Rambler FAQs

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.

Yes, but it is not an ideal situation. The KT-66 requires about twice the juice to light the filaments as does a 6L6, so the transformer has to work very hard to supply the extra current. It will work, but the transformer will be running much hotter than normal. We haven't had any issues with this, but you never know. If something did happen to your transformer as a result then it would not be covered by warranty. A 5881 tube would be a safer and more equivalent match for a 6L6.

We refer to the tubes and their positions in the amp as V1, V2, etc. for preamp tubes and P1, P2, etc. for power tubes. The number indicates the position of the tube as counted from right to left when looking at the back of the amplifier. The right to left progression follows the circuit from input to output.

Rambler Tubes
  P2 P1 V4 V3 V2 V1
Type TAD 6L6
TAD 6L6 12AX7EH 5751 - (12ax7 ok) 12AT7EH 12AX7EH
Manufacturer TAD TAD Electro-Harmonix TAD Electro-Harmonix Electro-Harmonix
Function 1/2 Push-pull power stage 1/2 Push-pull power stage Phase inverter and tremolo oscillator Reverb return and mix Reverb send Initial gain stage, post tone-stack recovery

The Rambler is a cathode bias (self bias) amp and as such does not require a bias adjustment when changing power tubes. Please use well-matched pairs of power tubes for maximum performance and minimum hum in triode mode. The Rambler can only use matched pairs of 6L6, 5881, or 7581A power tubes.

Carr Amplifiers selects and tests the finest current production tubes specifically for each amplifier model. Caution should be used when buying replacement tubes from any dealer who does not have a return policy as all tubes can have problems (NOS tubes are susceptible to microphonics and failure too).

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It depends on several factors - What kind of music do you play? Do you play out in live situations or do you only play at home? Both amps are similar in some respects, but differ widely, too.
The Viceroy is small and loud at 7 or 33 watts. It's got loads of clean headroom and breaks up beautifully at higher volumes (think Mick Taylor, Billy Gibbons, Yardbirds-era Beck or Bluesbreakers-era Clapton). It also has a foot-switchable Mid-Boost for higher volume leads, a very nice reverb, and a Drive pot that subtly adds a little edge or grit to your primary tone. An inch and a half shorter than both the Rambler and the Mercury, it is our smallest amp in the 1x12 configuration. The Viceroy excels in all genres of music and is intended as a live amp; it might more amp than you need for strumming at home, especially with the Mid-Boost feature.
The Rambler is primarily a clean amp, but it has a great tone and handles pedals extremely well. It favors, in my opinion, Fender-type guitars, bringing out previously unheard depth and richness in single-coil pick-ups. The Rambler has limits to its headroom and the class A Cathode feel is a little more diffuse and yielding. It has a great reverb and tremolo built in. People that have never cared for tremolo find themselves seduced by it in the Rambler. The Rambler has a slightly warmer, softer clean tone that shimmers in crystalline fashion. It can be a great live amp or at home and is a favorite of blues players, jazzers, rockabillies, and country twangers.