Carr Rambler Is it good? or flabby on the low end?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 6789, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. 6789

    6789 Member

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    I've read a lot of posts saying the Carr Ramber with 1 x 12" kingpin speaker is a great sounding amp. But I've also read a lot of posts that say the low end gets flabby or farty sounding. So what gives? Does it start to get flabby at certain volumes but not at others? How can it be so great if it gets flabby? I'm very interested in getting one of these amps. thanks.
     
  2. Den

    Den Member

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    I love my Rambler and have no issues with the low end being "flabby". For heavier OD tones, however, I can see where many people might desire a tighter low end response. My solution is to fatten or tighten the low end with my TIM pedal ... YMMV.

    Make no mistake, most everyone will agree that the Rambler is something special ... awesome, buttery, 3-D cleans, great on-the-edge breakup and terrific with pedals.

    If you haven't already, spend some time listening to Jason Barker's clips at Steve Carr's website ... they'll give a great feel for what the Rambler can do. I'm sure you'll get plenty more feedback on this.
     
  3. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    If you like a punchy blackface sound with a little extra malt, great reverb & tremolo and tons of tweedy mids on tap then you'll dig the Rambler. Play it clean / play it loud. If you're looking for more chime and dirt there are better amps available. But {Read: I think} it loves humbuckers and single coils equally, as well as every pedal you throw at it. It's a phenomenal blues and roots rock type of amp but it don't play the gain game and it's not voxy or marshally.
     
  4. Dirge

    Dirge Member

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    The Rambler is a bit loose in the lowend. Yes, you can change the speakers and the tubes but you can't change the small transformer, the cathode bias and the Zero NFB loop. All of which tend towards a bit of flab in the lowend.

    It's a great amp if you are after a "Vintage" sound, more Tweed & Gibson than BlackFace IMO.
     
  5. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Its a really cool little amp, but when put next to a vintage blackface amp, or a HotRod Deluxe, it comes up short. Just to loose in the low end. I do not think any speaker will get rid of the flub. Take into consideration that I just cant stand loose bottom ends in amps, or my women. :cool:
     
  6. Ken I

    Ken I Silver Supporting Member

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    +1
     
  7. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    I'd say this is a pretty accurate description, with just a bit of Vox when you go up in volume due to the cathode bias and no NFB. It gets quite tweed-like in triode mode and very blackface in pentode. The clean tones are stunning. Not much breakup until you go up in vol and mids. The mid control is very effective in changing the character of the amp and all the controls have a very smooth and useable range, unlike some BF Fenders that have a relatively narrow sweet spot in many cases.

    As for the bottom end, I think it is tighter than a BFDR and similar to a BFVR. As with the Fenders, it helps greatly if you roll the bass way down as the volume goes up.
     
  8. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    agree 100%

    If the low end is flubby, turn down the bass. The Rambler has a huge low end even with the bass knob almost off.

    I have not played a better amp for clean tones and using pedals other than my old Bruno Cowtipper which will run you about $1k more and will not have the build quality, versatility or resale. The reverb is almost as good, and the Carr will do tweed as well as blackface.

    After owning a few tone kings and enjoying the tweed and blackface tones in one box, the Rambler does it even better imo - though you can't footswitch between blackface and tweed and need to be willing to change settings for optimum tweed and blackface tones.

    I didn't mind the Kingpin speaker, but tried a Cannabis Rex and got smoother highs and bigger/tighter lows. It will still flub with high bass settings though.
     
  9. threm

    threm Member

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    Hi,
    I started another thread;

    "Getting a new amp; the Juke 1210 vs Carr Rambler vs TK Meteor II ?"
    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=78985

    but not much info so far.

    Looking for clean/semiclean with 3D qualities.
    Have any of you played more than one of these amps?

    The Rambler sounds great on those Steelbender.com clips, still I'm tempted by the features of the Juke amp.
     
  10. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    I've only played a couple of Ramblers and I was not as impressed as many here are. The ones I played had very good but not great clean tones and VERY flubby low end- even with the bass turned way down. OTOH, I have fallen in love with every Slant 6 I have played.
     
  11. Shemp

    Shemp Member

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    I changed tubes and speaker and now have a nearly perfectly clean machine. It is not as loud as 28 watts should be and did not work for me in live situations without a mike.

    Better 6L6s, a Couple of GT12AX7Ms and a Weber cali makes it a great recording, home, low volume gig clean platform. I haven't sold mine yet after owning it for a year, so that says something.
     
  12. 6789

    6789 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies!
     
  13. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Bingo, baby.

    The Rambler is a very Fender-esque amp that's perfect for blues. And, other than the guys in the shadows of SRV, almost every person playing a Strat through a Fender Blackface or Tweed amp is diming the treble and mids and rolling back the bass to almost nothing, or three at the most. Hardly anybody that plays blues at gig volumes is pushing his bass control to emphasize the low end. It sounds like turd and casts a heinous din over the whole band.
     
  14. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Very strange....I always have and had all controls near 5, except for volume on about 3-4 on my Super, Devlille, Bassman RI, Vibroluxe and Pro Reverbs. In house, the volumes are usually around 1-2. If I dimed the treble and mid, and rolled back the bass, the amp would sound like a turd and cast a heinous din over the rest of the band.
    It would have true ice pick in your ear tones.
     
  15. cold_fusion

    cold_fusion Suspended

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    A vintage fender amp has too much bass, in general, and just so happens to sound best at around two-ish on the bass settings....it's a fact of fender life....what so wrong with that??? A lot of the fender amp settings are very sensitive from one to three or four on the pot dial..... ie the reverb and trem speed as well as the vol........
     
  16. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Maybe you have a light and jazzy touch, Tag :)

    But Robert Cray, Ronnie Earl, Buddy Guy, Duke Robilliard set their amps the opposite of you and all my ears hear when they play blues is a phat, stinging, badass tone.

    All those guys play pretty loud and usually have organs and horns but I have always been amazed how much the blues guys roll back on the bass.
     
  17. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    I love my Rambler, but it sounds like mine does the bottom end flub thing when I hit it hard with a full 6 string chord on an LP. It sounds like bad low end distortion. If I lighten up on my touch or turn down the volume it doesn't happen.

    Seems to me that the Rambler is very sensitive to the tubes you load into it. I've had Groove Tube 6L6GCs in it for the last two years and it has had plenty of overhead for jazz and clean playing. When cranked the resulting distortion was interesting, but nothing to get excited about.

    Just put in some Electro-Harmonix 6L6GCs in it and it now breaks up and rather low volumes. With the EH-6L6GCs the amp really sings with some beautiful distortion when cranked.

    For jazz the Groove Tubes will go back in and for blues/rock I'll keep the EHs handy.

    Now I need to get some of those 7581 NOS tubes and see if they get even more headroom for my jazz playing. i wouldn't mind having a Slant 6 either

    :)
     
  18. Den

    Den Member

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    A. Your strategy explains the flabbiness you've heard in the bass of the Rambler.

    B. Different amps have different circuit designs, different tubes and other components, so it stands to reason that it requires different tone control settings from amp to amp to get the best tones (or whatever each of our ears tell us is "best"). It's really O.K. to move those tone controls anywhere on the dial that gets the best tones. It's also O.K. to change tone settings when you change guitars ... or venues ... or volume, etc. to dial things in where they sound best.

    In the case of the Rambler, for example, the designer of the amp offers sample tone settings that are all over the board for various guitar pickups and tone styles. If keeping all the controls at one spot was the right way to get the most out of an amp, why make them adjustable?

    C. If you "always have and had all controls near 5" ... how would you know whether different settings would sound "like a turd'?
     
  19. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    I set my BF type amps differently than both of you....

    I set the bass first, based on overall volume: low vol-bass on 5 or so; high vol-bass on 3 or less. I set the mids next, depending on what overall tone I am going for: scooped mid BF cleans- mid control on 3 or less; tweed like grind- mid control on 7 or more (on a Rambler triode mode is best for this tone). Finally I set the treble: if the mids are scooped I set the treble up to 5 or more- just enough to get good definition with the neck pickup (you can always roll back the guitar tone for the bridge but you can never get more highs for the neck). If the mids are accentuated, I set the treble down below 5-enough to keep definition but also to keep any harshness down from the high mid setting.

    So basically I set the vol and bass in opposite directions, and then the mid and treble in opposite directions. Each different guitar may need to be fine tuned and each amp usually has a "favorite" guitar that it sounds best with.
     
  20. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    No fact of Fender life AT ALL. When I set any of my Fender amps bass knobs to 2, they sound thin. At 4-6 they are perfect depending on the guitar. Less with a paul, more with a Strat.
    I had the Carrs next to several different black face Fenders at Lark Music. The bass is WAY flubbier on the Car. The Fenders stay tight until you get real loud. The Slant 6 was the flubbiest. They are nice amps, but I could never deal with the Flub.
     

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