Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

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Doctor Turn
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Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:08 pm

Figured I'd start a thread on it since I'll have one coming in in just a bit over two weeks...

Just found a nice little vignette with a late 1959 Lester being played through one. Charlie Hargrett, guitarist of Blackfoot

https://youtu.be/pbS24FqguJ0
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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dbone
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby dbone » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:51 pm

Every video I watch of that amp it sounds great. Sounds like a wise investment in long term happiness : )
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Bob77
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Bob77 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:18 pm

Those amps are insane. totally worth every penny.

Though gotta say that in this case (the video above) the guitar is probably making the amp sound better than it normally does :mrgreen:
Carvin guitars: AC375, Cobalt 250, Bolt-T.
Carvin amps: Legacy I w/Mesa 2X12 Rectifier speaker cab, AG100D.

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Doctor Turn
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:15 pm

Yup, they're incredible. Best 1x 12 combo for small club/home/studio use imho.

I'll have to amicably disprove that last statement though. It just brings out The Incredible in any guitar plugged into it. Listen to this broad array run thru it:

https://youtu.be/k-9LZkb1Rms

Suhr Strat copy

https://youtu.be/l1gXV9iQg1E
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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skully13a
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby skully13a » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:37 pm

Methinks t'will be a capable beast. :ninja:
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Bob77 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:49 am

Doctor Turn wrote:Yup, they're incredible. Best 1x 12 combo for small club/home/studio use imho.

I'll have to amicably disprove that last statement though. It just brings out The Incredible in any guitar plugged into it. Listen to this broad array run thru it:

https://youtu.be/k-9LZkb1Rms

Suhr Strat copy

https://youtu.be/l1gXV9iQg1E


I made that comment to mess with you :mrgreen:

Really great amps. I need to start saving my $$$ to add one to my gear
Carvin guitars: AC375, Cobalt 250, Bolt-T.
Carvin amps: Legacy I w/Mesa 2X12 Rectifier speaker cab, AG100D.

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Doctor Turn
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:08 am

Lol, my bad then. That clip reminds me of another clip with the dude from the original Strawberry Alarm Clock and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ed King.

Its starts out as an almost strangely, inexplicably uncomfortable video clip, just based on where the camera is, and all the excessively personal noises of bodily movement, hand squinking around the neck, the plink of the strings ringing out acoustically... But then you realize, THAT'S how low the volume is in the room, where every peep is competing with the sound coming out of that 12 inch Celestion Creamback.

That's the beauty of Steve Carr's patented technology building these attenuators into his amps, where you can come down to 1/100th of a watt.

And so you have the famous original "Red Eye" 1959 Ed King LP coming thru at whisper volume still sounding incredible.

https://youtu.be/meRLZafKEm8

The 59 Les Paul he's playing was replicated to be turned into one of those super expensive Collectors Choice custom shop editions. Here's the Gibson page for it.
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: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Naked Ape » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:29 pm

I'm excited for you. Glad you're getting close. SWEEEET AMP!!!!!
What outfit will yours be wearing? (Tolex color/style)

There is one for sale locally in Black Gator and Slub. $2300. Kind of an interesting look.
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Naked Ape » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:39 pm

Posting Reviews by Rodney Gene Junior is cheating. :naughty: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I love his variety of guitars. They ALL sound amazing through the Mercury V. :applause:

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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:47 pm

What's the ESD or ETA?

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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:01 am

Naked Ape:

That black/slub is one of my favorites. There's also a green cream that's nice:

Image

Or cream Coco

Image

There's also a straight brown, and also a straight beige that looks like the old fender Harvard/ Bassman etc, but all of those custom colors are an extra hundred and fifty on top of an already heavy price tag. So I'll be just fine with traditional black with white piping. That's the standard edition like what Rodney Gene is playing:

Image

It looks really snappy with the gold yellow control panel on the top rear, the offset mount for the speaker which is pointing slightly upward into the room rather than down at floor level. Of course it's all dovetail jointed Carolina yellow pine, the hand made enclosure. Even the leather and assembly of the carry handle, they farm that out to a local old school saddle maker down there who stitches them all by hand with insanely sturdy leather.

Spud, the dealer is going to call me when the delivery arrives and they'll hold one for me and give an immediate call. They come out in small batches from Steve's shop, and they ship em when lots are completed.

NApe, I've thought about grabbing a used one and saving a few bucks, but for the small savings, it's really not worth sacrificing the lifetime warranty that the first buyer receives, but naturally evaporates instantly upon transfer to a second buyer.

Since in it's guts and in it's 6L6 DNA, the X100b (at least in this original incarnation) is more Fender than Marshall (though it's easy to pull Marshall growl out of the gain channel), I went with the Mercury V over the Skylark... The latter sort of the ultimate small Fender voiced amp. The Merc is the same amazing package, but voiced with a literal chronological retrospective of Marshall from the Plexi, forward to the 90's via all the different series and parallel settings of the two blended channels.

Here's Steve himself in his North Carolina shop, announcing the concept of the amp, the day before he launched it at namm last year:

https://youtu.be/1eFAE1GBwms
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: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:16 am

Nice run thru of some of the basics of the amps sounds. The authentic Plexi type tones of legit, driven power tubes is literally sublime, immediately reminds you of so many classic albums from that late sixties/seventies era, where a Les Paul style guitar was used. The tones are just amazing for such a tiny box, total"Holy Grail" sound of soaked power tubes that's always been impossible to replicate in a small package.

Incredible that these authentic British tones are pulled not out of one of the big bottles like an EL, or a 6L, but from a head w 2 6V6's. What's also nice about these tubes specifically is there's LOTS of NOS laying around. Just not the same fetishism on these as obviously a 6L6GC or an EL.

Anyhow, a simple demo from just after it's initial release last year:

https://youtu.be/ZmTBO_48LHg
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: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Omsong » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:52 am

Pretty impressive; especially when he dials down the power to practically zero and it still sounds the same!

Odd how I'll consider spending $2K for a guitar but cringe at buying an amp that costs more than $500 when the amp is probably 75% of ones sound. :o
Ichi on Jobutsu (Enlightenment in one tone.)

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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:09 pm

That's the craziest part of any discussion with dudes about this amp.

First of all, in today's pared down musical world, a light, low watt combo of high quality is absolutely essential, in the studio as well as out in the gig world of smaller venues. (One of the most impressive things I think I heard while investigating these Carr amps, specifically the Skylark, was the fact that Steve Cropper used a Fender Esquire and a midget little Fender Harvard amp on all of those classic Stax Records hits that he played on. 2 x 6v6, a 6T6 +12ax7, and ONE TEN INCH speaker!!!)

Secondly, people pop between 2 and 3 grand on guitars all the time. Like ALL. The. Time. I don't care if it's Kiesel, Mayones, Thorn, Gibson CS, etc. The funny thing is on guitars like Kiesel, the elements that push the price up into that territory are going to be almost entirely decorative and result in no sonic or handling improvement... "master grade" tops, color treated boards and the like. The pickups and neck joints will wind up the same as on other models. If you go in that price direction on a Gibson you will get a better sounding guitar--single guitar.

But if you spend 2600 on an amp that will reinvigorate your entire line of instruments with a stunning new beauty previously unavailable on the vast majority of modern amplifiers (you can go Tone King, Matchless, Mesa, Marshall etc., etc, but you'd be hard pressed to get this exemplary array of authentic best-of-British sounds in a 1 x 12 combo), that is suddenly where 2600 bucks suddenly becomes way too expensive? 2600 to make all of your guitars sound incredible, not ok; spending 2600+ to buy one nice guitar, emphatically OK.
Last edited by Doctor Turn on Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Doctor Turn
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:10 pm

dupe
Last edited by Doctor Turn on Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Doctor Turn
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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:10 pm

Dupe SHEESH. You guys really need to reactivate the delete function.
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: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Cynical » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:06 pm

Totally agreed -- guitars may be sexy, but amps and cabs will do so much for you, it's unreal.

The best piece of tone advice I've gotten in recent years is "NEVER skimp on your cab; a great cab with a mediocre guitar and amp will beat a great guitar and amp into a mediocre cab". Of my three recent "big" (over $1k) gear purchases -- my Ultra V, my Bogner TwinJet, and my Bogner UberKab -- upgrading from my Marshall MC412A (loaded with Celestion Rocket 50s) to my UberKab was by far the biggest upgrade, followed by the TwinJet. The Ultra V is nice, but it's a smaller upgrade than either the amp or the cab, and I probably could have gotten a lot of that with just a Tremel-no and a new bridge pickup on my Jackson.

Whether low-watt combos are your thing or not will likely depend on what you're playing, but if you're playing something with a more "classic" vibe, spending ~$2.5-$3k on a "small" amp is a waaaaaaay better buy than just about any gear purchase you could make. Those little amps can provide a lot of volume if needed, anyways; back in the day, Chris Cornell's rig was notoriously loud, and it consisted of 3 15-watt amps.

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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:35 pm

"NEVER skimp on your cab; a great cab with a mediocre guitar and amp will beat a great guitar and amp into a mediocre cab".

Those are incredibly wise words, clearly spoken out of years of experience, and it's one that I truly understand. When you plug your old guitar into an exemplary, top-of-the-line amp with a superbly assembled cabinet, it's like you just seriously upgraded your guitar.

Time and again it's what you hear over and over again from users of the Merc, the Skylark and the like. Or if someone who uses an "average" amp suddenly plugs into a legit (not a reissue but an in-tact real thing with the original speakers and tubes/caps/etc) Plexi or old Fender, etc. It's like they discover what their guitar had been capable of all this time, but it wasn't making it thru the circuit to come out of the cab. Reviews like this guy, a veteran user of Mesa Rec and Marshall TSL who then switched to the Kemper.. then grabbed the Merc V (his narrative isn't much different from most users but his detailed writing is a fantastic expression of his experience):

I really didn’t know that tube amps could produce this range of tones. I couldn’t be happier with the amp. Just striking a simple G chord brings out all of these over tones that I am not used to hearing. It’s like not only did my amp get better, but my guitars did, too, and my guitars are no slouches.

I just need to learn how to take care of this amp, which is going to need more “maintenance” than the computers that I am used to playing through.

It’s weird. I grew up playing modelers. Then I got into a Mesa Dual Rectifier roadster and a Marshall TSL. Then I went back to modelers and didn’t miss them.

This amp makes me wonder why I spent so much time, money, and effort trying to make the digital stuff sound like the analog stuff.

To be fair, I have been screaming for 10 years that tube amps need a line out so that you can run to a PA or recording desk. Mesa did that with the cabclone, but when I played their amps, including the new TC-50 combo, I wasn’t impressed enough to switch. That’s all personal opinion, though. I played a show last night using the line out to the PA and that is what the rest of the band was hearing. They all said it was the best tone that I had brought to a gig in the last year.

The only thing I miss from the Kemper is the tuner. That’s easily fixable. I can now tell the difference between the modeling world and the tube amp world much easier. I was skeptical for a long, long time. I think I just finally found the right tube amp for my playing style.


And yeah, 16 watts can be punishingly loud.. and the Merc V is. Which is why the 65 watt Creamback is in there instead of a Greenback, to increase the headroom to correspond to the amp's volume capabilities. If it wasn't so loud, that expensive attenuator technology built into the head would make no sense. It's deafeningly loud and a cinch for club gigs.

The only thing I could see not wanting to use this amp for, in terms of modern music, would probably be the specific, actual end-of-the-world/hooded, robed millipedes-eating-the-young sound of a fully unloaded Triple Rec. If that sound is your thing, then the soaked triple boost/both channels in series on the Merc V is still not going to get you where you want, since even pedals have a tough time getting that specific Mesa sound.

Any other British Marshall style overdrive from late 60's PLexi power tubes to 90's drive gain, however, it's all there. The range of sounds, Marshall flavored overdrive levels and textures on this thing is infinite.
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: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Cynical » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:56 pm

Woah, it'll do the early '80s JCM800 2203-style distorted pre-amp clean power-amp (the early American export 2203s that the bay area thrash bands were using had 6550 power sections that you wouldn't want to distort) sound? That's really impressive -- usually, I've found that low-watt amps do the more Plexi-ish classic heavy metal sounds beautifully, but can't keep the tight bottom thump of the JCM800-and-newer sounds intact, either having to sacrifice depth on the bottom (like the various low-watt Ironhearts, Engls, and 5150s) or get really mushy (like the smaller Rectos or even the old 2204s). It doesn't surprise me to know the pre-amp gain is there -- 4 12AX7s should be enough to pull that off -- but having the right bottom end on a 16 watt amp is wild (that bottom end is the sole reason people buy the Triple Rectifier; the smaller Rectos just can't match its tightness, even though aside from those two extra 6L6s, the design is the same, and it's also why the TwinJet and Herbert are so ludicrous in power).

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Re: Carr Mercury V 1x12 Combo

Postby Doctor Turn » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:44 pm

RE 80's Marshall: it's specifically voiced in there-- Plexi, 80's JCM, and 90's.

Rather than speak for it myself I'll let another TGP, very experienced player that was an early adopter during the 2nd quarter of last year speak (key for him are 80's Marshall and PLexi's specifically):

I purchased #20 from Sound Pure, and it is my desert island amp. I'm more a Marshall guy than anything, but in a general sense. I like the vintage Plexis as well as the 80s JCMs and such, but am not so specific that it has to be this model or that year etc if that makes any sense. This is without a doubt the most versatile amp I have ever played. Cleans are very good, but headroom can be limited. Overdrives are amazing and there is a ton of gain on tap if you like. Great reverb and the amp loves a good overdrive or boost in front. I use a J.Rockett Archer silver. I play everything from classic rock to Motown to 80s hair, modern pop and contemporary Christian music.

The attenuator is also amazing. The amp roars and sounds huge at full power and retains most of its character when attenuated requiring only minor eq compensation.

I love how active the bass, middle and treble are through the entire range of the control. Sounds amazing with my Tele, PRS and 335. I can even dial in decent tones with my Anderson Crowdster's unique bronze-aware mag humbuckers, which can be very tricky and picky. Great responsiveness to playing nuance and guitar volume. You can even dial in tones that feel squishy and chewy to tighter and more immediate. I can find tones in the neighborhood of fender blackface as well as a little Voxy boxiness if I need it, but the amp is definitely more Marshall at its core with what I would haracterize as a little more modern refinement if that makes any sense. Not sterile, but perhaps smoother.

I had a Bogner Atma for one day and returned it. Received this and that was it. I was hooked in the first 30 seconds. Never owned a Carr, but now I know what all the hype is about. Worth every penny. Nothing I have ever played before even in the boutique realm comes close. It makes me want to play more. I go from guitar to guitar always finding great tones, feeling inspired. There is not a bad tone in this thing.

The really interesting thing is the DI out. At first I hated it, but just a little eq quickly dials in a very authentic and usable direct sound. If you were to use this live and go direct I would put a Boogie Five EQ pedal between the amp and the DI. The bands on this pedal happen to be exactly the ones I needed to tweak to make the direct sound extremely representative of the speaker tone.

If I had one gripe it would be the continued absence of an effects loop on Carr amps. This is perhaps the one thing that prohibits this amp from being perfect For my needs. Forget about any moderate to extreme delay work unless you place it after the DI out and go into a DAW or full range system/PA. The closest I can come is to run the amp cleanish and put the delay into the front end preceded by the archer and get most of my gain from that. I almost did not buy this amp because of the lack of a loop, but I am glad I did. The tone is (or should I say tones are) that good.


(reference: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index ... 446/page-4)
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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