The Crate/Ampeg fiasco

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FalsehoodBass, Jul 23, 2001.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    Ok.. i've read in a few different threads that crate and ampeg are owned by the same SLM Electronics Corp. I own a little crate combo and an ampeg svp-pro preamp, and i believe both do their jobs quite well. The crate is a great low volume combo for playing at home.. and the svp has a great preamp since i got it. It still bothers me a little to know that they were both made by the same company, because i do consider the ampeg to be of much higher quality.

    My question is if anyone has info as to if Crate and Ampeg are two completely different companies with the same Big Name paying for their budget, or are they one big factory using the same parts to churn out two different names. I've seen the posts claiming they are the same and the ones claiming they werent. Does anybody have some real info, maybe an employee of either company?? It would be greatly appreciated.
  2. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Crate is to Ampeg as Squier is to Fender. Ampeg makes crate and they dont want you to know!!

  3. Right...Fender/Squire, Gibson/Epiphone, Ampeg/Crate, only they're both owned by SLM now so its not like you're going to see Crate by AMPEG tagged on it anywhere.
  4. I own an Ampeg BA-115 and a Crate BX-15, and though it wouldn't surprise me if both were made in the same factory, it doesn't seem that they were even made on the same planet.

    update: I looked on the backs of both and it turns out that they are indeed made in the same factory.
  5. I find it hard to "diss" on a company like Ampeg/SLM is now.

    I mean, mostly you're talking about new model Ampegs who's quality is hard to compare considering they are new models. Trying to compare Ampeg with Crate is like comparing Fender with Sunn - same company, different product.

    Yeah, the fact that Crate and Ampeg are the same irks me a bit, but didn't change the fact that my B2R sounded real nice. And I bet a similar-spec'ed Crate would sound read bad by comparison.

    But, compare a new SVT-CL with a 60's-70's SVT, or a 70's V4B with the new V4B, and it's a whole different story, both sound and construction quality. My vintage V4's as old as I am with it's original tubes - I don't feel that an SLM-era Ampeg would ever be as reliable.
  6. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I don't know if it really matters that Crate and Ampeg are owned by the same company. The ownership may be the same, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are run the same. What I mean is maybe SLM has high quality standards for Ampeg but not for Crate.

    Of course I have no idea how these companies are run so I could be completely wrong here.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The reality of Ampeg is that the original company was sold to Magnavox in the 1970s and they sort of ran it into the ground.

    St. Louis Music (SLM) was a music gear distributor who started making Crate amps in the late 1970s. Some of you may have seen the earliest ones with the Ponderosa pine cbainets...they actually LOOKED like crates!

    Anyway, SLM bought the remains of Ampeg in the 1980s. By this time the company was just a shell, they had changed hands a few more times and had actually stopped making SVTs for a while :eek: briefly made some in Japan, etc.

    Ampeg flirted with a variety of new designs in the 1980s, including the inexpensive "EG" amp line (not sure if this was under SLM's watch or not), various solid state amps (including a 100 watt solid state B-15!!!), high gain guitar amps like the V3 and V7, and the solid state SVT line (of which only the SVT-350H remains). In the 90s they decided to focus on tube bass amps again and after overhauling the SVT-II into the SVT-II Pro they came out with the SVT-CL and started trying to reclaim the Ampeg reputation.

    The current Ampeg has no real relation to the original company other than the name.

    As far as Crate, while they have made stabs at "pro" gear, they really are aiming at the amateur and educational markets. I've owned (and repaired) numerous Crate amps and they are not built to the level of ruggedness that even the current, never mind vintage, Ampeg gear. They may be made in the same factories, but they are designed anything alike.
  8. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    ....and if this kind of "incestuous manufacturing" upsets you, then you'd not want to look into the manufacture of instruments and parts!
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Isn't that the truth!!!!

    Well I have an SVT II Pro & I lave it my amp befor that was an SVT III Pro & loved it. I currently own 2 Ampeg cabc (SVT 810 & SVT 410 HLF) & love them both!!!!! Ampeg is made in the USA & IMO it is super quality equipment.

    I don't care where it's made, who make's it, what other company is related to it <font color=red><b>AS LONG AS IT'S HIGH QUALITY!!!!!</b></font> I've been gigging w/my ampeg gear for a while & I've never had a problem w/them & when I first bought my SVT II Pro I called SLM & they replaced the power tubes for me ASAP. (It was a NOS floor model)

    I know there are other good amp makers around, but I'm happy w/Ampeg!!!! :)
  10. guac mole

    guac mole

    Jun 6, 2001
    San Diego, Ca
    just to settle the debate. Crate and Ampeg are both made by Microsoft. They all have secretly placed bar codes and Bill Gates knows exactly where they are at all times. (insert bill gates smiley face here).
  11. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I beleive the same way. I just wish i own an ampeg, but i'm happy with my amp. I like their old tube amps.
  12. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    DAMN THAT BILL GATESTO HELL [​IMG] !!!!!!!! He monopolizes EVERYTHING!!!!!! :D
  13. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    That bastard stole my leg too!!! I think Bill Gates will take over the smilie porn industry.
  14. Dave Ryan

    Dave Ryan

    Jul 31, 2007
    St Louis
    Bass Player
    Ampeg was purchased by SLM in 1986. The first SLM Ampegs were 500 SVT-HD re-issued heads. They developed solid state & tubes amps simultaneously in the late 80s.

    Crate, Ampeg & Audio Centron were all made in St Louis at the 45,000 sq ft building. They used the same parts, same work force & same assembly lines.
    It was very common for us to run Crate & Ampeg side by side.
    The Crate amps used the same wood, same pots & electronic components as the Ampegs, pulled from the same parts cage.

    The Old SVT-350H, which is really a SVT-200T, is nothing like the new ones, the old ones were bullet proof with an overkill power amp. The new ones are totally redesigned.

    Every company does this, Chevy Nova is a Pontiac Ventura, same car. Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Buick. Same company.
  15. rcubed


    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    I heard that Ampeg has moved out of St. Louis and is now in Asia somewhere with the new SVTs being made in Vietnam.
  16. Crate was the name SLM used to market their guitar amps. They also marketed their lower line of bass amps with the Crate name. I still have a Crate BT350 which is a descent be it heavy 350 into 4 ohm amp. I haven't used it for several years but it is there if I need it. Crate, Ampeg, AudioCentron etc. were all brand names of SLM and were made in the same factory.
  17. johnnydenver


    Apr 14, 2008
    i find it funny that people wet themselves to get ahold of slm era ampeg tube heads as opposed to the newer asian models. an ampeg rep told me that the last couple years of domestically produced ones were the ones to avoid, and i appreciated his candor.

    aside from the fact that it sucks that folks here lost jobs, the damage was done to the quality years ago.

    i have always disregarded crate gear as econo-cheese, and assumed the ampeg stuff was manufactured similarly.

    i take my chances with a vietnam svt-cl, and it sounds killer. i think the asian that assembled it was happy to do so, loves his family, loves music and took pride in the process. if it fails, i call, i get it serviced for free, i gig on.
  18. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    No kidding this is a zombie thread. The last post was from July 25, 2001!

    Considering Ampeg/Crate is not the same corporation it was at the time of this threads creation I am closing it. Please refer all posts to the more current thread Ampeg - Past, Present, and Future. (Merged Threads 6-6-08).

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.