For those unfamiliar with the company, St. Louis Music started out in the 1920’s as a music store and a publisher of sheet music. Over time, the business grew and they started selling their own line of imported instruments.
Gene Kornblum, impressed with the display crates, wondered if a crate could be used to house a guitar amplifier. That is how Crate Amplifiers came into being.
Crate CR-1, introduced in 1978, was housed in a bare wooden crate. It just made common sense to call this, “The Crate Amplifier.” The amp was marketed as a practice amplifier. It was only 10 solid-state watts, but came with a 12” speaker that gave it a rich full sound. As a plus, it was manufactured in the USA.
Crate Amplifiers to warrant enlarging their existing business and manufacturing capabilities. Within a few years, the wooden crate housing look was left behind in favor of traditional tolex covering. A whole range of Crate solid-state amplifiers was being offered.
tube-based models that became popular. St. Louis music eventually took on some other amplifier lines other than Crate, which included Vox and Ampeg.
wooden Crate model.
The original 10-watt solid-state amp featured Gain, Treble, Bass, Master Volume controls with 2 inputs all going into a 4 ohm, 12-inch speaker. The rear of the amp featured a lineout jack. Everything was housed in a simple pine cabinet.
sold the St. Louis Music business to a company called Loud Technologies. Along with the sale, the new owners acquired all of the company’s brands including Crate, Ampeg, Blackheart, and Alvarez.
As you can see below, Loud has kept the St. Louis Music brand name.