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Sound Quality

I use a stock Ibanez RG470XL through this, which I reviewed once but which I don't see any longer. No matter, as far as stock sounds go, this sounds decent on the clean channel with the aforementioned chorus+reverb setting. It makes zero noise. It is unbelievably clean when not playing, actually. I think you probably could play around with this and get more sounds if you had more patience than I, but I rapidly lost interest in trying. The clean channel was about as loud as I needed it at 5. I didn't check to see it distort, but Crates are usually decent on clean up at the higher levels. The distortion is a joke. In fact, this is almost two completely different amplifiers, a boomy, good-sounding one on the clean setting and a cheap, hackish pile of horsehit on the distortion side.

Reliability/Durability

This is the main reason I bought it. Crates are, along with the Peavey solid state amps, workhorses beyond compare. I grow weary of electronics techs that do shoddy work on my Fender Roc Pro 1000 and while that is and will continue to be my main amp, I needed a reliable backup and you can't get any more reliable than these things. I basically bought 120 watts of power for $200, but I also bought the knowledge it would never fail, even if the Roc Pro did (and sometimes does if it gets too hot. Apparently, once I had a problem with it, now I can expect recurring ones, at least given the techs involved). As a working musician, I cannot tolerate failure of my equipment, ever. This one will be my crutch when I need it and I know it won't fail me.

General Comments

It was relatively painless to get an acceptable clean sound dialed in on this machine, about 30 minutes, which, considering how fussy I am, is somewhat of an achievement. The "dirty" sound I am still working on, however, partly due to refusal to do things the right way, it has taken me 3X as long and counting. This amp is both bigger and heavier than the Roc Pro and does a very good job of kicking out low tones you can feel, which will no doubt drive my bassist to drink. I have been playing on and off for 15+ years. My main amp, as noted above, is the Fender Roc Pro 1000 and will always be that amp, mainly because I have yet to ever hear anything sound better. If it was stolen, I would probably look for another one, but actually, probably any loud, dependable, solid-state amp would suit my purposes. As I said, this is to be my crutch if ever I need one, along with the Boss Metal Zone pedal I bought for the distortion simply because it won't fail me. As for comparison, I didn't bother. I saw this one at Guitar Center and bought it, partially because of onboard effects, which would enable me to keep the simple setup I insist upon, partially because of price, but mainly because I know I can count on it to do what it does, inherent limitations and all. It is what it is.





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