The speakers are premium quality celestion 70 eighties and as standard come set with one speaker for wetter effects and one for dryer. In all this produces a great sound but if you don't like it like this the speakers can be changed to have both speakers very dry for the Eric Johnson tone or both very wet for that Joe Satriani style tone. There is a mute button on top also and a tap/ save button. This is very handy for people Who want great quality effects without the cost of having to get a multi-effects processor or about 15 seperate pedals. This amp comes with a four way footswitch. One for each channel and one to activate the saved effects on each channel. So in theory there is an equivalent of having 6 different channels when you use the effects channel. There is another great feature on this amp that will help those of you with effects pedals get a better sound. There are effects loop sockets two for mono effects and two for stereo effects (for those of you with high powered multi effects pedals). Using the effects loop sockets means that the effects you use can now go in after the preamp to get a different sound altogether. There are only two minor things I would change about this amp. It doesn't have numbered markers around the pots and it doesn't have a master volume. Personally I prefer this setup but some of my friends have pointed it out before and I can understand what they mean, but I think having a level and gain on each channel and also having a master volume would start to make things a little too complicated so I'm fine with the way it is!

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pantera90
    I won't lie, that thing is damn sharp looking. Looks pretty nice, but I can't hear it! Still getting my Laney no matter what!
    Arocker1
    I like the old looks better kas personally i think this one looks like a pice of S@#$
    CMATON
    Rubbish amp.I bought it brand new a few years ago and it fell apart on the road. Sounded great in the shop but rubbish with a gigging rock pub/club band e.g. I tried all sorts of EQ to get the overdrive heard above the band but it just sounded like 'fizz' all the time. After a couple of months owning/gigging, the footpedal socket worked itself loose off the pcb. When dismatled to repair it I discovered that the power supply copper tracks on the pcb were lifting off (presumably too much current).It lasted about 4 months and it was still under guarantee but nobody desereves crud like this so it ended up in a skip. Honestly, avoid it unless it's staying in your bedroom.
    guitars&amps92
    I got a vtx200s about 6 months and like it well. It looked good to my tastes and sounded good for a solid state Amp and was WAY WAY well lets just say when I turned it up to about 6 or just past half way on the amp the Nabors across the street could hear it clearly. And mind you I have a 20x20 recording studio in the back of my house. The studio is not 100% sound proof but tends to hold in sound well most of the time. Even while a live band is playing; from the stress you can only hear a slight low pitch muffled sound. So if youre looking for volume this may fit what youre looking for. I have done about 13 gigs with it, some were inside buildings and some even outside in the open micd through a PA system and I had no issues till now I played the amp for about 2 hours for a practice, turned it off and pulled the plug-in out from the wall to be sure that none of my amps would ever get popped by lightning. The next day I had band practice again and could not get any power to the amp at ALL! NOTHING! I got another amp and plugged in it into the same socket in the wall, and got power just fine. I still have not been able to get the amp to turn on, and I have checked the fuse as well and is fine Ill be sending the amp off to be fixed and then I plan on selling it and put the little amount I make on it to getting a Peavey 5150 ii half stack. Overall the amp is great for sound in the studio thanks to its on board affects its easy to access and its reverb I thought was rather good. However, if you plan on doing a large Live performance it can be a pain because I have had the guitar affects randomly turn on and off during a song and it can be a Pain. The thing is when I play live I have my own pedal board set up sounding the way I want my guitar to sound for that song, and then out of nowhere a flanger effect is thrown in it just can be kinda sucky
    guitars&amps92
    I got a vtx200s about 6 months and like it well. It looked good to my tastes and sounded good for a solid state Amp and was WAY WAY well lets just say when I turned it up to about 6 or just past half way on the amp the Nabors across the street could hear it clearly. And mind you I have a 20x20 recording studio in the back of my house. The studio is not 100% sound proof but tends to hold in sound well most of the time. Even while a live band is playing; from the stress you can only hear a slight low pitch muffled sound. So if youre looking for volume this may fit what youre looking for. I have done about 13 gigs with it, some were inside buildings and some even outside in the open micd through a PA system and I had no issues till now I played the amp for about 2 hours for a practice, turned it off and pulled the plug-in out from the wall to be sure that none of my amps would ever get popped by lightning. The next day I had band practice again and could not get any power to the amp at ALL! NOTHING! I got another amp and plugged in it into the same socket in the wall, and got power just fine. I still have not been able to get the amp to turn on, and I have checked the fuse as well and is fine Ill be sending the amp off to be fixed and then I plan on selling it and put the little amount I make on it to getting a Peavey 5150 ii half stack. Overall the amp is great for sound in the studio thanks to its on board affects its easy to access and its reverb I thought was rather good. However, if you plan on doing a large Live performance it can be a pain because I have had the guitar affects randomly turn on and off during a song and it can be a Pain. The thing is when I play live I have my own pedal board set up sounding the way I want my guitar to sound for that song, and then out of nowhere a flanger effect is thrown in it just can be kinda sucky
    fagelamusgtr
    I just picked up this baby used for $200 and it sounds straight up sexy. It has an ubelievable tone for a solid state. And you can crank this thing and it won't destroy the tone. I LOVE it so far!
    Syv
    I'm torn between getting a used one VTX200S for $300(US) or a new fender frontman 212R for $350. the VTX200S i tried at the guitarcenter sounded amazing, crisp, glassy cleans and hellish, pantera-level distortion with great volume. and that's on a used unit too. combine that with the effects and the fact it has WHEELS and you have a pretty badass amp.
    drunkonshadows7
    Itchyknee wrote: no its 100 watts each in total 200 thts why its a vtx200! i got mines for 249 in a clerance sale at soundcontrol yesterday!
    No it's not, look on the back of yours 70w per channel unless you run it through a cab!
    Itchyknee
    no its 100 watts each in total 200 thts why its a vtx200! i got mines for 249 in a clerance sale at soundcontrol yesterday!
    mafropetee
    Just gotta say, when I went in to rent a Bugera 333XL for battle of the bands last Friday, the guy that was helping me showed me he VTX200S with quite a lot of enthusiasm. I was very skeptical, it being a solid state AND a Crate (so far I've only liked their tube amps), but damn. It sounded VERY nice for a SS. Not quite as much gain as the Bugera but it is definitely one of the great solid states among Randalls and Rolands.
    Shadowplay13
    at first i was very impressed with this amp but after a few hours of playing time i realized there was just something missin'..no matter what i done with it it sounded thin,not bad for a ss tho
    Arocker1
    This amp being a crate is probably ok but the looks...In my mind looks like shit but thats just me im not in to the vintage thing I would like to see them go back to there old style that looked more kick ass kas i like how my shockwave looks and all but the new amps and heads ehhh.... not my style
    led,rainsong
    i dont trust amps with that many effects in them but it does look hot and i do like crates
    drunkonshadows7
    I actually put that this amp cost me 249.99 but for some reason its been changed into dollars. Also sorry about the spelling in some places and the multiple comments one of those was accidental. By the way i actually put octave minus but the symbol didnt come up in the end. hope this helps you choose your next amp!
    drunkonshadows7
    keavader wrote: just out of curiosity, how many watts does it put out just through its speakers? he says he needs a cab for the full 200, so how many without? and this is definitely my next amp.
    140 watts in total mate! 70 watts a channel. =D
    drunkonshadows7
    keavader wrote: just out of curiosity, how many watts does it put out just through its speakers? he says he needs a cab for the full 200, so how many without? and this is definitely my next amp.
    Hey man! this amp gives a total of 70 watts per channel! so 140 in total through the standard speakers!
    jewbaby667
    I had the opportunity to play this amp at Guitar Center and really enjoyed it. It was as full and bright as a tube amp, but the options this thing had made up for it. The heavy distortion channel sounded heavy enough for Pantera to me. Overall a great sounding amp, just not what I was shopping for.
    keavader
    just out of curiosity, how many watts does it put out just through its speakers? he says he needs a cab for the full 200, so how many without? and this is definitely my next amp.
    ap_custom
    I own two Crate VTX 200S amps. First I have to say "Well done" to Crate. This amp is designed to be road-worthy and built to last. Fantastic sound quality and enough power to cut through a wall. I do mean that. It'll knock your socks off with plenty more kick to spare. Your neighbors will hate you. Use it for Bass or guitar and feel the warmth of a tube valve amp. The two Celestion 80 speakers inside the cabinet play a huge role in sounding so good. The Crate VTX 200S features three channels (times another 3 if you have the footswitch). Altogether you can save six settings. Simple to use, dial in your delay, flange , or if you prefer not to have delay simply hold down the SAVE button for a few seconds the blue light will flash rapidly telling your program is saved. You can use the clean channel 1 and plug in your own effects via the rear 1/4 inch jacks SEND and RETURN. The amp is identical to the VTX 200SH head which Crate makes. Feel the power... get one.