Product Review: Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp

I was shopping for a quality combo amp about this size that had all the effects built in. I tried out a comparable “Line 6” amp. I liked it but the price was a bit steep in my opinion so I tried the Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp. As far as my ears could tell it sounded just as good as it’s competitor but cost substantially less. It had a few drawbacks but not any that I can’t live with. Below is my review of the Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp.

The Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp pushes 60 Solid State watts per channel for a total of 120 watts total. The manufacturer’s website describes the amp as featuring two 12″ JENSEN / BUGERA speakers, however my amp (that I bought brand new with a full warranty) was equipped with genuine JENSEN speakers, NOT the “Jensen designed BUGERA” speakers. The Behringer GMX212 features it’s very own V-TONE analog modeling combined with built in multi-effects and tuner.

The Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp offers two full-featured modeling channels that emulate 3 classic guitar amps, 3 speaker simulation models plus 3 gain modes and all of these are individually selectable. A very flexible effects section allows independent effects settings on each channel, while Behringer’s patented DYNAMIZER circuitry captures every bit of expression of your playing and adds a tube-like compression to your tone.

The Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp has a 24-bit stereo multi-effects processor with effects such as flanging, chorus, phasing, , auto-wah, echo, delay , rotary speaker, compressor and you can use these effects in combinations. The Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp offers 99 user presets and is fully MIDI controllable. The Behringer GMX212 offers a direct out with speaker simulations as well as a speaker jack for adding an additional speaker cabinet. The Behringer GMX212 includes a foot-switch that allows you to switch channel and operate the built in guitar tuner.

I ordered the Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp through mail order after reading so many positive reviews on the amplifier. My desire was to find an amp that could be loud when I needed it but wouldn’t break my back when I carried it around. I also do a lot of recording and wanted an amp that would give me a great direct line out to go directly into my board. The price was right at $259.99 US with free shipping. I was eyeballing the Line 6 Spider II 212 Combo as well.

The Line 6 offered me 30 more solid state watts but the specs were pretty much the same. I’ve read where people experienced the Behringer products to sound just as good as the Line 6 products. Well the Line 6 Spider II 212 Combo was $240 dollars MORE and for 30 extra watts, it just wasn’t worth it to me so I went with the Behringer GMX212.

PROS

The Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp has more sounds and effects combinations than most need. Each channel has a set of three switches. There are three positions on the “Amp” switch that allow you to utilize the Behringer GMX212 amp modeling feature. The “California” position will give you a thick “Fender Twin” type of sound. Very suitable for country or jazz music. The “British” position of the switch will give you a classic and crisp gain typical of a “Marshall” or “Vox” amp suitable for a classic rock “Led Zepplen” type of sound.

The “Tweed” position will give you a slightly thicker 60s rock and roll sound similar to the “Jefferson Airplane” sound. Then there is a “Speaker” switch that allows you to utilize the Behringer GMX212 speaker modeling feature. Now if you know anything about guitar amps, you know that all speakers are NOT created equal. The speaker switch has three positions as well. The “US: position will give you a full and thick sound. The “UK” position will give you a crisper sound. The “Flat” position will give a a dry “flat” tone. The third switch is the “Mode” switch. The “Hot” position gives you a lot of compression and volume to cut through well. The “Hi Gain” position gives you more volume with crisp overtones.

The “Clean” position gives you a crystal clean and crisp tone. The Behringer GMX212 in my opinion is loud enough for nearly all needs. If you’re in a very loud band, I’ll assume that you have a decent PA system so if the amp isn’t loud enough for you, place a microphone in front of it. The Behringer GMX212 V-Tone Guitar Amp is a super flexible amp however it’s not perfect and does have a few drawbacks. They weren’t much of a concern for me but anyone should know them before purchasing the Behringer GMX212.

CONS

Durability

Though I have never experienced this misfortune, there are many who own Behringer amps that report the knobs breaking off. No biggie right? Wrong. You see the knobs on the Behringer GMX212 and all other Behringer amps are held on by a PLASTIC (not metal) shaft so when they break, they break off at the base of the shaft. I realize that the plastic shafts are likely part of the reason the price is sow low on Behringer products but I don’t think the average consumer would mind paying slightly more for the extra cost to equip the Behringer GMX212 with steel pot shafts. I haven’t broken off any knobs (knocking on wood) but because of this, I treat it like it was made of glass. Keep this in mind when lugging it around.

SOUND

I play mainly classic rock, some new rock, and country music. About the heaviest I get is “Nickelback”. This amp is great for ME. However, if you’re a metal head and want to play stuff like “Pantera” and “Slayer”, you may find this amp lacking in the distortion you crave. Some users of this amp add an external distortion pedal to achieve that heavy distortion and are satisfied but others complain of a lot of noise when doing this. Some complain of a lot of feedback though the amp at high volumes. I have not had a problem with this so I can’t attest to it but I’ve read several complaints.

MOBILITY

The Behringer GMX212 doesn’t have wheels. Fact is, there are many that don’t that should but if you want to have removable “plug in” casters on your Behringer GMX212, you’ll void the warranty. If you want wheels, I recommend placing the amp on a board with wheels when transporting it across a large dance floor until the warranty is up. The Behringer GMX212 weighs 53 pounds and measures 28″W x 19-1/2″H x 10″D. That may not seem like a lot but when you come into a club to load in your equipment and you see the stage or band-stand about 50 feet across and open dance floor, it would be VERY nice to have wheels.

MY TAKE?

I think the Behringer GMX212 is a great amp for the money. It indeed could be more road worthy but that’s really the only gripe I have with it and for $259.99 US, it’s not worth complaining about. Check one out at your local music store. I think you’ll like it.

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