Crate GFX - 65 : Hatsubai's user review
Product bought new in May 2002
The GFX series is a line of combo amps built mainly for the beginner guitarist. They feature multiple channels that are footswitchable, multiple gain pots with a shaping control, three band EQ, built-in effects, the ability to run them through external speaker cabinets and even an effects loop. They come in various wattages and equipped with different size speakers depending on the model.
Utilization is a big problem with the amp. Yes, it does have quite a few features that other amps do not have. However, they're implemented very poorly. For one, the effects loop requires a TRS breakout cable to use it. On top of that, it runs out of from the front of the amplifier. The footswitch jack also comes out of the front of the amplifier. These cables can interfere with both miking and adjusting the controls. Given that they're SS amps, there is always a question regarding reliability too.
The amps sound like ass. You have two different gain pots and a tone shaping control, but it only goes between tin can and mush. It has a lot of gain, but it's extremely buzzy. The clean is bland, and the overall amplifier feels quite stiff. The speakers in these absolutely suck, and the fact that it's only semi-closed back isn't helping anything in terms of overall tone. The effects are an absolute joke as well. You have one single knob to control every parameter of each effect. The chorus, reverb, flanger etc. all sound so similar that it makes me wonder why they included them in the first place.
On the outside, the amplifier appears to be loaded with tons of options at a great price. However, anybody who is serious about tone will avoid these amplifiers at all costs. They'd be decent for a beginner guitarist, but even then, I'd recommend something from the Fender Hot Rod series or the Peavey Classic series.