Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by andymax, Oct 7, 2008.
I sold two blackface super reverbs after having my Rambler a few months. They are killer sounding amplifiers with excellent tone, reverb, and tremolo. They do not sound EXACTLY like a Fender however. Different strokes for different folks.
Depends on the Fender you're talking about.
There's been a TON of good press here about the Carr Rambler 112.
I've owned a couple of them, and have played through a bunch.
Not a bad one to be found, so far, in my experience.
With a Strat...you have a classic tone combination.
Cleans are fat...thicker then your classic BF Fender, IMO.
Sonic detail is fat and shimmery...add a touch of the world class reverb and/or trem...and your gig/record ready. Lots of clean headroom too.
I've only owned a couple of older BF Fender combos (Tremolux/Princeton Reverb)...the Carr was a bit chewier in the clean dept., a little thicker than either of the above Fenders, to me. Not a bad thing at all...as the Princeton Reverb I had, in particular, was just a beauty...but a tad more scooped. The Carr got alot of praise by my guitar pals who played it...and at the gig.
As for pedals...the Carr digs them bigtime. Barber OD's, Fulltone FD2, and the Klon Centaur, and Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive were perfect matches with this little tone beast.
That's all I got...wonderful little amp that will certainly become a modern classic...just like the BF Fenders before.
Keep hearing about the Goodsell Super 17 too, are these in the same league, and any idea how much?
Never heard or seen a Goodsell. I've heard good things about the brand, but with any 18watt amp, I'd think clean headroom would be an issue. IF you're a guy who likes chimey, crystalline cleans at a goodly volume.
I do. Hairy cleans are a good thing...I just dont use them much with the music I play.
I own a Car Rambler 112, Goodsell Super 17 MKII and new MKIII.
Of all the amps I've owned these three are my favorite for different reasons.
1. Carr Rambler - Fat tone, clean as a whistle sound, great reverb and tremelo. Built like a tank.
2. Goodsell MKII - Rich tone not as fat as the Rambler. Overdrive control with finger attack. Harder you stroke, more overdrive or distorted tone.
3. Goodsell MKIII - Light - 29 lbs of of tone w/reverb and tremelo.
My problem with the vintage blackface Fender is that there is a lot of variation in quality. Carr consistently makes great amps. For my money, the Rambler wins.
I love my rambler, light and durable, and lots of headroom, haven't played a gig where it wasn't enough amp, when put through the PA. Can be just the slightest bit directional since it's so small, but nothing bad. I think it kills fenders, it doesn't have that icepick high end that make pedals a chore with fenders. Love it!!
Carr is more hi-fi, modern-sounding. A good BF has that signature Fender sweetness in the mids/upper-mids, somewhere around there. A good BF can be fixed by any competent tech, the circuit is like The Real Book. Carr? Don't know. Both are excellent.
I play through a CARR at my drummer's space and man, that thing sounds great.
Couple of questions for all you Carr Rambler owners.
1. What's the difference between the Rambler and the Vincent/Viceroy?
2. How does it compare, if at all, to the Bruno Cow Tipper 45?
I have/had these three at the same time
Carr Rambler 1x12
Fargen Blackbird 40
I wanted to keep only two and the choice to sell the Carr was tough. The DR and BB both sounded fuller and more expressive. The Carr was more hi-fi and not as 3D as the other two. Great amp, but unfortunately one had to go and the line up was redundant.
I tried a Rambler a while back. I spent an afternoon A-B'ing it w/ my '74 Deluxe Reverb (that has been "black-faced" by Bill Holter w/ Ken Fischer's help). They both sounded great. I finally decided that the Carr didn't sound so much different that it was worth either selling my Deluxe and shelling our another $600 - $700 for and not different enough to be worth buying and keeping the Deluxe Reverb (assuming that I could have afforded it). There was also the investment vs. depreciation factor. It was, however, a wonderful sounding amp.
i played a carr rambler at a local shop. sounded good. it was like a BF Fender, but with more of everything. i then realized that sometimes more is not neccessarily better. i like the bf fender sound better than the carr sound.
Hard to beat a well tuned up blackface Deluxe Reverb......with a JBL K120.
As far as quality goes, the Carr is built with capacitors that have a 150-year life expectancy, among other things; it should never need a cap job and tube replacements are simple plug-ins (no biasing needed, if I'm not mistaken, but please correct me if I am), which could be a consideration for a prospective buyer.
The real question might be - how good is that old blackface?
The Carr is Fender-like for sure - but it has its own tone which is correctly described by Mr. Carr as "dimensional clean" - it can have more mids in its lower power setting but I find its 28 watt setting more open. Though the Carr is supposedly optimal with single coils I use it mainly with my Gibsons (semi and hollowbodies) and it rocks with them. A strat player might prefer a vintage BF amp to a Carr but myRambler is not going anywhere. It's tone to my ears is sort of a high headroom princeton with a dash of tweed mids and more 'fidelity" / clarity - it doesn' compress quite the same way a BF amp can as you crank it up but it is similar.
I have been using my Carr Rambler for quite sometime now and I love it!
It's such a great amp, very compact and yet so versatile and full sounding.
I'm also very fortunate to own some great Vintage Blackface Fender Amps:
'65 Fender Blackface Deluxe Reverb
'63 Fender Blackface Princeton Reverb
'66 Fender Blackface Vibrolux Reverb
'65 Fender Blackface Super Reverb
As far as comparing, the rambler is a bit spongier than the viceroy. The Vice's tone is a tad more high Fi, and the notes seem to jump out quicker. It has a tad more headroom and can also push into overdrive a bit more than the rambler, since it has the drive control. It's a great amp, and I'd love to have one to run with my rambler. As far as comparing to BF circuits, I've had some blackface amps as well as a lonestar and rivera, and everyone I play with, as well as some folks who've seen me play at different times have all said the rambler just brings something out that the others did not, it just sounds more full range or something. I could never warm to the brash highs that a lot of BF fenders seem to have especially with stock speakers, and with pedals, but the carr doesn't seem to accentuate the highs quite as much. I'll never sell mine!!
I currently own a Rambler 1x12 and a '67 BF Fender Deluxe Reverb and I'll go against the grain a bit and say no, they are not that similiar tone-wise.
The DR is a twang machine with great string definition, scooped mids and that nice growl when the 6V6's get pushed. Downsides are lack of headroom, the bass which gets pretty woofy with volume, and the built-in bright cap that can make it a bit unfriendly to some pedals.
The Rambler is smooooooooth. Notes are rounder and, IMHO, more musical plus there's the extra headroom from the 6L6's (in my case Phillips 7581a's). BTW if I want a bit more break-up, I pop in a set of NOS Tungsol 5881's. I run mine with a Tone Tubby Alnico H1E and the bass is nice and punchy. IMHO, the trem can't compare with the trem on the DR.
What both have in common is they are are light 1x12 combo's with Reverb and Trem that sound a good deal bigger than they look. That ideal grab 'n go size/weight + great tone is what's made them both so popular with so many players.
I'm fortunate to have both but if I had to have just one, tone-wise it would be the Rambler, investment-wise, it would be the DR.
I do agree that years from now the Rambler will be considered a "classic" amp if it is not already.