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Crate V33
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Published on 04/30/10 at 11:50
The Crate V33 is a tube based guitar amplifier that consists of two 12" speakers. Like the name states, it will deliver 33 watts of power and contains four EL84 tubes. The amp is broken up into two separate channels, which can be controlled with a foot switch. It has a single 1/4" input on the panel, and in the back it has other 1/4" connections for effect send and return, the foot switch, speaker outputs, and RCA connections that are connected to the reverb.

UTILIZATION

Using the Crate V33 is overall pretty self explanatory as I didn't find any trouble using it. I should say that I have a lot of experience with different types of guitars amps, so this knowledge definitely came in handy. Even if you don't have too much experience working with different guitar amps, I think you'll be able to manipulate this amp without any assistance of a manual. From left to right, the parameters in the form of knobs on V33 include those for volume, gain, level, treble, middle, bass, and reverb level. It then has buttons for channel selection, boost, and presence.

SOUNDS

The tone of the Crate V33 is about average, and in my opinion nothing to write home about either way. It does have a good amount of warmth that you would expect from a tube amp, but lacks the fullness and overall clarity that usually go along with this warmth in a great sounding tube amp. Don't misunderstand me, the amp is certainly suitable for a number of different uses and it doesn't sound bad by any means. It just isn't on par with the other tube amplifiers that I use, which I can't say that I didn't expect. I would say that this would be a nice amp for someone who is just looking to get their feet wet with what a tube amp can do, but definitely isn't a suitable replacement for a great tube amp.

OVERALL OPINION

In general I will take a tube amplifier over a solid state one, but there are definitely some solid state amps out there that I would rather use than Crate V33. It isn't like it sounds terrible by any stretch, I guess I just expect more from a tube amp. For the price that a used Crate V33 will command, I would say it would be worth it to spend a few extra bucks on a Fender tube amp, as in the long run you'll definitely be happy that you did.
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