Carr vs Allen

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by resonator48, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. resonator48

    resonator48 Member

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    Two great amp builders. Both have a wide selection that would satisfy most players. Both are hand wired with top components. I know you ca throw other builders in with Carr and Allen, but what are the real differences in the amps from the two? I know the Carr amps carry a bigger price tag. Like a lot of the higher end amps, I need to rely on user reviews and youtube because neither are available to try first hand.

    Right now I'm 95% sure I'll b ordering an Allen Chihuahua very soon. For a great versatile home/small venue amp, I can get a Head with two different matching cabs for a lot less than say a Carr Mercury. So what's your take on this.
     
  2. mangoman

    mangoman Silver Supporting Member

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    I can only vouch for how awesome Carr amps are. Steve is great at customer service. Can't go wrong. I own three.

    Never played an Allen.
     
  3. stratsnboogies

    stratsnboogies Senior Member

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    Best information I can offer is, I played an Artemus a year ago, an amazing amp. $2000.00 for the combo.
     
  4. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    Not exactly apples to apples. To simplify, Allen shoots for something very Fender-esque...they are stirpped down and tweaked, but most designs are still based around the signature "Fender Tone" of the BF/SF amps. Carr's amps are more unique, while they may be influenced by vitnage amps, none are designed to be copies or clones. If you like a Carr, you may have trouble finding the same tone from anything else.

    I own a Allen Accomplice, it's great 35 lbs and great Deluxe Reverb tones, but I can find those tones elsewhere...not ust in a Deluxe Reverb or DRRI, but in several amps all based on it. What I can't find is anything that is like the Slant V6 which has a clean tone that is sorta Fender and a dirty tone that is sorta tweed, but is all in all, its own amp.

    I can say everyone I know who bought a Mercury sold it for the same reason, they all thought it was too dark. That's pretty different from the Chihuahua which is pretty much low-wattage BF Fender.
     
  5. riffmeister

    riffmeister Member

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    This!

    (I've owned an Accomplice and multiple Carr amps)
     
  6. resonator48

    resonator48 Member

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    Thanks for the great explanation on Carr amps. I'm drawn to the the Fender tone. That said, I just checked out the Carr website and specifically the sound clips of the Mercury. Not sure what your definition of "Dark" is, but I thought the Mercury sounds fantastic. I also pulled up Allen's Chihuahua clips in a different window and compared both. It's a little hard to do a comparison because the EQ is straight up on the Mercury, where as the Chihuahua's EQ was all over the place depending on the clip. I think the tone of the Mercury has a warmer overall tone, which I happen to like. I'd like to hear clips on the Mercury with the bass rolled off and maybe the treble turned up to see if it gives the tone a little more articulation. On my Princeton Reverb Reissue, I almost always have the bass set higher than the treble to give it more warmth. Maybe I'd like the Mercury.
     
  7. tbblues

    tbblues Member

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    Carr Mercury is a great amp. I can't remember where I read it, but I believe that Steve Carr himself prefers the Mercury over the Rambler for his own gigging. At 8 watts max, the Mercury would benefit from mic-ing in a live situation. Lots of different tones in the Mercury. I would not call it too dark. In my home studio woodshedding, I probably plug into the Mercury more than any other amp I own. I haven't owned any Allens, and would consider a number of them, but I already have too many amps!
     
  8. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    Did yours have the Raw control? That'll take it beyond Fender.
     
  9. DuncanNZ

    DuncanNZ Member

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    I use two Vic tweed style amps. But I also have a Carr mercury. I know this isn't a Mercury thread but my take on Carr s you can't generalise. The Merc to me is an overdrive type amp, maybe Marshall'ish if anything. Very certainly not Fender, to me. Whereas I have a buddy with a Carr Rambler and that's very much in the black face deluxe reverb camp. Scooped, tight bass, sparkling highs. I think they have what you want in their range. And certainly they are beautifully made. One thing I notice is the Merc's cab is super strong/solid and not really resonant compared to say a tweed deluxe which is at the other end of the spectrum, contributing a lot to the sound. Not sure how the Allens are in that respect.
     
  10. picnic

    picnic Member

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    I have had a Carr Rambler and 2 Allen Accomplices. Currently gig with the AA. Both amps are excellent pieces. Main difference is the Allen gives you some more options in tone control with the Raw and Master knobs. The Carr was an excellent clean with one of the best Mid knobs I have used. Both builders are super guys to work with and their sound clips on their websites are accurate.

    The Accomplice had more versatility for what I need. A Carr Slant 6V may be more of an apples to apples amp to compare to the Allen.
     
  11. Teleking

    Teleking Supporting Member

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    I own an Accomplice as well. Great amp. I think the Raw knob and the master really make it a much better amp than the Deluxe Reverb. It allows you to dial in just enough grind to still stay reasonably clean, but still get some nice grit when you dig in at reasonable volumes.
     

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