Crate CA125D Reviews 3

Originally when I started to focus on strictly acoustic guitar and its amplification, I would just plug it into my Fender Pro Reverb Amp. Funny, but it just didn't sound "acoustic". As I grew as a player, I wanted a truer sound. But I was afraid of spending more bucks that could have been invested in another guitar. My first answer was a bank of piezo tweeters hooked paralell with the Fender. Good, but only for a while. So that started me on my quest for the best, cost efficient acoustic amp. I wanted something that would give me a wide array of sounds as well as a true sound. This amp fits the bill. As with most of my equipment, I'll always try to cut a corner or two to get the best price. My wife just calls me cheap. After combing the local music store rags and the internet, I found this amp owned by some guy in California. Less than a year old, still with the original papers and box, and most importantly, severely discounted from the new price ($600-some dollars) it was for me. The guy wanted $400, and a very reasonable 30.00 to ship it.

This amp had evrything thrown on it, delay, modeling, reverb, mic jack, and two channels for instruments. The manual read like a novel, and without it you'd be stymied, with settings like SLR, DLY, EFX. The sound is very real, even very loud, with no distortion. It has various stages of preset reverb as well as manual dials. The delay setting also has different stages of delay, for a very interesting sound to switch in and out of. Also very impressive was the styling of the cabinet, being able to kick back to a reclined position with no back legs and still seem sturdy enough.

Okay, it has all this cool stuff. So why can't I get rid of this HISSSSSSS. Even with the gain dialed way down it is still present. It just seems that I'm doing something wrong and haven't found the proper settings to eliminate the HISSSSSSS. But if it takes a rocket scientist to get rid of the HISSSSSSS, then maybe they made it too complicated. I don't suppose it's that critical, but it is a bone of contention.

It surprised me, when the unit arrived, at the size of it. I know I had the dimensions, but it was hard to picture it. It is only about two thirds the size of my Fender Pro, and that is pretty compact. And it is also about half the weight. That being said, it seems very solidly built and professinal. Covered with a brown tolex and black-face speaker cover, I am happy to lug this baby, as it's light weight and looks bring positive comments all around.

Okay, it isn't the perfect acoustic amp, but has a lot of bells and whistles that try to cover all bases. For the money I spent, to get a new one in that price range, would have gotten me a lot less amp. If you wanted this thing new, you'd better seriously consider the Strawberry Blonde or the Acoustisonic also. Don't get me wrong, I do like this amp, I just don't love it You know, the HISSSSSSS.

Steve Kull rated this unit 3 on 2001-06-26.

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