Price paid: $ 1200
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 7
This is my main amp for both home recording and my work in a five piece band that mainly plays progressive rock, classic rock, and some alternative music. I play both a Fender Stratocaster HSS and a Gibson Les Paul. I bought this amp to replace a Fender Supersonic 22 that I used for about a year. That amp had a killer sweet spot on the overdrive channel that was about as good an OD sound as I've ever heard. Problem was I wanted more than one sweet spot. Moreover, I had to push the SS22 to be heard over my overly loud drummer and lead guitarist which always resulted in a frustrating and early break-up of the cleans and an uninspired maxed-out sound on my stressed OD channel. The Renegade 212 solved those problems for me. You can get cleans as loud as you need them. With the bright switch engaged on the clean channel, the tubes set to 6L6s, and the bass up really high you can get a nice sparkly and warm sound, not as drop-dead beautiful as a Fender Twin Reverb, but close. The OD channel can get you a high-gain sound not found on an Fender and which opens up possibilities for songs requiring really big distorted sounds. Medium gain settings can be tweaked to get all sorts of different OD. Again, none as perfect as that one OD sweet spot on my Supersonic 22 but the Egnater gives me more really good sweet spots to pick. There is an internal fan that comes on the moment you power up the renegade. As soon as you start to play you won't be able to hear it but it can clearly be heard in a quiet room.
Overall Impression — 8
If you're like me you're agonizing over you choice of a new amplifier. So I'll try to make this easy for you. If you're thinking of the Renegade 212 here is exactly what you'll get: 1) lots of versatility with a generous but not overwhelming number of parameters to play with as you adjust your sound from song to song; 2) as much volume as you need in any situation. With two speakers the sound is both big and really full; 3) really nice cleans that are warm with a good amount of bite. Admittedly, though, with less of the trebly twang you'd get in a Fender amp (if that's what you like); 3) fat saturated lead sounds if you need them. Crank up the gain on channel two, add delay and chorus or flange through the loop and you can get the David Gilmour sound that you want. There are two things you won't get with this amp: 1) mid-range OD sounds that are as good as some of the other amps out there that specialize in that particular tone zone. So if you're mainly a blues player and want that nice defined break-up that exemplifies the R&B classic stuff from the '60s you should look elsewhere; 2) an amp that is easy to move around. This one is really heavy. I can move it myself but always need to be careful about my back and need help moving it up or down stairs. I live with this because I really wanted a 212 rather than a 112 for the additional depth. But you might consider spending a couple hundred more to by the head and 212 cab instead of getting the combo, like I did. But in the end I'm really happy with the Renegade 212 and wouldn't hesitate to buy it again. Why? Because in a world where no amp can do everything this one does an awful lot.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I read some reviews that criticized Egnater amps for reliability issues and that had me a little worried, but I've had no problems as of yet. I wonder if some of that is just the American-made verses rest of the world made snobbery? In any case, I gig with this amp without bringing a back-up and don't give it too much thought. I roll it over cracked pavement, grass, and over cables without worrying about shaking anything loose. I use it as a platform to set my beer bottle down. I sit on it, and it fell over once. Still works and looks great.
Features — 9
I bought the Renegade 212 new from Guitar Center about four months ago. If you're reading this you probably know about the model already: two channels with gain, volume, bass, mid, treble, and reverb; both channels can be set for either 65 watts or 18 watts; both with the Egnater "tube-mix" dial that you've read about; deep/tight and bright/normal switches on both channels; a master presence and density dial; effects loop; direct recording out; separate volume dials for a master out and a boost. All of these features are useful and I regularly tweak them. Footswitch is nice as it gets because each switch(channel, reverb, loop, boost or main) can be assigned to activate both channel A and channel B or independently assigned to A or B. This is a fast way to get extreme tonal differences when switching between channel A and B. The XLR recording out can be plugged directly into a PA in addition to using it as a home recording output. I tried that once at a live gig and it worked well. But my preference would be to always mic the Renegade in a live situation.