Carvin Nomad - Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by feloniuspunk, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. feloniuspunk

    feloniuspunk Member

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    I'm always considering new amps. I've never owned any Carvin product but a few friends speak highly of their products. I play mostly jazz guitar and I'm wondering if the Carvin 50W 112 Nomad all tube might be a good choice? Anyone have any opinions/experience with this model?

    I also play country and variety for weddings too so some rock, pop, oldies, motown, beach music and of course the dinner set tunes like Girl From Iwo Jima and Fly Me To The Moon.
     
  2. Caretaker

    Caretaker Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I have a Vintage 33(33 watts, they changed this to 50 watts and now call it Nomad) and I had a Bel Aire. I swapped the tubes and speaker(mine had a 100 watter, I put in a 25 watter). It is the one amp I will NEVER sell.
     
  3. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Vintage 33 here also, I keep it for the wonderful clean channel. It really is something. The OD channel needs work, is too dark. A huy named Hasserl, (username) has some mods that apparently by all accounts makes the OD channel much better. Doesn't matter, the clean channel is just amazing.

    Carvin is not appreciated mostly. I also have an MTS3212 which is a very nice amp. Seperate EQ, etc.
     
  4. Caretaker

    Caretaker Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    My OD channel gets a nice gritty blues tone that I love.
     
  5. Teleman

    Teleman Supporting Member

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    I've owned a Nomad and a BelAir. Great clean tones and they take pedals really well. I was never too crazy about the OD channel but used pedals for OD anyway so it was not an issue.
     
  6. Millo 3.1

    Millo 3.1 Member

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    I own a Legacy, I'd say it's a good amp. I had the MTS combo, didn't like it as much but the clean channel was very nice--I got it for $350 used. The clean channel plus 2x12 speakers was worth that alone. The OD was too gritty for my tastes, even w/ EL34's... The Legacy has useful, beautiful tones on each channel although it's kind of a mid-heavy, darkish honkish amp.
     
  7. Axekisser

    Axekisser Member

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    I've had a Nomad for about 11 years. The clean channel is amazing, very nice! I did the Hasserl mods on the dirty channel and just love the dirt channel now! With NOS 12ax7s in the amp and a Weber Blue Dog speaker, the amp rocks. The dirt channel is now almost AC-30ish to me with a tight bottom and a crispy crunch. The EL-84s really have some chime to them. You can get good deals by buying used and then do the mods which are very simple.
     
  8. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Only your ears can tell. I thought they were ok, and really good for the money used. But it was not "ok enough" for me to want to have one ...IMHO. Of course, YMMV.

    Edward
     
  9. cisspcism

    cisspcism Member

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    They have a very high mid spike which is hard to dial out , I had the vintage 16 and the belair. Decent amp though but can get ice picky
     
  10. oldhousescott

    oldhousescott Silver Supporting Member

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    EL84 tube chatter can be an issue in these amps. They are LOUD amps. The clean channel is good, but there is a bit of an upper mid prominence as cisspcism points out. The dirt channel is OK for light crunch but gets very fizzy and muddy if you crank the gain much past noon. I have a Nomad that I mod'd both the clean and dirty channels which I would now classify as a good amp, not really great.
     
  11. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    Carvin is an interesting company as it tends to have very good quality and a lot of bang for the buck. But I never cared for how they voiced their guitars and amps. They tend to be bright and harder sounding... both guitars with the poplar wood (with neck through and mega paint job) and the amps. This may help make it cut through a mix better but is not always that musical of a tone. I sort of felt that were working more against me instead of for me in the tone department.
     
  12. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    I love mine and have used it hard for 5 years. I only have had to replace the reverb tank aside from normal maintennance in all this time. I think it sounds great and currently have a Vintage 30 speaker in it. It can seem a bit mid heavy but I think this dials out fairly easily by rolling back the mids knob. This amp tonally can cover a lot of ground, and I love it's versatillity. It has a great clean channel, is very loud if necessary, a decent gain channel (esp. at lower gain with volume),and only weighs 41 lbs. Not to mention the nice low price and rugged construction. I think it makes a good choice for any style music, even Jazz. But, like others have mentioned, what I like may not be what you like, thats why there are so many choices for amps today.
     
  13. RadioRadio

    RadioRadio Member

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    I have a Vintage 33. Cleans are awesome, reverb is nice, dirty channel sucks.

    Well built, light, cheap and sounds good.

    Snatch it up.
     
  14. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    I have had my, now discontinued, VT50 head & 4x10 cab for about 10 years now with no problems other than some scratchy pots. I find it a very toneful amp! Killer clean, sweet OD & tasty reverb. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

    Tony
     
  15. tremster

    tremster Member

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    Got a Nomad for a really good price. Heavy on mids - in a good and toneful way. Has nice chime in clean channel - that presence knob is useful. Lacking some bass though. Easily the best EL84 clean tone I ever heard plus some tasty and subtle tube reverb. Makes a tele sound real good.

    Really nice package - good looks and compact size. Full 50 tube watts (can be really loud!) at a light 40 lbs. My vote for a powerful and portable tube combo in current production.
     
  16. Millo 3.1

    Millo 3.1 Member

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    They should come out w/ two amps w/ only a clean channel, one 6L6 based, the other EL84 based... I think they only Od I've liked STOCK from Carvin amp I've heard has been my Legacy, and again, sometimes it CAN be too dark.
     
  17. monkmiles

    monkmiles Supporting Member

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    Just seeing this thread now. I give the thumbs up on the Nomad.

    The Nomad is pretty versatile. I do recommend the mentioned hasserl mods for the dirty channel. If you're going to play jazz on it, I recommend changing the v1 12ax7 tube with something with less gain, like the JAN/GE 5751. I've done this on mine. You can also substitute a higher headroom speaker if you want. I tried a Jensen Neo and combined with the tube change it sounded fantastic for clean jazz. I've recently switch back to the stock speaker though, just cause I use the Neo in another cabinet.
     
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