V50-112 Review

manufacturer: Crate date: 02/11/2013 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Crate: V50-112
The new V50-112 two-channel combo loudly announces the new generation of Crate's all-tube amplifiers. With dual 6L6 fixed biased output tubes, this bad refrigerator produces the sort of sparkling cleans and warm, thick overdrive that can only come from tubes pushed to their limit.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 7
 Reliability & Durability: 6.5
 Features: 7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (4) pictures (4) 3 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
V50-112 Reviewed by: Tyler Durden, on september 12, 2008
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Price paid: C$ 250

Purchased from: Axe Music

Features: The new V50-112 two-channel combo loudly announces the new generation of Crate's all-tube amplifiers. With dual 6L6 fixed biased output tubes, this bad refrigerator produces the sort of sparkling cleans and warm, thick overdrive that can only come from tubes pushed to their limit. It pumps 50 watts through a single 12" speaker, creating a muscular low end perfect for club gigs and recording sessions. Presence control, spring reverb and foot-switchable boost make sure you can dial in your custom tone from anywhere. Lesser amps will blow their fuses in fear when they see you plugging into a V50-112. - 50 watts RMS - class AB, all tube circuitry - 1 x 12" speaker - two channels - 2 x 6L6 output tubes, fixed bias - spring reverb - footswitchable boost function // 9

Sound: My main rig: Epiphone Les Paul Standard with Seymour Duncan P/U's (Jazz in neck, Screamin Demon in Bridge), to my Cry Baby from Hell, Boss DS2, Marshall JH1, DigiTech Deathmetal, Ibanez LU20 Floor Tuner, then into the V50. I play everything (thus 3 distortion pedals) from Zeppelin, Tragically Hip, up to Killswitch Engage, Dimmu Borgir. No matter what I play, I can dial in my tone for any genre. This amp sounds stunning on clean, and loves my pedals. The gain chanel on the amp itself I really don't use, but it has a nice crunchy tone. I jam in my appt (volume at 1 tops) and with my drummer (volume 5-6) and sounds great all the way through. Not noisy at all, with or without my pedals. For what I paid, it was a steal. The clean chanel is in line with Fender, honestly. The Presence is just an on/off so you can't manually contour it (I honestly don't even use it) same with the mid-rage boost, it's on/off (and again I don't use it) The reverb is out of control, I can't go over 3/10 otherwise it's just too much, but on 1-2 it's really nice. Overall, I am very pleased with the sound, but cannot give anything a 10. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I don't gig yet, but I haul it back and forth from jamming to home and it's in perfect shape. it's heavy but all tube combos are, this one weighs in around 50 lbs. it's less then 6 months old but I haven't had any issues yet. I would gig with this, either stand alone or mic'd to a PA and it would sound great either way for sure. You could easily play a small venue with no PA. // 8

Overall Impression: Iv been playing over 3 years now, self taught hobbiest guitar player basically. I play a lot of covers and am working on my own material. This is my first tube amp and I absolutely love it! I was looking at a number of tube amps (Vox, Fender, Peavy) and for the price this one kills the others. It was very cost efficient for my use, and sounds amazing overall. I used to jam on a Fender Deluxe 50 watt tube with 1 x 12" and my Crate sounds better - honestly. If it broke I would fix it, if someone stole it I would buy a new one without second guessing. If you are looking for a good tube combo at a competitive price, go test one out - you wont be disapointed! // 9

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overall: 9.8
V50-112 Reviewed by: speedinc, on october 06, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Motor City Guitar

Features: My wife bought me this amp for my birthday. I needed a class A amp for my clean tones. it's a Brand New amp 2008. it's got two channels, one is more of a bright clean, and the other is a dirty type of clean. It uses 4 12AX7 preamp tubes and 2 6L6 power tubes making 50 watts of clean power. it's got treble, mid and bass controls, as well as one volume for each channel and a gain for the dirty channel. It has REAL spring reverb that sounds fantastic! I play mostly modern and classic rock, and I primarily use a Mesa Triple Recto, but I wanted a good clean amp for recording and shows, and just playing at home. I use a Gibson Les Paul Gothic, a Vox wah, and a AB/Y switcher to Switch from the Mesa (set on modern distortion or Vintage) to the Crate V50. This amp has all the features and sound that the high priced clean amps (bad cat, DR.Z, Fender)have. // 10

Sound: Well my style ranges from classic rock to modern rock to blues, and this amps does it all very well (as far as the cleans for rock goes). The dirty channel is good for blues. I wanted a clean tone similar to Slash, lots of bass, good mid and treble, and lots of reverb, a good deep english type of clean with lots of presents, and that deep tube tone, and that's exactly what this amp is. Even the dirty channel is more of a bluesly dirty clean channel. It would also suit country music very well. If you used some good pedals you could get a good distortion out of it, if it was to be you primary amp. I've played on fenders, bad cats, and Dr. Z's and this has the tone I've been looking for 1/8 the price! // 10

Reliability & Durability: It seems to be built pretty well for the price. I just got it so I can't really say how well it'll hold up, but I take good care of my stuff and I expect this amp to be my clean amp for a long time to come. It doesn't look quite as good as a Dr.Z but, it doesn't cost nearly as much. For what Crate has put together I would expect to pay at least $900 for the quality! // 9

Overall Impression: Well for the last two years I've been trying to decide on a clean amp to complete my rig. Everything that has the sound I'm looking for is at least $1000, except the Crate! It has the perfect tone for my cleans; a deep english clean with good reverb! It could also do twang, and dirty and blues very well too! If this tone is what your after, or you want a good tube amp, and have some pedals to go with it for your main amp I highly recommend this badboy! For the money nothing comes close! // 10

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overall: 3.5
V50-112 Reviewed by: Duff B, on april 24, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 199

Purchased from: M123

Features: Brand New style with switching power supply not conventional power supply. Totally awesome amp, two channels, loo[, LOUD, great tone, tube amp fifty watts. However there is a problem with using switching power supplies with tube amps, apparently, mine had catastrophic pwr tube failure that took out the irreplacable switching pwr supply pcb board and components. Conventional pwr supply too difficult to be worthwhile for the tech. Working on getting a replacement of some type, hopefully not switching power supply equipped. Over three months in shop trying to repair, Crate has been very helpful however. Very low feature rating because of the switching power supply not being the correct way to approach the design of an amp of this type and power. Okay for solid states though. // 2

Sound: HBs and single coils and P90 sing a beautiful song on both channels an the reverb is great old school type. Really a great rock and blues amp sound, awesome, loved the sound and tone, very versatile and very quiet. Wish it would have not burned out and turned out to be irreparable without extreme effort on the part of a highly professional amp tech. Plus Who knows how the new switching pwr supply would hold up? Shaky about these in tube amps now. Major headroom on clean, great traditional smooth smooth distortion, not gravely. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Totally unrecommendable based on the switching power supply design in a tube amp. Has had LOTS of problems and the amp is discontinued, maybe because of the power supply problem and overall design. Amp was stationary and treated with great care, never hammered. // 1

Overall Impression: Great for rock and blues. Totally awesome except for the break down, blow out and burn out of the circuit's and the impossibility to get the replacement parts. Not a repairable amp like a Blues Jr. Or a V Jr. Or things like that. Sounded as good as my tweed new Hot Rod Deluxe with a P12N speaker stock. Just no dependability. The advertizing made it sound like a great amp but it just didn't turn out that way and they discontinued the entire line. // 1

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overall: 7.3
V50-112 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 11, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Guitar Express of Garland, TX

Features: I purchased this amp recently at Guitar Express of Garland, TX as new-old stock as Crate has since discontinued these 6L6 tube powered amps for a similar version that is powered with EL84 tubes for a more British voice which my former amp, a Peavey Classic 50, used. (Guitar Express had more of these available new in the box). I bought this amp to basically be a cheap Fenderesque/American-voiced practice amp that I wouldn't mind gigging with due to its affordable price. It was made in China so I don't consider it a collectible at all. The Crate V50 is a simple 2-channel amp with a gain control, spring reverb, and two button footswitch. I would Imagine that it used a solid-state rectifier as opposed to a Vintage Fender Princeton Reverb for example. An effects loop is available on the back of this amp which I have attempted to use but all I seem to accomplish is cutting the signal completely when I activate my pedals. Other nice features include mid-range and presence boost switches as well as a standby switch. It would have been nice to have the second channel sport a Pre and Post Gain controls like my former Peavey Classic 50 which would have given me more control over tone and volume for the gain channel. Still, this is a genuine tube amp and not a hybrid like a Fender Roc-Pro or Marshall Valvestate that just uses a preamp tube for the gain channel only. The plain silver plastic control knobs didn't really do it for me so I replaced them with bright red chicken head knobs which really give this amp some Vintage style especially due to its origin of manufacture. // 7

Sound: I realize the Peavey Classic 50, Fender Roc-Pro, and Crate are different animals but that is what I have to compare with. For the clean channel it is tough to beat for an amp in this price range. Those 6L6GC's (stock were Ruby tubes in a fixed bias circuit) sound wonderfully Fender-like which in conjunction with the low cost sold me on this thing. The 12" Crate speaker isn't half bad and will push a lot of air which gives the clean side a good amount of headroom. (I'll admit I haven't taken it all the way to 11 yet though). The gain channel takes a good amount of fooling around with to get it close to some sweet tones. As opposed to the Peavey Classic 50 or dare I compare a Marshall Plexi which gives you a beautiful warm overdrive sound the Crate seems to trade tone for power as it will take you to an edgier environment that I was able to coax some Hard Rock sounds. If you are looking for a Heavy Metal amp then you will need to add effects to get it on down to south of heaven. Again the clean channel is where this amp shines the best and since I mostly play Rockabilly music with an occasional splash of Hard Rock/Hair Metal so the V50 offers me what I was looking for at an affordable price point. A future mod for this I plan to do is to replace the 12AX7's with 12AU7's which may give me a more classic rock type of overdrive sound. The "Boost" switch was a great idea as this will give the gain channel more midrange which shores it up close to Marshall territory. "Presence" brightens up your trebles and is useful on the clean channel when you are gigging and need that extra bite. My biggest complaint of this amp is the reverb effect which I do like to use for my style of music. The stock reverb was absolutely horrendous and uncontrollable past level 2.5. To make things worse when I used the footswitch I could not bypass the reverb completely and hitting the switch only just reduced the level of the effect only which is terribly annoying if I want to play something more along the lines of the Young bros. Fortunately my electrical background helped me realize that the stock reverb by Ruby had the wrong impedance for this amplifier which floored me that the factory would sell them with a mismatched verb. It was an easy enough fix to swap the stock Ruby 2-spring with a 3-spring MOD verb which uses the same spec impedance that dozens of amps typically use. The swap fixed that awful verb sound and control issue but I guess I will have to live with the footswitch issue as that is obviously a flaw in the circuit design. Not the worst issue mind you as I have a Mr. Springgy verb pedal that I bought for my Marshall so if I need more control I can just turn the knob to zero and use Mr. Springgy if I want to which solves the problem. My Fender Strat is a good match for this amp but I am pleased with the clean channel sounds I get with a Gretsch and Gibson Blueshawk. For more '80 Hard Rock I utilize a Peavey Mystic which has some high power ceramic hummers that work very well with the gain channel. Overall you can get most rock and blues sounds from this dude but there isn't any amp modeling or multi-effects circuit to play with if that's your thing. Being a 50-watt model you can gig with this dude with no worries about being heard by anyone unless you plan to play at Wembly. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Construction of the cabinet seems good for a tube amp on the cheap. It is made of solid plywood and is significantly lighter than the boat anchor Peavey Classic 50 which I loved but would need to stay active in the gym to be able to carry to a gig. Style wise it has a classic look but does look a bit utilitarian. The big "50" hood ornament was not chrome metal but silver plastic which does look really cheesy and reduces its visual appeal. I'll probably paint it and give this thing a punk rock look. The skin is cheap pleather so re-skinning it may be fun and give you a more personal look. The nice thing about the carriage is that it is designed to be re-skinned easily and you can open it up quickly with a phillips screwdriver. Even the amp PCB frame will Swing out so you can replace tubes with the greatest of ease. Just loosen two side screws and you can service it like a pro. The back has aluminum foil shielding which is ok but expect to pickup noise from inductive sources like transformers or stage lights. I have a large transformer near my home's window which sometimes gives me an undesirable noise. Same thing does happen to my Marshall Class 5 but noticeably less so. As mentioned before the stock reverb was mismatched and I am not the first V50 owner to have swapped out the tank to improve this effect. Overall it looks like an amp that could take some abuse so I would use it on a gig and let it get bumped around rather than my precious Vintage Fenders and Marshalls. // 8

Overall Impression: For me this amp takes care of my Rockabilly/Classic Rock/Hard Rock needs. While the gain channel is a step up from my previous PV Classic 50 this is not an amp designed for multiple stage/high gain sounds as would be used in Heavy Metal. Crate's website has photos of Billy Gibbons playing mountains of these amps but I'll bet his models are highly customized with chrome V50 hood ornaments and not cheezy plastic ones! For the overall value I am happy now that the reverb tank has been replaced. If it were stolen I'd probably go back to Guitar Express since they have a couple more of these new in the box and replace it along with the same mods. I'm giddy to find out what it will sound like by swapping out the 12AX7's with 12AU7's. My goal was to have a cheap alternative for a Fender Deluxe Reverb and this "crate" filled the bill. It must be at least 10-15 pounds lighter than the Peavey Classic 50 so kudos for kindness to my back. I still liked the Peavey before it died on me but they should have come with casters preinstalled as the Classic 50's are incredibly heavy. No need for adding wheels to the Crate V50-even a skinny dirt head like me can lug this thing to gigs all week long. Other than the reverb issue I would say that Crate should have come out with a custom Rockabilly version with flame decals and real chrome trim. Overall value for the price makes this a decent choice if you are on a budget or want a backup amp that is ok to beat up.

// 8

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