BV120H review by Crate

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.9 (18 votes)
Crate: BV120H
1

Purchased from: N/A

Sound — 10
With this amp, I am using either an Ibanez RG 170 or 350DX. I'll tell you this much: you won't get a Ry Cooder or Keith Richards type fuzz from this amp unless it has next to no gain on. However, the distortion, when used, is very versitile. But first, to the clean channel. Using the bridge humbucker on my guitar, I get a very bright, crisp sound no matter where I am with the tone knob of either the guitar or amplifier. When the single coil comes into play, the sound is much more natural, but also neutral. It is just kind of there. The humbucker in the neck position can go anywhere from warm and smooth to all out bassy and thick, working good for darker cleans. Bringing gain into the picture here, we get to the amp's true versatility. As I said before, the distortion won't give you an old sixties fuzz. This is some serious gain. If you know how to tweak your specs right, you can get any sound from the late '70s on. On the bridge humbucker here I can pull anything from heavy palm mutes in drop C to 24th fret finger tapping with my guitar raised a half step. The entire gamut is run when I play, whether it's just f--ing around in practice or blasting the crowd on stage. The single coil gives a raw, Iron Maiden sound (seeing as Maiden played through single coil pick-ups). The neck position humbucker is possibly the most versitile with the gain. Anything from a smooth, thick distortion to a heavy bassy crunch, depending on where the presence (or tone) knob is. The amp's thick gain allows for searing pinch harmonics using any pickup. Definately a great amp.

Overall Impression — 10
This amp is put to use the most in a metal band. I play all types, but the amp is a metal amp for me. You could get it to sing for you with that brittle classic distortion, but I have yet to really test it that way. I've been playing for nearly four years now, and this amp is the best thing that's happened to my rig. I've also used a vintage 60 watt Carvin head with a tube boost pedal to get it loud enough, but this, honestly, held a better tone. Of course, the Carvin had a blown speaker and hadn't been serviced in God knows how many years, but still. If it were stolen or lost, I'd obviously buy it again once I got the money. This has been the best piece of gear in my rig, but one bit of advice. Don't ruin the tone of the amp by putting cheap EFX pedals on it! Either make sure you have the BV EFX loop, or you have some very high end pedals (ElectroHarmonix, Visual Sound, Analogue Man, and for wah, only a Crybaby, trust me). Other than that, the options are yours.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I used this amp at every show and practice, and played the hell out of it. While I used it, it never broke down. All you have to do, as for any tube amp, is rotate the power tubes every once in a while. I never had a backup, simply because I've never needed one. The Voodoo has a distinct sound that couldn't be replaced mid show. I'd make sure you could do everything possible to check on the 'health' of the amp before the show, and it'll suit you well. It is fragile in a way since it's a tube amp, but as far as tube amps go, it's a Crate, and Crates are nearly indestructable.

Features — 10
I used the classic model of this amp (classic gold logo on the front grill of the head and cab and blue tolex) but the specs are still the same: comes standard with Groove Tubes, two 12AX7 power tubes and six others, two channels: clean and drive, footswitch included, available effects loop, spring reverb, 120 watts through four vintage Celestion 30's (stock in cab). I used this amp with the last group I was with. It wasn't nessicarily mine, but I was using it none the less. It is plenty powerful enough for where it is used. The volume never has to be cranked past four or five (11 or 12 o'clock positions), and sounds amazing. It can, if used correctly, generate any tone you are looking for. Just look at the artist list. CC Deville from Poison is one of the main guitarists, but then you have both guitarists in Biohazard sporting the Blue Voodoo as well. An overall amazing amp.

0 comments sorted by best / new / date