Carr Rambler vs Dr Z Maz 18


Anybody tried both
is there a huge volume difference between the two
how else do they differ


I have owned both. They are both great amps - can't necessarily speak to volume comparisons as my Carr was a 1x12 - while my Maz Jr. 18 was a 2x10. I found the Carr to be very directional and beamy - as single speaker combos often are.

Obviously - with the Carr you get reverb and trem, and both are excellent on that amp. It's an extremely clean amp - so you'll need pedals to get OD at reasonable volumes - but I will say that it takes pedals extremely well. Apart from, for my needs at least, too much headroom - I think it's the best current production Deluxe Reverb type amp made - and is a great general purpose platform, especially for OD pedal users. While it sounds amazing - and I would have kept it just for recording if I didn't have constant GAS - I ended up selling it and getting the Maz Jr.

While an amazing sounding amp, especially for low to medium gain overdrive styles, I found the 18 to be a bit complicated at first. The controls are very interactive, and not at all intuitive. What I ended up discovering is that the Maz has more of just about everything on tap than you will ever need (apart from gain, again - it's more of a low to medium gain amp). There are more lows and highs than you will ever use, and with teles (just about all I play) it can get shrill very easily. Also - as you turn the amp up - it seems to get brighter. Once I finally got the hang of it - I figured out that you essentially have to zero everything out - find your volume level - than add in EQ as needed, and you won't need very much.

It's a very versatile amp and can give you overdriven bassman sounds, as well as Vox tones - but never gets into Marshall territory. I really think of it as a Fender/Vox hybrid amp. I think 2x10's are the way to go with that amp - I tried 1x12 versions and they just didn't compare.

In the end - I think it comes down to how much you like onboard reverb/trem as opposed to natural amp breakup. That will be the main factor informing your choice between these two amps. I think tonally - the Maz is a lot more versatile. I would definitely get a Non-Reverb combo...IMHO - the Dr. Z reverb circuit is awful to the point of unusable, and adds noise as well.


I haven't tried the Carr Rambler, but I also own a Dr. Z Maz 18 in the 2x10 configuration. I'd fully agree with cacibi's take on the Maz 18.

I'm primarily a tele player - I wouldn't necessarily say 'shrill' because it's easy to tame the highs and dial in great single coil sounds, but getting comfortable with the controls does take a little time.


Gold Supporting Member
I currently own and play both a Maz Jr head w/verb that I usually run through either a Gold or a G12H30, and a 1x12 Rambler combo with a G12H30.

All the comments above on the Maz are spot on. By comparison, the Rambler is a VERY different animal - very warm, clean and uncolored. "Polite-sounding" is the term that a friend of mine used, and it's a fabulous platform if you like to use pedals.

By contrast, the Maz - IMO - sounds best without anything between it and my guitar, which is usually a twin-humbucker solid or semi-hollowbody. It cleans up beautifully with your guitar's volume control, and can really scream as you goose up the gain. Although neither can be considered a high-gain amp, the Maz has more guts and grit on tap than the Rambler does.

You really can't dial in a bad tone out of the Rambler, but the Maz takes a little "getting used to"...

FWIW - the stock Kingpin speaker in the 1x12 Rambler sounds awful to me... and I usually use it in Pentode mode.... you'll get closer to a tweed tone (with less volume and headroom) on the Triode setting....


Silver Supporting Member
This comparison seems apples to oranges comparing a EL84 based amp with a 6L6 amp. I just took delivery on a Maz 18 head w/reverb. I also have a 6L6 amp although not a Carr amp. I am thoroughly impressed and pleased with the Maz. I agree with what others have said about the Maz although I don't find it hard to tweak/adjust. I have noticed that the Maz takes all my guitars extremely well. That being HB's, P90 and single coils equiped guitars. Not a bad tone to be found in the Maz.

In comparison to the 6L6, I find the tone chimey, warm with nice rich harmonics. Using the Volume and Master Volume controls you can really control the gain in the Maz. The 6L6 has a nice clean, smooth sound. Both amps take pedals well. I have two amps that I really like. However, I do prefer the Maz with some gain on tap.

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