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Old March 12th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Crate Palamino V16

A good friend of mine just bought one of these. I've not plugged into it yet, but.. well.. here's the setup.

He's a huge fan of folk, jazz, and the Grateful Dead. He's got a lovely Martin, all mahogony single cutaway that's been his ax for 7 years. He had beaters before it. His Electric gutiar is a Godin with MIDI (he's never used it), Fishman acoustic pickup, and a pair of humbuckers. It's got a mahogony neck and an all maple body. Carved top too. It's quite a gutiar. But the only thing he's ever used as an amp is a DigiTech RP50 into a boom box. 4 years he's had this guitar and he only just now gets around to buying an amp.

He sits around learning tabs to jazz sax solos and strums out Folk songs and Grateful Dead songs. He's pretty good too, but he's never played outside his house.

Has anybody here played through one of these Palaminos yet? I have an old Crate Vintage Club myself, but it's a '95, is 50 watts and has a 15 inch speaker. Different amp alltogether.

I'm sure it will have all the delicacies that Crate is notorious for, mine has had numerous trips to the repair shop in its life, and like the VCs, I'm sure it sounds really good to some folks. And sounds like glass breaking to others.

I'm gonna get him to drag it over for a jam session in the next couple of weeks or sooner.

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Old March 12th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have one...sorta...

I have the V32 and I can tell you it's the best amp I've ever owned (yes...even up against my old Maz 38. Loved that amp, but it constantlly gave me probs).

I'm really Jonesin' for the V16.

Crate outdid themselves...and a whole bunch of others in the process.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I’ve had the Crate V1512 (same amp, different cosmetics) for a little while now. Very cool amp for the dough, more touch-responsive and versatile than its competition (Blues Jr., Peavey Classics). It does lean towards a more modern sound, but many good sounds can be coaxed from this amp. The stock Celestion 70/80 speaker is a bit flat and cardboard-y. I’ve tried a Celestion G12H30 with good success, but am going to try a Weber Alnico Blue Dog for a more vintage Vox-y sound.

I think the main diff between the V-series/Palominos and the old VCs is that the former are cathode-biased, whereas the VCs were fixed bias. Both series suffer from thin PCBs and board-mounted tubes. Some silicone tube damper rings are helpful for keeping those EL84 from rattling around at high volume.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I picked up one at a yard sale about a year ago. No knobs. no upper corners, no grill & the V16 emblem was broken (although still attached). No problems other than the missing parts. All I knew about it was that it was a CRATE & had a Celestion speaker. After I got it I did some resarch & found out that these are made by Ampeg for Crate & are wired in a Class A configuration. There is not much headroom for a clean sound...it starts breaking up with the 'gain' control at about 3 & about maxed at 5.....but the overdriven sound is great. For 15 watts, it is plenty loud. It's realtively light & easy to haul, so it's become my 'jam' amp. My only reservation on this amp is that the reverb leaves a bit to be desired.

So far, so good. I is a PC board amp & when it dies I'll probably wire it up
P-P.

BTW.....I made my own grill for the amp, but I ordered the 6 missing knobs & 4 corners from their website & they were shipped to a local dealer. In about a week or so I got a call to come & pick them up. the cost was around $25. To me, that says alot about their customer support.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I love mine. Best amp for the bucks I've found.
Silicon damper rings? Great idea, the 84's do rattle a bit when cranked.
Like said above, the reverb is pretty sad, but I'm not a reverb junkie, so no worries here.
My only real problem, and I haven't faced it yet- is access to the tubes. I hear it's easier and safer to just pop the speaker before replacing tubes.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldtopper View Post
My only real problem, and I haven't faced it yet- is access to the tubes. I hear it's easier and safer to just pop the speaker before replacing tubes.
This method requires only 2 screws removed, vs. 8 if you go through the speaker hole:

1. Remove top 2 chassis screws

2. Loosen bottom 2 chassis screws

3. Rotate chassis back - tubes are now accessible!


Also a 3-spring reverb tank makes the reverb much deeper, but a bit darker (less surfy). I keep it at about 2-3 now.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I like mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vol. Knob View Post
Has anybody here played through one of these Palaminos yet?
I first posted about my Crate V1512 here on the TDPRI almost four years ago. (As noted above, the V1512, a.k.a. "V15" is the exact same model as the V16 Palomino, just with different cosmetics). Excellent amps, IMO. I've also owned both an old Crate VC30 and the smaller VC20; I thought both of those were too heavy for what they were, and not very well made, IMO – but they both sounded pretty decent. Go figure. ;-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Nico
Very cool amp for the dough, more touch-responsive and versatile than its competition (Blues Jr., Peavey Classics). It does lean towards a more modern sound, but many good sounds can be coaxed from this amp. ... I think the main diff between the V-series/Palominos and the old VCs is that the former are cathode-biased, whereas the VCs were fixed bias. Both series suffer from thin PCBs and board-mounted tubes.
+1 to all of the above. (Although the Peavey Classic 30 is a little bit different in that it puts out 30 watts via four EL84s, as opposed to 15W from two EL84s in the BJs and the Crates.)

Quote:
I'm sure it will have all the delicacies that Crate is notorious for, mine has had numerous trips to the repair shop in its life, and like the VCs
I dunno, my V1512 seems a lot more solid than the older Crate models I owned. It's never given me any trouble in 4 years of use anyway, and I've played at least a couple of dozen gigs of varying styles with it. I had read a post on a discussion page somewhere several years ago that claimed the current VC series was originally designed by the Ampeg side of the organization, but I don't have anything to either back that claim up or refute it. But as far as reliability goes, so far so good. All IMO, as always. :-) CS
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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I got a few from the company 3 years ago, a couple V1512s and a couple of the 30w 1-12s, really great amps, tone-wise they're a extreme bargain. The 15 watter is special.

our acoustic guitarist still plays his 30w, he's had great service out of it.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 01:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Chris S. View Post
+1 to all of the above. (Although the Peavey Classic 30 is a little bit different in that it puts out 30 watts via four EL84s, as opposed to 15W from two EL84s in the BJs and the Crates.)

I agree. Actually, I was talkin' about the Classic 20 (still different with a 10" speaker), but both are cathode biased 2xEL84 rock boxes. The C20 was a cool bedroom amp, but the Crate kills it in terms of small-giggable volume (it's a 12" vs. 10" afterall), chime, marshall-esque crunch.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm playing at the GC thing tomorrow night, and I'm considering the V32. I've played it before and really liked it. I'm going to try all the amps out tonight before I decide.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 04:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Nico View Post
This method requires only 2 screws removed, vs. 8 if you go through the speaker hole:

1. Remove top 2 chassis screws

2. Loosen bottom 2 chassis screws

3. Rotate chassis back - tubes are now accessible!


Also a 3-spring reverb tank makes the reverb much deeper, but a bit darker (less surfy). I keep it at about 2-3 now.
MANY thanks!!
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Old March 13th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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(Darwin Award time again. I just looked at the new posts in this thread and was surprised to find one I thought I had put up yesterday missing. I'm pretty sure I must have pulled the ever-popular "Keep clicking the 'Preview Post' button but never actually hit the 'Submit Reply' button" maneuver. D'OH! Anyway, what I think I tried to say yesterday was something along the lines of ...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Nico View Post
I agree. Actually, I was talkin' about the Classic 20 (still different with a 10" speaker), but both are cathode biased 2xEL84 rock boxes. The C20 was a cool bedroom amp, but the Crate kills it in terms of small-giggable volume (it's a 12" vs. 10" afterall), chime, marshall-esque crunch.
Ahh, gotcha. :-) I've also owned a C20, and I agree, a cool bedroom amp. But it would go into overdrive waaay too soon to be useable on gigs – for me, anyway. Heck, I once felt "under-amped" with it at a rehearsal – and that was in someone's living room. =:-O We really were not playing loudly at all. :-\

The Crate V1512, on the other hand, has been a real winner for me on all sorts of gigs, from country music in small bars to quiet-to-medium-volume jazz gigs, both indoors and outdoors. And I agree 100% about the touch-responsiveness and chimey/crunchy sounds you can coax out of it. Teles, archtops, whatever – it just seems to get along really well with guitars in general. Highly recommended. :-)

And Al Nico, thank you so much for the tips both on replacing the tubes and the silicone damper rings! :-) Great stuff, and much appreciated.

Finally, there's another popular amp that follows a roughly equivalent design formula to the Blues Jr. and the V1512 (i.e., 15W, 2xEL84, reverb, 1x12" speaker, etc.), the Traynor YCV20. I've read some good reviews of those as well; but aside from trying one in store for about a minute several years ago, I don't have any personal experience(s) to share.

(OK, that's maybe about what I think I may have said, or rather, tried to say yesterday. Hoo noze? Aarrgghh. We'll see if I can find the 'Submit Reply' button this time. Tell ya what: IF you can read this, it means I did; if you can't see it, then I blew it again... hee.) ;-) Thx, CS
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Old March 13th, 2007, 10:12 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Just another tip on something I discovered yesterday -

You can just barely fit an Accutronics long-tank 2 spring reverb in the V16/V1512. I plugged one in that I had lying around (I has to modify the input to be grounded), and it sounds much nicer, more surfy. You can also try a short 3-spring tank to get a darker more cathedrel sound if that's your thing. I think a long tank 3-spring would be overkill.

I modified a 4BB2C1B long tank (2-spring long delay), I think a 4BB2A1B long tank would work without modifications. The short tank 3-spring version (med delay) is the 8BB2A1B.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Primary reason I took mine back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldtopper View Post
I love mine. Best amp for the bucks I've found.
Silicon damper rings? Great idea, the 84's do rattle a bit when cranked.
Like said above, the reverb is pretty sad, but I'm not a reverb junkie, so no worries here.
My only real problem, and I haven't faced it yet- is access to the tubes. I hear it's easier and safer to just pop the speaker before replacing tubes.
Loved the tone, the reverb was pretty weak as someone else stated.... but the tubes?? What the he11 were they thinking?? You'd have to bring a back-up amp to a gig, because if a tube went, you'd spend a good 20-30 minutes taking the amp apart to get to them! That's ridiculous.

Great sounding amp though--should hear it thru a Marshall 4x12!! SWEET!
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