If your material shifts around from metal to regae to flannel-shirt grunge, you have about two choices as far as amplification: spend 10 grand on four amps and a full rack of studio effects, or go pick up the two-channel Crate GT-80 DSP for about $100 bones used. Two-channel amps don’t usually make headlines, but crate added tube and solid-state preamps to the GT-80DSP for four possible tone combinations (Crate calls this “QuadraDrive”).
Each option (Tube Lead, Solid-State Lead, Tube Rhythm, Solid-State Rhythm) has its own gain control. Both channels have independent three-band “cut and boost” eq’s and master-level controls, and there are plenty pf status LED’s to tell you what’s active. With the GT-80DSP, jumping mid-song from bluesy dirt to solid-state clean, or warm-tube crunch to solid-state lead, is as easy as stomping on a footswitch. But that’s only part of the story. Recorded guitars are usually processed with all kinds of reverbs, squeezers, stretchers and tone benders to get them to sound thick, rich and exciting. To capture these effects, the GT-80DSP comes equipped with a 32-mode digital signal processor that electronically reproduces different acoustic spaces and cool engineer’s trick.
The DSP is organized around six families of effects: small area reverbs (small rooms with bright or dark characteristics); large area reverbs (clubs, concert halls and stadiums with bright or dark characteristics); special reverbs (gated, plate and “vintage” spring styles); delays (slapback); delays with regeneration (echo); and a special reverb section with infinite, thickener, multi-tap and reverse effects. To assign a particular effect to a specific channel, simply turn on the DSP and dial up the effect. The amp automatically “remembers” which effect you’ve chosen for each of the four channel/preamp combinations. Add a reverb footswitch and you can program each combination with two mode settings. With descriptions like “50000-seat concert hall,” “hard back wall,” and “carpeted rehearsal hall with draped walls and up to 30 people,” you’ll be able to match almost any recorded sound once you’ve learned the licks.
Toss in a 12-inch heavy-duty Crate speaker, and effects loop for even more processing options, then wrap everything in black Tolex, and you’ve got one tough little 80-watt Mosfet hybrid combo.
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