Mercury vs. Mini Mercury - Opinions?

GTRJohnny

Member
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3,482
I am looking at Carr's "sleeper" amp, the Mercury. Somehow, I passed it up on my tone search - probably because my local music store has either not had one, or had one with a bad tube for a while.

Anyway, I came across a few videos recently and the little amp rocked! The cleans seemed great, and the dirty tones were more my style than the Rambler.

I was wondering if anyone has had a chance to compare these two amps? Does the Mini have what it takes for a small coffee house or practice amp? Or does the full-sized one give that much bigger of a tone?

I have heard that Steve Carr gigs with one and I plan on giving both my dealer and Carr a call after the holiday. So, I'm just checking with those of you who have spent some time with either or both. Thanks! :)
 

robertkoa

Member
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4,188
I played a Mercury years ago very impressed.

If it had even more gain it would be great , but does great cleans and blues and even some classic rock tones and sounds excellent at low volumes, fantastic for cleans and blues tones.

Don't see any reason to get the 10 inch speaker over the 12- get the Mercury with 12 inch speaker, IMO.
 

GTRJohnny

Member
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3,482
I played a Mercury years ago very impressed.

If it had even more gain it would be great , but does great cleans and blues and even some classic rock tones and sounds excellent at low volumes, fantastic for cleans and blues tones.

Don't see any reason to get the 10 inch speaker over the 12- get the Mercury with 12 inch speaker, IMO.
Yeah, I think you're right. I play mostly on the edge of break-up. I don't need really clean or really dirty. It seems to be geared that way, from what I have heard. I am also thinking the 10" might be more "tubby" sounding when pushed.

I have found 12" speaker to normally sound more scooped and react a little slower - both of which are good things for me. But, I'm open for suggestions on the 10"...
 

robertkoa

Member
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4,188
Some who know more than I do about old Fenders feel the Carr Mercury has better cleans than many ( smaller ) Vintage Fenders- but it has other gain levels for pushed cleans and blues tones also.

But I remember the cleans are really , really nice, real complex and makes you even want to play some clean leads etc., just wanted to be clear on this- Carr Mercury has stellar pure cleans when you want them, with surprising headroom in 8 watt mode.
 

gstan

Member
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2,133
I run my Mercury through my ZBest occasionally, and it really sounds huge.

Definitely recommend getting it with a 12.

And get a good KT66 for it. This is the tube it was designed around.
 

GTRJohnny

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3,482
I run my Mercury through my ZBest occasionally, and it really sounds huge.

Definitely recommend getting it with a 12.

And get a good KT66 for it. This is the tube it was designed around.
I imagine the 66 would give it a little kick above the 34. Good to hear it has good cleans. I was thinking it was purely a grind machine.

I agree on the 12". The only way I would consider the 10" is if a bunch of people said it sounded better for some strange reason.

I would imagine that his boost circuit rolls in some of the subtracked mids. At least, the videos and sound files seem to indicate that.
 

gstan

Member
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2,133
I imagine the 66 would give it a little kick above the 34. Good to hear it has good cleans. I was thinking it was purely a grind machine.

I agree on the 12". The only way I would consider the 10" is if a bunch of people said it sounded better for some strange reason.

I would imagine that his boost circuit rolls in some of the subtracked mids. At least, the videos and sound files seem to indicate that.
The boost simply takes more of the tone stack out of the signal path.
Boost position one has the treble and bass pots in the path. Positions two and three drop the pots and the reverb is attenuated a bit.
Position three has minimal preamp circuit. I suspect the difference between two and three is a resistor value.

The Cleans are great but the way cool thing about the Merc, and most other true single ended class a amps is that you can dime the volume and use the guitar volume to back off for cleaner tones with relative small drop in perceived volume. Pick attack has dramatic impact.

My favorite tone is a strat, Boost 1, T & B both around 2:00 and volume dimed, cut and reverb to taste (I like the cut "off" to give me more high end harmonics.
 

DuncanNZ

Member
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124
I have a Merc and a Victoria Regal. I agree it's "surprisingly loud" but really I think you have to assume that in the context you are asking (small clubs) it isn't going to be "clean". At the 8 watt setting, I find the Regal at 5w (one 6v6) is equally "clean" or more so. The amp responds well to different tubes. KT66 is the cleanest, then 6L6 then EL34 for a creamier OD. IT's a great amp (well made and sounds great) but if you need clean at club volumes, you might consider something else. personally, I use the 8 and 2 watt settings, and never with the boost which I don't care for. PS: mine is the 12 w version. I don't quite get the 10" option, but I've not tried or heard one.
 

GTRJohnny

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3,482
I think most of its time will be spent in my tiny home studio. Even my Tweed Deluxe is too loud for this job, so it would be cool to get some usable broken tones at vocalist levels.

Gigging, I still have my Budda. It's "loud enough" for really anything that I've ever needed. Since my Tweed is sometimes not loud enough in certain outside situations, I imagine the Mercury would fall even short of that. But, I'm thinking in a small room with a 906 on it things might tilt back in its favor... :)
 

GTRJohnny

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3,482
...KT66 is the cleanest, then 6L6 then EL34 for a creamier OD.
That's cool. I would have thought the 34 might edge out the 6L6, but that makes sense.

I need this to be a chameleon of sorts. It would be nice if it could cover "some" Fender/Marshall/Vox territories - mostly Fender.

Have you guys found this to be pretty versatile for recording?
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
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30,127
The 12" Mercury is one of those "wish I hadn't sold it" amps for me. Wonderful cleans and a nice crunch.
 

gpecoulas

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
199
I have a Merc and a Victoria Regal. I agree it's "surprisingly loud" but really I think you have to assume that in the context you are asking (small clubs) it isn't going to be "clean". At the 8 watt setting, I find the Regal at 5w (one 6v6) is equally "clean" or more so. The amp responds well to different tubes. KT66 is the cleanest, then 6L6 then EL34 for a creamier OD. IT's a great amp (well made and sounds great) but if you need clean at club volumes, you might consider something else. personally, I use the 8 and 2 watt settings, and never with the boost which I don't care for. PS: mine is the 12 w version. I don't quite get the 10" option, but I've not tried or heard one.

What is the 12w version? Does it still have one power tube? Different power transformer?
 

DuncanNZ

Member
Messages
124
Yup, sorry I did mean the 12" model. If this is for at home/studio, then I'd certainly recommend it. As I've mentioned, I use the 2 and 8 watt settings all the time. The 1/2 watt is just flabby in the bass, and I don't use the boost settings at all. At one point I felt the amp was sounding too middy/honky and swapped out the speaker (Em Red White and Blues) for an Em legend (same as in Headstrong Lil King, and my Vic Regal has the 15" Legend, both of which sound great) but it was waaaay too bright. I then tried a Celestion greenback (Chinese one) but it too was v bright. Finally I went back to the RWB and just used the tone knobs (d'oh!) and got the sound I preferred after all. There may well be other options, but I find the Merc to be great for the application you mention, and it's made right. One thing that's interesting is that inside it's not like an amp Leo would make in the sense it's not a turret board style (or not entirely anyway) with components all neatly aligned. It really is PTP and wires and component are going everywhere. The quality of those components and the construction is first rate I think. Having said all this, the Vic Regal is another alternative - one 6V6 and you have a 5W 1 x 15" sweet and big sounding amp, not too loud (has a lower sensitivity input) with beautiful tremolo.
 

DuncanNZ

Member
Messages
124
GUys, I was going to load a pic of the inside of the Merc...but I can't actually figure out how to insert an image. Any hints? I see a button there but it asks for a URL...?
 

gpecoulas

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
199
GUys, I was going to load a pic of the inside of the Merc...but I can't actually figure out how to insert an image. Any hints? I see a button there but it asks for a URL...?




Copy the IMG code for the photo and paste it in the message for the thread
 

GTRJohnny

Member
Messages
3,482
Copy the IMG code for the photo and paste it in the message for the thread
It has to be uploaded to a website someplace, and then if you can view it, right-click on it and get the properties and paste that into the link here.

I have been having a tough time deciding on a few amps. I'm going to the NY Amp Show this weekend. Maybe that will help... or totally confuse me! ;)
 




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