Carvin Belair 212
Me and my Carvin Belair 212.

I’m reviewing this amp because I’m moving to the city, and I just plugged it in for an hour with my American Tele before it went into storage. If any of you follow me at all, you know that I’m all about my 20-50W combo amps. For 95% of the shows I play, I really don’t need anything heftier than that. Most bigger venues I’ve played mic up the guitar amps, so in my own experience anything bigger than 50 watts is pretty much deadweight..  Anyway, I’ve been holding on to my Belair for several years now and it has reared its crunchy ass on almost every album I’ve played on in some form, and for one reason – it is the most classic sounding vintage tube amp I’ve ever played. That picture above is a Logan’s Run promo shot, so I probably bought it in 2012. The Belair is basically the same thing is a Nomad but with two speakers instead of one. This guy comes stock with four EL84 tubes a la Vox AC30,. It has 2 channels – clean and soak. The clean channel is super clean… maybe too much so for my taste. I almost always use the soak channel – even when I’m playing clean parts – and I just dial it up to get more crunch. At higher volumes and with the crunch past 5, it gets monster lead breakup. I bought my Belair with a busted reverb, and Carvin outsourced the tank to a Korean company of which I forgot the name (I’ve always used reverb and delay pedals anyway and have been too lazy/broke to have it replaced). Maybe one of these days…

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