V18-212 Review

manufacturer: Crate date: 09/14/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Crate: V18-212
The Crate V18 212 combo features a single-channel, Class A design with gain and master volume controls, 3-band EQ, and spring reverb, making it one of the most versatile little amplifiers around.
 Sound: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 7.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 23 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
V18-212 Reviewed by: T-man08, on may 14, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 355.5

Purchased from: Woodwind and Brasswind

Features: This amp is pretty basic when it comes to features. It is a class A tube amp with two tubes. It just has the one channel with a gain control, volume, tone, and a re verb control. This amp is 18 watts but it is very loud. I expected it to be loud from what I heard but did not think 18 watts could have so much volume. // 7

Sound: I know Crate amps have a bad reputation for quality but this amp sounds very nice. I play it using a ESP EC-1000 deluxe running through a Boss metalcore pedal for when I want to play some really heavy stuff. Also it adds the extra channel so I can Switch from clean to distorted. The cleans on this are very nice, after all it is a tube amp, it should have good tone. the distortion is very good but only up to the point of hard rock, maybe some types of metal. if you want brutalness you should add a pedal. the reverb on this amp is nothing to die for, I only use it in a handfull of playing types, I like how it sounds while doing sweep picking. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The is durable, the one little problem I have with it is that is a fairly heavy and amp and they only have the one handle at the top. makes moving it somewhere somewhat awkward, especially going down or up a flight of stairs. I've bumped it around a few times, hit it into walls. it's going to take a lot more than that to do anything to this amp. There is a youtube video of a guy chucking a Crate V series tube amp over his shoulder and the amp still plays after. If that's not durable I'm not sure what is. // 9

Overall Impression: I play many things on this amp from soft and mellow to down right brutal and it all sounds good(very heavy stuff is with a pedal). this amp also plays very nice at lower volumes which is nice because I mostly play it in my bedroom but can still be played with a gig. nice amp to have for jamming with some friends. this is definately something I would replace although I might go for the single speaker because 2 is very loud. other tube amps may be better than this but this amp has a nice price tag, nice value. my friend couldnt believe I got it for under 500. // 9

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overall: 9.5
V18-212 Reviewed by: eyebanez333, on december 02, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 199

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: This amp is OK in the versatility department. The cleans are amazing, but since it is a one channel amp, metal tones are almost, if not completely out of the question without a stompbox. Has a 3 band EQ. The gain gets a little muddy at the top end, but you can get some really crunchy tones if you dial the master volume back. The spring reverb is good to about 5, then it just gets to be too much. I bought this amp to use as a practice amp to take back and forth from my house (I play with a couple different groups so moving my half stack around gets old really quick). This amp is fairly loud, especially for 18 watts. Definitely loud enough to practice with a full band, and although I haven't yet, I don't see any reason that you wouldn't be able to gig with this combo. The amp is open-backed. I wish it had another channel, and an effects loop would be nice. Overall, a very nice tube amp for the price. // 9

Sound: I use a Ibanez ART100, SZ320, and RG3EX1 with this amp (all passive pickups). I play rock and metal, and this amp works well for clean and slightly overdriven music, but I use a stompbox to get into the metal. Distortion is the only thing that this amp is lacking in my opinion. The cleans are crystal clear, even at high volumes. The only time I would call this amp noisy, is with the gain cranked to 10. Just a little too muddy and inarticulate for my tastes. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would definitely depend on this amp. I would use this on a gig without a backup. there's a video on YouTube of a guy throwing this amp around, and then plugging right into it and playing. Amp has yet to break down on me (knock on wood), and I've had it for almost a year now. The construction of the amp seems to be very solid and I imagine it can take some abuse. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said above, I play rock and metal. This amp works well for the most part, but if you play metal I would not buy this amp unless you have/plan to buy a nice stompbox. I have been playing guitar for 4 years now and this was my first tube amp. I also own a Marshall MG100HDFX and a Peavey Windsor half stack. If this amp were stolen, I would definitely buy another one, especially for $199. The only complaints I have about this amp I already mentioned: it could use better distortion, another channel, and an effects loop. But for $199, I'm not complaining one bit! // 10

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overall: 8.8
V18-212 Reviewed by: MoroneSaxatilis, on december 05, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 179

Purchased from: zZounds

Features: I have no idea what year the amp was made in. I play everything from AC/DC to Hank Williams, and this suits it just fine. It is one channel, class A, no effects loops, no headphone jack (could use one). I use this in my bedroom, and it can be quiet enough for you to enjoy it, or loud enough to deafen your neighbors, it has plenty of power. The Crate V-18 112 and 212 are both tube amps, the 212 has two twelve inch Crate speakers the 112 has one. It's pretty simple to operate- volume, gain, bass, treble, reverb (nice), middle, on/off, standby. // 7

Sound: I'm using an Epiphone SG Special with this. Done laughing? Ok, good. This this absolutely howls now. It suits most styles I play, it grabs AC/DC and Led Zeppelin in a great way. The amp sounds great, it's got the type of sound that made you pick up a guitar in the first place. If you are looking to melt faces, you will need a pedal, as you wont be able to get those death metal screams without one. But as a stand alone amp, the sound is excellent, expecially for the price- from deep, bassy crunch to higher gain crying, the amp sounds simply wonderful. I have read it is a bit bassy, and I have to agree, it is, but there's a not for that, and it's under $ 200, stop whining about it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This amp is MUCH larger than I expected, it has real Crate speakers in it, not knock offs. It's heavy, not too heavy to gig unless you are a girly man, but if you are putting it in a bedroom you'll need some room for it. It's built quite solid, and while I have not had to test out it's construction, thank goodness, it seems it will hold up very well. It's not flimsy in the least. // 9

Overall Impression: I love this amp right out of the box. I have been playing for about two years, picked up the guitar when I was a kid, dropped it, now I'm playing again for two years straight. On a budget, I don't think you could do better than this amp unless you go used. I have a Fender Frontman, and trust me, if you think you are getting good sounds out of that, you're kidding yourself. Try this amp out, the sounds for the price are simply outstanding, you'll fall in love, call in sick to stay home and play (as I am today), and notice it will make you sound better. The sound this makes is COOL and that's what guitars should sound like, cool. AC/DC sound? Almost perfect (*and without a pedal). Led Zeppelin sound? Great. Buy this amp. // 9

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overall: 5
V18-212 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 14, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Features: It has 1 channel, 1 gain, master vol, bass, mid and treble tone controls, and reverb. 2 12 inch speakers, a line out and jack to disconnect speakers. All tube amp. I'd say it is loud enough for a small gig if you dime it, but not much headroom. So basically an amp that only plays with overdrive unless you have it at bedroom vol. I find the features are sufficient given that this is presented as a 1-channel amp. No frills but if it works, I like the simplicity. // 9

Sound: This is a bad amp. I don't own it but for the price I had to try one out to see what the fuss was about. With a humbucker PRS guitar I found it lacking on several fronts. One, the reverb is pretty much useless, extremely exaggerated on anything over 1. But I could have looked over this if the rest was good, since I barely use reverb anyway. So on to the rest... On tone controls, I found the bass to be way overkill and on my mahogany PRS (not particularly bassy, more midrange guitar)I had to turn the bass all the way off and still found it overpowering. The treble ironically is the exact opposite, although my PRS isn't particularly tinny, I had to max out the trble on the amp and still didn't get the clarity I wanted. It sounded muddy but squeely at the same time. Kinda the worst of both worlds. The distortion it produces isn't really that bad, producing a fairly smooth overdrive that is good for classic rock or rock in general. This provides a small ray of hope that with extensive mods, this amp could actually be good. But I personally don't consider modding something that isn't good to begin with. What's the point? Would you put rims and an intake on a Kia for instance? I give it a 3 just to not be cruel and give it a zero. // 3

Reliability & Durability: Can't say. Being a tube amp I imagine it is fragile, as all are. But it looks solid enough and I the construction doesn't appear shoddy. The Tolex is well done but does appear to be on the discount end. I can't really opine further since I just tried it out in the store. // 5

Overall Impression: I've had a jones for a tube amp ever since I sold a Fender Hotrod 60W DeVille a while back. That amp was amazing and I haven't really found anything close except things that are in that same cost range or way higher, which isn't surprising. You get what you pay for. Now I'm using a Fender solid state with an excellent clean channel. That amp is 10 billion times better than this crate, tube or no tube. My advice, both to myself and to others, is the value of having tubes vs SS is not nearly as important as the sheer quality of the amp in general. If you aren't willing to pay a premium price for a tube amp, cutting no corners, don't expect it to be better than an SS amp as cheap or even cheaper. Don't buy into the hype. // 3

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