New amp... need help deciding (Victoria, Carr, Suhr)

forrestlaw

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Deciding between the following amps:
Carr Skylark
Carr Telstar
Suhr Hombre
Victoria 20112
Victoria Vicky Verb
Vintage Sound VSA 15 or 20

Back story... I have a TM DR that I thought was OK until I heard a Tweed Deluxe circuit, which set me looking for a new amp. I went into a shop that stocks all of the above brands to try some out and liked everything I tried MUCH better than the Tone Master. Even though I fully thought I might walk out with a 20112 (Tweed Deluxe circuit) I also tried a Vicky Verb, which I actually liked the best, and Telstar on the recommendation of the sales guy. I did get a little scared of the Vicky Verb being only 5w, though. After doing a little more research I've added the Skylark, Hombre, and Vintage Sound to the possibility list even though I didn't get a chance to play those, which is why I'm soliciting opinions and comments based on TDPRI user experiences.

I play almost exclusively at home, but would like the option of taking my amp out to a small gig. Both of my guitars are Teles, a Chrissie Hynde signature model and a Vintera 50s that's been converted into an Esquire. I'm a plug and play guy... I've spent alot of money trying to be a pedal guy, but that's not me. I do like and use a good big muff and TS style OD. I don't want alot of knobs on an amp, just give me something that sounds good that I don't have to fiddle with. I wouldn't say that I'm after a particular sound, but I do like the older Fender amp circuits based on videos I've seen.

Here's what I thought of the amps I tried:
Carr Telstar: Simple knob layout and full range attenuator. The two switches gave alot of versatility. Didn't really care for the look. Ultimately, probably not what I'm after.

Carr Skylark: Didn't test this one. Sounds good in demos. More knob and attenuator only goes from 0 to 10 percent. Seems to be a recreation of small 60s Fender amps.

Suhr Hombre: Didn't play this one, but am super intrigued. Super simple controls and seems to sound great at almost any volume in demos. No reverb... not a dealbreaker though.

Victoria 20112 (Tweed Deluxe): This is the one I thought I was going to walk out of the store with. Sounded good, but I am worried about home volume levels.

Victoria Vicky Verb: This was the one I played that I liked the best. 5w with a half power switch, so seems almost perfect for home use. Tubes can be switched out to provide more power and clean headroom. Likely leaning this way.

Vintage Sound 15 or 20: Didn't try this one. Princeton circuit, basically.

Thoughts/comments from anyone that's had a chance to play one or more of these?
 

Lou Tencodpees

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I haven't tried any of these but played a used Hayes amp back in the day which I believe was the predecessor to the Vintage Sound Vintage 15. I really should have bought it. Been gassing for a VS15 ever since.
 

Fluddman

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I've tried and own lots of amps. The one that sounds best tends to be the one that is the right size for the gig. So if its for home use a champ or similar would be good.

For me a 5e3 is a great amp but doesn't have enough headroom for gigs with a drummer. At home - its stays clean and I can't crank it loud enough to hit the sweet spot.

So I guess I am saying consider the wattage as well as the brand.
 

CV Jee Beez

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Suhr Hombre is really bright and mildly thin sounding. May want to take that off the list.

My vote is for the Carr Skylark just because it's my preference. I think it has ample power (unless playing with a really loud drummer), sounds great with single coils and hum buckers, pretty compact, and looks decent in the house.

It would probably sound great with your Esquire and TS OD.

Best of luck.
 

forrestlaw

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For me a 5e3 is a great amp but doesn't have enough headroom for gigs with a drummer. At home - its stays clean and I can't crank it loud enough to hit the sweet spot.
That's exactly the issue I'm worried about.. and possibly with the Suhr as well.


Suhr Hombre is really bright and mildly thin sounding. May want to take that off the list.

My vote is for the Carr Skylark just because it's my preference. I think it has ample power (unless playing with a really loud drummer), sounds great with single coils and hum buckers, pretty compact, and looks decent in the house.

It would probably sound great with your Esquire and TS OD.

Best of luck.
Interesting... That's one of the first negative things I've read about the Suhr.

Do you have a Skylark? If so, for how long have you owned it?
 

Vibroluxer

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I've owned amps from Victoria, Carr, and Lil Dawg. Amp vs amp, the Lil Dawgs came up the winner each time.

For the cost of the Vic or Carr, you could get just about any of Lil Dawg amps plus have enough left over for an attenuator.

I am in the same position as you about home volumes. The 5e3 is too loud to be fully cranked where I live so I happily bought one of Lil Dawg Mutt amplifier. It's in a 5e3 cab, has the volume, volume, tone controls like a Deluxe but it has a 5f1 backend with a single 6V6 tube. It's not comparatively expensive and it works perfectly well for home use.

I encourage you to look into Lil Dawg amps. I'm positive that you won't find a single bad word about either Jim's customer service or the amps he builds. Bullet proof is appropriate.


Let us know what you decide upon.
 

Vibroluxer

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Not to make this into a Lil Dawg appreciation thread but Jim will build the amp you want, many times at no ir little extra charge. For example, Jim was building me 2 5E3s and I wanted one to look like it had been in a smoke filled bar for decades. Jim put on 22 coats of lacquer on it and didn't charge me more for the extra work. And when I got it, it looked like an old amps that sat in a bar. That's all
 

CV Jee Beez

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That's exactly the issue I'm worried about.. and possibly with the Suhr as well.



Interesting... That's one of the first negative things I've read about the Suhr.

Do you have a Skylark? If so, for how long have you owned it?
I don't have a Skylark. It's an amp I'd like to have although I currently have the Joe Bonamassa High Power Tweed Twin, Swart STR Tweed, and Supro 1696RT.

I tried to talk my cousin who has a Two Rock into getting one as well.

This wasn't on your list but, a Tone King Imperial MKII may also suit your needs well.
 

Vibroluxer

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I don't have a Skylark. It's an amp I'd like to have although I currently have the Joe Bonamassa High Power Tweed Twin, Swart STR Tweed, and Supro 1696RT.

I tried to talk my cousin who has a Two Rock into getting one as well.

This wasn't on your list but, a Tone King Imperial MKII may also suit your needs well.

Oh ya, check out Swart. Hand made in NC. I have the least expensive one he makes,bits a 6V6SE. A wonderful amp.
 

Chester Burnett

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I would go with either the Skylark or the Vickiverb. A 5e3 is too loud for home use, I don't care for the Telstar looks and didn't like the Suhr that a friend owned. I have a 5w amp for home use, the Swart STR Trem, and it's still pretty loud for home use. Maybe the Vickies half power switch would be just the ticket, but if your after some amp breakup with no pedals at home levels the Skylark is just the ticket. I notice the Carr Super Bee isn't on your list. It seems to fit right in with the other amps you're looking at.
 

forrestlaw

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The Vicky Verb is what I’m strongly leaning toward. Three different gain inputs, half power switch, reverb, and ability to swap tubes for more power/headroom seems like a winning combination.

I would go with either the Skylark or the Vickiverb. A 5e3 is too loud for home use, I don't care for the Telstar looks and didn't like the Suhr that a friend owned. I have a 5w amp for home use, the Swart STR Trem, and it's still pretty loud for home use. Maybe the Vickies half power switch would be just the ticket, but if your after some amp breakup with no pedals at home levels the Skylark is just the ticket. I notice the Carr Super Bee isn't on your list. It seems to fit right in with the other amps you're looking at.
Was it the Suhr Hombre that you didn’t like or a different Suhr amp?
 

Lef T

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Keep the TM for if you ever go out to gig.
Pick the amp you want for home playing, as that will probably be where your greatest percentage of playing will be.
I bought a 5 watt STR Trem Swart for my home playing.
Even at low levels it sounds great.
I added a Toneking Ironman ll Mini attenuator for when I want to crank the amp up and I'm all set.
Between the beautiful reverb and trem on the Swart,the only pedal I use is a delay pedal.
I bet the VickyVerb would be sweet.
 

Old Plank

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I would go with either the Skylark or the Vickiverb. A 5e3 is too loud for home use, I don't care for the Telstar looks and didn't like the Suhr that a friend owned. I have a 5w amp for home use, the Swart STR Trem, and it's still pretty loud for home use. Maybe the Vickies half power switch would be just the ticket, but if your after some amp breakup with no pedals at home levels the Skylark is just the ticket. I notice the Carr Super Bee isn't on your list. It seems to fit right in with the other amps you're looking at.
I was going to mention the Super Bee as well; haven't yet played through one myself but the demos sure sound good!



 
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forrestlaw

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I've pretty much decided on the Vicky Verb and will likely be ordering later today. Not only was it by far the one I liked the best of the ones I played, it just seems to have the perfect combination of features that I want with the added flexibility of swapping out tubes for more power/headroom. Since I've played bass in all of the bands I've been in over the last 10 years I'm not even sure I'd use the ability to swap out tubes as I haven't gigged/played guitar outside of our spare bedroom in about 15 years, but the option is at least nice. I can also always use the TM DR for anything that MIGHT occasionally come up and would likely get a bigger version of the Vicky Verb (like a Victorilux or Victoriette) if I ever gig regularly.

The decision finally came down to the Hombre or Vicky Verb. The Tweed Deluxes just had to be cranked too loud to be lots of fun at home and I'm worried about the same thing with the Suhr. The Carr amps, while nice, didn't do it for me. The dark horse was the Vintage Sound Princeton circuit. Ultimately decided against that as I don't really want Princeton cleans. I was hoping to make it back up to the shop to demo these one last time, but it's several hours away and just not in the cards anytime soon.

I appreciate all of the comments/thoughts/suggestions.

EDIT: Also meant to say that I checked the attenuator setting on my TM DR and I always play on the 1w or 5w setting, so anything more powerful than that is way overkill.
 

Matt Sarad

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Good job!
I have the Victoria Tweed Deluxe.
After 20+ years it's showing its miles in the Tweed.
The Carr I love is the Sportsman.
 

Matt Sarad

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I discovered the Sportsman in the electric room at Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto, CA. I tried all of the Collings guitars and settled on the 290 with Lollar P90s. The Staple P90 in the neck position was glorious.
A sales rep came in the room and said," Everyone in the store wants to know who is ripping it up on the guitar back here."
I replied it wasn't me, it was the 290 and the Sportsman.
 




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