If you’re curious about the best Crate Blue Voodoo mods you can make on this amp, you’ve come to the right post!
Crate Blue Voodoo Amp
Crate’s Blue Voodoo is a cost-friendly tube-driven amp. These have been around for a while. They’ve also been discontinued for a while.
There were several specific models of the Crate Blue Voodoo line. We had BV60, BV60H, BV120H, BV150H, and B300H. The combo variant was the BV60 model.
Almost all of these had two channels. The super-strong BV150H and B300H had three channels. They also came with more controls.
Crate’s Blue Voodoo line of amps had a weird reputation. To some extent, it’s comparable to Boss’ MT-2 Metal Zone pedal. Some hated how these amps sounded. Meanwhile, some are still avid fans.
This is a subjective issue. Sure, the amp is a cheaper one. However, they could provide a good tone with the right setting in place.
Overall, they had fairly little headroom on the clean channel. They also had issues with muddiness in high-gain settings. Additionally, you could also notice piercing high-ends in some settings.
These are some of the reasons why mods were so popular with them. Amps were cheap but these mods could get pricy. Nonetheless, you’d get a result of a high-end amp. Due to amp’s low prices, they became popular among enthusiasts who wanted to tweak them.
Best Crate Blue Voodoo Mods
Playing Around with Capacitors
Some simpler mods include swapping capacitors. It’s not an expensive mod, and it can change the tone. However, it requires some soldering skills.
In particular, some have claimed that swapping C11 and C1 capacitors with 25µF ones is a good idea. Additionally, the C9 capacitor could use a change for a higher value.
These mods can sort out some of the bottom-end issues. You’ll hear a boost but they’ll still be tight rather than muddy and boomy.
Using Different Tubes
The simplest thing that you can do is swap the tubes. This can seriously change the amp’s character. By default, the amp comes with 6L6GC tubes in the power amp. However, you can swap them with any other 6L6 variants.
Or, you can even try 5881 tubes. These will give less output power. But you’ll get a different character. However, bear in mind that 5881 will give you even less headroom. And Blue Voodoo already breaks up easily. Only do this modification if you prefer a very dirty tone.
Some of the more serious modifications may allow you to add traditional British EL34 tubes. But it requires tube socket replacement which I’m not very keen on due to its complexity.
As for preamp tubes, you can always experiment with different stuff. 12AT7 instead of 12AX7 is an interesting choice here.
Use of Different Tubes in BV60
The BV60 model is interesting since it also allows EL34 tubes. This isn’t technically a mod like others on the list. However, we could say that, by factory default, this amp allows such a simple modification. Just put in EL34 tubes and you’ll get a different tone.
Just bear in mind that EL34 tubes have less headroom. Along with this, these tubes bring a more punchy midrange-oriented tone.
Removing Power Amp Tubes
In stronger models with four power tubes, you can remove two of them. This will reduce the output power and change the tone. It will also reduce the headroom.
You can do this on BV120H, BV150H, and BV300H models. They all come with four tubes in the power amp section.
But, as you may have already gathered, there’s the issue of headroom. And we keep coming back to it. Before you go with such a mod, bear in mind that this will make the tone dirtier. And with an amp like Blue Voodoo, players usually tend to control the sound and have more headroom.
Other than that, removing tubes help you reduce the output power. So if you don’t feel like having a super loud BV300H but like its tone, then just remove two of the tubes.
Replacing Speakers on Combo Models
Within the Blue Voodoo series, we have just one combo model. This is the BV60 amp. And, of course, the obvious mod here is to replace the speaker. And the stock speaker could use a replacement.
Here we have a single 12-inch driver. I’d recommend a Celestion, anything other than their Alnico Blue model. Basically, anything that supports more than 60 watts of power could be a solid change.
It’s not uncommon to see the transformer replaced on Crate Blue Voodoo amps. Getting a different one can affect the tone. Just bear in mind that this will be a relatively costly replacement.
A bigger transformer can improve your amp’s tone. However, it won’t change its overall character. You can get a bit of a cleaner tone. And it does seem like it adds just a bit more headroom to it.
The so-called choke can go between the transformer and output valve screen grid nodes. It’s essentially an inductor that filters out the unwanted hum in the power supply. With the right choke, you can remove the sag in the tone making it clearer. It’s not an uncommon mod for Blue Voodoo amps.
If you’re not confident, seek a professional’s help.
Bear in mind that you’ll be doing these mods at your own risk. First and foremost, if you’re not confident or experienced, I don’t recommend doing these mods on your own. Seek help from a professional first. After all, you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good amplifier.
Best Crate Blue Voodoo Mods: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through some of the modifications you could make to this amp!
And if you want to read more about gear modifications on this blog, check out:
Lastly, feel free to drop a message in the comments below if you have more questions about this or another guitar-related topic!