The Mercury V reinvents a long-standing Carr platform to deliver snarling Marshall-esque British tones with a highly evolved feature set and surprising versatility. From thick cleans, to punchy midrangey crunch, to wailing roar, it’s all here with attitude to spare. Rendered in a supremely portable package and able to nail all reduced-volume requirements, the Mercury V brings stack-like sonic thunder to the rehearsal room, studio, and club stage.
In 2003 Vintage Guitar magazine’s cover story declared the original Mercury the ‘Tone of the Gods.’ Its bigger brother the Mercury V now configures that directivity and touch sensitivity into an even more fully-featured, breathtakingly versatile design enabling a broad range of gain structures, voicing capabilities and output levels to tackle just about any genre or playing style.
Based on a pair of 6V6GT power tubes for a full-throated 16 watts, the Mercury V harnesses an ingeniously original preamp circuit featuring dual Volume controls (for High and Low voicings), a three-position Boost switch, and a three-knob EQ stage to kick out a dynamic range of distinctly English tones. The results included everything from pushed ’60s cleans, to chunky ’70s rock, right into’80s and ’90s crunch and singing leads, and even scorching high-gain sizzle. The internally paired High and Low channels can be run in parallel like a jumpered four-hole classic, or switched to cascade in series, taking the gain levels off the charts and into the 21st century.
An onboard attenuator—Carr’s forte—can be switched in to take the firepower anywhere from 4 watts down to a mere whisper, and there’s a post-power amp Line Out to send it to the PA or into your recording interface for tracking. Add lush tube-returned spring reverb, and there’s a wealth of multi-dimensional tone packed into this remarkably compact combo.
It’s all put together with the top-quality parts and construction that Carr is famous for, including in-house crafted dovetailed solid North Carolina yellow pine cabinets, military and NASA-grade power supply components, and trenchant mid-Century signal elements rendered in true point-to-point wiring.
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