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Does anyone stiil play through a Crate amps anymore?


Blues101
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I bought a s/s Crate MXR65 brand new of eBay two years ago for $110. It was USA made and had the Celestion 12" speaker in it. I don't know why I sold it. I think b/c it was too friggin' loud. The FlexWave 5 put out a really nice clean tone, but I bought it for heavy, heavy playing and it fit the bill. Great scooped mids sound. Great harmonics and great sustain. WHY did I sell it :cry: ??

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I have the following Crate models:

 

a Lee Jackson designed Crate Stealth combo. CLEAN cleans and a very high gain 2nd channel. All tube; 4 6V6s and 3 12AX7s. Think twice as powerful Princeton.

 

Several Power Blocks, and 2 PB cabinets with ancient alnico speakers in them. I put the Celestions that came in the cabs in my PA rig.

 

Crate V1512, modified with a better reverb tank and circuit changes. It's a well made (in USA), useful, pretty, all tube amp.

 

I actually will miss this Made in USA company. Loud's buyout will tell in future models.

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  • 12 years later...
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I bought a Crate GLX65 in '04 at a pawn shop as my second amp ever, graduating from an old Kustom practice amp that was gifted to me. I've been playing the Crate basically my entire music life and honestly I can't complain one bit. I've played other fender and marshall amps at music stores and love the sound, but won't come off the money for one just yet...cause when I upgrade I'm gonna upgrade. Im not a touring musician but do play music for small groups here and there, and the Crate pumps out that 65 watts with all it's might, even though I've yet to crank it up full blast...haven't needed to. It has 3 channels (Clean, a dirty sounding Rhythm, and an all out assault overdrive mode in Solo), then you can pick 1 of 16 effects to use on each channel which it saves until you change it. All that is easily controlled by a foot switch that came with it. On the back, it has input jacks for connecting pedals and the like. Keeping things cheap, I run a Zoom G1X Four (retired my old digitech RP50) that I use for drums and other effects, a $40 looper off Amazon, and a Boss OS-2 pedal I found at an auction (for a different flavor).

After years and years of tweaking the settings, and dialing it in to my liking, I'm almost scared to buy another amp! Afraid to lose the sound I've spent so much time perfecting. If you're looking for an amp to jam with in a garage, this crate can do that job. If you live in an apartment or have a family that likes hearing themselves think...don't buy one of these. It will shake the pictures off the wall as well 🤘🤘🤘

People that hate on Crate probably won't buy Great Value or Kirkland brand at the grocery store. It really doesn't taste that much different 😉

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  • 2 months later...
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I have owned and played a Carvin x60b Half-Stack in the past, and recently have been using older Fender Hot Rod Deluxes (one with the Frommel mod) for size and portability. I stumbled over a Crate V50 for cheap on CraigsList ($100) and thought "what the hell" ... it is now my go-to amp for recording and rehearsal ... a little heavy to haul for gigs so I still use a Hot Rod there, but the Crate has well defined tone, is less noisy than the fenders (even the modded fender) and has a nice smooth drive channel as well. I use pedals for FX and Distortion, so the drive channel is only for emergencies, but I like the sound enough to use it if I have to.   I'd have to say that the V50 is right up there with lower end boutique amps.  

I am currently having an amp hand-built to my specifications (baseline around the Fender Champ circuitry), and should have it in a week, so it will be interesting to see how a $1,500 hand wired boutique amp stacks up to the V50. I suspect it will be my boutique amp and the V50 that survive, and my Hot Rods will be on the trading block. 

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I still play my Fender Precision bass guitar through a Crate BT100 amp in church. I love the sound and I sometimes patch it into a Mackie CFX 16 channel mixer that's connected to a QSC PLX 3602 amp and Bose 802 Series II speakers. It's an awesome sound. The Crate has nearly the same sound that the Guild tube amp had years ago.

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  • 1 month later...
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Crate took a lot of abuse early on, but once they got the hang of building tube amps, they built some awesome amps.

I recently traded out my Crate VC20; I bought it about 5 years ago for ~200 on reverb to have as a 'leave at rehearsal space' amp. For the past couple of years, I left it at the studio [I was a minority owner].With Covid, no rehearsals, no studio work, no need for another 12" combo amp in the woodpile.

I liked it, it took pedals well, and had a nice 'bite' when it got pushed on its own. But with a Vox NightTrain, a BlackStar HT20, and two Blues Juniors covering that territory, the Crate was redundant...but it got me a Martin 12 string, so no loss in my book😎

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I modded the heck out of my V8. After getting some girth out of it by removing the excess parts I gave it the tone stack from a Train Wreck and added a spring reverb and an optical tremolo (with the reverb and trem between the pre and power amps like on old Fenders). Had a long running thread here until the forum melted down. Rebuilt it on my website here: Supercharging a V8

Also did the Bogner high-gain mods to my V33. Combined with a matching quad set of Mesa EL84s it totally rips. There was a mod thread for that one as well but it seems to have vanished with the forum changes.

I met Obied, the designer behind Crate's Vintage Club and V series of tube amps at NAMM. He is also the guy who did the Bambino and the Magnatone. Super nice guy.

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