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OT: Crate V-series tube amps

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What with SEWatt being down and all, I needed a place to ask -- Anyone have any experience with the Crate V-series tube amps? A bunch are on sale at MF right now...from 5 to 50W...I'm intrigued by the V-50 since I don't yet have a 6L6 amp - 2 channels, 50W 1x12 for $200!!


Crate V series amps @ MF


save my $ ?? I dunno, Crate 'builds' the Blackhearts, no?


Thanks for any input!


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SEwatt crashed. It's being rebuilt so that hopefully it won't crash.


I've got a old Crate VC-508 that's been retired ever since I got my first VJr. The Crate didn't have THE tone and got it's butt blown away in a tone shootout. I've seen pics and schematics of the new 15watt Crate. They're even cheeper quality than ever before and have some funky PT crap going on that'll make a rebuild difficult. Approach with caution!


Fortunately, the iron in my older Crate was salvageable and is being recycled to build an amp with a 6U8 pentode/triode tube in the preamp and a miniature 6AQ5 power tube. The Crate didn't really have enough power to do an el84 real justice like the VJr's power transformer does, so I'm going with lower voltage tubes.



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Gil, thanks for that heads up - you are referring to the 'older' white Palomino lineup, yes? I wonder if things have been improved upon...I guess I need to make the trek to GC and find out...


TWANG, yeah GAS for sure, 5 tube amps for $200 or less...if I didn't have a ceriatone 18W kit amp waiting for 'debug', I'd be on that $150 deal too...but now I'm totally distracted by the 6L6 V50...oh well



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I have to say that I've heard the older v50's twice, and both times, they sounded nothing short of outstanding. I have also read that the Palomino V32's were very nice as well. Personally, I've yet to hear a V16 clip that I didn't think sounded like total mush...very reminiscent of my v2 vjr before mods, although those have received fairly strong reviews as well, so it's likely in the way that one sets it up, tubes, speaker, etc.


The new ones, I know very little about, except that the V18 uses a very cheap, transistor, switch mode power supply, that doesn't excite me much. I'm sure that with the right speaker(s) and tubes, it can be made to sound acceptable, but this weird power supply freaks me out.


I've been really torn on this myself. I could really use a larger backup amp. The vjr is a great little amp, but I really don't care for hearing my guitar entirely through the monitors, and that's what has to happen a lot of times in order to hear the little bugger. My main amp is 50 watts, which is huge overkill for most venues. I really need something in the 18-20 watt range, so I was really stoked when I first saw this thing, but the more I've read about it, the more leery I've gotten. My search continues...

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