Alternative to Carr Mercury??

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,199
The Mercury worked fairly well for a small low volume restaurant gig I have. I sold it due to the fact that nothing foot switches. Primarily the gain stages and the reverb. The tone and the attenuator worked great for getting natural overdrive at whisper levels.

Looking for a very similar amp with foot switchable gains and if the reverb doesn't foot switch I'll need an FX loop.

Any suggestions?
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,361
Magnatone Twilighter?

Bad Cat Cub III or Hot Cat 15R?

Reeves Custom 12, 18 or 30 with power scaling

Allen Chihuahua or Sweet Spot?
 

flcmcya

Member
Messages
3,430
I feel your pain Sugar

I love the boosted modes for lead tones but kinda leaves you hanging for clean and not much for an EQ option...

You can do alot with pedals but a switchable Channel/ Reverb type format would probably make it the absolute go to small amp IMO.

Killer little box regardless.
 

ItJustRocks

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,350
I tried the Mercury once as well as the dirty shirley mini. Some nice tones in those amps and for many they completely satisfy. I found it hard to get the cleans and the crunch tones I wanted. The best I have found to date is a Savage Junger (5 watt amp) with a couple Skreddy and Cornish pedals. so far I've had better cleans AND better gain tones, all available at the click of a pedal footswitch and I have full control of the volume.
 

schwa

Member
Messages
2,571
I know it isn't an amp suggestion, but I do achieve footswitchable gain stages on my Mercury with a boost pedal. Two favorites are a TS and FD2, both with the gain low and volume high. Since the Merc is a NMV amp turned up, the boost has more of an effect on gain than volume.
 

wrxplayer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,455
I don't think there's anything quite like the Mercury. But there are other low wattage amps excellent tone and versatility.

I have a Gries Sea Horse. It's his "5" amp with reverb. I use a 6l6 in it for more headroom. There are volume, gain, and MV controls. With them lots of options and the gain is foot switchable. If you want reverb ask Dave if he could make it. If reverb doesn't matter check out the "5".

The Laney Lionheart 5 watt amp is also a great lower power amp for small room gigging and a footwitchable gain boost.

Several Mesa Boogies I think would also fit the bill. I'm sure the LSS does and it has a five watt setting. The 5:25 may also.
 
Messages
2,554
I have the Mercury as well. I'm not a fan of the built-in overdrive settings, but the clean is stellar and I've found it very workable to set it up clean and use a boost and/or overdrive in front of it. That said I've often wondered why it didn't come with a foot switch for those overdrives for those that do like them. It's not very typical (in my experience at least) to be able to turn the switch by hand while playing live.
 
Messages
2,554
Oops, got distracted and never added a recommendation for the OP. I'd recommend looking at a Suhr Badger. It has power scaling, an effects loop and a choice of different tube types depending on the wattage you buy. Plus, it's built by John Suhr (ie. quality) and it's cheaper than the Carr Mercury so you can probably afford one with what you made selling yours.

That's assuming you want to hear the amp on stage. If you can live with in-ears, then I'd recommend buying your favorite amp (100 watt Marshall anyone?), running it into a Suhr Reactive Load, then into an IR loader like the Torpedo Cab or Logidy EPSI, then into the PA / your in-ear system.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,199
That said I've often wondered why it didn't come with a foot switch for those overdrives for those that do like them. It's not very typical (in my experience at least) to be able to turn the switch by hand while playing live.
The Merc was designed for home and studio use...not live applications. So no need for foot switching. I thought the gain stages on the amp were good. Ive never been happy with a drive pedal in front of a clean amp. I'm from the school of stick a Boss SD-1 in front of an already overdriven Marshall and get that searing sustainy liquid lead tone happening. Perhaps Ive never found the right pedal for getting that type of drive off a clean platform. I have a Carl Martin Plexitone. That has tons of gain but I dunno something is missing.

There was something great about the Merc. Probably the fact that the single EL34 was getting a work out rather than the pre amp tubes. I will look into the Falcon and Gries. Badger is certainly on my list.
 
Messages
2,554
The Merc was designed for home and studio use...not live applications. So no need for foot switching. I thought the gain stages on the amp were good. Ive never been happy with a drive pedal in front of a clean amp. I'm from the school of stick a Boss SD-1 in front of an already overdriven Marshall and get that searing sustainy liquid lead tone happening. Perhaps Ive never found the right pedal for getting that type of drive off a clean platform. I have a Carl Martin Plexitone. That has tons of gain but I dunno something is missing.

There was something great about the Merc. Probably the fact that the single EL34 was getting a work out rather than the pre amp tubes. I will look into the Falcon and Gries. Badger is certainly on my list.
The built-in gain stages aren't bad, but I always miss the ability to EQ them (since the EQ is defeated by turning them on). But, I'm also a fan of hearing the power stage overdriven. So, I set it up at the edge of breakup and then use a mix of boost and overdrive to push it.

The Mercury is awesome. I'm usually a push-pull style amp guy, but this particular single-ended amp I bonded with quite easily. It's currently the only amp I own.
 

JC99

Member
Messages
106
Is the six-watt setting on the new Carr Lincoln too loud? It has footswitchable channels and independent reverbs. The lead channel also has a master volume. Carr says it has the most gain of any amp they currently make. I played it briefly and was impressed -- small footprint and light too. Of course, I don't have $3,000 right now.

I have and love the Mercury! In the right space, it can do it all.
 

river_jetties

Member
Messages
440
I think the Bogner Duende is a great amp (not made anymore) - used to own one and feel it might satisfy what you are looking. Their pricing is all over the place from 1k - 2.5k so you might have to wait to get a deal.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,199
Ill look it up. I like Bogner stuff.

The Falcon Grande is impressive. Nice amp!

Having difficulty finding an amp that checks all the boxes and does it at near bedroom levels. As stated the Merc came close. I even contacted Carr about a foot switch mod and was told it would be involved plus they were too busy making amps to mod mine

I think what I liked about the Merc was the EL34... Always liked that sound
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,554
I just watched a demo of the Bogner Duende. Impressive! But, I love Bogner amps in general.

I also watched the Carr demo of their Slant 6. I don't think clean tones get better than that! GORGEOUS. It's a shame you can't get those amazing 6V6 clean tones in one channel with EL34 overdriven tones in a second channel. If that exists I'm not aware of it.
 




Trending Topics

Top