Inexpensive Crate practice amp sounds decent

Discussion in 'Amp-a-ridifiers' started by GEECEE, Mar 21, 2019.


    GEECEE Squier-Nut

    Jan 11, 2017
    Was just noodling around the other day and hit on some tones that sounded surprisingly good to me, so passing along. Generally stay on the clean channel - and it's fine. But switched over to the overdrive channel and hit upon some settings that really sounded nice - surprisingly so for such an inexpensive amp. Warm, clear and bluesy. Put a big smile on my face and even my wife noticed the nice tone. So FWIW, this thing is a GTD 15R - SS, 12" speaker, spring reverb. Great little practice amp for very little money.
    kenneth, daan, Biddlin and 4 others like this.
  2. stratman420

    stratman420 Squier-Meister

    Mar 14, 2019
    Santiago, Chile
    Man, I used to LOVE Crate's solid state 2x12s. I had one from the 80s, a 2x12 120w, with the old Crate logo that I got at a pawnshop when I was 13. That amp sounded GOOD for a solid state. Better than my friend's modern (at the time) Crate 2x12 that had all those built in effects.

    Now I'm an Orange guy, but I will always respect Crate. They made some pretty decent bass amps as well.

    I'd be interested to try out some of their newer models.
    duzie and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  3. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    My very first guitar amp was a small CRATE ss amp I got at guitar center used for $30, and it was good enough for me when I was in high school. At the time I could hardly play, being solely a bassist at the time, but nevertheless it sounded great to my ears!
    Kenneth Mountain and stratman420 like this.
  4. Eddie

    Eddie Squier-Axpert

    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    The key is to get an amp with a good clean tone, and then use your pedals. I've yet to find an amp with the natural distortion tones I want.
    jvin248 and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  5. stratman420

    stratman420 Squier-Meister

    Mar 14, 2019
    Santiago, Chile
    I felt the exact same way until I tried Orange. Have you given any Orange amps a chance? Even their solid states are amazing.
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  6. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    My first “real” amp (as opposed to playing through my stereo) was a Crate. The cleans sounded very good for a $99 amp. The built-in distortion sounded like ass, but that’s what pedals are for, right? Plus that amp got kicked around all over the country for 20 years and never skipped a beat. It only died because my crazy X threw it in the yard and it got rained on :(
    I have NOTHING bad to say about Crates!
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  7. wildelectric

    wildelectric Squier-Nut

    Sep 23, 2016
    Western Illinois
    Sadly, Crate is no more. Which is a shame. Their amps were affordable and some of them sounded great for the price point.

    Loud Audio bought the brand and Crate went boobs up shortly after. Strangely, they still have it listed as a brand on their website.
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  8. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert

  9. squierbilly

    squierbilly Dr. Squier

    Apr 21, 2013
    sunny phoenix
    Pictures or you dreamed it..
    also what guitar were you using..
    A 58 les paul?..
  10. FhPudd

    FhPudd Squier-Meister

    Nov 28, 2012
    Nothing wrong with Crates. I’ve always liked their XT ‘s the solid state amps with the chorus built in.
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  11. "Decent" … reminds me of Bubbles from The Trailer Park Boys. ;)

    Cheers, Barrie.
  12. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    When I was in college in the '80s, my two housemates and I had three guitar amps in the music room (attic): a Crate, a Peavey, and a Gorilla, all solid state.

    All of them sounded glorious.
    Kenneth Mountain and Bluzy like this.
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Squier-Meister

    Jan 10, 2014

    Most older amps were hated because of the dirty channels. Put them on the clean channel and fill them with pedals and you get whatever output your pedals give you.

    Used to be the Peavey Bandit was cheap, but the Internet caught on to this and then the prices doubled. Crate is kind of in the same place, ignored as an old cheap amp, but put them on clean and they can perform as a great pedal platform.

    Of course the snobbery level is rampant on many forums still, tubes or it's nothing .. goof balls.

    Kenneth Mountain and Bluzy like this.
  14. Davey

    Davey Squier-holic

    Mar 31, 2015
    Monroe WA
    Crate makes some good stuff but a lot of not so great products too.

    I have owned quite a few small Crate amps. A few XT series, I would buy them cheap to sell in guitar packages. Digital reverb kind of lifeless, distortion meh but loudish. A great beginner amp.

    I have two Crate amps currently. A Crate BX-200 head I run into an Acoustic B-115 cab. Pretty good I guess, would like to upgrade but never get around to it. Does the job.

    The real surprise for me was a G-60 with spring reverb and a 12" Celestion stock. That dam thing rocks!
    I have nothing but good things to say about that one. Has speaker out too so can step up the air if you want.
    I bought it on auction, knew nothing about the model, no time to google, bad pictures, no description. SGW last minute find. Thought it was a smaller amp.
    I pay attention to the Crate listings now. I bet the 2x12's are sweet.

    Kenneth Mountain, kenneth and Bluzy like this.
  15. squierTony

    squierTony Dr. Squier

    Jul 4, 2012
    MAUD Oklahoma
    I had a crate rfx 30 that I regret letting go. 2015-04-22 19.17.471.jpg
  16. Smith357

    Smith357 Squier-Meister

    Apr 30, 2017
    I used a small 15 watt Crate amp running a POD as my home practice rig for many years, it worked well for what I needed, but then I don't require a lot of stuff. I find my little 5 watt tube amps are all I need as a home noodler, I still use a Line 6 effects board for a headphone amp and to add reverb to my little Fender Champion.

    I do have an inexpensive Crate V5 that has a 10" bass driver installed for use with my basses, the tone is rather harsh and brittle with a six string, but not too bad with a bass.

    Kenneth Mountain, Davey and Bluzy like this.
  17. Bluzy

    Bluzy Squier-holic

    Nov 20, 2017
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I am more convinced every day the sound and tone is in the hands. Music is Win on YouTube made a bullet with an SPF15 amp sound glorious. I on the other hand can make a lot of bad sounds out of many an amp. Funny first amp was a Fender Champion 30 and it sounded beautiful clean....It just couldn’t hold up against a drummer and other guitarist with tube amps but in my was fine.
  18. Zipslack

    Zipslack Squier Talker

    Jan 7, 2018
    Brookhaven, MS, USA
    I have a G-60 like one of the previous posts. Got it for $10.

    Clean side (spring reverb) is great. The dirty sound...not so much. However, it works great as a speaker cab for my Orange Micro-Terror.
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  19. Davey

    Davey Squier-holic

    Mar 31, 2015
    Monroe WA
    That was me :) holy cow! man o man what a steal deal you got on that!

    I have not used mine much, bought/won it, tested it, was surprise I liked it as much as I did, put it away :)
    Kenneth Mountain likes this.
  20. willhowl

    willhowl Squier-holic

    Dec 19, 2011
    Houston Texas
    An interesting thread.....My only Crate was a 12" combo....don't know the model.......Now, the power cord was cut at the chassis, and the speaker was gone, but the knobs were all there, a bunch of them.....

    I was gonna just use it as a 12" cab, so I didn't care about function...I found it on the side of the street, in un-rained on condition....Yay for me!!!!..........

    Oh. yeah, SGW has a LOT of them around, especially 15W, "practice" amps...I have always dreamed of having a bedroom/living room rig with TWO 15W 8in amps, four or five feet apart,driven by an multi-FX pedal, in stereo....Hmmmmm........................willhowl