Located in Las Cruces, NM USA
My goal to produce great amps. For me building amp is not just about making money--it's my art. I put many hours into each amp and each amp receives my full attention. I only build amps I would be proud to play gigs or record with. I build amps that play like extensions of the instrument...that give the play great touch sensitivity and stellar tone.
My policy is to deal with my customers honestly and fairly. I strive to work with players to make sure they get the right amp for their playing style and try be as informative as possible .
Current build times:
Most of the amps I make as built to order--build after ordering.
Working Chassis and Hammond Cage Amps: 3-5 Weeks---Complete amps 5-8 Weeks
Current build times are approximate and subject to change. Under no circumstances will a refund be given after an amp is purchased and in the building process. Estimated wait times are estimates only and can be extended during peak periods for me or my suppliers. I strive to make the highest quality amps and rushing does not provide the best results.
Currently I accept Paypal as my preferred form of payment. Paypal accounts are free and will allow you to use credit cards or withdraw money from a bank account. You can go here for more information: www.paypal.com. My Paypal address is firstname.lastname@example.org
I will also accept money orders or personal checks but I request that they be sent with some form of delivery conformation for safety. Personal checks must clear before I begin the building process.
Under no circumstances will a refund be given after an amp is purchased and in the building process. Estimated wait times are estimates only and can be extended during peak periods for me or my suppliers. I strive to make the highest quality amps and rushing does not provide the best results.
I ship my amps via FedEx Ground and all amps require a signature. All amps are insured and tracking information will be forwarded. Shipping quotes on pricing lists are for the Continental US only please contact me for a quote if you are outside of that area. Larger and heavier amps are shipped with drop indicators to insure safe arrival.
Smaller items like pedals will be shipped via USPS.
Deposits for 50% of the total can be made to begin custom amp builds. The balance is due within 30 days of completion. Deposits made on amp builds are not refundable.
Carl's Custom Amps does not accept returns on amps. All amps are fully tested prior to shipping, packed well and are fully insured through FedEx. Shipping damage or defects must be reported within 7 days and all original packaging must be retained for insurance purposes. Sending unit back must also occur within 7 days of the reported damage or defect. (i.e an amp was damaged in shipping reported it but only want to return it after a month). If damage or defects are reported outside of that period it will fall under warranty repair. Buyer pays return shipping for a repair and I will cover the shipping back.
In event of certain types of damage (severe or complete loss)FedEx will then pick up and inspect the amp and then return it to me. When I receive it the amp back I will issue a full refund regardless of FedEx's determination on the claim. This process takes about a week. If a buyer refuses to allow FedEx to pickup the amp for the claim or does not do so within 7 days (after return has begun) the buyer will pay return shipping will be charged a 25% restocking fee on a returned amp plus repair costs on a severely damaged amp. No exceptions. Warranty repair amps absolutely cannot be returned for refund.
Tiny cosmetic imperfections as not consider damage or grounds for a return. A determination on whether a return is allowed based on cosmetic flaw is completely up to Carl's Custom Amps discretion. Sometime a tiny scratch or blemish will occur during the building process--- this is normal.
All complete amps come with a 1 year warranty against defects on all parts except for tubes. Tubes are warrantied for 30 days. The owner is responsible for paying shipping costs for repair work. The warranty does not cover abuse, water damage, modifications (including use of tube type not specified for the amp), or acts of God. Work done on amps by the owner or other companies (other than tube biasing) are not covered by the warranty and will void your warranty. Tube Failure and accompanying damage is not covered.
Working Chassis are not sold with warranties because I cannot guarantee the competence of the final assembly. I will however repair them at reduced rates.
Please be courteous when sending an amp in for warranty work. I go to great lengths to help my customers but I refuse to be subjected to abusive behavior and encourage others to do the same. An amp that is not working is just that---it's in my best interest for your amp to work too. It's not personal; it's electronics.
Warning and User Agreement
Tube amps contain high voltages even after being unplugged. Do not open the chassis. Refer servicing to a qualified tech. Do not use in wet conditions. Always store the amp in a temperature controlled dry environment. Hot tubes can cause severe burns. Never handle hot tubes.
By purchasing an amp you are assuming all liability for loss, injury or death stemming from its use.
Status and Order Change Policy
Due to the high number of amps and orders I normally only contact a buyer at the sale when the amp is shipped or if delays past the expected ship date occur. I will answer emails requesting status updates but be aware that status does not change on day to day basis. Amps are built in the order in which orders are made and parts are received. Please be courteous and respectful of my time. Daily status updates will not be possible.
Sometimes a customer will change their mind on a feature or ask for additional features after ordering. In many cases these changes may not be possible since since parts have been ordered. In some cases smaller mods can be made. I am happy answer inquiries about order changes but reserve the option of not making changes. Changes will delay the shipment of your amplifier.
Parts and Parts Substitutions:
Occasionally a part will not be available, a price will change or another high quality part will become cheaper. Carl's Custom Amp reserves to right to substitute an part with a part of equivalent quality. For example a Heyboer USA transformer may be substituted for a Classic Tone USA or a Malory 150 cap for an Orange Drop cap.
Working chassis are built into chassis that are similar in size to many vintage models. However Carl's Custom Amps cannot guarantee that the mountings with line up with vintage models. Dimensional drawing will be provided upon request . Only order a working chassis that you know will fit you cab or that you have the tools, time and expertise to build a cab or modify the mounts on an existing cab. I am happy to provide measurement. Building your own cab can be highly rewarding and fun; just make sure you are up to it. No returns can be made on the basis of a chassis not fitting a cab. If you unsure order a complete amp to be safe!
As you might imagine there are some questions that frequently arise. Here are answers to many commonly asked questions. Check out the Information Center for articles on amp designs and technical questions.
Q: How Often will you update me on my amp's status?
A: Typically I will only contact the buyer when the amp ships or if there is a delay beyond the usual build time. I will however respond to occasional update requests. Be aware though that the less time I am answering emails the more time I am either working on or working towards your amp!
Q: I was hoping to have my amp sooner than the typical build time. Can that be done?
A: No. I build amps in the order of date when the order was made and when parts arrive. There is always a line of amps waiting to be done so to be fair to all my customers I do not move builds up the line. I do often have amps in stock and those ship out the next day.
Q:I have X speaker. Can you sell me a combo amp without a speaker?
A:No complete combos use speakers that are specially selected for the amp and I want your amp to sound it's best!
Q:Do you make amps that are EU voltage ready?
A: Any of my amps can be built for EU voltages. Typically this can cost from $30-50 more.
Q: I want to pay less than the listed price and I'm sure you are charging me too much. What kind of discount can you give me?
A: I do not negotiate prices. The price is what it is.
Q: Will you do trades?
A: I generally do not do any trades unless you have valuable item that you want to trade at a fraction of it's value :). Seriously though you will be better off selling gear yourself.
Q:Why do custom amps cost more than the stock models?
A: A great deal of extra labor, often custom made parts, research, and tweaking are necessary for custom amps which increases the price.
Q: Can you do a different color of tolex/grill cloth on an amp?
A: Yes I can. I have a wide selection to choose from. It generally costs slightly more to do a custom tolex color. Be sure to ask and I'll let you know what is possible.
Q: Will you sell your amps without a Logo?
A: No. Many hours go into each amp and I want other people to recognize my products.
Q: Will you use all NOS parts (other than tubes) in a custom build for me?
A: No. Many NOS part are unreliable and sound no better (often worse because of age) than high quality new parts. I cannot warranty NOS parts so I do not use them.
Q: Can you provide NOS tubes for my amp?
A: Typically I can find NOS/Vintage tubes for my amps. The prices vary quite a bit (temporally) so please ask for quote. While NOS tubes are well tested I cannot extent a 30 day warranty on the tubes like I do on new production tubes.
Q: Will you picture the build process of my amp and send me photos?
A: I can photograph the process and send you thumb drive with the amp for $50.
Q: Can you add a fan to my amp?
A: Well designed amp will not require a fan and my amps will not need one. If yours does I am happy to install one.
Q: Can you add and effects loop?
A: Most of my models do not benefit from having an effects loop since they are low gain amps. I can add one in cases where it is beneficial and there is enough room.
Q: My amp is not working---can you tell me how to fix it myself?
A: I would be happy to service and repair your amp if you will send or bring it in. I do not provide technical support to the DIY amp builders for financial, temporal and liability reasons.
Q: Can you add reverb to my amp?
A: Not usually. Reverb is complicated and must be integrated into the design of an amp. A good tube reverb usually requires two more tubes, a reverb tank, and transformer. In addition you often have to make changes to the rest of the amp to add it in thus altering the sound. Using a reverb unit like the my Classic Tube Reverb or a reverb pedal is a better way to go with many non-reverb amps.