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Crate GTX 212

 
120 watt Solid State Amp - 2x12" speaker configuration - Effects loop - Built in Delay, Pitch and Modulation effects as well as a separate reverb control with store-able settings - 3 Channels - Clean, Crunch and Metal with 3 band EQ's on the Clean and Crunch and a tone knob on the Metal


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Great first gig amp featured

Sound I got this amp about 5 years ago to be a gig amp for me. I was playing everything from Classic rock, to metal, to Calypso jazz in a Steel drum band and I needed something that could be a blank slate to build my tones on. I played my Fernandes "The Function" as well as my ltd. M-100 into this and it handled both the lighter, jazzier styles as well as the metal and harder rock.
The clean channel is pristine but not sterile and it gives some great shimmering cleans. It takes pedals very well and I mostly used this channel with various pedals as a base for my tones. Because it's 120 watts, it stayed clean to very high volume levels and I gigged with it several times over the years. It could be loud enough for medium gigs and still be clean. Unlike a tube amp, it does not break up with slight overdrive as you push the volume. For me, that was ok because the clean tones were what I wanted from this channel. It was hard for me to find an EQ setting I didn't like on this channel.
The crunch channel is designed to go from bluesy breakup to crunchy harder rock tones. I use this channel for classic rock/blues tones. While not as organic as a tube amp, it did the job and I could do some nice Cream, Zep, up to AC/DC through just the amp. The EQ is a bit finicky as the solid state circuitry has a tendency to be a bit harsh. I just figured out how to EQ things to minimize this and found some usable tones for classic rock but I found I used pedals for my distortions on the clean channel most of the time, so while not bad, it's not great either.
The Metal channel is for harder rock to metal. It does not have the same level of EQ tweak-ability as the other two but it has plenty of gain on tap for the most brutal styles of music. I noticed that the Crunch channel's EQ does factor into the Metal channel's voicing but there is also a tone knob. The tone knob basically works to scoop out more of your mids as you turn the dial left to right. For playing by yourself, you could scoop out the mids and get the thumping bass chugging on a low B. In a band, I favored playing metal at around 2-3 o'clock on the knob so that some mids came through and I was heard in the mix. This channel will give great Metallica tones to modern brutal metal. I don't play brutal so I only ever had the gain around 3 on the dial (9 o'clock). Unlike the crunch channel, I used this exclusively for harder rock and metal playing as opposed to pedals.
The effects are decent but lack the control options of an individual pedal. There is a tap tempo for the delays and some depth controls for the modulation and reverbs. The Delay, Modulation and Pitch effects are stored in 2 banks and you can mix and match between the two. The reverb is a separate knob and individually controllable. I like that each channel lets you store 2 different modulation, delay and reverb settings. I usually have a little delay, a touch of reverb and ocassionally some modulation on each channel and then a dry no effect setting to bounce back and forth to, if I'm using individual pedals. The delays and reverb were very good. The chorus is also just fine for a lush clean sound. I rarely used anything else as the tweakability was limited and some of the tones I was not that fond of. But, it gives enough to get on with for a person who needs a powerful amp, some effects and who doesn't have a lot of cash on hand.
I also have effects in the loop although this amp requires a Y cable (Tip/Ring/Sleeve) cable in order to use the loop as there is only 1 1/4" in/out on the back of the amp. There is an extension cab jack as well for powering additional cabs on the back panel as well as 2 jacks for the foot switch.
Overall, this amp was a nice work horse for me for many years. It is loud and doesn't do apartment volumes but it a solid first, cheap, giggable amp that has a variety of usable tones and fits several styles. The built in effects also add to the appeal as they are reasonably good. I eventually went tube because the overdrive and just breaking up clean tones are superior on a tube amp but I have continued to use this for it's lovely cleans and it's power for bass recording. My overall rating is based on a beginner/intermediate player looking for a cheap gigging solution. There are lots of better amps that have since come out, even solid state, compared to this but it worked for me very adequately for several years, so it gets good marks.


Reliability I've had it for years and it's never had a single issue or problem. I have gigged with it, although I've never abused it, and it's continued to be perfectly as good as the day I bought it.


Customer Support Never needed to contact them, a good thing, but they have some manual support online with tech specs and I've looked at those when I had some questions about the internal speaker set up.


Liked about it 1. Great Clean Channel. It does everything I've ever asked of it and it takes pedals well.
2. Delays and Reverb are more than usable and the Chorus is solid.
3. It gave me the volume I needed to play small to medium gigs.


Didn't like 1. The distortion channels were not on par with the Clean channel and I mostly used pedals to help things along for everything except metal.
2. Effects loop required a Y cable, this was annoying because I had to buy a cable and arrange my pedals in a way so as to accommodate the Y cables send/return ends into the proper pedals.
3. Speaker is hardwired to the amp's output. I would like to use this as an extension cabinet but have been lazy so far in modding it to allow me to use the speakers with other amps I own.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By smooth55
Dec 22, 2009
 
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