So far I have logged about 20 hours (+/-) on my new Carr Skylark. Playing time has been limited to home use, mostly at moderate volumes. The Basics Single-channel 6V6 combo 12 Watts full output Built-in switchable variable attenuator 1.2 watts down to zero Low/High Gain switch Extended range Mid control Extended range Presence control All tube spring Reverb Celestion A-type 12” American voiced speaker Point-to-point wiring Standby switch Yellow pine cabinet with floating baffle 21” W x 15.5” H x 9” D 36 lbs. Who’s It For? Carr’s Skylark is described as a “home/studio/practice” amp. Most published reviews also rate it as fully competent for small live gigs. It is an impressively versatile 6V6 amp that delivers an extraordinary range of tones. It can support just about everything from jazz to crystal clear clean tones to Texas overdrives and serious overdrive/distortion and sustain. Its flexibility is incredible! Notes are clean, focused and articulate – even as it moves through breakup. My use is essentially at home – I’m getting too old for gigs! I play mostly standard/pop stuff, some borderline country/rockabilly (my kids have called it “Country Elevator Music”). I play finger-style with humbucker equipped guitars. I have been using a Gretsch 6122-1959 Country Gent and a Gibson ES-335 with the Skylark. Sounds & Tones The Bass and Treble controls are full range. The Mid control has an unusually wide range which contributes substantially to the versatility of tones. The Presence control adds shimmer and more “bite” to the tone as it is cranked up. It sets overall brightness and cut. (Note: when the Presence knob is turned it makes a “swooshing” sound, which is normal. Had I not read the manual, I might have assumed a faulty pot.). The Hi/Low Gain switch adds brightness and a bit of volume when turned on. It adds more “bite” to the tone. The character and quality of the Skylark’s tone(s) are on a par with other very fine amps with which I have a good deal of experience – notably a Gretsch Executive (by Victoria) and a Standel 25L15. This is not to say it sounds “the same” as those amps – it does not. It is a different beast – 12” vs. 15”, 6V6 vs. Standel’s 807’s, and less than half the wattage. But it has the same type of fullness, clarity and articulation of the bigger amps. Given all of its built-in features, it has more flexibility. It is not as loud as the Gretsch or Standel, but it sounds better at low volume levels (IMO). The reverb is as good as any onboard spring reverb tank I’ve experienced – including Fender and Victoria/Gretsch. It can provide just a hint of space and dimension, or cranked to full surf levels – and pretty much anything in between. Here is a sound clip (thanks to Premier Guitar) that shows the versatility of the Skylark: At 12 watts, the amp can be LOUD. Even with the Attenuator on, at 1.2 watts it can get loud. Setting the volume control at 8 o’clock to 9 o’clock (at 12 watts) is perfect (slightly loud?) for living room levels. Depending on how the guitar controls are set, breakup starts to occur around 12 o’clock to 2 o’clock. If you want full breakup with tons of sustain, etc. for home use, flip on the Attenuator (unless you’re home alone with no neighbors within 100 feet). At 12 watts the amp clearly has enough power for clean playing at live gigs (IMO). Here is a video version of the user’s manual where Steve Carr demos the amp and explains much of the function and technology behind its features: Pedals The Skylark behaves very nicely with pedals. You may not need your reverb and distortion/overdrive pedals unless you turn them on and off during songs/riffs. Its reverb works beautifully with delay. Currently I am running through (not in this order): Nocturne Dyno Brain Origin Effects Cali76 (compressor) Strymon Flint (reverb & tremolo) Strymon El Capistan (delay/echo) If you are not familiar with the Nocturne Dyno Brain, you should check it out. It is not an effect – it enhances sound rather than changing sound. It opens up and expands your sound, even at lower volume levels. Soooo…?? Obviously I REALLY like the Skylark! It cranks out extraordinary sounds, is very responsive and versatile. Build quality is outstanding. The built-in attenuator enhances its flexibility. Even at low volume levels, the amp‘s tones are full, clear and articulate. It is not inexpensive – msrp = $2390 (black tolex). Color choices add $100-200; two-tone adds $150 (or more). However, considering ALL the features that are “standard equipment”, its build quality, the sound quality and incredible versatility, the Skylark offers a LOT of “bang for the buck”!