Goodsell S17 vs Carr Sportsman

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7,013
Has anyone played both?
How do they compare side by side?
What benefits does one have over the other?

I have the Goodsell, but the Sportsman looks really nice.
 

ugameus

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,332
Only played the Goodsell. I love the Goodsell. I would not replace it with anything.
 

Jatmosphere

Member
Messages
618
Keep the Goodsell!

Then for the same $ as the Sportsman (or less), get yourself a silver Deluxe Reverb and call it a day!
 

FreeBlues

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
844
Same question here, I've played he Goodesell and liked it a lot, never seen a Sportsman. Will they both cover the same general sonic ground? Does the Sportsman have more sonic options, more variety, is it more versatile?
 
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7,013
I'm not planning on unloading the Goodsell. I'm just curious about the Sportsman and was using the Goodsell as a reference.
 

mangoman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,252
Keep the Goodsell!

Then for the same $ as the Sportsman (or less), get yourself a silver Deluxe Reverb and call it a day!
As a previous sportsman owner, I really loved that amp, moved due to gas. But that said, you cannot argue with this post. At all. And you'd have money left over to go with that miles of tone!
 

GibsonLives

Member
Messages
2,758
I've got the S17 MkIV, and it kills. Never played the Carr, but did research it - isn't the Sportsman pretty much a clean machine? If you replace the stock 12au7 in the Goodsell with a 12ax7 (I did so at Richard Goodsell's suggestion), the gain doubles, the dynamics really blossom, and I could swear the amp even seems louder. Try swapping that tube, and you may fall even more in love. It doesn't seem as though the Goodsell and Carr are similar at all, but as I said, I've never tried the Sportsman.

Steve
 

Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,980
I've got the S17 MkIV, and it kills. Never played the Carr, but did research it - isn't the Sportsman pretty much a clean machine? If you replace the stock 12au7 in the Goodsell with a 12ax7 (I did so at Richard Goodsell's suggestion), the gain doubles, the dynamics really blossom, and I could swear the amp even seems louder. Try swapping that tube, and you may fall even more in love. It doesn't seem as though the Goodsell and Carr are similar at all, but as I said, I've never tried the Sportsman.

Steve
You can also try a 12AY7 and a 5751. Their gain is between the 12AU7 and 12AX7.
 

JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,904
... isn't the Sportsman pretty much a clean machine? ....

Steve
Not at all. (I have one).

The Rambler is a (mostly) clean amp. The Sportsman dirties up like a PR, but sounds better, and is more flexible due to mid pot and master volume.
 
Messages
486
I've got the S17 MkIV, and it kills. Never played the Carr, but did research it - isn't the Sportsman pretty much a clean machine? If you replace the stock 12au7 in the Goodsell with a 12ax7 (I did so at Richard Goodsell's suggestion), the gain doubles, the dynamics really blossom, and I could swear the amp even seems louder. Try swapping that tube, and you may fall even more in love. It doesn't seem as though the Goodsell and Carr are similar at all, but as I said, I've never tried the Sportsman.

Steve
The 12AU7 is the cathode-follower stage that provides the current needed to drive the tone controls (which is the essential difference between the Mark III and Mark IV) and due to significant differences in plate resistance, etc. the 12AX7 is a better voltage amplifier than current amplifier. When a 12AX7 is used, the cathode follower stage adds quite a bit of gain (voltage) and the 17 becomes somewhat more aggressive and crunchy.

It is important to remember the differences in 12A*7 tubes is more than just mu factor - they all do different things better than others. While any of them will run in any of the 4 positions without hurting anything, the ultimate choice when I created the MkIV was based on what sounded best and looked pretty on the 'scope. If you want to experiment on the MkIV, know that the 12AX7 on the end is reverb send/trem oscillator and shouldn't be messed with, and the second 12AX7 is the pre/reverb return making it the V1. Third position is where the 12AU7 normally goes, and the fourth, next to the power tubes, is the PI. I'm not saying that you should change any of them - just that you can if you want to.

There is a great linear history of the Super17 series in the recent December '13 issue of the ToneQuest Report, along with a MkIV review - together very enlightening on this subject.
 
Messages
7,013
I'm not planning on unloading the Goodsell. I'm just curious about the Sportsman and was using the Goodsell as a reference.

I feel as though no one read this. Again I was just asking how the sound was different.
So Richard, right now I have 3 12AX7 in my Mk3. If I wanted to lower the gain, which one should I replace, 1..2..or 3?
 

ecbluesman54

Member
Messages
1,596
Can't compare it with the Goodsell, but always hear tons of love for Goodsell amps.
I did run my Sportsman tonight for the first time in a band setting. It's a cover band, doing classic rock covers, (Petty, Fogerty, Beatles, Marshall Tucker, etc).
Could not be happier with my tone. I used my R9, couple pedals, and mostly volume knob to control clean/OD tones. Cuts though great, awesome reverb, and lightweight which is a nice bonus. Highly recommend.... Now I want to play a Goodsell.
 
Messages
486
I feel as though no one read this. Again I was just asking how the sound was different.
So Richard, right now I have 3 12AX7 in my Mk3. If I wanted to lower the gain, which one should I replace, 1..2..or 3?
Are you saying you want it cleaner or dirtier? #2 is the money tube, but you can lower the gain by changing #3 (the PI) to a 12AT7 or 12AU7. If you have 3 12AX7s that would be a later MkIII, so it should have a tube rectifier - with a 5Y3 it puts out about 12-13 watts; 17-18 watts with a 5AR4/GZ34, so you can manipulate those either way for the desired effect.
 

onwingsoflead

Member
Messages
1,593
I've got the S17 MkIV, and it kills. Never played the Carr, but did research it - isn't the Sportsman pretty much a clean machine?
Sportsman can get nice and dirty. Think Princeton with more beef. It doesn't get farty like many Princetons tend to. The Headroom knob is key to getting the clean/crunch type sounds you want. Also pushing the mids will break it up a bit quicker if that's your thing
 

jcorrig

Member
Messages
30
I've had both amps.Still have the Sportsman.More tonal flexability.Also louder to my ears.An amazing amp for blackface tones.It also sounds great at lower volumes
 

JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,904
I've owned a number of similar powered 1x12" combo amps, e.g. Clark DR clone, Rambler, Bruno CT, Headstrong Lil King, others, and honestly, the Sportsman is the only one that would work for me as a straight-in, no pedals amp for a blues gig (if I had a blues gig, which I do not). The secret is the master volume (Headroom control) and the Mid pot. All of the others were either too clean (especially the Rambler), or not good-enough sounding 'dirtied up' without an OD pedal, at the volumes I used to use when I had a blues gig.

For the stuff I do now at gigs: variety band (always mic'd); and Classic rock band (never mic'd), I would actually prefer having more clean headroom than I get with the Sportsman. A "Double Sportsman" would be great.
 

SlideGuy123

Member
Messages
251
I haven't tried a Sportsman, but before I bought my S17 Mk3, I tried a Rambler, and was not blown away. It was a nice sounding amp, but sounded kind of constrained and polite. The Goodsell has this huge 3D sound and a warm, punchy voice that fits what I want to hear from an amp -- all my instruments sound great through it.

BTW, m Mk3 has the SS rectifier, but I can't imagine the amp sounding better with a tube rectifier.
 




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