Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 8
I use it typically with a stock Strat and SG. It works very well with both of them, but seems to complement Gibsons particularly well. It doesn't buzz even when I use my Stratocaster, but I haven't turned it up very loud. The tonal variety isn't so great, because fiddling with the knobs doesn't seem to do much, but the sounds themselves are quite good. I don't know how the clean channel distorts, but since Crate has labelled high-volume clean as "Bluesy Crunch" in the manual I'll gather it probably does at higher volumes. The distortion isn't so great on it's own, but with a decent distortion pedal it works quite well. I like using it with my Dano "Metal" pedal - it produces a synth-like sound on clean and an interesting, three-dimensional tone on distortion. I didn't rate the sound higher because it doesn't compare to some of the amps I've played, but for the price it's not bad.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for a couple of years now and this was my first really good amp. If it were stolen I'd buy another one. The look is very nice with the cream tolex, and the sound is great. My only quarrel with it is that the distortion is a bit wimpy at low volumes.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I haven't had it very long, but it seems to be very solidly built. I haven't had much occasion to use it yet, but nothing's failed. (Just typing everything else here because the site won't let me submit it without a lot of stuff in this box.)
Features — 9
Crate v50-212, Palomino finish, 50 watt, 2-12-inch speakers, all-tube. I play alt-rock, pop, and a bit of metal. While the distortion is a little weak for metal-type stuff it handles less-distorted stuff perfectly. Conveniently for a tube-amp in this price range, it come with dual-channel switching and a floor Switch. It's plenty loud for whatever I've tried to use it for - I've never had to "crank it up" past about -2 on the volume knob.