CrateGT1200 Guitar Amp
Posted 05 July 2004 - 08:35 AM
Where did you purchase this item? Music123.com, but it was shipped to them by Crate upon my order. I guess they don't keep them in stock.
Is this item new or used? Brand spankin' new.
Features: Well, this is the half-stack package - came with the head, cab, footswitch, and speaker cable. The cab came with pop-in casters too. Came with absolutely everything you need for it. It has 3 independent channels, foot switchable master reverb, cd-in, and the appropriate connections for speaker out, FX loop, footswitch. The head only has one speaker out, so watch how much you load it with. It puts out @ 4 ohms, and the cab is 8, so if you're gonna add another cab in series, I suggest you re-wire the speakers to make the load no more than 8 ohms.
Construction: It's built lighter than some other half-stacks (the cab I mean) - only about 60 lbs. As far as I can tell, it's gonna take a good bit of abuse. I can see the tolex could tear with a lot of bumping and such, but the general construction is tough. I don't like the knobs and jacks though...in order to cut some costs they are plastic. So I'm gonna have to be careful with those or replace them.
Sound: Here's the big thing, right? And I give it a 9/10.
It destroyed my expectations (in a good way). In the next few days I'll get to use it at gig-volume for practice, but it's handling a "low" volume (for a half-stack) very well. I cranked it up a few times though and it handled it great and got really really loud. I have been soooo anxious to try it at full band rehearsal.
Keep in mind what guitar I'm using with this -- it responds very well to individual guitar's characteristics, and it loves my soloist. Oh, also - I think this is the BEST sounding Crate amp I've ever used. So much different/better than the other's I've used.
I used the clean channel first, and got exactly the tone I was looking for. Mids a little lower than the highs and lows and it was a clear, punchy and especially thick tone. Very clean. It sounded so desirable when I played some funk-rawk stuff and really gave the house a shake with the low notes. If I turned my guitar volume down, I got a great smooth jazz lead tone. Oh, and btw, don't turn the reverb up more than half way - it’s absolutely beautiful on low settings, but up more than that it's ugly.
The rhythm channel gets plenty of gain, but I prefer the low-gain settings (still plenty of crunch, but with a neck humbucker I can get an almost Santana-tone). I keep the mids cranked and the lows pretty high too, and the highs pretty darn low. Responds well to your pickup changes this way, and tames the bite it seems to have on this channel.
The solo channel is great. This channel has TONS of gain, and again, I keep the shape down to give it more mids. This gives it a great tone for shreddy solos, and cleans up nice with guitar volume for softer solos (it'll sound much like the rhythm channel at that point). If you use it this way (my tone settings), you get the kind of distortion that kinda sounds like the extreme fuzz that you hear on a lot of current rock recordings.
I'm sure this thing will cut through great (you'll need to adjust the tone controls as you crank it to keep your tone though), and I'm more than pleased with it's tone - I just can't wait to give it a no-holds-barred, full-volume jam...
Ease of Use: I'm gonna take a few points off here for a stupid thing they did. The FX loop. It sucks b/c instead of having an out and an in, they made it a single jack but in stereo. This means you need to have a stereo Y adapter in order to use the FX loop - it's kind of complicated, and they don't give you much help in the manual about it. Everything else is cake.
Reliability: Haven't had it for very long yet, but it seems tough and crate's have a good reputation with me for being pretty tough.
Overall: Overall, this is a GREAT first half-stack or budget solution. Great tone and volume, looks classy, and is very versatile. Great value.
Post Script - Just to let everyone know, I have used it at full volume now. The speaker cab showed not even a hint of farting or breaking up. Incredible bass that really gave me a kick in the chest when muting. This thing got so loud that I could literally drown out my drummer. I can't wait to try it with a 4 ohm cab!
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