#1
Hey guys I'm trying to get a smallish (15w) all tube amp for home and playing with a few friends and I have my eyes set on either a Crate v16 or v1512, or the Fender Blues Junior.

Living in Australia, I can get both for around the same price ($700aus) and can't really decide between the two so if you've had experience with either of the amps post what you thought of them and which one you'd personally take. I'd love everyone's opinions.

Thanks!
#2
I can vouge for the crate V series. I own one. I love it. I'd say that if you can afford the fender instead, you might want to go that way. I'm sure there's a licensed fender repair person near you; not so sure about crate.
Gear:

Fender 1980 "THE Strat"
Fender 2005 MIM Tele
Jay Turser Les Paul

Monster Cables

Fender PT-100 Pedal Tuner
Ibanez TS-9
EHX Big Muff (NYC)
MXR Phase 90

Crate V33H head
Crate V212 cab
#4
Okay, if you haven't played them in person I'd suggest doing so (not trying to be a dick or anything, just truthful). That's the only way you're going to figure out which one suits you better.... But if I had to throw an opinion out there... I'd probably go with the fender. Dear God, I can't remember how many amps I went through trying to find one that tickled the old pickle lol. Don't limit yourself to just those two amps though. There are dozens of amps in that power range that are much higher quality than those particular amps. What's your budget my friend?
Fargen Olde 800 1x12 Combo
Ernie Ball/Musicman Axis Super Sport Rosewood with custom HighOrder Pickups
#6
Yeah thing is because there aren't many Crates in Australia I'd need to get it shipped off ebay most likely from the US so it'd cost an extra $200aus. That's why the two amps are about the same price. When I get a tube amp I'm planning on getting an OD, not sure about the equalizer just yet.
#7
The crates have more of a british flavor and a bit more gain. The cleans are warmer as well. The blues jr has a more american sound (glassy cleans, less midrange). It's also a little cleaner since it has less gain.

Try them both and see which you prefer.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#9
Yep the Palomino is the v16 and v32 models I'm pretty sure. From the limited amount of vids I've seen I kind of prefer the Crate but that could just be their camera quality / setup. Because the Fender would be more expensive (by about $200) if they were both sold in Aus, it makes me a bit uncertain to go the Crate. Why are they so cheap?

Because I'm in Aus I can only try the Blues Jr unfortunately.
#11
They're out of production I believe. Crate is trying to get rid of them since the black heart amps are taking over that segment for crate.

I have recordings of my blues jr in my profile if you're interested.

I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#12
Yeah Kevin that's correct, I'd have to sit on ebay to try and find one used. That Blues Jr is sounding really cool, what mods did you do to it?
#13
Where in Australia are you? Because if you're in or around Sydney, Billy Hyde in Camperdown has (or had about a month ago) a couple of Crate Vs in stock.
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#14
I have a Crate V5 and a Fender Hot Rod Deville. The amps are voiced very differently.

The V5, and the v15 I believe, are Class-A amps. Much earlier breakup and a vintage British sound. Go responsiveness to picking.

The Fender is a cleaner glassy, Class-AB amp. Tons of clean headroom. Very responsive to picking,
A friend has a Blues Jr and it sounds great. It is louder than I expected and clean almost all the way up to 12.

When it comes down to it, you really have to try any amp before you buy it.
If Crates are rare in your area, you might want to see if there is an authorized service person near you. It sucks to have an amp that needs service and have no one to work on it.
#15
Quote by Marsbe
Yeah Kevin that's correct, I'd have to sit on ebay to try and find one used. That Blues Jr is sounding really cool, what mods did you do to it?



Thank you!

I modded the bias circuit so I could set the bias myself on the amp. Fender runs the bias kind of high on these amps which can make them mushy at higher volumes. Lowering the bias makes the amp a little cleaner, a little louder, and a little tighter.

I also replace some tone caps, which basically gives the amp more bass and midrange. Stock speaker, stock OT.

^That's the beauty of these little tube amps. Any tech could fix one because they are quite simple. I don't know about crate, but the blues jr is a bit of a pain to work on. Depending on what you need to do you'll probably spend more than half the time getting the board out of the amp.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
Last edited by Kevin Saale at Mar 18, 2009,
#16
shadow__666: Unfortunately I'm in Bris Thanks anyways.

MT in Austin: Thanks for that, very helpful. I must say I am slightly leaning towards the Crate as I'm after a more British sounding amp (originally wanted a Tiny Terror but budget was a bit stretched).

Kevin Saale: Nice mods, seems like they're pretty cheap to do too. Thanks for the info.
#17
Yeah I'm pretty inexperienced at modding at this stage so I'd be stuck with the stock amp for a fair while yet till I work up the guts/knowledge.

I've got to say I am leaning towards the Crate at this stage (due to being Brit sounding), however, if there are any other amps in the same price range that are worth checking out, I'd happily welcome your suggestions.
#18
Some other amps you may want to consider Marsbe, are the Vox AC15 (may have to go used on this one), peavey classic 30, and the kustom defender. Since you're in Aus. I'm not sure on the availability of these amps, but they're in your price range and I believe they're also about what you're looking for. I, personally, would recommend the peavey classic 30. Great cleans, and a very nice british-grindy type of overdrive.
Fargen Olde 800 1x12 Combo
Ernie Ball/Musicman Axis Super Sport Rosewood with custom HighOrder Pickups
#19
Thanks yeah I have been considering the Peavey Classic 30 too, it seems like a really good amp for the price. I guess I'll have to try and find a few places that stock these amps and try them out. What are people's views on Blackhearts? Can you even get anything higher than a 5/7watt one (for under 500us)?
#20
thats a pretty good price for a blues junior, I can't find one for under $900, I say blues junior.
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#21
You can get the blackheart handsome devil and their 1x12 for just over $500 on musicians friend. I'm sure you could find one cheaper on ebay. Though I'm not sure on their tone as I've never played one before.
Fargen Olde 800 1x12 Combo
Ernie Ball/Musicman Axis Super Sport Rosewood with custom HighOrder Pickups
#22
Yeah I don't seem to like those as much judging from the videos I've seen (not the best way to judge, I know).