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B-52: AT-212, Guitar Amplifier

Aug 26 2007, 12:33 AM (Post #1)
Proud LAGUNA Player!
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Posts: 5,520
Cash: 196,853 / 0
Group: Nobility
Joined: 3/03/03 01:56 AM
Price paid: $750

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This amp is by far the best amp I've played/tested so far. I've been playing for about 2 years now, and I've tested almost every amp at my local guitar store, called Gear 1 Music, and a good bit of amps at Guitar center, Highland Music (local store), and Bailey Brothers. No amps except for maybe the Peavey 5150 can hold a candle to this monster. So anyway, on to the review. A lot of people refer to this amp as the "Poor man's Mesa Triple Rectifier". I believe this is a very false comparison. Although it is a triple recto amp, the real rectifiers cannot touch the versatility and tone that this amp can. Better cleans BY FAR, more features, and better sounds at lower volumes. This thing has the obvious clean channel, two gain channels (both are very useful by the way), a contour thing which lets you school out mids or add mids, reverb, effects loop, the option to Switch the tube settings between Class A, A/B, or Solid State. Switching between tubes can change your tone a bit, usually in a good way depending on what you want to sound like. Not sure if the solid state option is really solid state though, since the amp still gets hot when I have it on that setting. It also comes with a footswitch letting you toggle both gain channels, the reverb, and the effects loop. It's 100 watts, has casters on the bottom, and a 'bright' Switch for the clean channel! Last but not least, you have a High Gain input and a Low Gain input. Both are very useful to the versatility. So yeah, B-52 has covered just about every essential need in a tube amp. // 10

Sound: First of all, the guitar I play on currently is a Schecter Omen 6. I still have yet to play my friend's BC Rich Jr V and BC Rich Beast (bronze) though. Also, I plan on giving my uncle's Fender Mexican Strat a test run on it as well. When I do, I'll edit this review if needed. This amp is extremely versatile. You can get blues, jazz, classic rock, metal, you name it. The distortion can get extremely brutal especially at high volumes. Very warm and crunchy, just like a Mesa Boogie Rectifier. However, if you use any distortion pedals (Metal Zone, Metal Master, etc), keep them. The reason is, although the amp has great sounding brutal distortion, if you're wanting the industrial/nu-metal sounding distortion that bands such as Rammstein get, you'll have to use a pedal. Next, the clean channel in my opinion in crystal clear. When in the high gain input, you can get the warm bluesy kind of cleans, while the low gain has the solid state sounding cleans (only more clear; less muffled). Both gain channels sound similar, but you will hear a subtle difference. I mainly use the two gain channels for different kinds of music. One for classic rock/blues (set at 1), the other for things such as death metal (maxed out). The reverb in my opinion sounds great. Very basic, but great nonetheless. Though it's not overpowering, it's still easily heard and benefits your tone a lot if you're into soloing. I can't really say anything bad about the sound at all, for I have found no flaws. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I haven't had this amp long. Only for a week and a half/two weeks. Something like that. I have had zero problems. a lot of people have had problems with the reverb dying on them, casters getting torn up somehow, etc but nothing like that has happened. This amp is built for playing Live, and I very much doubt that I would need a backup amp, unless the tubes were to quit on me. I've also heard that their customer service is excellent, so if you have any problems, contact B-52, or use the warranty! I rate this an 8 simply because of the bad things I've heard, but have not experienced yet. // 8

Impression: In a nutshell, this amp can do whatever you want. If it were stolen/lost, I'd definitely get another. After testing multiple amps, this is by far my favorite. I have no regrets what'soever. The amps that I tested before deciding to get this one are listed below. Kustom Quad Jr Half Stack 100W, Marshall MG100DFX Full Stack, Marshall JCM900 Full Stack, Line 6 Spider III 75W, Line 6 Flextone III XL, Peavey Windsor Half Stack, Peavey Valveking 212, Peavey 5150 Half Stack, Peavey Bandit 65, Crate VTX65, Crate VTX15, Crate GT212, Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb (Single Rectifier), Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier Half Stack // 10

Overall Rating: 9.5 Out Of 10

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This post has been edited by Wrath: Aug 26 2007, 02:25 PM
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