Carlton amps, UK made

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xmrchixmrchi Frets: 2805
edited May 2015 in Amps
Hi all, I bought this today to replace my small living room 15 watt cheapo hiwatt,

It's a carlton combo 65, hand made in Scotland.
It looks really unassuming but its a true power house,
Seperate reverbs for clean and od channel,
3 seperate gains you can combine
Celestion speaker
All the usual stuff like effects loops, footswitch etc..
I am totally blown away by it the sound is totally brilliant, it knocked the socks off the other Amps I tested n all, they were made in the early 90s but didn't last for long and from what I can find this one retained for about £500.
The best part is I got it for £140. Total bargain.

Has anyone else heard of them of have any additional info? It would be much appreciated.
http://i1370.photobucket.com/albums/ag268/mrmatthewharper/IMG_20150501_175803_zpslpjlgkyl.jpg

http://i1370.photobucket.com/albums/ag268/mrmatthewharper/IMG_20150501_175833_zpszhyy4vil.jpg
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    These are amazing amps, some of the best solid-state amps I've ever heard. They did a 100W model well, in a couple of different versions - the first with controls similar to these, the second with push-button selectors and a slightly different arrangement of the two channels. They came in both this black colour scheme and a hardwood cabinet/wicker grille option just like the Boogie combos of the period which they must have been inspired by. Speakers are Celestions, I can't remember for sure which models but possibly G12H-100s in the 100W and G12M-70s in the 65-watter.

    Sadly after this they got into an early form of "solid state valve" replacements, which may have incurred a lot of development cost, and then finally went for a full valve amp - the 'Camel' - which to my complete astonishment given how good the solid-state amps sounded, was one of the *worst* valve amps I've ever heard! The shop I worked for at the time took one, it was still there years after all the solid-state ones had gone and was eventually discounted to about half its original trade price just to get rid… the company having gone bust by then.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5499
    Never heard of them before but looks like a nice amp.  What way is it voiced?
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  • dindudedindude Frets: 5688
    I remember the adds for them in Guitarist back in the day and was always curious. As ICBM said, always saw them as a solid state Boogie type thing.
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  • xmrchixmrchi Frets: 2805
    @ICBM Thank you for that, some stellar information there, I have not heard a transistor amp like it, it's really does put some of my old valve Amps to Shame, I never get excited about amps but this has shown me just how much fun they can be, the tones just bellow out if this thing! Best £140 I have spent in a long time:-)

    @bingefella how do you mean voices bud? I'm rubbish when it comes to amps, :-D
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    Yes, it's voiced like a Boogie (ie Mesa/Boogie Mark series, not a Rectifier) - bold cleans, strong midrange, cascaded gain and quite compressed overdrive. The three gains might have been inspired by the Burman amps as well, which were another British (valve, this time) take on the Boogie-type sound.

    When they were designed, Boogies were the top amp - this was well before the resurgence of more vintage-style amps or even the scooped Rectifier-type sound.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5499
    ICBM;617771" said:
    Yes, it's voiced like a Boogie (ie Mesa/Boogie Mark series, not a Rectifier) - bold cleans, strong midrange, cascaded gain and quite compressed overdrive. The three gains might have been inspired by the Burman amps as well, which were another British (valve, this time) take on the Boogie-type sound.

    When they were designed, Boogies were the top amp - this was well before the resurgence of more vintage-style amps or even the scooped Rectifier-type sound.
    That sounds cool.
    Any clips @mrchi? I can't think of any other analog SS amps voiced like a Boogie....

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  • xmrchixmrchi Frets: 2805
    @bingefeller I shall done some on sunday :)
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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1056
    Nice score :D
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  • dilbertdilbert Frets: 110
    I tried the camel out many years ago and can confirm @ICBM's opinion. Not a decent tone to my ears to my ears either but dear Lord, was it loud \m/
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  • xmrchixmrchi Frets: 2805
    What a silly name for an amp n all.... Camel, doesn't exactly give an opinion of quality and elegance! Very glad I got an early combo, before they went down that direction, if they had stuck to making these things, I have a feeling they would still ll be around, and highly revered. It may sea shame, ..... But great for me, I got early boogie tone for the price of boss pedal!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    mrchi said:
    What a silly name for an amp n all.... Camel, doesn't exactly give an opinion of quality and elegance! Very glad I got an early combo, before they went down that direction, if they had stuck to making these things, I have a feeling they would still ll be around, and highly revered. It may sea shame, ..... But great for me, I got early boogie tone for the price of boss pedal!
    It was apparently called the Camel because it had two preset "mid humps" for boost. And no, it was not an elegant amp. Ugly would be closer… and it did have a daft Camel graphic on it too!

    Oddly its possible to find pics of these online, but none of the far superior solid-state series, that I can find. It must be down to the age of them, since the solid-states were if anything more common.

    I'm still kicking myself for turning down a High-Gain Series 3 with an elm wood cabinet and wicker grille a few years back. It was missing its back panels and the guy wanted too much for it, at the time.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • xmrchixmrchi Frets: 2805
    @ICBM it's good to see you can still get bargains now and again, especially as eBay as decimated pretty much the entire off line guitar market,
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 6003
    ...I thought he played for Sheffield Wednesday...or am I mixing my metaphors..?
    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 599
    Resurrecting an old thread but I saw a very good band last night in South Wales called the Albino Frogs. They play original stuff that is very Influenced by Steely Dan / Tower of Power. The guitarist was using the 100 watt Solid State  version of the Carlton (Had the Boogie MK style control knows, closed back with single 12 Celestion. What a sound....it filled the pub, thought he was going through the PA with the sound stage being created.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    I'm still looking for one… I'd really like to find out why they're so good.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • GurbZGurbZ Frets: 0
    I own a Carlton High Gain series II (tube power amp) combo and a High Gain series 120 Head (solid state). I love the amps since the 90's. I need a repair guy tot fix the solid state head. 

    Does anyone have the schematics of the high gain series???!!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    It's going to very hard to find a schematic I think - the company is long since gone, and there's nothing online.

    It shouldn't be too much of an issue for a good tech with standard solid-state analogue amp experience - I don't think there was anything very unusual about them in terms of technology or components. From memory it's possible some of them could have used an ILP integrated power module, which will be a problem if the fault is there, but even if so it could be replaced by another standard power amp.

    If I was closer to you I'd be happy to have a look at it...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • DJH83004DJH83004 Frets: 176
    As per IC and testing the old memory banks, but I do seem to remember some of the models were powered by the ILP modules. which were very popular in the day, but fully encapsulated so irreparable. All that said, there are many good power MOSFET modules on the market, which would make ideal replacements - happy to give you contact details of a UK company who build them too a very high standard.
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  • GurbZGurbZ Frets: 0
    Thanks for the input! I mailed 5 repair centers in Glasgow but schematics are not available. I have the Camel schematics however, maybe that's a bit of help for my repair guy.

    The trouble with the amp: it seems stuck in USA crunch mode (gain stage red light in button stays red after pressing it) when switching tot clean channel. After some time being powered on, the USA crunch button seems working after pressing it (red light dims) but the sound stays distorted when switching too clean channel (green light). Other smaller trouble: reverb does not work and when activating reverb the amp becomes noisy, same deal when activating send/return effect loops, a lot of high noise. The sound is a bit weird at low volumes. The amp is DAMN loud when testing it on a Marshall 1960 cab.

    So: I haven't heard clean tones yet from this amp only distorted tones and a bit freaky tones at low volumes. My repair guy agrees to take a look at it but he becomes expensive if he can't find the culprit without schematics.
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  • GurbZGurbZ Frets: 0
    Oh yeah, and a few Carlton Amps are for sale here in the Netherlands.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    GurbZ said:
    Thanks for the input! I mailed 5 repair centers in Glasgow but schematics are not available. I have the Camel schematics however, maybe that's a bit of help for my repair guy.

    The trouble with the amp: it seems stuck in USA crunch mode (gain stage red light in button stays red after pressing it) when switching tot clean channel. After some time being powered on, the USA crunch button seems working after pressing it (red light dims) but the sound stays distorted when switching too clean channel (green light). Other smaller trouble: reverb does not work and when activating reverb the amp becomes noisy, same deal when activating send/return effect loops, a lot of high noise. The sound is a bit weird at low volumes. The amp is DAMN loud when testing it on a Marshall 1960 cab.

    So: I haven't heard clean tones yet from this amp only distorted tones and a bit freaky tones at low volumes. My repair guy agrees to take a look at it but he becomes expensive if he can't find the culprit without schematics.
    That's partly good, at least - the problem is not in the power amp.

    My guess if there is a lot of different stuff wrong involving the switching, loop and reverb, that it could be something to do with the low-voltage (probably +/- 15V) power supply circuit… although a non-working and noisy reverb can also often simply be a broken return transducer connection in the tank.

    The Camel schematics are almost certain to be completely different, it's a valve amp.

    If you really can't find anyone who will take a look at it where you are without costing you a fortune (if it's not something simple), PM me - I would be willing to look at it and there may be a possible way of getting it to Scotland as long as you're not in a hurry!
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 6003
    They should join up with Palmer and then be 'Carlton Palmer'...

    http://www.sporting-heroes.net/content/thumbnails/00173/17216-zoom.jpg



    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
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  • rf065rf065 Frets: 0
    xmrchi said:


    Has anyone else heard of them of have any additional info? It would be much appreciated.

    I've found this on the 'net,  http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12641715.Carlton_funding_leads_to_a_bigger_noise/

    Also, the article mentions the designer as using his CAD knowledge to build the amps, there is a guy with the same name now working for Original CAD Solutions in Wales, coincidence?

    Russ


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  • jonnyburgojonnyburgo Frets: 6298
    While we are bumping, one here on ebay BIN £70


    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Carlton-ProSeries-Combo-Amplifier-/302620188939?


    "OUR TOSSPOT"
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    Tempting, but the seller sounds like a bit of a tit. Even though I could probably get them to deliver it to my dad's house since that's on one of the "listed routes"...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    edited October 11
    Tone is possibly in the ear of the beholder, but yes... dreadful in my opinion.

    don't confuse this with Carlton's solid state amplifiers this is a whole different animal.” They certainly are .
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • lovestrat74lovestrat74 Frets: 411
    ICBM said:
    Tone is possibly in the ear of the beholder, but yes... dreadful in my opinion.

    ”don't confuse this with Carlton's solid state amplifiers this is a whole different animal.” They certainly are .
    Okay, thanks!
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  • lovestrat74lovestrat74 Frets: 411
    ICBM said:
    Tone is possibly in the ear of the beholder, but yes... dreadful in my opinion.

    ”don't confuse this with Carlton's solid state amplifiers this is a whole different animal.” They certainly are .
    Okay, thanks!
    So @ICBM this is the "undesired" one right? 



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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33962
    For me, yes. It’s easy to tell because it has valves in :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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