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CRATE Vintage Club 50 Amp Too loud, Too Fast... REALLY!!! Model VC-5212, mid 90s, 50W , all Tube Class A

#1 User is offline   animalfarm 

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 08:50 PM

Never thought I'd actually say that! [rolleyes]

I have a "New" (to me) Crate Vintage Club 50 AMP, LOVE the All Tube tone,
my only "Complaint" about the Amp is that the VOLUME kicks in with a really
STEEP Curve just going from ZERO to ONE on the Master volume with the Gain
set at 5.
I set volume at 1, AMP is LOUDER that I normally play in house.
Set Volume at 1.5, next door neighbor hears me.
Set Volume at 2, peel paint off wall.
I cannot even imagine trying to go higher in house, planning on turning it up
to 3 (oooooooh-ahhhhhhh) this weekend.

The TONE is fantastic, but I need to tame back the volume "Response"!
I've read comments by others with complaints about the same issue, but no solution
to what appears to be a "Common Problem" (???) with this Amp.
Anyone out there ever own one of these? If SO - what did you do regarding
the Volume?

For a supposedly 50 Watt amp..... This mofo is LOUD!!!!!!

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GITS:
2006 Epi LP Classic (Amber Quilt Top), 498T/490R Gibson pups, Gibson Deluxe Tulip Tuners
2010 SX Hawk Strat Copy w/ two P-90s, Mahogany with Maple neck/Fretboard, with Stop-Tail
2010 Ovation CC-24 Flamed Koa Top Acoustic-Electric
2010 Jay Turser JT-200 Pro Les Paul Double Cut-Away (TransAmber), Gibson Deluxe Tulip Tuners
AMPS:
Crate (mid-90s) Vintage Club 50, all tube 50W
Vox VT-15 Modelling Amp, 15W
Marshall MG15CD Amp, 15W

#2 User is offline   matiac 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:42 AM

I have played with a friends similar Crate to the one you describe, and it too was very loud, with the jump in volume also described. I dunno, I'd just dig what you got, and eventually everyone else in the house will de-sensitize, and then you can rip without guilt. I personally think Crate amps get a bad rep, and I dunno, I have two solid state Crates (KBA60, and a B20) that my guitars sound fantastic out of, apart from the usual crackles from aged volume pots, I've never had any trouble with either of these two amps. And the best thing is I got 'em both on the cheap, mainly because the former owners snubbed 'em because they were Crates. Now they're mine.
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#3 User is offline   brianh 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:20 AM

An expensive solution ($329 new), but maybe you can find one used on Craiglist?

http://www.thdelectr...e_hotplate.html

You could also turn the cab into a closed-back type which will reduce lodspeaker effiiciency and therefore increase the power necessary to get to the same volume. That might give you a little more range at the lower end of the controls.
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#4 User is offline   Gordy01 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:02 AM

This may sound a bit crazy, but have you thought about changing the volume pot?
It may need a different pot that has a smoother curve. I would ask a local electrical/sound tech.
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#5 User is offline   animalfarm 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:56 PM

View Postbrianh, on 02 February 2011 - 07:20 AM, said:

An expensive solution ($329 new), but maybe you can find one used on Craiglist?

http://www.thdelectr...e_hotplate.html

You could also turn the cab into a closed-back type which will reduce loudspeaker effiiciency and therefore increase
the power necessary to get to the same volume. That might give you a little more range at the lower end of the controls.


Have thought about CRAMMING a Blanket in the back as a test! [flapper]

View PostGordy01, on 02 February 2011 - 08:02 AM, said:

This may sound a bit crazy, but have you thought about changing the volume pot?
It may need a different pot that has a smoother curve. I would ask a local electrical/sound tech.


Actually, that was my immediate thought. Am looking around on line for a few schematics as reference.
As this appears to be an "Issue" regarding this Model, I'm wondering how CRATE managed to let it out the
door without catching the problem.....

GITS:
2006 Epi LP Classic (Amber Quilt Top), 498T/490R Gibson pups, Gibson Deluxe Tulip Tuners
2010 SX Hawk Strat Copy w/ two P-90s, Mahogany with Maple neck/Fretboard, with Stop-Tail
2010 Ovation CC-24 Flamed Koa Top Acoustic-Electric
2010 Jay Turser JT-200 Pro Les Paul Double Cut-Away (TransAmber), Gibson Deluxe Tulip Tuners
AMPS:
Crate (mid-90s) Vintage Club 50, all tube 50W
Vox VT-15 Modelling Amp, 15W
Marshall MG15CD Amp, 15W

#6 User is offline   Fringe Lunatic 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:15 PM

Sure, the volume control may not be as precise and/or gradual as some other amps, but a 50-watt amp is pretty frickin powerful, period, especially to use around the house for personal use. I think that's why amps of 15 watts (still pretty loud) and under are so popular, and you get to overdrive the tubes without making your ears bleed. I'm sure your Club is an excellent amp, but it's not a practice amp - it's a giggin' amp. I had a 60-watt hybrid a while back, and one of the reasons I got rid of it was that it was too powerful for my needs. My Cube 30X (all SS) is still pretty darn loud, and I generally have the volume no higher than about 9 o'clock.

When I was a kid, I had a Twin-Reverb. Talk about loud..........
If you don't like your guitar's tone, get a new amp

#7 User is offline   PeterP 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:32 PM

Wonder if it has the same issue the old series of fender HotRod amps had, they used the wrong type of pot on the volume, and the amps were hitting full throttle by the time you reached 3 on the dial.

They fixed it on the new III series of hotrods, forget if they used a linear taper whey they should have used audio taper or the other way round :)
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#8 User is offline   Fringe Lunatic 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:37 PM

View PostPete.R, on 02 February 2011 - 02:28 PM, said:

the 60watt hybrid, was it a Hartke ?

No. It was a Peavey. I thought Hartke made bass amps.

Maybe PeterP is right, and replacing the volume pot with audio taper will help. Might be worth a look-see to find out what's in there now.
If you don't like your guitar's tone, get a new amp

#9 User is offline   Fringe Lunatic 

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:43 PM

Vypyr Tube, with tube amplification and digital models/effects.
If you don't like your guitar's tone, get a new amp

#10 User is offline   animalfarm 

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 01:03 PM

View Postanimalfarm, on 01 February 2011 - 08:50 PM, said:


The TONE is fantastic, but I need to tame back the volume "Response"!
I've read comments by others with complaints about the same issue, but no solution
to what appears to be a "Common Problem" (???) with this Amp.
Anyone out there ever own one of these? If SO - what did you do regarding
the Volume?

For a supposedly 50 Watt amp..... This mofo is LOUD!!!!!!



Still digging when not working......

Excerpts:

"Warning though, by the time you get a VC-5212 to do that awesome EL-84 breakup,
you will be at STADIUM VOLUME.
Those suckers are LOUD!!! I toured with them for quite awhile."

"I agree with you the Vintage Club 50 is blisteringly loud.
Incredibly ballsy blues tone with the two 15" speakers."

"Yes, I think you've got reason... Perhaps a 50w is too loud..."

Tried to call CRATE/Loud Technologies... on hold, on hold, on hold......

[cursing]

GITS:
2006 Epi LP Classic (Amber Quilt Top), 498T/490R Gibson pups, Gibson Deluxe Tulip Tuners
2010 SX Hawk Strat Copy w/ two P-90s, Mahogany with Maple neck/Fretboard, with Stop-Tail
2010 Ovation CC-24 Flamed Koa Top Acoustic-Electric
2010 Jay Turser JT-200 Pro Les Paul Double Cut-Away (TransAmber), Gibson Deluxe Tulip Tuners
AMPS:
Crate (mid-90s) Vintage Club 50, all tube 50W
Vox VT-15 Modelling Amp, 15W
Marshall MG15CD Amp, 15W

#11 User is offline   runnamukk 

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:31 PM

Just PMd you, but thought I'd post the same info for the group.

While I haven't tried changing out the A chan vol pot yet (its' on my list) I have had success taming my VC5212 a little by changing the preamp tubes. Using 12AT7 or 12AU7 in place of the 12aX7 will effectively reduce the gain of the preamps, making the thing a little more flexible. I'm currently using a 12AX7 only in the final out position, that's the one closest to the transformers. I have a 12At7 in the clean channel position (farthest from the xfmrs) and 12AU7 tubes in both B channel positions. This seems to work just dandily in my basement concer......jam stadium. BTW, I'm building a custom cabinet for the amp chassis to get it out of the 212 cabinet for both ease of repairs/tweaking/maint, and to show off the moving electrons inside! hah!

-Russell T. in MD

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#12 User is offline   damian 

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:05 PM

Welcome "runnamuk"............Of course, tube watts in a class A amp are much different than in a class AB amp...............

50 watts class A tube are, well, huge and loud.................
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#13 User is offline   zeplin 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:42 AM

View Postanimalfarm, on 01 February 2011 - 08:50 PM, said:

Never thought I'd actually say that! [rolleyes]

I have a "New" (to me) Crate Vintage Club 50 AMP, LOVE the All Tube tone,
my only "Complaint" about the Amp is that the VOLUME kicks in with a really
STEEP Curve just going from ZERO to ONE on the Master volume with the Gain
set at 5.
I set volume at 1, AMP is LOUDER that I normally play in house.
Set Volume at 1.5, next door neighbor hears me.
Set Volume at 2, peel paint off wall.
I cannot even imagine trying to go higher in house, planning on turning it up
to 3 (oooooooh-ahhhhhhh) this weekend.

The TONE is fantastic, but I need to tame back the volume "Response"!
I've read comments by others with complaints about the same issue, but no solution
to what appears to be a "Common Problem" (???) with this Amp.
Anyone out there ever own one of these? If SO - what did you do regarding
the Volume?

For a supposedly 50 Watt amp..... This mofo is LOUD!!!!!!

Posted Image

Posted Image

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From my experience, 50 watts all tube is probably too much power for use at home. My Mesa Boogie 5:25 express can switch between 5W class A or 25W class A/B and at 5W it is more than enough volume for playing at home. If I dime the 5W stuff starts to shake in the room. I rarely use it in 25W mode, mostly because I like the class A tone but at 25W it's just too darn loud. On my old Marshall Valvestate 30W I need to set it to about 7 to get the same volume as the Boogie @ 5W and about 2 on the volume, half on the gain. This is the first all tube amp I have owned but have rented 50W Marshalls, Ampegs and Hiwatts (now if you want to talk loud try a Hiwatt) in the past and even when playing with a full band, unmiked drums, I rarely went above 2 on the volume with those.

Also from zero to about 1-2 on the volume (again at 5W) and with the gain set at half it increases at a high rate so I think that may be pretty normal. I think the tubes may need to receive a certain amount of signal before they start to kick in and that may be responsible for the sudden increase in output.

As for putting in an audio taper pot I mistakenly installed one as a volume pot replacement on one of my guitars and found that I got next to no volume out until it reached 6-7. I don't think that will be a fix in this case other than changing the number from 1-2 to 6-7 and giving less fine tuning for the volume due to the active area on the wiper being reduced, ie, a small adjustment of the pot will produce a larger change in volume output. Audio taper pots are logarithmic as opposed to linear and from what I have read are better suited for tone pots.

Just my $0.02

Z.

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#14 User is offline   bigneil 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:29 PM

I get an adrenalin buzz from playing loud. I can't seem to get into a good sesh' on the guitar unless the walls are shakin'. My advice would be to just pick sensible times to play on it so that you don't end up in trouble over noise polution. My amp does the same, it makes very little volume, then kicks in big at about 1.5 on the dial, it's like the power tubes do nothing below a certain threshold.
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#15 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:57 PM

Not sure, but it sounds like it has a linear taper pot. You might want to try an "audio" taper pot,
instead, to lengthen the duration of the volume gain, so it's not so abrupt. Some of the "Amp" experts,
here, or on the web, can tell you, for sure. Some amp builders, especially SS type, used linear pots,
to make it appear the amp was a lot louder, than it really was...i.e. it arrived at full volume quickly,
but, there was no "headroom" left. Some manufacturers, STILL do that, apparently. I much prefer the
longer voyage, to volume nirvana, myself. [biggrin]

Good Luck.

CB

#16 User is offline   Bowen.S.H 

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:01 PM

My only problem is it only has that one effects jack, so how do you loop it?

P.S. Im new to looping amps and other equipment

#17 User is offline   Parabar 

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:16 PM

View PostBowen.S.H, on 28 March 2012 - 03:01 PM, said:

My only problem is it only has that one effects jack, so how do you loop it?

P.S. Im new to looping amps and other equipment


If there is only a single 1/4" jack labelled "Effects" or "Effects Loop," it is likely a stereo jack. You'd need to use a Y cord or adapter with a stereo 1/4" plug that goes to two separate mono 1/4" jacks. One side will be the send, the other the return; you'll need to check the amp specs to see which is which.

#18 User is offline   archieaa1 

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:42 PM

You have three options to tame this beast. 1. Replace the volume pot with a 1 meg audio or log taper pot. You could also try adding a 100K resistor between the wiper and the ground. You will lose some gain but, that doesn't seem to be an issue here. 2. Replace the speakers with less efficient speakers or some of the new Eminence speakers with the cool dial in the back to make then quieter. Many of the less expensive Celestion speakers like the Rocket 50 or the V60-12 really sound quite nice, they just aren't as loud. 3. Use an external attenuator such as a THD hot plate or Marshall power brake.

If it were me I would start by replacing the volume pot. I had to do the same thing on a Crate Stealth 50. Please be careful if you haven't been inside a tube amp before. You can get yourself zapped but, good if you aren't careful. When in doubt use one hand. The shock that kills you is the one that goes from hand to hand because it goes across your chest. There is no shame in taking it to your local amp tech if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself.

BTW this is NOT a class A amplifier. It's very definitely running class AB. The top end of how much power you can get out of an amp running true class A with 4 EL84 tubes in a push pull configuration is about 20 to 24 watts depending on how much tube life you want. In the case of the King of class A amps, the AC30 is mostly Class A. When you get to around 22 watts out you begin entering class AB operation because one half of the push pull pair enters cutoff. For that matter ANY amplifier that is distorting is no longer in class A. Class A means that the Tube conducts for 360 degrees of a sine wave. Class AB means that it conducts for more than 180 but less than 360 degrees of a sine wave. As soon as any tube enters saturation or cutoff, you have left Class A and are now in class AB. With a push pull output section all you need is for each half to conduct for a little over 180 degrees for the output section to behave like its in class A. For the same operating conditions a class AB amplifier will always give you more output because its not wasting as much energy as heat. That doesn't mean it sounds better, it's just more efficient.

Please forgive my Class A rant
Know that I love my AC30

Archie

#19 User is offline   eggs 

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:30 AM

@ archieaa1: Welcome to our forum Archie, & you were not to know, but our great friend animalfarm (Greg) passed away in early 2012.

He was 'Class A' in every imaginable way, as was his partner Pia, who followed him towards that 'warm glow' shortly afterwards, & they are both sorely missed here [crying]
Stuart

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#20 User is offline   damian 

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 02:51 PM

View Posteggs, on 20 October 2012 - 12:30 AM, said:

@ archieaa1: Welcome to our forum Archie, & you were not to know, but our great friend animalfarm (Greg) passed away in early 2012.

He was 'Class A' in every imaginable way, as was his partner Pia, who followed him towards that 'warm glow' shortly afterwards, & they are both sorely missed here [crying]



Almost a year now....:-k ..

Nice post "Archieaa1".........[cool]
I use Atlas Stands because they are the best................. http://www.facebook.com/atlasstands ......American Made.......Rewind Pickups; MIA and the Best.......
.....................Codtone Pedals from OZ......................................." Ya'll remove hats, please "...................................Motor City Pickups......................................
.................................." I hate it when people compare god with jimmy page, I mean, he's good and all, but he's no jimmy page."..................................
Music Consultant, Songwriter........................................ - THE MENSA PRETZEL LOGIC PROJECT - .............................. Advocate for the Disabled, Gentle Hellraiser.

" It occured to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception." Einstein on his theory of relativity.
" Music is a higher relevation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." Ludwig von Beethoven
" There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.' Johann Sebastian Bach
" Playing scales is like a boxer skipping rope or a punching bag. It's not the thing itself; it's preparatory to the activity." Barney Kessel
" After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Hoxley
" There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have crossed this line." Pianist Oscar Lavant
" Music came before language; musical grunts became words." Damian (copyright)
" I know how to get there, all I've got to do is keep playing." Jimmy Page
" Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche
" Music is an outburst of the soul." Fredrick Deluis
" Rock and Roll forever, man." Unknown
" Damian's cool." NeoConMan
" WTF ??? " dem00n
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