The Carr Lincoln all-tube (rectifiers are solid-state) amp merges the chimey sounds of a “AC Top Boost” style amp with the saturated higher gain British preamps. Each channel has lush, ultra controllable reverb, channel switching convenience with overdrive Boost on the footswitch, and an overall power amp attenuator. Steve Carr builds these one-by-one using point-to-point wiring in North Carolina, USA.
From Beatles to Brian May to B.B. King to Peter Green and beyond! All sorts of classic ’50s and ’60s guitar sounds, from British Invasion “AC Top Boost” to Fender twang. Country and jazz clean tones can also be obtained with the superb spring reverb circuit, while blues and rockers will use the overdrive section.
Channel One ranges from “Voxy Top-Boost” type cleans to a slight overdrive while Channel Two delivers heavy, creamy, crunchy overdrive similar to a master volume Marshall. Each channel features a High/Low switch that boosts the gain for that channel. There’s also has a nifty 18/6 switch that takes the 18-watt output and drops it to a nice, manageable 6-watts. Oh, and very cool… The Lincoln has reverb on both channels with INDEPENDENT reverb controls. Nice! The two-button stompbox-sized footswitch selects the channel and the high/low gain for channel 2.
Carr’s Lincoln combo was inspired by a vintage Vox AC10, but does not clone any particular Vox model as it falls between tradition and innovation. The Lincoln employs a pair of EL84 power tubes and a single 12-inch Celestion speaker similar to a Vox AC15 and, yes, the Lincoln can sound like a Vox AC15. But that’s only part of the Lincoln’s character. There’s no turret board—this is mostly point-to-point wiring (though a few subsections are assembled on small circuit boards) with all high-end parts (including Solens capacitors from the aerospace industry and custom-spec TMI transformers) like some high-end HiFi equipment. Hence the higher bouquet amp price.
The spring reverb has a bright, splashy California feel for Channel One. Love that the two channels feature separate reverb controls. Clean tones and maxed-out reverb yield epic surf tones (almost Fender)—something you might not expect from a Vox-inspired amp. Channel Two goes from Voxy tones to early Marshall at 18 watts. Vintage Voxes (or Fenders) don’t, offer the same creamy compression, chime and muscle that the Lincoln can achieve in the same amp!
Humbuckers, P-90s, Lipstick pickups, Filter’Trons, Gold Foil and Fender single-coils all sound great in this amp. The 12″, 65-watt Celestion Creamback sounds a lot like the Celestion Greenbacks that were used in many vintage Voxes. That extra headroom benefits Lincoln’s hotter-than-vintage sounds and plays nice with gain pedals. This amp can cover a lot of ground and is not too big to lug around. At 18-watts can be used in many venues and is at home in the studio or bedroom when dialed down to 6-watts.
Carr amps are renowned for their craftsmanship. The two-tone Tolex finish also has a distinctive speaker grille and a thick leather carrying handle. This type of quality build is very labor-intensive. Carr is one of just a handful of manufacturers building this type of amp today.
The Carr Lincoln amp concept started with a mint 1964 AC10 the folks at Carr Amps purchased from a collector in England. There is a vibe – an attitude – a nagging simplicity to this semi-obscure amp. So the journey began. The Lincoln embraces the simple Lone Wolf vibe yet goes so much further with ultra expanded tonal range and the convenience of channel switching. Sparkling cleans to heavy overdrive all at the tap of a toe. Lush reverb available on both channels and a two position attenuator for the full 18 giggable watts or a house trained 6.
Add Carr’s in-house build of a beautiful dove-tailed cabinet and the Lincoln is at your service!
- Configuration: 18 Watts, Two Channels, 1×12 Combo
- Speakers: Celestion Creamback M-65 12”
- Tubes: (4) 12AX7 plus (2) EL-84
- Controls: Volume, Normal/Bright, Treble, Bass, Reverb – Drive, Hi/Low, Tone, Master, Reverb, 18/6 Watts
- Footswitch: Two-button – channel + OD channel Hi/Low
- Reverb: Both channels have individual knobs
- FX Loop: None
- Dimensions & Weight: 24″ (length) x 9″ (width) x 16″ (height) 40 lbs
- Color: Two Tone Black and Fawn
- OD Channel Low/High Gain switch – 70s Swamp to ultra 80s overdrive – (Glamtastic)
- Clean Channel Normal/Bright switch – Warm AC to Top Boost Jangle – (Timbre)
- Foot switchable channels and OD Hi/Low – (Stage Ready)
- Built-in switchable attenuator 18/6 watts- (Ultra Useful)
- All tube Reverb in each channel – (Aquatic)
- All NC yellow pine cabinet – (Solid Tone)
- Analysis Plus cable – (Super Conductive)
I love the way the amp looks as much as it sounds. This British-voiced 2-channel amp with on-board reverb for each channel, that can go from 6 to 18 watts (plus its size and weight) are the features that attracted me and why I purchased this amp.
Loads of demos:
Steve Carr Talks about Lincoln