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Score! Crate GX-212 for $70

Started by JonnyDeth, March 20, 2024, 08:35:18 AM

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JonnyDeth

100% American made, 30 years old and with the Crate speakers that replaced the flimsy Celestion Rockets they previously used(I have some of those too). I hit the cabinet with a degreaser, and it's electrically still a beast. They even had the casters for it, but no foot switch which I can easily build if I truly desire one; I don't.

This is probably the most "sterile" of their SS series, but still ear bleeding loud and the wattage is 100% useable when maxed out. I designed my very first distortion pedal directly around this preamp's lead channel, and have used it ever since on every piece of gear including 2024 digital modelers for 15 years now.
I can crank gain through the roof for sweeping and shredding, and don't even have ground buzz and without a noise gate using the overdrive I designed. It gives me something to use in my gym or roll outside onto the deck or into the front yard and rain hell down on my neighbors  ;D

joecool85

Rock on!  I remember looking at Crate amps when I was a beginning guitarist almost 25 years ago.  I always thought they looked cool.  Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but they sure do get loud!
Life is what you make it.
Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X
thatraymond.com

JonnyDeth

They're not for everyone, but the classic overdrive channel will give you AC/DC and that sort of stuff, the modern overdrive takes you more to Megadeth, Cannibal Corpse etc. so, thrash and 90's death metal. On the bright side, they're one of the few vintage SS that handled pedals and they do well with just about any modeler.

In shredding on it this morning though I must admit, even with a really good sound and response, there is a strange "sterility" or "dead" emotion to their tones at times. I remember 20 years ago someone regarding them as the "hi-fi" home stereo equivalent of guitar amps lol. I think it's primarily when you really crank their volume, they have a dead as stone texture to them, hence 90's death metal.

RookieRecurve

I see these pop up often around me, but not for that price!  There's one I saw for $100 with only one of the two channels working.  I thought about buying it to try and fix it, then flip it.  It would be too loud for me, but they are pretty amazing amps.  The ease of access to incredible schematics makes these a great buy.

JonnyDeth

Quote from: RookieRecurve on March 31, 2024, 08:39:55 AMI see these pop up often around me, but not for that price!  There's one I saw for $100 with only one of the two channels working.  I thought about buying it to try and fix it, then flip it.  It would be too loud for me, but they are pretty amazing amps.  The ease of access to incredible schematics makes these a great buy.

I saw a guy on youtube that flips gear for a living and he nabbed one for $40! He said it was his very first amp so he made a video with it then sent it on it's way to someone who had bought it.

I am a shred and sweep player so it's a little harsh in the bass due to the very high, even order harmonics added by semiconductors, but in combining the dirty channel with my modeler and an overdrive pedal I actually designed around this amplifier's dirty channel used to overdrive the modeler, I get perfectly useable lead tones. I also have a Zoom G5 on the way to replace the one I have that some crazy b*t** smashed, and those with the 12AX7 in them turn damn near any amp into a thoroughbred.
That coupled with this and I have a brutal metal amp but really, an every genre amp. It's so friggin loud I could never actually use this much volume and in a live setting, I would definitely be using earplugs.

It's all about gain stage cascades and teaming the right devices. Solid-States have some universal problems shared by 99% of them, but Crate is highly underrated and players with really high standards would rather spend 3 grand on known gear combinations than experiment and get something built for $500 that is every bit as good as the 3 G's arrangement. The Zoom G5 is an example within itself because when you run the processor without the tube engaged, it's very digital and quite truly sounds cheap, but when you switch the tube in and crank it's gain, it makes every single patch you design for modeling whatever amp, pedal and speaker combination sound amazing. The harshness, "swooshing" etc. to your bass is completely filtered out of the signal by the tube's limited bandwidth. The 12AX7 is said to have a maximum of 20Khz for audio, but typical is actually 10 Khz. The semiconductors will add ridiculous harmonic bandwidth like 40 Khz to a 100 Hz bass note!
This trait is why solid-states continue to be the whipping boy of the industry and because digital circuits are still using solid-state semiconductors, 90% of those units aren't designed to compensate so the war wages on! I shutter at the sight of digital modelers and FX I see selling for $1500 and I can hear all those extremely high, even order harmonics still coming out of them and trashing the signal, but not every player is sweeping and shredding for it to matter.
The technology guarantees people will always spend big money on tube amps, and even I'm still guilty of that.

RookieRecurve

Quote from: JonnyDeth on March 31, 2024, 09:14:42 AM
Quote from: RookieRecurve on March 31, 2024, 08:39:55 AMI see these pop up often around me, but not for that price!  There's one I saw for $100 with only one of the two channels working.  I thought about buying it to try and fix it, then flip it.  It would be too loud for me, but they are pretty amazing amps.  The ease of access to incredible schematics makes these a great buy.

I saw a guy on youtube that flips gear for a living and he nabbed one for $40! He said it was his very first amp so he made a video with it then sent it on it's way to someone who had bought it.

I am a shred and sweep player so it's a little harsh in the bass due to the very high, even order harmonics added by semiconductors, but in combining the dirty channel with my modeler and an overdrive pedal I actually designed around this amplifier's dirty channel used to overdrive the modeler, I get perfectly useable lead tones. I also have a Zoom G5 on the way to replace the one I have that some crazy b*t** smashed, and those with the 12AX7 in them turn damn near any amp into a thoroughbred.
That coupled with this and I have a brutal metal amp but really, an every genre amp. It's so friggin loud I could never actually use this much volume and in a live setting, I would definitely be using earplugs.

It's all about gain stage cascades and teaming the right devices. Solid-States have some universal problems shared by 99% of them, but Crate is highly underrated and players with really high standards would rather spend 3 grand on known gear combinations than experiment and get something built for $500 that is every bit as good as the 3 G's arrangement. The Zoom G5 is an example within itself because when you run the processor without the tube engaged, it's very digital and quite truly sounds cheap, but when you switch the tube in and crank it's gain, it makes every single patch you design for modeling whatever amp, pedal and speaker combination sound amazing. The harshness, "swooshing" etc. to your bass is completely filtered out of the signal by the tube's limited bandwidth. The 12AX7 is said to have a maximum of 20Khz for audio, but typical is actually 10 Khz. The semiconductors will add ridiculous harmonic bandwidth like 40 Khz to a 100 Hz bass note!
This trait is why solid-states continue to be the whipping boy of the industry and because digital circuits are still using solid-state semiconductors, 90% of those units aren't designed to compensate so the war wages on! I shutter at the sight of digital modelers and FX I see selling for $1500 and I can hear all those extremely high, even order harmonics still coming out of them and trashing the signal, but not every player is sweeping and shredding for it to matter.
The technology guarantees people will always spend big money on tube amps, and even I'm still guilty of that.

Great explanation of why tubes are still so popular.  Its also a great reminder that great tones from inexpensive SS stuff can be had with the right piece(s) of equipment in front of it.  Sometimes I like to just plug into my fairly stock Valve Jr. and appreciate its simplicity, but other times I love playing around with different tools.  Your talk about having a tube in the signal path makes a ton of sense.  Thanks!