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Mark Zanandrea

crate V Series V18-112 18W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp

Sound Quality

Out of the box it sounds like crap. Maybe not a zero, but a 1 or 2. With a very simple switch, it's now an 8 (I'll leave 10 for a vintage Deluxe Reverb). I tried a few different things to fix it, but what really worked best (and easiest) was lower output preamp tubes. I like a very clean sound, so I replaced the 12AX7s with 12AV7s. Got rid of the mud, the overbearing distortion, and even made the reverb somewhat useable. It probably lowered the output and too much for most tastes, so I'd recommend 12AY7s or 12AT7s. I tried a lot of different speakers in the amp, and even though they were all better quality, none of them had enough high end to compensate for the low end voice of the amp. The stock speaker is passable. I hear there's a capacitor mod that can fix the boom. The accutronics reverb tank switch should help a lot, since the tank in the amp is a joke.


Looks fairly sturdy inside, considering the price. Decent design- I was even using microphonic tubes and didn't have a problem.

General Comments

Been playinf for decades.

If you don't mind experimenting with equipment, this is the amp to get. Crazy cheap and easy to mod. I spent $10 on old stock rca tubes on ebay (nobody wants 12AV7s!) and have a decent tube amp I can use at dive shows and not have to sweat about damage or theft. I doubt you can find anything like it at $150.

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