Crate Power Block....you guys were right!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by VaughnC, Aug 26, 2005.


  1. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Based on what I've been reading around here lately, I stopped at my local Guitar Center today to check out the Crate Power Block and was impressed enough by it to bring one home. After dinner, I did some A/B'ing in my den with my NOS tube equipped Super Reverb reissue and the feel & tone are so close that I think I might have trouble picking which was which in a blind test :eek: . The giveaway might be that the Crate responds faster, but the tone & feel are scarey close...at least at decent den volume. I was using my SRV Strat and the cab on the Crate was my KJL 1210 Clubowner.

    You guys were right.....this is a decent bang for the buck amp that will hang with tube amps costing much more. The overdrive isn't that great but clean to edge tones sound and feel excellent to these tired old ears ;) .

    My next gig is a week away and it looks like my SRRI just might be the backup amp for the Crate :eek: !! More to follow as I get to know this thing a liittle better.
     
  2. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Don't get crazy man - the Crate is a *great* backup amp, but that is what is. :D

    BTW, I really dig mine... for what it is.
     
  3. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Ya know, I have been hearing all these great reviews on the Power Block. I want to go check one out and use it for the wet portion of my rig. My problem is that I have had such bad luck with production amps from all the major manufacturers. I dunno if I could rely on this amp on a consistent basis. Fine, they sound great for the money, how well are they built? I simply cannot bring myself to rely on a Crate product, or any production product for that matter. My pocketbook says that I want to, but my heart says that I want something better. What do I do? M.E.
     
  4. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Well Vaughn,
    Now there you go!
    :D

    I'm taking mine tomorrow night...as backup!
    No more tube worries!
    I take my comfort where I can get it.
    S.
    j
     
  5. Profklamen

    Profklamen Member

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    My Powerblock seems very solid and I'm as confident in its reliability as I am my vintage amps - maybe more. That said, if you're really worried about its reliability, even as a backup amp, you could buy 4 or 5 of them. It still costs less than most the amps guys on this forum use and still would take up less space and weigh less.
     
  6. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Yup....if this thing looks like it's going to work over the long haul in a gigging scenario, I'll definitly buy another for backup. If the tone and feel are there at gigging volume, this thing will make gigging life so much simpler.

    Having said that though, as good as these things sound, I don't think I'll be too far from my favorite tube amp either....but that's subject to change too ;).

    As far as reliability goes, the input AC voltage can be from 100 to 230 volts, 50 or 60 hz. And the whole case is one big finned heat sink. I played mine for over an hour into a mismatched 4 ohm load, at decent volume, and it barely got warm to the touch

    How many of you guys have gigged the Power Block and how did it hold up in the tone, feel, & clean headroom departments with other instruments banging away?
     
  7. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I must be weird or something, but I found the Powerblock to sound barely OK, especially compared to my other tube stufff OR my GNX2 modeler. When I used my modeler into the power section of the PB, it sounded quite good, but the PB preamp itself was pretty lifeless to my ear. I'd use it in a pinch, but I'm more likely to bring my gnx as the preamp and just use the poweramp section or one of my Stewart power amps (same power amp technology, I believe). Oh well............ :rolleyes: This is all for backup. It doesn't come close to my tube stuff.

    jon
     
  8. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I plugged into one for about a minute at a GC, and it sounded really bad. I'll have to try again.
     
  9. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    Not for me. My other expensive and boutique amps have been staying at the house. I've been gigging with the Powerblock 3-4 nights a week and am plenty happy with it. I like it as well as most. The only amp I have that I still like better is my Sewell Texaverb. Now I don't have the gunk it up with smoke. The Crate suits the gigs just fine.

    For the guys looking for a high gain amp, it's not that. It doesn't do the Mesa/high gain Marshall thing worth a darn.
     
  10. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey, how about this. A Bad Monkey into a Crate, tonal nirvanna!:D
     
  11. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, and my Bad Monkey stayed here about 1 hr :rolleyes:

    Each to his own, huh........

    jon
     
  12. Dave Cowley

    Dave Cowley Member

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    I've really liked using the Powerblock as a power amp for my Flexi/hotplate setup. I've taken to using the hotplate as a load box, so the powerblock provides all of the volume.

    Unfortunately, last Saturday mine started making popping noises and emitting smoke! :eek: Fortunately AMS sent me a new one the next business day, and I hope it holds up better than the first one did.

    It kinda figures that I was trying to keep up with a wide-open Bogner the weekend before and it did just fine. But it smoked during a low-volume test in my practice room at home a week later...
     
  13. jeffhef

    jeffhef Member

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    Yep. I'm doing it. Just took my OCD off the board. I must be insane.

    Anyway...I think most of you know I play at church. Church...but it rocks pretty good.

    I've been using the Crate exclusively now for about a month. I play usually 4 days/nights each week and it's held up fine. I've kept my same basic setup with the exception of inserting the Crate in place of my Cage. I had to do very little tweaking to get my sound.

    I haven't tried running direct yet. I still prefer mic'ing a speaker. But I want to try it as a direct box for my acoustic. We use Avalon's for that but I just wanna give it a shot to see what it sounds like.

    Unfortunately due to financial reasons I'm trying to sell my Cage rig. I love it and I don't think the Crate can do everything it can do. But I now have to rely on the Crate exclusively. I'm not crazy about Crate's past products either. So I'm definitely hanging out there on this one.

    The Crate is a Class D amp which meant very little to me until a few days ago. If you haven't seen it you may want to take a look at this thread:

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=98440

    Some people a lot smarter than me have elaborated on Class D a little. Anyway...hope it holds up. Cos I'm about to be flying without a parachute.

    jeffhef
     
  14. cobrahead1030

    cobrahead1030 Member

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    i've always wanted an amp that would fit on my pedal board

    :cool:
     

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