XT65R review by Crate

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.7 (15 votes)
Crate: XT65R

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 5
For the past 6 years, I have played nothing but Fender Strats, and at the time, I had this amp, I was using it at home for practice purposes. To me the Clean channel sounded great, while the distortion took some getting used to as far as adjusting it and getting a proper tone. I thought this would be good enough for small gigs, until I was asked one night to sit in for a friend with his band. I ended up having to mike this amp because unlike the GX-65 which I now own, this amp doesn't have any puch for a live setting.

Overall Impression — 7
I play classic rock, '80s hair metal and a little blues. This amp is adept for any style of music, but like I mentioned earlier, just doesn't cut it in a live setting. This would make a good practice/recording amp though. I am still using Crate, but now I have a 1997 USA made, GX-65 which blows this model away, along with my ever so trusty 2006 Fender MIM Sunburst Strat, and my recently acquired, Danelectro Fab Flange pedal. I was really upset when I had to return this because I thought that this would be great with a band situation. Live and learn, I guess.

Reliability & Durability — 6
Crate amps are built like tanks, but this one isn't American made, and it shows. This amp would need to be miked if you're using it for a club gig or anywhere else. The tone wasn't bad, in fact it was pretty good, but what made me get rid of it was the fact that I could not hear myself in a band situation. You would figure 65 watts, more than enough right? I don't know if I was sold a defective model or not, but after 3 weeks, I was left with no choice but to return it to Guitar Center and get a used Fender Princeton 65 which sounded great until it dies out on me 6 months later. I guess I have bad luck when it comes to amps.

Features — 7
I had bought this brand new, in November of 2006 at Guitar Center for the price of $199.99. At the time, Crate had just discontinued it, so there fore the low price. Plus GC gave me a free Epiphone LP Jr in Sunburst finish just for buying it. It has 2 channels, clean and overdrive, which has 2 different types of distortion as most Crate amps do. It also came with a 3 button footswitch and the instuction manual.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Say what you want about Crate/Blackheart amps..you either love them or hate them! Either way..they are Out Of Business..so you need another brand to kick around now! If you asked some players their opinions on Crate Amps..IE..Gene Simmmons/Sting/Sammy Hagar/Joe Walch or Billy Gibbons..you would find a great quality amp that works! Another Great Brand Bites the Dust! RIP CRATE!
    I've had this amp for about 4-5 years now. I think it is terrific. The clean channel has a very smooth sound to it with every note being heard beautifully as I improvise clean melodic solos. The distortion channels are good for rock to higher gain heavy metal. I picked up mine for about $250.00. It's not made anymore, but my experience with Crate has been nothing but fantastic and I imagine that if I decide to get a more powerful amp it will be a Crate Solid state. You just get a nice bang for your buck with Crate.