Magazine article Guitar Player

Carr Sportsman

Magazine article Guitar Player

Carr Sportsman

Article excerpt

STEVE CARR CLEARLY DRAWS INSPIRATION from different eras of classic amp design, and his product line always seems to reflect a desire to keep one foot in the past while simultaneously offering players a thoroughly modern amplifier that excels in tone, build quality, and style. All of these aspects are realized in the new Sportsman, which in Carr's words, "fuses the instant purity of '60s American 1x10 combo amps with the more aggressive dual-6V6 section of the late '50s." The Sportsman goes further toward celebrating the spirit of vintage Fender faves like the Princeton and Deluxe by being offered with either a 10" or 12" speaker bolted to a mid-'60s-style floating baffle in an open-back cabinet made from solid pine. A very classy looking amp with its cream covering and brown woven grill (other color combinations are available), the Sportsman continues the act within its aluminum chassis, where we find tidy point-to-point circuitry (more Valeo than Fender in that regard) that's populated with high-grade components and beefed up in the ruggedness department via chassis-mounted pots, switches, and tube sockets. Along with a Standby switch there's a three-way Power switch that toggles between two polarity settings to eliminate hum and/or reverse a potentially dangerous grounding condition.

The standard control set of Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, and Reverb is augmented by a knob labeled "Headroom," which I take to mean "master volume" even though it might not be wired in classic MV fashion. At any rate, depending on where Headroom and Volume are set, the Sportsman can sound beautifully Fender-like (its spacious reverb is delicious in this mode), or twangy and grinding for gnarly rhythm/lead work, or more British-y and sustaining with the Volume and Headroom cranked up to take advantage of overdrive in both the preamp and power stages. …

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