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  • Carvin Vintage 16

    is anyone in love with this amp? does anyone hate this amp? i read all the reviews, but i am just wondering if this amp has any issues. you know, certain parts breaking down, or something about it that just isn't right...

    for instance, it comes with a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker. is that too much speaker for 5 watts of amp?(amp is switchable from 5 to 16 watts)

    any info/advice would be appreciated. i've never dealt with Carvin products.
    Gibson Faded SG Special (w/P90's)
    '72 Fender Musicmaster amp
    D*A*M Red Rooster clone
    EQD Disaster Transport Jr delay
    EH Holy Grail reverb

  • #2
    I own a Vintage 16. I think it's great and prefer it to the Fender Blues Junior which is similar some ways. I have a slightly older model with the Carvin branded speakers. Anyhow, it's a solid little tube amp. I don't have any complaints really...though it is only 1 single channel. But between the gain (soak) and volume knobs you can dial in a good clean or some good dirt. And the spring reverb sounds good too. I also have it's older brother, the Nomad combo and have used that for years and love it. I use the Vintage 16 for small jams and home use since it's more portable. The switchable 16/5 watts option is cool especially if you're going to use it for recording and such.

    You can get more info from the Carvin.com forums. In general, I really like their stuff and since you can only order new from them directly, you get good bang for the buck.
    Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Studio (rock), Ibanez AM93 (rock/jazz), Ibanez AK105 (jazz) | Amps: Fender PRRI, '71 Bandmaster 2x10 Combo, '79 Champ | Effects: Wilson wah, Wilson Haze vibe, Octron, Q-Tron, Screwdriver, Box of Rock, Carbon Copy.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jazzgeetar
      I own a Vintage 16. I think it's great and prefer it to the Fender Blues Junior which is similar some ways. I have a slightly older model with the Carvin branded speakers. Anyhow, it's a solid little tube amp. I don't have any complaints really...though it is only 1 single channel. But between the gain (soak) and volume knobs you can dial in a good clean or some good dirt. And the spring reverb sounds good too. I also have it's older brother, the Nomad combo and have used that for years and love it. I use the Vintage 16 for small jams and home use since it's more portable. The switchable 16/5 watts option is cool especially if you're going to use it for recording and such.

      You can get more info from the Carvin.com forums. In general, I really like their stuff and since you can only order new from them directly, you get good bang for the buck.


      ahh, do you play JAZZ with it? Please elaberate if so. I'm for some reason since getting a HollowBody am really getting into Jazz & Swing.
      #173 MBM

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      • #4
        I have the big brother in head form... the Vintage Tube 50.

        I really love the sounds, very "vintage" for sure. Unsure about the combo, but be wary of turning Soak past 5 or 6... it fuzzes out and gets muddy very quickly, losing lows and highs and boosting mids uncontrollably.

        But with Soak on 5 and the amp turned up, you can NAIL 60s solo tones of, say, Hendrix and Clapton, etc.

        The clean channel is actually why I bought it - pristine cleans with that wonderful EL84 chime. The cleans are excellent for just about any purpose.

        Plus, great reverb.

        As for maintenance, I've had no problems, but I know tlbonehead has. Just get rid of the stock Sovtek tubes... they were no good for the sound.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BigBone


          ahh, do you play JAZZ with it? Please elaberate if so. I'm for some reason since getting a HollowBody am really getting into Jazz & Swing.


          Yes, alot at home and I've also taken it to small jazz jams a handful of times and been happy with it. Since it's only 16 watts, you're not going to have a lot of clean headroom for jazz if you have to turn up loud. But I found that if I crank up the master volume knob near its max and then turn the soak (gain) knob up as needed, I can get a good clean classic tube based jazz tone with my hollowbody. I played with drums, sax and standup bass and it was fine. Now if you're playing with a loud B3 or a loud band in general, 16 watts might not be enough to stay clean.

          Besides owning the Nomad (50 watt combo version), I used to own the VT50 head like EvanS does. I agree in that the clean channel is awesome. The dirty channel I like as well and can get a Zeppelin-esque drive. Tube swapping can be fun too and helps you nail specific sounds. In fact right now I'm experimenting with a 5751 in the v1 spot for a tad more clean headroom. I'm going to try this in the V16 too actually.
          Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Studio (rock), Ibanez AM93 (rock/jazz), Ibanez AK105 (jazz) | Amps: Fender PRRI, '71 Bandmaster 2x10 Combo, '79 Champ | Effects: Wilson wah, Wilson Haze vibe, Octron, Q-Tron, Screwdriver, Box of Rock, Carbon Copy.

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