BelAir 212 review by Carvin

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (25 votes)
Carvin: BelAir 212

Purchased from: Music Go Round

Sound — 10
I use an Ibanez RG4EX1(h-s-h). I use a Crbaby 95Q wah, Dunlop Fuzz Face(only sometimes) and a compressor (again only sometimes) with this amp. No matter what it sounds great. I was picking between this and the Fender Ultimate Chorus and there was no competition. Right when I heard the just saturated pure tube overdrive the decision was made. The clean channel has nice punchy mids, smooth lows and defined highs and distorts at high volumes for that classic overdriven tube tone.

Overall Impression — 9
This amp, is a Vintage designed amp so metal and anything distorting your tone beyond something recognizable is not going to work. But as I said a cheap distortion pedal on the clean channel will fix that. Also, if you're wondering if it's loud enough, rest assured. This amp can crank. Perfect for jamming and small gigs. If it was lost I would buy another one and if it was stolen blood would be spilled. I do wish mine had the celestion Vintage 30 as opposed to Carvin's speakers. I love this amp.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I have had this amp for six months, therefore I cannot properly rate it. I haven't mentioned this but the amp has a fake tweed covering, which although not as cool as real tweed is more durable. On that topic, this amp has a nice Vintage look that really catches your eye. A real beauty.

Features — 7
This a 50 watt tube amp with clean and overdrive channels. Mine has two Carvin designed Vintage sound 12 inch speakers but Carvin now ships these with Celestion Vintage 30. It has channel switching and long-tail reverb. The reverb is not very strong but noticable when you turn it off. I believe this amp was made in 1995 or 1996. It's great for what I play: classic rock, blues and heavy rock. The overdrive won't handle heavily distorted sounds, but a cheap pedal can easily fix that.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    not just zapa, check jennifer batten out on youtube, she'll blow ur friggin mind. if its good enough for both of them, well...
    carvin has made some great amps in the past (good enough for zapa). think im gonna buy this amp or the nomad model sometime soon