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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1933
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
One of these on CraigsList local cheap... was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with them? Ultrasonic, I bet you've serviced a few of these. I thought I read they were one of the best Crate (oxymoron?) amps. I like a dual 6L6 that can be run wide open for hours at a time. This one is the short Head version, controls on top, early non-backlit model, you tell me what the date range is.

At ~$140 I think its a good deal. It would make an inexpensive, lightweight backup Gig amp, or just give it to my son so he's not bugging to use one of mine! I see the combos all the time, but the 50 watt head seems to be less common. Your Thoughts / Experiences?

Electra Guitar Videos ===>

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:50 pm
Posts: 1569
Location: New Jersey
I bet the clean channel with the 6L6's would be real nice - Not sure about the master/overdrive channel though. As for reliability, I've been told they're pretty solidly built. I know the club series are pretty nice amps for the money. $140 sounds good to me.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:50 pm
Posts: 433
Location: Saint Louis
Actually, I've never had one on my bench, nor have I played through one.

A quick glance at the manual, if this is the correct model, shows a couple interesting features:

First, it looks like you can easily drop in 6L6 or EL34 output tubes without bias adjustment. That's cool for exploring different tones. Also, the first preamp tube uses a DC filament supply, which is a nice way to lower the inherent noise in a high gain amp. And it's made in USA. That's unique, these days.

Some SLM products of this era can have an intermittent signal problem, which may cause weak tone or volume cut out. It's caused when the normal signal path contacts get dirty or flaky. Try using a regular guitar cable to connect the effect loop "send" directly to the "return" jack. If this solves it, you may be able to clean the jack's switching contacts, or just leave a short patch cable in there all the time.

$140 sounds like a good deal for a utility amp, but I bet the used market is pretty weak for Crate amps in general.

I'll ask my sources for any further info on this model.

Jead makes a good point about the Vintage Club series of Crate amps. They're often a bargain tone machine in the used market, IF you get one that has not been beat up. The quality of components and construction can't withstand abuse like the classic era Fenders can. I like the early blonde VC series, with EL84 output tubes. I've got a VC-50 head with a couple modifications from the designer. It can be seen & heard powering my Leslie speaker guitar rig in some of the videos from EF2010. The combos tend to be heavy due to the particle board cabinets, especially the 3x10" version.

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