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Fractal Audio AMP models: Car Roamer (Carr Rambler)

yek

Moderator
Moderator
* EDIT: Up-to-date information is available in Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amplifier Models *


Car Roamer: based on Carr Rambler

The Rambler is a boutique high-end amp which is often compared to the Fender Deluxe (which we haven’t discussed yet). The original Deluxe has limited headroom, the Rambler has ample. As such it is primarily a clean amp. And a great platform for drive pedals.

On TGP and on similar boards the Rambler gets a lot of praise for its pristine clean tones. And it does sound great, as demonstrated in the clips below.

The Roamer model indeed sounds close to the Tweed Deluxe amp model, when the Tweed's Drive is set really low and its Treble really high. The Roamer model has more chime and presence, and sounds more "modern".

Carr:

“The Rambler employs a pure and simple classic 60s American style preamp circuit combined with an output section owing more to the early 50s. This unique blending yields very open and rich clean tones with mild overdrive.”​

“The Rambler was one of my earliest signature designs, and today it is still one of our most popular models. Why? It's no accident that the Rambler succeeds in delivering classic American 'deluxe' tone with dramatically expanded clean headroom, solid bass response and the option of 28 watt pentode or 14 watt triode operation. The Rambler simply reflects my desire to improve and refine the original concept of an appropriately powered 1x12 club amp with reverb and tremolo. Rambler owners describe their amps as being warm, full and round, with a surprisingly high threshold of clean tone, (which also makes the Rambler uniquely suited to virtually any overdrive pedal ever built). The Rambler is considered by many to be the quintessential club amp, voiced to meet the needs of virtually any player, and all types of music.”​

(about comparing the Rambler to the Fender Deluxe) “Both amps more or less occupy the same place in the general range of amps out there, so it's easy to see why people compare them, but the Rambler and the Deluxe behave very differently in practical use. At 28 watts it makes more power and is cleaner than a Deluxe, and their pre-amp sections are similar. Having said that, the Rambler's power section is much more like a Tweed Pro and its phase inverter is based on a Princeton. So, the Rambler shares heritage with a few Fender classics."​

Cliff:

"It's basically a Deluxe Reverb preamp with a cathode bias 6L6 power amp and no negative feedback. Sort of a Fender-meets-Vox thing."​

The Rambler is a 28 watts / single channel / cathode bias combo with 6L6 power tubes. It's switchable between Pentode (28 watts) and half-power Triode (14 watts) mode.

It has these controls: Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, plus Reverb and Tremolo controls. No Master Volume. And a Pentode/Triode switch. According to the manual the Pentode setting yields a punchy, full sound, while Triode is mellow and thick.

Description of the Middle control in the manual:

“Varies the mid frequencies and is very influential in taking the tone from a 60’s blackface sound (minimum to 11 o’clock) to a pushed tweed mid sound (11 o’clock to full).”​

Beware of the bass: the Roamer model has a lot of it.

Regarding Volume (Drive): you can get the Roamer model to distort. But overdrive isn’t the selling point of this amp / model: its clean tone is.

If you need recommended settings, check out the manual.

The Rambler is a combo amp in various configurations: 1x12, 2x12, 2x10 or 1x15 with Eminence speakers. We’ve got two UltraRes “Roamer” stock cabs: #120 and #136. Alternatively select a Fender stock cab.

Cab Pack 4 offers more choice in “Roamer” IRs.​

Check out sound clips on this page (tab Sound Clips).

P.S. Pay special attention to the secret "teddy bear" recording trick in the 3rd video below.





 
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Smittefar

Fractal Fanatic
Nice, I always loved tweeds a lot, but I never really found them versatile enough for my live needs, so I never owned one.

The demos sound great, and this model just made my to-do list :)

Thanks for these threads, they have realm helped my introduction to the Ax world
 

atquinn

Power User
"It's basically a Deluxe Reverb preamp with a cathode bias 6L6 power amp and no negative feedback. Sort of a Fender-meets-Vox thing."​
I'm currently using dual amps to get this. Guess I should check the Roamer out :D
-
Austin
 

Rocket Brother

Power User
Thanks for the great write up Yek

.......Enter one of my absolute favorite real amps ever.

I've used a real Carr Rambler as my one of my main amps for > 10 years and continue to absolutely love it !!

It has all the qualities that makes a vintage Deluxe Reverb great (current RI Deluxe Reverbs sound nothing like a real vintage one IMO), with a bit more punch, warmth and oomph provided by the 6L6 based power amp section, plus it'll get close to a tweed sound when dialed in that way - push the mids and experiment with pentode vs triode mode.
The tube based tremolo and reverb are both really wonderful.
Also the Rambler takes pedals like no other amp that I've tried, and as such it could easily be my only amp - just don't tell my significant other that !

The Rambler ties with a Reinau Modern Tweed Deluxe and a Tweed Twin as my favorite clean real amps of all time, and the Axe version of the Rambler is really really great and sound just as good as the real thing when matched with a great IR.

I remember the quote from Cliff about the "Sort of a Fender-meets-Vox thing", but sonically at least I've never heard any Vox in the Rambler, I hear a "better" Fender blackface-meets-tweed thing.

Below is a youtube video with Steve Carr (the founder and owner of Carr Amps) where he talks about building a Rambler.
Check around the 3:45 mark, where he says "it's a little bit a merger of a Princeton Reverb style circuit with a Tweed Pro, you know with some tweaks and some different things"

 

slinky005

Power User
Model #69: the pristine clean Fender-ish amp, not by Fender.

The information in this post is derived mostly from this wiki page. If the information is not correct, just reply and I'll use it to update the wiki, so it works both ways.

Click to see all published editions so far.



Car Roamer: based on Carr Rambler

The Rambler is a boutique high-end amp which is often compared to the Fender Deluxe (which we haven’t discussed yet). The original Deluxe has limited headroom, the Rambler has ample. As such it is primarily a clean amp. And a great platform for drive pedals.

On TGP and on similar boards the Rambler gets a lot of praise for its pristine clean tones. And it does sound great, as demonstrated in the clips below.

The Roamer model indeed sounds close to the Tweed Deluxe amp model, when the Tweed's Drive is set really low and its Treble really high. The Roamer model has more chime and presence, and sounds more "modern".

Carr:

“The Rambler employs a pure and simple classic 60s American style preamp circuit combined with an output section owing more to the early 50s. This unique blending yields very open and rich clean tones with mild overdrive.”​

“The Rambler was one of my earliest signature designs, and today it is still one of our most popular models. Why? It's no accident that the Rambler succeeds in delivering classic American 'deluxe' tone with dramatically expanded clean headroom, solid bass response and the option of 28 watt pentode or 14 watt triode operation. The Rambler simply reflects my desire to improve and refine the original concept of an appropriately powered 1x12 club amp with reverb and tremolo. Rambler owners describe their amps as being warm, full and round, with a surprisingly high threshold of clean tone, (which also makes the Rambler uniquely suited to virtually any overdrive pedal ever built). The Rambler is considered by many to be the quintessential club amp, voiced to meet the needs of virtually any player, and all types of music.”​

(about comparing the Rambler to the Fender Deluxe) “Both amps more or less occupy the same place in the general range of amps out there, so it's easy to see why people compare them, but the Rambler and the Deluxe behave very differently in practical use. At 28 watts it makes more power and is cleaner than a Deluxe, and their pre-amp sections are similar. Having said that, the Rambler's power section is much more like a Tweed Pro and its phase inverter is based on a Princeton. So, the Rambler shares heritage with a few Fender classics."​

Cliff:

"It's basically a Deluxe Reverb preamp with a cathode bias 6L6 power amp and no negative feedback. Sort of a Fender-meets-Vox thing."​

The Rambler is a 28 watts / single channel / cathode bias combo with 6L6 power tubes. It's switchable between Pentode (28 watts) and half-power Triode (14 watts) mode.

It has these controls: Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, plus Reverb and Tremolo controls. No Master Volume. And a Pentode/Triode switch. According to the manual the Pentode setting yields a punchy, full sound, while Triode is mellow and thick.

Description of the Middle control in the manual:

“Varies the mid frequencies and is very influential in taking the tone from a 60’s blackface sound (minimum to 11 o’clock) to a pushed tweed mid sound (11 o’clock to full).”​

Beware of the bass: the Roamer model has a lot of it.

Regarding Volume (Drive): you can get the Roamer model to distort. But overdrive isn’t the selling point of this amp / model: its clean tone is.

If you need recommended settings, check out the manual.

The Rambler is a combo amp in various configurations: 1x12, 2x12, 2x10 or 1x15 with Eminence speakers. We’ve got two UltraRes “Roamer” stock cabs: #120 and #136. Alternatively select a Fender stock cab.

Cab Pack 4 offers more choice in “Roamer” IRs.​

Check out sound clips on this page (tab Sound Clips).

P.S. Pay special attention to the secret "teddy bear" recording trick in the 3rd video below.





 

slinky005

Power User
Went to check our cab #136 with the Carr and whoops! I'm on a Mk II so I'm out of luck.
Are the cabs that are not included in the Mk II versions available somewhere?
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Went to check our cab #136 with the Carr and whoops! I'm on a Mk II so I'm out of luck.
Are the cabs that are not included in the Mk II versions available somewhere?
Yes, they are included with the firmware.
 

Hubertus

Power User
Went to check our cab #136 with the Carr and whoops! I'm on a Mk II so I'm out of luck.
Are the cabs that are not included in the Mk II versions available somewhere?
You'll find #136 — 1x12 ROAMER R121 REVERSE (as well as the other ones which are not included in the firmware of the II) in the UltraRes Samples file which is contained in the firmware download .zip file for the II.
 
L

Lionheart

Guest
I used to own a Carr Rambler 2x10 combo with Kingpin speakers. I wish that I never would have sold it. I will say that I do (somewhat) like the Axe-Fx model, but it does not remind me of the real amp. Just my experience and opinion, YMMV.
 

Mike Snider

Experienced
I had a Rambler 1x12, best amp I've ever owned. It has a certain 3dimensional quality I can't dial in on the axefx, maybe I need to check out cab pack 4. I probably should revisit it, I haven't really played with it since quantum 1.
The tube tremolo is just outstanding to me.
I do actually miss that old rig
clean boost>Ibanez AD9> red witch moon phaser> Rambler
 

guitardoc

Experienced
Strange - I built a simple preset, just amp (car roamer) + cab (#120), left everything at default, and even with low output single coils I could push the amp into overdrive easily. Is this normal behaviour?
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Yes, I noticed that too in the model. It seems easier to push the model into overdrive than the real amp (according to reviews of the amp).

Maybe the model represents the Triode mode? (don't think so though.)

Anyway, I just keep Input Drive well below its default value.

I like the model's sound, but not as much as the real one, judging from clips.
 

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Yeah, I set this up last night, and couldn't bond with it. I agree with the assessment that it seems to go into OD quickly (which was kind of a cool sound...) But I did expect more clean headroom there...

Edit: I used my Telecaster...no HB'rs.
 

Rocket Brother

Power User
Yes, I noticed that too in the model. It seems easier to push the model into overdrive than the real amp (according to reviews of the amp).

Maybe the model represents the Triode mode? (don't think so though.)

Anyway, I just keep Input Drive well below its default value.

I like the model's sound, but not as much as the real one, judging from clips.
Now that you mention it - I remember (pre Quantum FW) going back and forth with the model and the real amp, to get the model to sound and behave (dynamically) right, and I remember struggling a bit in the beginning.
I have the original 12" Kingpin speaker in mine, so the Axe Fx Rambler model + the Rambler IR's doesn't sound like my real amp.
I matched the Axe model by ear to my real amp and then tweaked the preset further to get a sound that I actually prefered to the real amp.
Sometimes I ended up overdoing it and strayed to far from the sound of my real amp and had to remake my Rambler preset. So for awhile I went back and forth as to which I preferred, real amp or Axe Rambler preset.

Right now I have a very simple Rambler preset in my XL+ with two different IR's.
IIRC one is one of the Rambler IR's and the other is an EVM 12L IR - perfect match for our current line up and material - and IMO this preset easily sounds as good as the real amp when played through my CLR wedges or through FOH.
In fact I'm contemplating selling the real amp - something I've previously sworn that I'd never ever do.
 
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