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Crate FW120h for recording/Reamping

Discussion in 'Backline' started by andreswa, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. andreswa

    andreswa New Metal Member

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    Hey guys.

    So i can buy a Half-Stack of a friend of mine who is moving (and cant take his stack).

    I only really care about the head, as I will buy it for recording purchases.

    I'm currently use only Amp sims for guitars.
    My chain normally includes a semi-pro to pro guitar into a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
    into either Ableton (when using Windows) Or Logic (when using Macbook Pro)

    I'm happy working like this and wont be taken back if you guys say that the Crate FW120h is utter Sh*t.

    Keep in mind I can buy the full half-stack from him for a very low $120 (£75)
    which i really don't mind paying.

    Would you guys buy it for recording purpose or rather just not at all?

    Thanks In Advance
     
  2. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    Im a big advocate of micing real amps, but Crates solid state stuff is pretty horrible. I think you should save your cash. It would be discouraging sounding even if you were doing everything great in regards to recording technique
     
  3. dominus_malas

    dominus_malas Member

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    Don't bother mic'ing it up. Run the effects loop send into the computer and add a power amp sim and cab sim. (If it doesn't have separate send and return for the effects loop, look for a jack that's labeled "insert". That's a TRS jack for the loop. Get a TRS to dual TS splitter. I *think* the tip is the send.)


    Bands like Cannibal Corpse would disagree with you. Most of Crate's larger solid state amps from the last 15-20 years or so were built off of Ampeg's solid state technology. People are paying good money for the Ampeg VH140 (and the Crate GX130 is almost a direct copy.)
     
  4. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    I'm not anti solid states at all. The dude from Pig Destroyer supposedly used Crate on one of the early records too, but it doesn't change the fact that I think most people with ears would not cite Early Cannibal Corpse as a tone to strive for, Old Randall's are cool, as are the first line of Marshall Valvestates. I know that Ampeg VH is well regarded amongst certain crowds, but let's be serious, if you were an aspiring metal engineer and you pulled the tone that's on the Bleeding, would you be stoked or would you wonder why it sounds like shit? I bet most people who enjoy those records are responding to the creativity and the technique not the guitar tone.
     
  5. dominus_malas

    dominus_malas Member

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    As someone that has a collection of pretty much all the "metal" solid state amps (off the top of my head a Randall RG, a couple of Marshall Valvestates (8x00 and VS100), an Ibanez TBX150, H&K Warp, Peavey XXL, a few Crates, and a couple more), the Crate will give you *good* tones if you record it the way I recommended. Tone is in the playing and the mic'ing/engineering. Using any of those amps as a base distortion sound and then finishing with good sounding IRs will give you a good studio sound.
     
  6. dominus_malas

    dominus_malas Member

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    Not to mention he's paying $120 for a head and cabinet. He can probably sell the cabinet for the same price and use the head as a solid state preamp for free.
     
  7. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    You could play into a Boss metalzone and achieve the same thing with the right impulse, it would take up a lot less space and cost less than $100 too.
     
  8. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Not used the Crate specifically, but you can get good tones out of solid state stuff if the cab is half decent. Here's something I got from my H&K Warp 7 recently:

     
    #8 Trevoire520, Sep 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  9. kvoid

    kvoid Member

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    For 120 it's a no-brainer. Crate had some brilliant products, ruined by QC and non-existent after-sales service. I think the FlexWave head you're talking about was their last.

    Here's more discussion on that particular model from people who can read a schematic or two, if you're interested:

    http://www.ssguitar.com/index.php?topic=1216.msg7490#msg7490
     
  10. kvoid

    kvoid Member

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    I doubt the cab will be much use for recording, but you can always drop some Celestions in there and see what happens. I'd keep the head for live backup. At least you'll get the chance to experiment with an SM57 and forget impulses for a while.
     
  11. dominus_malas

    dominus_malas Member

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    Last I checked, free was less than $100.

    Also the Crate will sound better than the Metal Zone (which has only a few sweet spots that you have to dig for), and give him a solid state clean sound as well as a brutal distortion sound, and probably a few things in between.
     
  12. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    Fair points but you might be overestimating the ease of which you can get rid of a really undesirable 4x12. With Recabinet and X50 costing as little as they do and sounding so good I just don't see the upside here. different strokes I guess.
     
  13. dominus_malas

    dominus_malas Member

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    It looks like he's in the UK, not the USA, and even here a 4x12 cabinet is worth $100.

    I own Recabinet and X50 (and just about all the rest of the amp sims)... I still use solid state heads because amp sims seem to focus on emulating tube amps and sometimes you just want solid state brutality.

    That said, can I ask what your experiences are with Crate solid state amps?
     
  14. SethTheGreat

    SethTheGreat Member

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    ?

    Is that a thing?
     
  15. dominus_malas

    dominus_malas Member

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    Decapitated and Cannibal Corpse (Crate), Suffocation (Ampeg), Death (Marshall Valvestate), and quite a few others.
     
  16. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    Absolutely, In short my experiences with Crate solid state amps are that I was a poor young gigging musician in the 90s ;)

    In complete detail, When I started playing around 94/95 all my friends and I played most varieties of shitty and decent SS amps, because they are affordable and we didn't know anything better existed.

    In my first band that played something other than covers I played an older SS Peavey deal. It was loud and had a phaser built in, but did not sound particularly good and I used pedals for my distortion, my tone definitely sucked. The other guitar player had the Crate Excalibur head, which was also very loud but sounded like a fart every time he palm muted. I heard that amp 3 times a week for like 4 years, as you could imagine I played on it once or twice. It sounded like ass. Years later that same buddy recorded an album with a guy who did assist or maybe still does assist Steve Evetts. The engineer heard two seconds of it and laughed it out of the studio, wouldnt even mic it up. Also worth noting that by that point my friend had upgraded to a Mesa Oversized Cab.


    Somewhat later on, I bought the original Randall Warhead when it came out. It was a total lemon and never sounded near as good as our other friends Randall RG-100 (which I still consider a really great amp especially considering what they go for). While my Warhead was getting fixed a friend lent me the Crate G600. It sucked real bad, just not a good dirty sound in the thing. Around this same time, another friend that I jammed with quite a bit had the Crate Stealth. It also sounded just awful, even he didnt like it, he ended up trading it to GC plus added cash for a Fender Ultimate Chorus combo. It was an improvement.

    More recently, my last band broke up and my drummer friend and I ended up playing with basically every musician in Northeast Ohio who had a passing interest in Metal. One guitar player who ended up not completely sucking and stuck around for a little while had the GT2x12 combo. It was not good. We tried external cabs, boosting... It was also more glaring because by that point I had ponied up for a Mesa Dual Recto. Im about 5-6 years removed from jamming with that guy but the tone of that amplifier remains etched in my memory. Just painful.

    Over the years Ive also played a billion shows with other poor local bands, and they also had an assortment of Crates, and they also sounded like butthole. I think the only crate I have heard that didnt totally suck was one of those newer-ish combo deals with the classic car emblem logo thing on the front. It was tube, not particularly high gain, but it did sound half decent.

    Have I passed the test? :Spin:

    In all seriousness, we all have to start somewhere. Ola can make a crappy Marshall MG combo sound pretty dang decent, so its not lost on me that one could hypothetically pull a tone that doesnt suck from an amp that I know doesnt sound good in real life. I just dont think the OP is going to gain anything from adding a Crate amp to his signal chain particularly if he's not trying to improve his real life micing skills and runs direct into impulses. Its lost on me how this would be a good use of time or money.

    Can I ask do you or someone you love work for Crate?
     
  17. dominus_malas

    dominus_malas Member

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    Why does he have to improve his real life micing skills? That amp is a perfect candidate for running into impulses. OP asked why or why not, and I'm someone that has the *exact* experience that he's looking for. Your answers are based on experience with trying (and failing) to use the amps live. In a recording environment using impulses, you can try lots of stuff that you may not want to use by itself.

    No, I'm just one of those people that can get a killer tone out of just about anything.
     
  18. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    I would think real life amp micing skills are something you would want to improve if you are serious about recording any form of rock music and are hanging around on a recording forum.

    But your right he did ask specifically if running the Crate into impulses would be cool, your also correct that people can make all sorts of gear that actually sucks sound decent if you run it into an impulse, and apparently this is something you get off on doing and are really good at (Ill take your word for it). While not entirely useless, I dont actually classify this as an extremely valuable or difficult skill.

    I think an old Randall or a Boss pedal would be a more sane and worthy low end investment for the this kind of approach because they have a sonic value and alternate use in real life that a Crate doesnt have IMO, and can still be used to experiment with this stuff. I happen to think CC moved on from Crate for a reason.

    Agree to disagree I guess. More Crates for you. I am comfortable with being a failure at making them sound good. Im sure if the OP is still anywhere around he is very clear on my life story of Crate use, how awesome you are, and which great death metal bands were also broke musicians and used Crate amps in the 90's.
     
  19. SethTheGreat

    SethTheGreat Member

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    For the record, my real life experiences are close to identical to Manicompression's. I have played with and heard many many Crate solid state amps. You can get a nice-ish clean tone out of many of them, but not usually any kind of usable distorted tone at a reasonable volume, and I think I could get a similarly nice-ish clean tone out of my home theater setup, or my dell computer speakers :D. If you keep the volume super low they don't usually sound quite as bad, so maybe one way you're getting usable live tones is by keeping the volume low and micing? I feel like it would still sound just as bad...

    I do have a Crate 2x12 SS combo from the 80's (I think) that I always thought sounded good, but I haven't plugged it in in a few years. I'll run upstairs in a bit and figure out which combo it is.
     

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