Carvin Nomad; Can't Get It Right

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by vashondan, May 8, 2016.

  1. vashondan

    vashondan Supporting Member

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    This Carvin was my first foray into tube amps and I think it's a fine amp (from my limited perspective). Has some great clean sounds and is very loud. Past 1 or 2 on the volume and it's overpowering for me. I try to record tracks for my teacher and end distracted by the overwhelm. k Feels like too much power for my playing ability. I do like clean and don't like wild OD or distortion. Love the sounds of Carlton, Ford, EC...Have played with different pedals. Right now a Timmy a Dude and a Gain Changer on the way. These are the most recent in a chain cha cha changes. I've tried every combination of settings I can find but still can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I either end up with a darker sound (not that I dislike dark) or a sound that is too bright and/or overwhelming especially from the 10th fret up. I want either a little breakup or edge and a clean that doesn't blow me out of the house. The Timmy and Dude come close but I can't get past the overwhelm of the amps power. Have been questioning whether I just need a lower watt amp.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? I couldn't afford an expensive amp if that's the answer (maybe 5-600) and am a bit tired of trying to find the right settings.

    Hope this is clear!
     
  2. Monstercastle

    Monstercastle Supporting Member

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    If you like the fundamental tone of the amp, but just find it too loud, perhaps an attenuator makes sense to knock a few db off the output. Weber Mass or similar can do at the lower cost end. Alternatively, a speaker swap to one that is a little less efficient could do the trick too, and also slightly change the character or the tone as well. Beyond that, tube swaps might change gain slightly, or have earlier breakup. At the end of the day, this may just not be the right amp for your goals.
     
  3. vashondan

    vashondan Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I'm feeling more and more that, even though I think it's a great amp, it's not the amp for me right now.
     
  4. oldhousescott

    oldhousescott Silver Supporting Member

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    Those Carvin Vintage series amps are indeed loud. I used to have a Nomad, bought it specifically to perform the mods that were created originally by Carvin forum user hasserl. A true master volume was one of the first mods I made.

    The clean channel is very glassy. It can be tricky to match with ODs. TS styles seemed to work the best. The soak channel I found to be pretty much worthless as it came stock. With mods, it can be transformed into something close to a JCM800.

    If you're not keen on modding, then moving it on may be your best bet.
     
    JosephCurwen likes this.
  5. stratotastic

    stratotastic Member

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    Time for a real amp. (Saying this as a former Carvin owner myself.)
     
  6. vashondan

    vashondan Supporting Member

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    OK, so let's get real. What real amps are there in the 5-600 dollar range?.
     
  7. Stev0Griffin

    Stev0Griffin Trendsetter

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    My vote is the Vox AC15

    But there are plenty of great clean platforms:
    Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
    Peavey Classic
    Orange Tiny Terror
    Etc.
     
    ChampReverb and stratotastic like this.
  8. vashondan

    vashondan Supporting Member

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    I'll check those out especially the Vox and HRD. Was just doing a search at Sweetwater in lower wattage amps in that range two that came up and seem interesting were the Bassbreaker 15 and the Blackstar HTR5
     
  9. Neff

    Neff Member

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    AC15 is great, does the edge of breakup thing perfectly. If you need loud, pristine cleans it might not be for you though.
     
  10. vashondan

    vashondan Supporting Member

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    Trying to get away from loud cleans but do like cleans. What kind of clean does the AC15 provide?
     
  11. JosephCurwen

    JosephCurwen Member

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    I had a Carvin Vintage Tube 50 head and my experiences mirror oldhousescott's. Great, loud, glassy cleans with miles of headroom, but very underwhelming diode-based soak (dirty) channel. I enjoyed it but didn't love it, never regretted selling it.
     
  12. BluntForceTrauma

    BluntForceTrauma Member

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    Hated the new Carvin VT50 head (Nomad in a head form) I bought. Couldn't get rid of it fast enough. And then had to practically give it away.
     
  13. JCW308

    JCW308 Supporting Member

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    i'm having great results form a new Peavey ValveKing II 50-watt combo. I think they also make a 20-watt version.
     
  14. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

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    You need to gather various points of reference to hear different options and weigh them before making a decision.

    Your current amp may work fine as a clean base for the pedals you have ordered. Just turn it down.

    -bEn r.
     
  15. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Supporting Member

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    Rather than swapping the speaker, how about using an external cab that has an inefficient speaker in it? That way you still have the original speaker available for situations where a higher SPL is needed. You could get one of those Eminence FDM speakers with the adjustable magnet.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  16. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    Playing at home? Ever consider a Fender Champ? Maybe a modeling amp?
     
  17. orogeny

    orogeny Supporting Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^^fender mustang III?
     
  18. vashondan

    vashondan Supporting Member

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    I actually started with a Mustang III and used it for quite a while before wanting to move to Tube amps. I'm definitely more into tubes now. I think what I need is just a less powerful/loud amp. At 50 watts I can only get the volume to 1 (maybe 2) before it's just too much ( home player) and the pedals work ok but I'm thinking I'd have to raise the volume more to make the best use of them. I'm hoping that with less wattage and headroom that's way over my head I'll still be able to have some clean and make the best of the pedals or, maybe with the right amp, I won't use the pedals as much. That Bassbreaker seems like the kind of setup that would work but I'll have to try one. The AC30 with a Master volume may be a good choice as well even though it's probably more wattage than I need. That's one of the issues with the Carvin. No master volume.
     
  19. prototype

    prototype Member

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    IMO its the cab. that's always been the weakspot for carvin amps. the cabs are way too thin which causes them to always sound barky and harsh. try running it into an external cab and see if that fixes your problems.
     
  20. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    You're playing at home? IMO you're going to have the same problem with a 15 watt amp, even with a master volume. Even a Champ cranked up a bit is pretty loud. Do you have a store where you can try a vintage Champ?
     

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