BV300HB review by Crate

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (14 votes)
Crate: BV300HB
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Price paid: $ 1264

Purchased from: ebay member

Sound — 8
I use an Epiphone Les Paul Standard edition with humbucker pickups. This amp matches my music style perfectly, since it was built for dropped tunings. The amp always makes a low, buzzing sound, no matter the environment or setting. It's quiet and low enough so that playing will cover it, but if you're idling it can get quite annoying. The clean tone stays clean at any volume, but since the amp harnesses the low tones, it can tend to shake anything in the house:P The high end gain channel just may be the most brutal and intense built-in distortion you'll ever hear.

Overall Impression — 10
This is definatly the most impressive piece of equipment I've ever seen. if anyone would like to learn more in detail on the specs and such, visit crateamps.com. When the amp is on, it has gorgeous cosmetics. the Power and standby switches glow Orange, as do little Orange lights behind each tube.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm not sure of the material, but it is enclosed by at least an inch of wood, so it is hardly possible to harm any of the interior. The Cabinets have very durable casters which haven't shown any wear an tear yet. The only time the amp has broken down was a shorted fuse. easy, cheap fix. The amp however is due for some new tubes and a check-up. I can always depend on this amp rain or shine.

Features — 10
This amp can cover a few music styles. It has an 'okay' clean tone(Channel 1). Doesn't even compare to a Marshall's clean tone, but is perfect for all those clean slow parts in metal and rock. The distortion channel(2) is more of an overdrive, perfect for old rock and punk. very edgey. Then the high-end Gain Channel (3) has the very low, tough, and full grundge sound for professional metal tones. This amp was designed for lower and dropped tunings. There is a loop channel of course, for mixing your own effects. Each Channel has treble, mid, bass, gain, level, and an initial frequency knob. Then for a Master tone setting, There is an EEK! and UGH! knob. These knobs fine tune the settings of the cones in the cabinet. UGH! loosens them, alowing them to move more freely, giving a lower feel, and EEK! tightens them to give better reaction from the amp. In the back, there is a send and retrieve knob to acommodate for effect volumes, and a level knob and jack output for output levels if you are using a PA or recording device. I don't use this much however because I find that tone is much better if the amp is mic'ed. The head can power 6 cabinets. I use this amp at home, school functions, and small gigs. It is definately powerful enough, considering it's 300 watts of 16 tubes. The wattage shouldn't be scary, it just has more head room, alowing a brighter, more full sound at lower volumes. The head has two transformers and two ventilation fans, making it one of the most reliable amps you can get.

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    High_o
    300 watts all tube? can you ever crank it? (without dying that is)
    Vince78
    Anyone in the market for buying a blue voodoo 300H amp and BV412SL cab (with the Celestion Vintage 30 Speakers)? I bought it in hopes of playing out, but hasn't happened. It hasn't been gigged, so It's in great shape.
    High_o
    isn't the only way of overdriving the power tubes is by turning the volume way up?
    snwbrdnman03
    the high head room doesn't make it more difficult to overdrive the tubes, it makes it easier at low volumes, to moderate volumes. This amp honestly can't drown everyone out. It really doesn't get TOO loud. Again because the wattage just harnesses the low tones. And the bands that I know of that use Blue Voodoo, the 300HB in particular are Balzac, Gwar, Biohazard, 7 seconds, Blue Oyster Cult, Poison, D.I., Peligro, Dope, The Casualties, hed(PE), Kid Rock, Zebrahead, and I'm sure there are more.
    High_o
    wouldn't you not want such high headroom, so you can overdrive the powertubes without drowning out everyone else? i mean, its not like your goin to turn up the clean channel so high that it overdrives the power tubes when you dont want them to. also, didn't marty friedman play one of these (maybe still does)
    eggy1991
    wow, that would bring the house down! literally... i am contemplating getting one of these... not sure...
    Demonikk
    Wow that looks bloody cool. Plus there's that scope for total aural overkill
    snwbrdnman03
    High_o -- Yes I can crank it =] I have played full gigs with drum sets, vox, another guitar and bass and it still can over power everything at half volume. however when it is cranked anymore than that it starts to lose it's crunch. eggy1991 -- dude it really does bring the house down. it is INTENSE. I would highly recommend any advanced player to get this beauty. I say advanced because I found this amp on ebay for a once in a lifetime deal. I believe that retail for the head alone is about 1700.00 and each cabinet is 500.00 me_llamo_juan -- To tell you the truth, I REALLY am not looking forward to replacing the tubes. I know I am going to have to really soon because they are beginning to develop scortch marks on the inside =[ There are 3 different kinds of tubes--one for each channel-- and the high-end gain tubes are what are going out. SO I will probably just change those for now since that is what I use most. jeowy -- I have played around with the higher end solid state amps, such as the GLX line, and they really are quite impressive actually. The distortion is probably better for more brutal grind core style, since it has such a blasting crunch. I have also just read that crate has a new line of solid state, flex wave, so I dont know how that is. However crate does have an older stack of solid state that is 400 watts!! Never heard it, but it must be impressive. If you would like a crate, but can't afford the all-tube power, I would recommend any of the solid-state stacks, not the little combo amps. ericgentz -- I haven't yet experienced the pain of replacing the 16 tubes, but I'm sure it really burns a hole in your pocket... =[ It really can get to an outstanding volume, but the wattage isn't really designed for the volume. It's for the headroom and the low bass tones. The volume has the perfect tone when it is used in a PA, so you can't really ask for more volume than that. It just works fine however in case you don't have a PA, it'll keep up with any drummer you throw at it. ha
    Frankie Sparks
    Crate isnt cheap. Ive got the BVH 120 and it rocks. Its all tube. Powns uber face, and costed quite a bit of money. And they are MUCH better than line 6.
    ericgentz
    me_llamo_juan wrote: How much is that gonna suck replacing the tubes?
    I had the same thought, I get pissed off changing 4... but 16? This thing has got to be f'in loud. But finally, crate comes out with something that someone in this world might use. I dont like crate personally, this one I might look at.
    jeowy
    arnt most crate amps shitty digital ones like line 6's? and this is some kind of ultra-high-end uber-amazing death metal head?
    andrex1212
    Vince, depending on how much you are looking at for this amp I would possibly buy it off of you, email me at andrex@rogers.com. Matt's Music by where I live is asking $3000!!! and clearly it is not THAT expensive judging from this guy and others I have seen.