Carr Rambler "Flabbiness" -- Change Output Tubes?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mbruffey, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. mbruffey

    mbruffey Supporting Member

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    I want to know if anyone has discovered that changing output tubes really can make a difference in the "flabbiness" of the Carr Rambler on the low end. I explain why below.

    I've read in a couple of posts that the Rambler flubs or farts out on the bass. I play Chet Atkins style at low volumes and do experience this with my Rambler (15" spkr) with CERTAIN SETTINGS (which I happen to like for some tunes):

    PENTODE MODE
    LOW amp volumes (9 o'clock max) with
    LOW amp mid setting (7-9 o'clock) and

    Rhythm pickup alone
    Guitar tone rolled off to about 3 (where you just hear treble kick in)
    Guitar volume knobs near full on

    Guitar:
    Epi Elitist Chet Atkins (=Japanese Gibson CG--yes same guitar) [but all my other guitars with a variety of pickups behave similarly at these settings.]

    With these settings, I hear all kinds of rumbly and (to me) ugly overtones on full chords and bass notes (and even on certain two-note treble combinations). If you play an E7 at the 5th fret on the four bass strings, for instance, and listen to chord as it decays, it first sounds like a big "blob" and then the overtones overpower the primary tones very soon. This is true even if I turn the bass way back, say 10 o'clock (any further back sounds goofy for Chet stuff).

    -This amp has the original complement of tubes.
    -The pwr tubes are Ruby/Svetlana 6L6GC's.
    -I've tried TAD 6L6WGC's (short bottle).
    -Both Svets and TADs "distort" about the same.
    -Tried various preamp tubes in V1 and other slots.
    -"Distortion" seems to DECREASE as I raise amp vol ! (I get less distortion at amp full open and guitar vol backed way way off (2) than with amp vol way down and guitar at 9-10).
    -"Distortion" seems to decrease as I raise MID higher.
    -I had played a different 15" Rambler before I bought this one and did not notice this "problem."
    -Amp sounds GREAT in TRIODE Mode--no problems.
    -Carr support is in dialogue with me about this "problem"


    My question: Have you or has someone you know experienced similar "problems" and been able to resolve or substantially correct it by installing a different brand of power tubes? Thanks
     
  2. mbruffey

    mbruffey Supporting Member

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    Just wanted to add that I don't think it's the 15" spkr, because the "distortion" was just as bad, or worse, when I ran the output through a JBL M-121 in a different amp. That's a 200 watt spkt, BTW. Mark
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    sumthin's F'd up......the amp should stay clean for ALOT longer than that!
     
  4. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    i feel for the thread starter, the mk1 RI boogie i had once farted like a scotsman after 11 pints of mc ewans, it really does drive you nuts waiting for the flub every time you dig into the low strings.
     
  5. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    I don't remember my Rambler farting out at quite that low setting but the loose low-end is something that you will not be able to totally eliminate in a Rambler. I really loved everything about the amp but that. Finally decided to trade it. Still miss it sometimes though.
     
  6. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting. I once bought a Rambler partly because a guitar bud of mine was raving about the headroom. Mine had none. I got out from under it as fast I could (about 4 hrs). The guy who bought it from me thought it worked perfectly. Go figure.

    jon
     
  7. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    LOL!! I like the carr amps, but everyone of them flubbed to much for me. I cant stand any flub at all. Im like you. Once an amp does it, I start to panic even before I play another low note! :(
    Then it gets in my head, and I start to make even more mistakes than I normally do! :mad:
     
  8. JoyfulNoise

    JoyfulNoise Member

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    My experience with the Rambler produced both flubby and awesome sounds. For me, the difference was the output of the pickups. The Rambler does not do well with high output high gain pickups.

    Hope you can figure out what you can do to get it fixed!
     
  9. Den

    Den Member

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    I haven't experimented with different speakers or tubes ... but, according to some previous threads here, others have some success doing so. My solution for tightening up the low end of the Rambler when needed is using my Tim pedal. The EQ on the Tim is awesome and allows me to shape the amps EQ without losing what I love from the Rambler. Of course, as always, different guitars, pickups, pedals, and volume (and ears) all have an impact.

    Another suggestion is to call Steve Carr and ask him for some guidance ... he's been tremendously helpful to me in the past. Good luck.
     
  10. tclardy

    tclardy Member

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    I could not get a tight low end either. I tried a Weber California which was better but I still got flub on the low end. When i played it with a humbucker guitar, especially neck pickup, there were some distorted harmonics or overtones you would hear with the note. I would crank the bass back to 9:00 and it would still be there.

    I loved the amp except for that. I sold it to my brother and got a Bruno Underground 30, this thing has tight, clean low end in bunches.

    tim
     
  11. Rick0

    Rick0 Member

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  12. rclemmer

    rclemmer Guest

    I use my Rambler for what it does... seductive tones with lush mids and reverb/vibrato. This amp just LOVES my Suhrs. There is some life-ever-after relationship between Suhrs & Ramblers. That said, when I want tight, round bass I use my Dr Z. Z-28 head and Z Best 2x12 cabinet.
     
  13. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    Agreed. I think the Rambler's bass is fine with lower output single coils, a player with a light touch, and turning the bass down. I put a Cannabis Rex in mine which improved the low end, but I think there may be some speakers out there that would improve it even more.
     
  14. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Yeah, that is exactly what I would do if my Rambler performed that way.

    There's a little looseness in the low end but I just don't hear it as exaggerated as some claim.
     
  15. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    Try a pair of JJ6L6's. I've had very good luck with them and they seem to tighten up the bass on every amp I put them in. I don't have a rambler but it's worth a shot for the small $'s you can pick them up for. I get them matched up from eurotubes.com. Bob is very helpful and if the amp doesn't have an adjustable bias, he is usually knows what set you would need for max clean headroom.
     
  16. mbruffey

    mbruffey Supporting Member

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    That's EXACTLY the same symptom I'm having. I wonder if the guys that have used 7581a's have eliminated this problem by that fix?
     
  17. mbruffey

    mbruffey Supporting Member

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  18. mbruffey

    mbruffey Supporting Member

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    Well, I've concluded, after playing around with JJ6L6's, TAD 6L6WGC's, the original Svetlana 6L6GC's, and a number of preamp tube configurations, that the primary issue is that the humbucking PUPs are just too hot for the Rambler, especially on the rhythm setting. After lots of listening, I do believe the problem is significantly reduced by using P90's and a longer "cheaper" cable that cuts a good bit of input signal to the amp. As I think the issue is really in the pickup/preamp combination, I suppose I could put a super low gain tube in V1 and maybe a super high gain tube in V4. I might try that. Any opinions? Thanks, Mark
     
  19. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    Stick you a set of NOS 7581's in it and Change the Speaker to a Celestion G-12 Century and be done with it Baby. Its not just the Tubes but thats part of it.

    Thats a great amp you just have to tweak it a little.
     
  20. 6789

    6789 Member

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    I haven't played a rambler with a 15 inch speaker but I tried a Rambler 12 inch and 2 x 10 next to a Victoria Regal with a 15 inch and I bought the Regal. Excellent huge low end - full sounding. I liked it better than the rambler - and I was all set to buy the Rambler at first. Give one a try sometime.
     

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