Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

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Doctor Turn
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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Doctor Turn » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:31 pm

Koshchei wrote:The other advantage with pcb designs is that they support a lot more complexity than a ptp design. It's just not feasible to design and hand-wire a three channel beast with turret or ptp; even if you did it, you'd have a total rat's nest that would be super hard to troubleshoot.

Also, calling BS on the longevity argument; guitar amps have used both ptp and pcb circuits pretty much from the start, and both last equally well, all other things being equal.



No, it's not something vague like tonewood, it's a pretty hard industrial consensus observed from decades and decades manufacturing and of techs working in the biz, not BS. . . Although obviously there is good and bad of everything, so a good PCB can outlast shoddy P2P work, but that's obvious. But I assure you I am not BS'ing anybody--you're free to call me a BS-er as much as you'd like.

As for the potential complexity of a P2P (or lack thereof), look at what this little 1 X12 combo does. Watch this video please, and realize he hasn't even scratched the surface. And you can see why folks are going bananas for this sweet little combo.

When you do something like build an attenuator into a unit, legit input dumbling in series as well as parallel, and a quality MOD spring reverb, a dovetail pine cab, with superb quality caps and internals, you're getting something for your money not available otherwise. Debating whether these things are useful to you or not is perfectly legitimate, but denying their value to others is something else altogether.

Check this out--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXQ5DBJYu10
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Naked Ape » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:33 pm

I just watched that review last night. AWESOME amp. Doc, I know you were wanting the 'Skylark' which is a nice amp too,,,,,,BUT that 'Mercury V' is just.....WOW! :shock:
I tend to lean toward HIGH GAIN Monsters, but I would love to own that 'Mercury V'!!

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Koshchei » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:17 pm

Doctor Turn wrote:
Koshchei wrote:The other advantage with pcb designs is that they support a lot more complexity than a ptp design. It's just not feasible to design and hand-wire a three channel beast with turret or ptp; even if you did it, you'd have a total rat's nest that would be super hard to troubleshoot.

Also, calling BS on the longevity argument; guitar amps have used both ptp and pcb circuits pretty much from the start, and both last equally well, all other things being equal.



No, it's not something vague like tonewood, it's a pretty hard industrial consensus observed from decades and decades manufacturing and of techs working in the biz, not BS. . . Although obviously there is good and bad of everything, so a good PCB can outlast shoddy P2P work, but that's obvious. But I assure you I am not BS'ing anybody--you're free to call me a BS-er as much as you'd like.

As for the potential complexity of a P2P (or lack thereof), look at what this little 1 X12 combo does. Watch this video please, and realize he hasn't even scratched the surface. And you can see why folks are going bananas for this sweet little combo.

When you do something like build an attenuator into a unit, legit input dumbling in series as well as parallel, and a quality MOD spring reverb, a dovetail pine cab, with superb quality caps and internals, you're getting something for your money not available otherwise. Debating whether these things are useful to you or not is perfectly legitimate, but denying their value to others is something else altogether.

Check this out--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXQ5DBJYu10


The point I made, and which I continue to make is that ALL THINGS BEING OTHERWISE EQUAL, a PCB amp and a PTP amp will hold up equally well over time. There are plenty of examples out there that prove my point.

Similarly, I've argued that the primary benefit of going PCB over PTP is that a PCB is better suited to complex designs. My example was a Mesa Mark V, which is possibly the most complex analog tube amp on the planet right now; it has a built in attenuator, cabinet emulation, realtime wattage setting changes on a per channel basis featuring various pentode/triode combinations (and class A, class A/B, or a mix of both), three different rectifier types, nine preamps, per channel tank reverb, per channel post-preamp EQ, per channel FX loop with a hard bypass, and can be purchased with a beautifully dovetailed cabinet made of figured bubinga, maple, walnut or other, etc etc. It also uses top notch internals, and would be virtually impossible to build in a PTP format (http://www.mesaboogie.com/amplifiers/el ... index.html). It's also not hard to push the price of one into the low five figures. Way more amp than I need, but wiring one up as PTP would be so difficult as to be virtually impossible, and troubleshooting one, without traces to follow, would be impossible.

I've made absolutely no claims about value. PCB and PTP are both equally viable ways of putting a circuit together. I've owned both over the years, and don't really have a preference, as long as the sound they produce makes them worth lugging around (as you know, an amp with good iron is HEAVY regardless of wattage). They both need to be serviced, they both consume tubes, and they can both sound great if they're well designed.

I hope that this resolves things.

PS. The Carr is a nice Plexi-in-a-box with some really neat features, but not my thing. I used to have a couple of 50W JMPs (a 1970 and 1973 - interestingly one was turret and the other was PCB), but my tastes have changed over the last 30 years; I'm all about a great clean with a ton of headroom that plays nicely with digital and/or analog effects in the loop and a cascading gain structure that gets me that soaring liquid viola-type sound.

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Doctor Turn » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:01 pm

It's much much more than a Plexi in a box-- if that's all it was, it would bore the world to tears as this has been done many times.. it's at minimum a succession of Marshalls from the 60's to the 90's, available via a few separate settings, with lots of variance and versatility in terms of OD. This is of course not touching on it's convenience as a gigging and recording amp, w a very loud 16 watts and incredible tone at 1 watt with the patented attenuator system built in... and the tooonnnne! Ai caramba. It''s a Highest Possible Quality Everything in a box, not a mere Plexi.
The point I made, and which I continue to make is that ALL THINGS BEING OTHERWISE EQUAL, a PCB amp and a PTP amp will hold up equally well over time. There are plenty of examples out there that prove my point.


And this point is false. Fragile little tiny lines on a piece of plastic can never be durable as true point to point soldering. There is no "All things being otherwise equal" when comparing PCB and P2P. They're not equal. It's like saying, "All things being equal, a toothpick holds up as well as an iron bar to weight stress." PCB boards are made of thin plastic and are subjected to shock, banging, and incredible amounts of heat over years when gigging night after night and traveling and packing and unpacking. Boards slowly warp and crack, and unlike a P2P which can be repaired in a single spot without effect to the rest, when a PCB is gone in one spot, the whole thing is toast and needs to be replaced. Meaning in most cases the amp is done.

I'm not going to argue something so simple and well-established. One is a durable construction method, one is tiny and fragile and the whole works is shot to hell with one little crack.

I'm not putting down good PCB amps--my heart and soul is one. (X Amp).
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Koshchei » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:08 pm

I'm glad that you've found an amp that you're enthusiastic about with a tone that speaks to you. As I said, it's got some cool features, but the Marshall JMP voicing doesn't work for me anymore. I'm more of a Fender clean/Mesa Mark 2C+ drive guy these days.

You're going to need to provide some credible citations to support your claims re PCB reliability, particularly when it's widely understood that PCBs are more rugged, more consistent, and more reliable than either point-to-point or turret-board. Speaking of which, how old is your car?

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Doctor Turn » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:38 pm

LOL!!! I must now formally provide proof and "citations" (!!??) to you because you refuse to accept something so basic? Koschei, you may go on believing what you'd like to believe. I've seen this debate between the two schemes re whether PTP generally SOUNDS better than PCB ... Which I think is poopoo. But never on the DURABILITY difference between the two.

So---

tiny little etchings on temperature sensitive, wafer thin little pieces of heat-cracking plastic (where a tiny bend or crack on one etching line nukes the entire board of circuits (zapping countless cheapo amps) are generally a more DURABLE means of conducting signal than through strong insulated wire strung across the shortest possible distance between the two transmission points..

Jeder macht eine kleine... funny cabeza noise.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Omsong » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:35 am

I think it's safe to say (and maybe I'm stating the obvious) that P2P and PCB each have their strengths and weaknesses.

I've repaired both types and one is not necessarily easier than the other. Although with smuds becoming more common, PCB repairs are more and more difficult; requiring specialized tools and skills. And removing a multi-pin IC (for example) from a board with plated through holes can be a b@tch. Plus once a pad lifts from the board - and if a repair is still possible - it usually looks horrendous and makes future repairs almost impossible (as more heat will likely lift or destroy connecting traces if they haven't already been ruined... usually it's best to cut out the suspect component rather than trying to save it). I could go on - repairing PCBs can get really ugly.

These days you'll likely pay for a replacement PCB rather than have it repaired. So which is cheaper - paying for trouble shooting and repairing a P2P or PCB circuit (which can be time consuming and expensive) or paying for a complete PCB replacement (which may take a few minutes)? Then again, replacing a tube is a lot easier than pulling out a hard soldered IC (unfortunately ic sockets are rarely found in low cost construction). Hard to say.
Ichi on Jobutsu (Enlightenment in one tone.)

Kiesel
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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Koshchei » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:31 pm

Circuit boards aren't plastic; they're epoxy-impregnated fibreglass, which is pretty resistant to the effects of heat, cold and vibration. This, and the ability to lay out complex circuits in a cost-effective and easy to replace format is why cars, planes, boats, etc use them now. I don't know how old you are, but if you've ever replaced the ignition points on a distributor in -30 weather or had to solve an intermittent under-dash/engine bay electrical issue somewhere in the snarl of wires on a mid-1970s car, I think you'd be able to appreciate how much more reliable electronics are now that they're on PCBs. All the same, boutique guitar amps are luxury goods and not subjected to operating environments anywhere near as brutal as a car is, and I hope that you get many years of enjoyment out of the Carr.

As an aside, I got interested in the Mesa Mark V after doing further reading on it. Since it seemed to touch all the bases that matter to me musically, I picked up a baby 25 watt EL84 version this morning. What an incredibly versatile little amp it is! From playing with it for an afternoon, I'm blown away by how touch-sensitive and flexible it is across all six preamp modes.

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Naked Ape » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:50 am

:roll: ................... :lol:

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Koshchei » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:32 am

I know. I talked myself into a sale. I liked what I heard and somebody had one on kijiji for exactly the right price.

Still, no regrets -- it really is a fabulous sounding amp (to my ears anyway), even if it'll be a huge pain in the ass to fix in the unlikely event that the fuse doesn't blow and it burns itself into a cinder when one of the traces magically severs itself or the circuitboards decide to disintegrate for no reason.

But yeah. Back to Carvin Vintage amps. Did you ever call them up? What was their ressponse to the Out of Stock issue?

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Omsong » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:09 am

Koshchei wrote:But yeah. Back to Carvin Vintage amps. Did you ever call them up? What was their ressponse to the Out of Stock issue?


Me? No, I haven't called, but did see there are still out of stock flags. I think this weekend is Carvin's Grand Re-Opening.
Ichi on Jobutsu (Enlightenment in one tone.)

Kiesel
- '17 Fatboy, Deep Lava Flame
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- '02 Fatboy; '04 CT6M; '07 Fatboy; '11 Bolt+

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Doctor Turn » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:03 pm

This thread has grown epic and requires commemoration.,.. :lol: :lol:
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Koshchei » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:07 am

I agree.

I hate to say it, but I think that this thread acts as pretty clear evidence to me that the culture of the BBS has changed into something I'm no longer really comfortable with anymore. We used to discuss ideas as friends, but we seem to have taken something as benign as music and devolved it into ridicule and entrenched shit-flinging over minor details about things that matter not in the slightest. I'm as guilty as the rest in this regard, and so I apologize.

I think I'm just going to shut up and play my guitar; afterall, that's what this is supposed to be about and in service of. :) /adieu

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby ElfDude » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:55 pm

I love my VT16 head and my old Nomad. My only problem with the Nomad is that it's just so LOUD! But the tone is to die for.
Aries A6H, CS6M, SH445, Contour 66, AE185, DC135, CT4M, Bolt, SH225, LB76F, Nomad, VT16 Head, V410, Pro Bass 100
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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Omsong » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:51 pm

ElfDude wrote:I love my VT16 head and my old Nomad. My only problem with the Nomad is that it's just so LOUD! But the tone is to die for.


That's the dilemma I have in selecting a tube amp that works well both at home and while gigging. I'm afraid that even a 15watt amp is too much at home. It's really tough to find a tube amp that does it all: has the response and warmth of tubes and that sounds great at bedroom volume but can also be cranked loud enough for jamming/gigging, too. I could get a 1 or 5 watt combo or head and run a 1X10 or 1x12 at home, and then hook it to a bigger extension cab for garage jamming. Another possibility is to get an amp that has a reduced power setting. I think the new Orange Rockers and a couple of others have that capability. I can't remember if the Carvin's have a reduced power switch.

BTW - I didn't find anything in this discussion that seemed offensive to me - just normal differences of opinions being expressed. It's all been very interesting and educating. Thanks to everyone who has participated.
Ichi on Jobutsu (Enlightenment in one tone.)

Kiesel
- '17 Fatboy, Deep Lava Flame
Past tense
- '02 Fatboy; '04 CT6M; '07 Fatboy; '11 Bolt+

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Doctor Turn » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:06 pm

That's what makes those Carr amps like the Skylark (American/Fender type) and the Mercury V (British type) so special. I linked the demo of the Mercury above, here's the Skylark. The patented attenuator technology that's built into the heads of these two masterworks can bring full on tube load crunch down to whisper levels... Without losing bottom end and three dimensional quality... Cut the attenuator and you have deafening sixteen watt volume easily drowning a band out in a good sized gig through a Celestion twelve. "A" Type in the Skylark, and Creamback in the Mercury.

I was just talking about this dilemma over my vintage Carvin amp in another thread. My X Amp is deafeningly loud, and loses it's three dimensional quality at it's lowest possible level. I have to have another for gigging small venues and recording. The Carr is just the most ideal for me.
Carvin Weaponry:
1985 DC150K (koa) Stereo, M22N/M22SD w/black hardware.
1985 100 Watt X Amp 2 x 12 combo (XV212) upgraded w/ 2 Vintage 30's
...and other gear.

https://soundcloud.com/the_heavy_clouds

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby spudmunkey » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:44 pm

I know the Egnator Rebel series's wattage knob isn't exactly accurate in what it does, but I found it to be quite effective for the price.
Last edited by spudmunkey on Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Naked Ape » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:43 pm

Marshall refused to build me a JVM with a built in attenuator, so I did this. :P
Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 10.20.06 PM.png

1 Watt up top, that can be switched to .1 Watt.
50 Watts below, with the flip of the switch.
They both sound GREAT!!! :lol: Marshall actually did an amazing job with the voicing of the 1 Watt.
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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby ElfDude » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:50 am

Omsong wrote:
ElfDude wrote:I love my VT16 head and my old Nomad. My only problem with the Nomad is that it's just so LOUD! But the tone is to die for.


That's the dilemma I have in selecting a tube amp that works well both at home and while gigging. I'm afraid that even a 15watt amp is too much at home. It's really tough to find a tube amp that does it all: has the response and warmth of tubes and that sounds great at bedroom volume but can also be cranked loud enough for jamming/gigging, too. I could get a 1 or 5 watt combo or head and run a 1X10 or 1x12 at home, and then hook it to a bigger extension cab for garage jamming. Another possibility is to get an amp that has a reduced power setting. I think the new Orange Rockers and a couple of others have that capability. I can't remember if the Carvin's have a reduced power switch.

BTW - I didn't find anything in this discussion that seemed offensive to me - just normal differences of opinions being expressed. It's all been very interesting and educating. Thanks to everyone who has participated.


That's why my Quilter combo has been seeing a lot of action lately.
Aries A6H, CS6M, SH445, Contour 66, AE185, DC135, CT4M, Bolt, SH225, LB76F, Nomad, VT16 Head, V410, Pro Bass 100
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Re: Carvin "American Made" Vintage Amps

Postby Omsong » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:46 am

ElfDude wrote:That's why my Quilter combo has been seeing a lot of action lately.


You piqued my interest in Quilter - "Quilter Aviator Gold 1x12" 200W 1x12 Guitar Combo Amp" . They were not on my radar! A bit pricey for SS (up there with the Roland Blues Cube Stage, etc), but worth it if the tone and flexibility are there in one box, plus great portability and low maintenance. The Quilter 101 50Watt head looks interesting, too. The Tech 21 Power Engine 60 with a small tube head and/or pedals up front might be another option.
Ichi on Jobutsu (Enlightenment in one tone.)

Kiesel
- '17 Fatboy, Deep Lava Flame
Past tense
- '02 Fatboy; '04 CT6M; '07 Fatboy; '11 Bolt+


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