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Carr Rambler vs. Tone King Imperial


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#1 Scooter

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:07 AM

Hey, guys.  I've been looking at amps, as I've mentioned before, and have spent waaay too much time online doing so.  But it's been a lot of fun seeing what's out there.  As I've said before I've been the kind of player who has a couple of ok guitars and an ok amp; just wanted to play; easy to please.  Just recently though I've discovered the thing called "tone."  So amps are really unchartered territory for me until just recently.  I can see where someone could lose there mind with all there is to want out there!!!  I've found a lot of amps to like.

I'm curious to hear the Carr Rambler and Tone King Imperial users (or at least those familiar with them) out there weigh in on these two amps.  From what I've gathered so far the Rambler is "The Great Clean Amp" with lots of headroom and takes well to pedals.  The Imperial sounds sweet, too, though---and they both seem comparable.  You probably can't go wrong either way, but I'd like to hear your input.  You may know some of the finer aspects of these amps that could help me make a decision.


What I like to play goes from clean to hard rock (Rush would be about the heaviest).  I like some metal but not interested in a metal amp.

Enough jibber-jabber.

CARR RAMBLER vs. TONE KING IMPERIAL  :boxing:

Thanks people!
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#2 Scooter

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:56 AM

Oh-and-uh, thanks Kuz, for bringing Carr amps---in particular the Rambler---to my attention.  Looking at that amp was the catalyst for bringing me into the realm of boutique amps.  Up until I came to lurk around the HOC here I thought a boutique was only a chick store that sold jewelry and trinkets like precious moments---ech.  But it's also an expensive tone-monster thing.  Nice. :)  But even after I drool for a while at other amps I still keep boiling it down to a few---and the Rambler is one of them.

+1
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#3 Kuz

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:26 PM

Used Rambler.....mint $!750.......... LIFETIME KEEPER!!!!

IMHO, the Rambler will be a collector boutique "blackface" someday, its just that good.
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#4 VJonathan

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 07:03 AM

I agree.  The Rambler is the one amp in my collection that can " Do It All"......from Keith Richards crunch to Kenny Burrell smooth!  If you can only have one amp, that's the one!
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#5 Nash535

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 08:48 AM

Take a look at the Tone King Metropolitan. It is the desert island amp.

I owned a Rambler and it is awesome but the TK can do more at any volume.

40W
2 channels - 1 BF 1 Tweed to light Marshal crunch
Reverb
Power scaling - .01 watt to 40 watts!
Litterally get any tones at any volume.

It's expensive at 3k but considering what you get.

Oh yeah, it's good looking and light to boot!

Check it out
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#6 Scooter

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 12:58 PM

Take a look at the Tone King Metropolitan. It is the desert island amp.

I owned a Rambler and it is awesome but the TK can do more at any volume.

40W
2 channels - 1 BF 1 Tweed to light Marshal crunch
Reverb
Power scaling - .01 watt to 40 watts!
Litterally get any tones at any volume.

It's expensive at 3k but considering what you get.

Oh yeah, it's good looking and light to boot!

Check it out


Nash, thanks for the tip on the Metro. I have been looking into those, too. Haven't heard them yet, but on paper they sound amazing ;) . You're right, too, they look sharp and are light; always a great plus. I have heard the Imperial and it sounds great; really gets your atttention. If that is any indicator the Metro is probably quite the beast...and with the Power Scaling---perfect for home use and should be a strong consideration for me.

Actually, since I posted this I have a new front-runner for an amp: the Reeves Custom 50 PS (power scaling). It's like a classic Hiwatt (DR504 w/ 4 inputs). Other than that my short list for amps is: Swart AST (combo or MKII head/cab), the Reeves Custom 30 MKII, Carr and Tone King. Making this decision is driving me nuts.

Have you heard or plugged into a Metro, Nash? What do you play through?
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#7 Jazzpunk

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 01:34 PM

Making this decision is driving me nuts.


My advice is just to make a decision and go for it. I had been driving myself nuts as well until I resolved myself to the fact that I was just going to have to go through a couple of amps until I find the right one.

For some people the Carr is the perfect amp. For some the Metro is the perfect amp. Who is right? Both! Tone is so subjective and ultimately you're not going to know what is right until you have the amp in front of you.

I bought a Fargen Dual Classic based on reviews (it's the best!!!) and sound clips and while it's a great sounding amp I'm not quite sure it's the right amp for my needs at the moment. I just pulled the trigger on a '73 Super Reverb (brought to blackface specs) that I'm having put into a head cab. Will this be the perfect amp? Not sure lol.

All of the amps you have mentioned are high quality amps. If you buy used you should be able to break even if you move on to something else. You might lose a little money along the way but look at it as an investment in ending your GAS and quieting that little 'Maybe I should've...?' voice we all have in our heads!

Edited by Jazzpunk, 12 May 2009 - 01:35 PM.

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#8 Scooter

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:57 PM

My advice is just to make a decision and go for it. I had been driving myself nuts as well until I resolved myself to the fact that I was just going to have to go through a couple of amps until I find the right one.

For some people the Carr is the perfect amp. For some the Metro is the perfect amp. Who is right? Both! Tone is so subjective and ultimately you're not going to know what is right until you have the amp in front of you.

I bought a Fargen Dual Classic based on reviews (it's the best!!!) and sound clips and while it's a great sounding amp I'm not quite sure it's the right amp for my needs at the moment. I just pulled the trigger on a '73 Super Reverb (brought to blackface specs) that I'm having put into a head cab. Will this be the perfect amp? Not sure lol.

All of the amps you have mentioned are high quality amps. If you buy used you should be able to break even if you move on to something else. You might lose a little money along the way but look at it as an investment in ending your GAS and quieting that little 'Maybe I should've...?' voice we all have in our heads!


Jazzpunk, I hear you. I keep telling myself that no matter which of these suckers I end up with I'm going to have a nice amp---so I should just relax. I tell myself that but... Hey, at least it's a nice dilema. ;)
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#9 SouthpawGuy

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:17 PM

Nash, thanks for the tip on the Metro. I have been looking into those, too. Haven't heard them yet, but on paper they sound amazing ;) . You're right, too, they look sharp and are light; always a great plus. I have heard the Imperial and it sounds great; really gets your atttention. If that is any indicator the Metro is probably quite the beast...and with the Power Scaling---perfect for home use and should be a strong consideration for me.

Actually, since I posted this I have a new front-runner for an amp: the Reeves Custom 50 PS (power scaling). It's like a classic Hiwatt (DR504 w/ 4 inputs). Other than that my short list for amps is: Swart AST (combo or MKII head/cab), the Reeves Custom 30 MKII, Carr and Tone King. Making this decision is driving me nuts.

Have you heard or plugged into a Metro, Nash? What do you play through?


Scooter it sounds like you have a full blown case of Amp Acquisition Syndrome, or AAS.

I feel a bout of it on the way also, so I'm closely watching this thread.
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#10 Scooter

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:45 PM

Scooter it sounds like you have a full blown case of Amp Acquisition Syndrome, or AAS.

I feel a bout of it on the way also, so I'm closely watching this thread.

Oh, yeah, Southpaw. You've been lookin' for an amp, too---non L84/L34, right? How's that search coming? If I remember right you have a nice amp collection. I'm very curious to see what you end up going with. Anything on the mind yet?
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#11 SouthpawGuy

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:57 PM

Oh, yeah, Southpaw. You've been lookin' for an amp, too---non L84/L34, right? How's that search coming? If I remember right you have a nice amp collection. I'm very curious to see what you end up going with. Anything on the mind yet?


Not really anything on my mind yet, like I mentioned elsewhere I might be able to get a listen to a Blackstar HT-5. A big plus with that one is it has a head phone socket, very useful for late night practising.

I tried one of those Fender VM Deluxes a few days ago. It's a 40 watt ( I think) vintage modified Deluxe with digital effects. The clean sound is good but it seems to suffer from the Fender hair trigger volume control problem. Great for gigging but not for my needs.

Thing is every time I try something else it's "bigger", "better" or what ever and I end up losing interest for a while, so it might be some time before I actually make my mind up and get one.
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#12 Scooter

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 10:18 PM

Not really anything on my mind yet, like I mentioned elsewhere I might be able to get a listen to a Blackstar HT-5. A big plus with that one is it has a head phone socket, very useful for late night practising.

I tried one of those Fender VM Deluxes a few days ago. It's a 40 watt ( I think) vintage modified Deluxe with digital effects. The clean sound is good but it seems to suffer from the Fender hair trigger volume control problem. Great for gigging but not for my needs.

Thing is every time I try something else it's "bigger", "better" or what ever and I end up losing interest for a while, so it might be some time before I actually make my mind up and get one.


The headphone jack thing is nice. I have one on my little Gallien Krueger ml250 and it really comes in handy. I've looked into a lot of amps these last six months, but Blackstar is one I haven't checked out yet. Guess I'll have to do that :P . Keep us posted on the quest.
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#13 SouthpawGuy

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:26 AM

The headphone jack thing is nice. I have one on my little Gallien Krueger ml250 and it really comes in handy. I've looked into a lot of amps these last six months, but Blackstar is one I haven't checked out yet. Guess I'll have to do that :P . Keep us posted on the quest.


Will do for sure.
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#14 pegleg32

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:53 PM

Hey Scooter, I was just wondering if you made a choice yet, or maybe you have expanded your search. Would love to hear where you are at on the amp quest.
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Guitars:    Heritage 150/535 Matched Set #16 of 25 - - Heritage 150 Gold Top w/P90's - - PRS "408 MT" - - Fender "Eric Johnson" Strat - - Fender Custom Shop "Closet Classic" Telecaster - - Gibson 355 "Lucille" - - G&L "Invader XL"

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#15 slider313

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:56 PM

I have played through both. The Tone King was nice but didn't have the "feel" of the Rambler. The Carr has more of an organic sound. It's smoother on both the top and the bottom end, yet it still cuts through the mix. The Tone King has more snap and overall clarity. I needed to adjust the tone controls to dial out what I felt was a little too much "sizzle" on the top end. It also had a blackface and tweed channel where you can switch from one to the other. For me, less is more. Both are great amps that are extremely well built.
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#16 golferwave

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:42 PM

Has anyone else tried the Budda Superdrive 20? It has 6V6 tubes and realy sounded sweet to me over at the dealers place. I have a Carr Hammerhead but still haven't been able to play through a Rambler. I'll have to hunt up a dealer close by or hope to run into somebody that has one.
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#17 212Mavguy

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 07:17 PM

IMHO you are talking about uber-quality boutique amps here, you could just flip a coin and be VERY happy with either.

Now for the semi-obligatory alternate suggestion in the name of enablement... :wacko:






If I were in your shoes I'd get a "Fenmarsh" amp made up just for you from Ed Smith at toadsucktones.com, I have two one of a kind custom amp heads from him. They are both literally built cold war military quality and type of build, for instance the turret board chassis fasteners use stainless steel/nylon lock nuts, mil spec sealed pots with nice tapers, monster ultra stable power supplies, both are incredibly quiet in background noise for a given amount of gain and master volume. The sound is world class.

The Fenmarsh thang is a two channel preamp with one channel a classic Fender type of circuit, and the other is set up Marshall, so you can cover a great amount of tonal ground with one of those. Don't waste his time, he's a one man show building amps one at a time on the side as a labor of love but you and others would be pleasantly surprised should you do business with him, he's first class.
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#18 RJLII

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 03:41 PM

The blonde ones sound the best............

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#19 Scooter

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 03:27 AM

Hey Scooter, I was just wondering if you made a choice yet, or maybe you have expanded your search. Would love to hear where you are at on the amp quest.

Hey, pegleg! Man, I haven't been around the HOC in a while. Thought I'd check in tonight to see what I've been missing, besides all the GAS and AAS around here. Saw you'd asked about how my amp search has gone. Thanks for asking.

Over the last eight months I've sold off most of my music gear. I'm down to my Airline Resonator and a cheap parts tele I put together back in the '90s. Both my amps are gone. I picked up a couple $275 Art & Lutherie parlor-style acoustic guitars (one steel string, one classical); I dig 'em. I was poised to make a guitar and amp purchase with the money I had from selling off my gear but it turned out we needed the $ during a tough stretch we happened to be going through at the time. It's all good. So I'm just waiting for a piece of property we have on the market to sell (still) and then I'll dig in, God willing.

Right now I'm considering: Red Iron Amps Mil Spec, Goodsell Super 17, and Swart Atomic Space Tone MKII head and cab.

BUT...

I discovered something a few weeks ago that has my attention: The Fractal Audio Axe FX and the Fractal Audio Atomic Amp. I have to confess that this setup is leading the pack right now in my decision of what amp to go with. I still need to spend time learning a bit more about it but I'm blown away so far. It may be the antidote for AAS (at least for me).

-Scott
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#20 pegleg32

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 09:01 AM

Hey, pegleg! Man, I haven't been around the HOC in a while. Thought I'd check in tonight to see what I've been missing, besides all the GAS and AAS around here. Saw you'd asked about how my amp search has gone. Thanks for asking.

Over the last eight months I've sold off most of my music gear. I'm down to my Airline Resonator and a cheap parts tele I put together back in the '90s. Both my amps are gone. I picked up a couple $275 Art & Lutherie parlor-style acoustic guitars (one steel string, one classical); I dig 'em. I was poised to make a guitar and amp purchase with the money I had from selling off my gear but it turned out we needed the $ during a tough stretch we happened to be going through at the time. It's all good. So I'm just waiting for a piece of property we have on the market to sell (still) and then I'll dig in, God willing.

Right now I'm considering: Red Iron Amps Mil Spec, Goodsell Super 17, and Swart Atomic Space Tone MKII head and cab.

BUT...

I discovered something a few weeks ago that has my attention: The Fractal Audio Axe FX and the Fractal Audio Atomic Amp. I have to confess that this setup is leading the pack right now in my decision of what amp to go with. I still need to spend time learning a bit more about it but I'm blown away so far. It may be the antidote for AAS (at least for me).

-Scott


Wow!! Sounds like lots of changes have been made Scott. Maybe a chance to add a uber new Heritage to the collection?? I'm not familiar with Fractal Audio, but I'm going to go look them up right now. Good luck with the land sale!!!
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SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSCIANS!!

Don

Guitars:    Heritage 150/535 Matched Set #16 of 25 - - Heritage 150 Gold Top w/P90's - - PRS "408 MT" - - Fender "Eric Johnson" Strat - - Fender Custom Shop "Closet Classic" Telecaster - - Gibson 355 "Lucille" - - G&L "Invader XL"

Amps:    Two Rock "Studio Pro 35" - - Carr "Rambler" - - Fender "Princeton Reverb II" - - Heritage "Lobo" - - Red Plate "Blues Machine" - - Throbak "18W Classic" - - Bogner "Shiva 20th Anniversary" - - Line 6 "Jam"





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