AX2 212 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (18 votes)
Line 6: AX2 212
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Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Craigslist- Used

Sound — 9
I have used fairly diverse guitars with this amp, including Ibanezes, Deans, ESPs, and Epiphones. I've played through EMG 81s, Dimebuckers, and SH-2 pups. The amp handles all of them equally, without compromising tone, and without "gentrifying" them, in other words, making them all sound the same. The amp can get noisy however, but I use an ISP Decimator, and that takes away literally all the buzz. Line 6 really takes the cake with this amp, because of the wide range of styles it can do- and do well. All the models sound fairly spot on to what they try and emulate. The cleans are well preserved even and high volumes, and, cranked right, the distortion can be as brutal and heavy and you need, or you can dial in some old school Hendrix tones.

Overall Impression — 9
I play metal- ranging from Trivium and All That Remains to Necrophagist and Black Dahlia, while at the same time playing in cover bands that do Rush, Metallica, Def Leppard, etc. The amp covers al of those and more. I also own an old, Busted up Peavy Transtube 212, the amp I replaced with the AX2. The AX2 goes far and beyond what the Peavy could do tone-wise, and doesn't struggle with high levels as much as the Peavy did. I really enjoy playing this amp, mainly because of the wide variety of quality tones it produces, and the simplicity of the user interface. All the channel programming is done directly on the amp with easy controls, and the layout for the channels (signal path and all the options for channels) is directly on the amp face. Not to be cliche, but if this got stolen / lost / anything, I'd buy it again.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp has seen a lot, and it handles it quite well. The grill (grey) is wearing black in mutiple places, but that's the only sign of wear and tear. Most solid state / modeling amps have a reputation to crackle and overheat when used for long periods of time. As mentioned before, this amp has never done so. The longest I've played it straight is three hours, and I can't imagine a situation where you'd need it longer than that. I use it without a backup or any other amplification (other than house PAs) on a weekly basis.

Features — 8
Line 6 has built up a reputation as one of the leaders of the solid state modeling amp category with their Spider series of amps. However, the Spiders were prefaced by Line 6's AX2 series. These latter amps are what one would expect from a modeling amp- except with better tone quality (good cleans, crisp distortions) and without a tendency to overheat, even after hours of continuous playing. The amp has both 32 factory set subsets and another 32 "user" subsets, each with 4 channels that any tone and settings can be attributed to. Because the factory presets are also customizable, this gives a guitarist a total of 256 channels- more than anyone could probably ever need. This amp can do any style of music without any pedals- there are shortboards and longboards avaible (I reccomend the longboard- it has volume and wah pedals built in) that give acsess to all subsets and channels and the built in tuner. I play metal (Trivium, BTBAM, etc.) but need clear cleans for soft passages throughout my music. The amp delievers both the gain and clarity for dirty and clean channels. The amp has 2 speaker jacks that are usually used for the built in speakers, but can be used for outside cabs. The original speakers could use a little work, but they get the job done. Each side runs 55w. There is also a headphone jack that does not cut out the sound from the amp- you can just unplug the speakers for that. There are also a line out for recording and PA amplification and a MIDI bay.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Corkybristol
    Maybe because some people want more than the one sound they get with a tube amp.....I use a tube amp myself in one of my bands, I wouldn't dream of using it in the rock covers band I'm in, it couldn't cope with all the different guitar tones I use without me spending half the night resetting all the tone controls plus I'd need a pedal board so big there'd be no room for anyone else on stage.
    sixstringsteve
    SOADriff wrote: why would anyone want a line 6 212? i mean sure a practise amp but i would never use a line 6 for gigging.
    You do realize that line 6 does make decent amps, right? That they aren't all cheap practice amps like the Spider series?
    wetreverb
    I had one of these when they first came out. It impressed me as being a bit weak and wimpy, especially compared against my Dual Showman and Twin Reverb. Hell, my '66 Deluxe Reverb had tone the Line 6 could only dream of. Instead of being a wannabe emulation amp, why not just spring for a real tube amp with decent speakers?
    bill.arsenault.
    I've owned A Line 6 AX2212 for the past 10 years and have loved every minute of it! I'm 55 and have had lots of amps in my day, but none compare to the quality and value of this particular amp. I now own a newer Line 6 PodHD300 and run that through my auxiliary input(clean) and I just can't seem to get close to the same quality of emulation. I recently Bought a Marshall 1/2 stack and send a signal through the Line 6 amp(to get effects and flavor) and send it through to the Marshall for a gain in tubal flexibility and Hi-Gain bite. Experimenting between the two is fun and exciting.
    DrButterfunk
    I built a 212 custom cabinet with my Spidervalve 212 so its a 412 now. Besides, a 212 or 112 should be mic'd anyway.
    teknotard
    SOADriff wrote: why would anyone want a line 6 212? i mean sure a practise amp but i would never use a line 6 for gigging.
    Because generally you are gonna get mic'd. It always bothered me when people have to bring their half stacks to every show they play. Sure it looks fantastic but ill stick with my 1x12 or 2x12 anyday strickly for ease. My favorite stories are about the big time artist gig with theire 1x10 on the side thats all miced up to give it a bog monster tone. Anyways as for the review good job man. I haven't thought about these amps in years!
    jwo2854
    I purchased a 212 second hand and love it. Great sound and endless possibilites. And yes, I do use it for gigs. It's never let me down. Once you learn how to use it and save your favourite tones, the amp. and footboard are a marvel in simplicty. Eliminates the need to carry around all those effects pedals (which can get quite pricey.
    evileyegypsy
    I have never been a fan of the Line 6 tone. It might be right for some players, but not for me.
    rswright1
    I have has the AX212 for 13 years...just had it serviced to clean up the pots...very reliable and a great overall sound for those who cant afford everything under the sun...this amp with a decent electric guitar can really rip in the right hands...not bad for 200bucks .I paid 1500 back in 2000 for mine...RW
    JaysenStCharles
    This is a very versatile amp. I just picked one up for $200.00 with Floorboard. The LINE 6 - AX212 100w is an amazing tool when it comes to songwriting, with a depth of on board sounds that can trigger inspirations for song ideas. Plenty of power for live situations. Some inexperienced players need to understand that hauling a full stack onto the stage and running it full out is complete fantasy. Any touring musician will know that having a proper on stage mix is ear/lifesaver. You want the venues front of house pa system to push out volume from the stage and not the musicians amplifiers.
    SOADriff
    why would anyone want a line 6 212? i mean sure a practise amp but i would never use a line 6 for gigging.
    Corkybristol
    I've used a line 6 for gigging for the last 4 years, superb units, try one!
    photog1962
    I play mostly through a Fender Blues Jr. & my general sound is "Clean" but I have also played out with my AXSYS 212 with zero problems and absolutely no lack of tone.