Some help with a Carr Rambler

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by bobbyk, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. bobbyk

    bobbyk TDPRI Member

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    I have a Carr Rambler - it's actually the amp (and I've had many) I have owned the longest. I'm a bedroom player and occasionally get to jam with some friends. I love the Carr and have since the first time I plugged into it. But lately I have found myself drawn to Deluxe Reverbs and have played some vintage ones that just seem to have "the" tone. I am never, ever disappointed with the tone of the Rambler but the DR's seemed to have a spank/crispness that I really find appealing. Could it be the cathode bias of the Carr or it's stock speaker that makes it seem just that ever so slightly more "mellow"? If it's the bias I can always have modded for a switchable cathode/fixed bias. A change of speaker is always possible also. But the big question I'm wrestling with is whether it is worth the time, effort and money to mod the Rambler or just put it on the block and get a DR.

    Comments, opinions, insights would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Get the Dr...bud had that Carr..whilst it was very nice..just did not fit into his playing.
    but, do what you want...I tweak everything too much and it gets me in trouble...lol
     
  3. nic'o'caster

    nic'o'caster Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    bobbyk I know what you mean ! Does your Rambler has the Emi Wizard speaker ? It's not the most american sounding speaker for the Rambler, but very versatile once broken in though !

    The EQ section of the Rambler is very efficient and in pentode mode, with the middle pot set low and the treble set high it's easy to come close to that 'Deluxe Blackface Sound'. On another hand when you set the middle to max and the bass low you get that great tweed tone (especially in triode mode) that no DR can give you.

    Instead of trying different speakers for the Rambler which will end up being costly, I would find a used DR and keep both amps, if you can afford.
     
  4. bobbyk

    bobbyk TDPRI Member

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    Rambler

    My Rambler is all original and has its original Kingpin speaker in it and I'm the original owner. Don't get me wrong - the Rambler is a awesome amp and if I hadn't plugged into a '66 BFDR will trying out a guitar recently I probably would never have event raised a question about it. As it is now though I can't get that DR out of my head. And - if I had the money i would keep the Rambler and pick up a DR but I'm not that well off - yet - so the Rambler would have to go to get the DR.
     
  5. TNO

    TNO Friend of Leo's

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    You can't lose either way. The DR is probably a better fit for a bedroom player. A speaker change in the Carr would likely get you closer but I wouldn't mod the Carr's circuit.
     
  6. crackpot

    crackpot Tele-Meister

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    Did you play the Rambler and the DR at the same time, in the same place, with the same guitar -- next to each other?

    Because -- and I mean no disrespect -- unless you did that, you really have no idea how the two amps compare.
     
  7. telefan62

    telefan62 Tele-Meister

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    One of the things I find so interesting about music - and the gear we use to make it - is the difference in how people respond to the same piece of gear, song, etc. That personal preference in tone - especially when you are talking about two unarguably fine pieces of gear. It makes life interesting.

    I have both a Rambler and a DR (granted, it is a DRRI, albeit an LE with the upgraded Jensen P-12Q speaker) and, while I like the DR a lot, I *LOVE* the Rambler. For me, it's the most satisfying amp I've ever played.

    If I were you, I would hang onto the Rambler and, if you've just got to have a DR, save your nickels until you can buy one to keep the Carr company. Steve Carr doesn't make a whole lot of amps and buying another one, if you later regret moving it, would be expensive. Fender has made a boatload of DRs, though and you can always find one.

    Good luck!
     
  8. bobbyk

    bobbyk TDPRI Member

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    Good insights all around. Maybe the way to go is - like stated - hang onto the Rambler and look around for a used DR.
     
  9. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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    You're just suffering from the classic 'grass is always greener' syndrome. Yes, keep the Carr and find yourself a DR. When you get sick of the DR go back to the Carr. I do this with my gear often.
     
  10. JohnFrusciante

    JohnFrusciante TDPRI Member

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    I felt the same way when I had my 66' Vibrolux next to the Rambler. The Vibrolux just sounded more alive with that deep spacious shimmer I just couldn't quite match with the Rambler. The Rambler is a great amp but once I played through a BF Vibrolux it was pretty much game over.
     
  11. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Tele-Meister

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    Don't touch the Rambler you'll fudge it up for sure! The DR is simply a brighter amp all around especially the new RI's. Get it out of your system and pick up a used one. You wouldn't take a Tweed or a Marshall and "mod it" to make it brighter to satisfy a Blackface itch. DON'T FOOL WITH MOTHER NATURE:twisted:
     
  12. c6Logic

    c6Logic NEW MEMBER!

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    Not to resurrect this thread--but I too have played through a Carr Rambler 12 for the past 10 years--had an original Kingpin--and developed the same feeling that you described--I have endlessly swapped tubes and then, speakers, looking for a cure--finally, I found a configuration that I am more or less comfortable with-- Tung Sol tubes, a Celestion G12 Vintage Century speaker--and a parametric equalizer pedal--with this setup I can get very close to a classic blackface sound--however, because of the cathode bias, there is always that one little difference.

    It could be that a simple tube swap and an equalizer would do the trick for you. I had a DR RI and never really cared for it as much as the Rambler.
     
  13. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted

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    A good friend has his Rambler set up with a pair of newer Tung Sol 5881's and an Eminence Lil' Texas Neo. He finds this combo brings out the best in this circuit.
     
  14. Rick-kcmo

    Rick-kcmo TDPRI Member

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    Rambler tubes

    In the last couple of years I have owned a 67 Deluxe Reverb with a Weber 12F150, light dope and currently have a Rambler. They are two different amps with some common characteristics. Playing with V1, I have a Telefunken smooth plate in it now, and playing with the output tubes is rewarding. I'm vacillating between SED Winged C's, the tube the amp was designed with, and the TAD 6L6WGC-STR's. I like things about both. The Eminence speaker matches well with the amp except for the very top end. The TAD tubes seem to help, but I think I'm ready to start switching out the speaker. I have another Weber, G12H30, Vintage 30, Creamback, and an Alnico Blue, which wouldn't handle the power. I know this is an old thread and probably no one will see this. Then again, I talk to myself anyway....
     
  15. northforty

    northforty TDPRI Member

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    I wasn't a fan of the Kingpin speaker in the Rambler. It is very thick and smooth, which is great for blues and rock. I'm guessing that the DR has a cutting, stinging Fender tone that the OP liked compared to the Rambler's smooth but sparkly accurate boutique tone. I can understand this.

    I sometimes prefer the cut of my Fender amps to the nice perfect tone of my Rambler. In fact, for this reason, I often use Fender amps for live stage work in clubs where the amp isn't mic'd and the guitar really needs to cut through the muck, but for recording or at home use, you just can't beat the Rambler.

    I would be interested to hear if the OP ever changed the speaker to good results. Carr now has an Elsinore speaker that Steve Carr and a lot of others say is really great.
     
  16. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think cathode biased amp lack indeed that mean spank, as found in the BF/SF amps. (What you loose in spank & brightness, you gain in the breakup & warmth department)

    You might want to compensate with a brighter, punchier ceramic speaker. Try a Weber 12F150
     
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