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Archive- Carvin BELAIR 2 x 12 50W All-Tube Combo Amp

Carvin Belair 212 50 watt vintage tube guitar comboCarvin Belair 212 50 watt vintage tube guitar comboCarvin Belair 212 50 watt vintage tube guitar comboCarvin Belair 212 50 watt vintage tube guitar comboCarvin Belair 212 50 watt vintage tube guitar combo

adobe pdf icon          VintageAmp_manual.pdf

- GT12 speakers
- All tube design - four 12AX7 tubes
- Four EL84 matched output tubes
- 1 Meg ohms passive tone controls for broad adjustment range
- BASS, MID, and TREBLE controls optimized for each channel
- Clean channel Acoustic PRESENCE for shimmering highs
- DSP digital reverb
- Metal shaft controls, ivory knobs, red jewel lamp
- Strong Poplar plywood enclosure - not particle board!
- Output: 50 watts - 4ohms, 8ohms and 16ohms Impedance switch
- Two 1/4" speaker jacks and cabinet voiced line out jack
- External Effects Loop with preamp OUT / power amp IN jacks
- AC POWER switch, high voltage plate STANDBY switch
- 120/240 VAC
- Dimensions: 26 inches wide x 10.25 inches deep x 17.75 inches high
- Weight: 50 lbs
- Power Req. 120VAC 60Hz
- Made in San Diego, California


The 50 watt 212 BEL AIR combo amp has been reviewed as one of the finest vintage amps on the market today. True vintage tones give "open-ness and breath" to your playing as you power soak the EL84 tubes. Dual channels offer all the vintage features you need. This amp comes loaded with GT12 speakers. The guitar amps reflect our devotion to tone. Rich, thick harmonics with creamy smooth mid tones define the superb sound of these amps. Channel one is clean ranging from warm and mellow to shimmering and glassy. Channel Two, with its SOAK control, offers enormous 12AX7 grid control from smooth blues, to full sustain. Matched EL84 output tubes react to the subtlest touch - if you play soft, the tubes remain clean. If you drive the amp hard, it rings out with rich tube harmonics. Digital reverb enhances the overall sound of the amp.

 BelAir Rear Panel (click to enlarge)   



Nathan Relles Madison, WI
"I just got my Bel Air yesterday and WOW!!! WOW WOW WOW!!! From the first note, the tone was better than any other multi-channel tube amp I've ever heard. The clean channel is absolutely brilliant and the soak,.....oh man the soak. I can do whatever I want with that thing and get perfect results every single time. I can't wait until the tubes are fully worked in." 

Richard Duffy 
"You guys are great. I receicved a new Bel Air last week. I thought the amp sounded really good, but I noticed that one of the pre-amp tubes was microphonic. I called your customer service number on Monday to inquire about a replacement. Well, on Thursday a new tube arrived, when I installed it and fired my amp up IT JUST SCREAMED. I loved this amp before, now it sounds absolutely fantastic. This is the second Carvin amp I've purchased and once again I am blown away. Thanks Carvin. " 

Steve Fleury Fords, New Jersey
"Just received my BelAir today and all I can say is WOW! I've been playing for over 30 years and have played through many a tube amp and this amp is just as good if not better than any other 50 watt amp on the planet. Now take into consideration that the price was lower with more features and this was a no-brainer. I'm pretty much a Fender or Marshall guy but wanted an amp for gigging that was a little smaller and easier to cart around but still had enough power to cover drums and such. I can't wait to get this baby in a club and jam! Rock on... Steve" 

Monte Briggs Black Hills, South Dakota
"I've had my Bel Air for a few years and it's as good as the day I got it. It doesn't have the vin 30's but it still has a very versatile sound. I only wish the vin 30's came with the amp then. I play all kinds of music and it perfoms well and sounds pretty awesome with a 4x10 cab full of celestion g-10's."Shortly put, its performed well in all situations. Very reliable!! CARVIN YOU ARE THE BOMB AND PLEASE KEEP THE GOOD STUFF COMING!" 

Wolf Mail Sydney, Australia
"I have been playing the BelAir for close to 10 years now. I have also used vintage Fender, Matchless, Fuchs and have not found a better tone than the Bel air. With over 200 shows a year, I tell you this amp is sturdy as hell and infallible and all that for a 1/3 of the price of its competitors, you can't go wrong. " 

Vaughn Taylor Rochester, New York
" I just purchased my Bel Air a couple of weeks ago. I am very impressed with its sound. I have a Taylor 810, Epiphone Joe pass and SG, as well as a Highway Strat. I run those through a Digitech GNX3 Stereo effects processor to a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, and the Bel Air. I got nothing but rave reviews and great comments about the sound. The Fender gives me the bottom bass and the Bel Air gives me everything else. It is a great stand alone amp too. I can switch from acoustic to the Strat and get the dirty, clean Bluesy sound with the strat and a cleam crisp sound with Acoustic. I have been looking for an Amp that could do both acoustic and the Dirty and clean electric sound. The Bel Air can do it! I also love the cabinet voice direct out. I send it to the board easily giving me an added natural reverb I can't get just micing the amp. When I mic the amp and used the Direct out I had sustain for ever. If you are looking for a versatile amp, you should check this one out. Vaughn" 

Steven Montgomery Greenville TX
"I recieved my new Belair about a week ago. I was looking for a good combo amp to noodle around with. I was looking for a vintage style amp for blues. When I recieved this amp I pulled it out of the box and I was extremely impressed by its great looks and build quality. I went ahead and plugged it in with one of my Les Pauls and was amazed by the clean tone. This thing sounded better than the hand wired Marshall that I had played couple weeks before. I started messing with the soak channel and it sounded ok. I knew that I would have to break in the VIN30S. After a few days of hard playing the VIN30S finally started breaking in and thats when I was amazed. This thing has an amazing soak channel. I have heard a lot of people say that you can't play metal on this amp I would have to disagree. I don't think you could play death metal on it but you can definately get good Black Label Society and COC tones out of it. I already have an MTS half stack that I love and now I have a great all around combo amp.Carvin amps are amazing!!!!" 

Rob Gonzalez San Antonio, TX
"I love this amp. It has a gorgeous clean channel and the soak channel can create everything from a light crunch to full on classic rock distortion. The tone controls are very unusual in that they are very sensitive to small movements. This allows precise tweaking of your sound. Overall the amp is awesome but it is a little heavy and I wouldn't recommend it for the old fart musician like me. It's something that requires the energy and stamina of a younger man or woman. I've resorted to using a hand truck to move it around. I would highly recommend this amp to anyone who plays country, blues or classic rock. It is NOT a metal amplifier. Try it out with a Marshall or Carvin Celestion 4X12 cabinet. You WILL be impressed by the power of this thing." 

Jon T. Evans Abilene, Texas
"Great amp, Have had no problems. I‘ve owned it for sometime now and have not had to replace any tubes and it sounds as good today as the day I got it. Thanks Carvin" 

Rick Hill Salem, Oh. (Youngstown)
"I've had my Belair for 5yrs. now and just love it. I also have the 212 matching ext. cab. I still have the original tubes and original GT12 speakers that came stock and the amp sounds wonderful. It took a couple of months to really break it in but what a sound. I play Classic Rock and Blues in mostly smaller clubs using a Les Paul and Telecaster. I've been an active musician for 40 yrs. and have had New '60s & '70s Fenders, Marshalls, Traynors and Gretch tube amps that all sounded great in there own way, but considering I can no longer play at those volumes anymore due to the venue sizes and audiences I play to I needed a tube amp that had those types of sounds in a smaller footprint. I tried many new amps and all fell short so I took a chance and ordered my first amp without playing it, which is a big deal for me as I have never purchased an amp without playing it first! What a shock when I turned it on! This amp was just what I had been looking for after many years of searching and testing. I made the smart move and also purchased the ext. cab at the same time and it does make a difference in the sound. I get a more sweet sustain and bluesy sound from it. I Love this amp! I have never had to call Carvin for a problem with the unit and when I had questions they were always there to answer them either by e-mail or phone and have never gotten the brush off. Some phone conversations lasted 30 to 40 minutes and I never felt rushed by the Tech or Customer Serv. Rep. to end the call. They have been very, very helpful over the years. If anything ever happened to this amp I would purchase another with no hesitation, I have that much confidence in Carvin's craftsmanship, quality control and technical department. Keep up the GOOD WORK it's greatly appreciated! - Rick" 

Jeff Thomas Plymouth, UK
"I have purchased a Carvin Belair 212 combo through Rock Solid of Totnes, England. I wanted to contact Carvin to say how pleased i am with this incredible amp. Please pass on my thanks for a superb amp, full of tone a charactor. The tubes make a very warm sound and all my guitars sing with this new amp. It's brought the tone out of them! 

I play rock-a-billy, blues, rock n roll, etc with a bit of dirt now and then. This combos twin channels are georgeous! The clean is massive and full and the soak is warm and dirty. 

I've been searching for the proper amp for my tone for years, had Marshall, Vox etc but nothing touches this craftman built beauty. My Gretsch is now humming with harmonics, my Fender tele twangs with sparkle, and my Fender Strat soars. 

Every other musician I meet compliments me now on my tone. Good gear is essential, and I will invest in an extenstion cab in time, but now I'm just delighted to own a real vintage sounding beauty. May I also say in my opinion it beats the Peavey Classic and the Fender Hot Rod hands down for tone. I don't want Cape Canaveral on my amps just EQ etc. It's just so easy to use. 

Please pass on my thank to all who make this glorious amp and tell em they are making musicians very happy with a top class product!" 

Vinnie Pantaleoni Sacramento, CA 
"I picked up the Bel Air 2x12 tweed guitar amp recently. I decided I needed a vintage guitar amplifier that had 12" speakers instead of 10's and the Carvin Bel Air fit the bill. 

I love the warmth that the EL84 power tubes in conjuction with the 12AX7 pre amp tubes delivery. Being a long time bassist, I've always had a love for guitar in the background so I choose the Bel Air to be my amp of need and it delivers right on the money. For the money your not going to find a better sounding tweed amp on the market. I just love the mild overdriven sound of a vintage sounding Bel Air. I mainly play it at jams and gtg's with other musicians, they all love the sound of the Bel Air. 

Carvin you've delivered once again, as I also own a real nice bass rig by them, plus a LB75AP Anniversary 5 string bass and an Icon IC5. I'm a very happy customer with Carvin products. 

Carvin, keep it going." 

Lee Tipps Dallas, TX 
"Been looking for this amp 35 years. Took the advive of a friend and now I owe him a big one. This amp is one of the best sounding amps right out of the box I have heard. No need to change anything for me. The other big boys making audio gear (you know who I mean) will be in real trouble if the word gets out. Ill take USA quality over China anytime. With the first class team and other products you have there is no way to fail. Thanks and keep up the great work." 

Steve Rupp New Vienna, OH 
"I've been using Carvin Equipment for many years, starting with a B4 fretless bass, then a CX1272 powered mixer, and a couple of CM87S mics. I've been thinking of getting a tube amp for quite a while, but just didn't know which one. Fender twin reverbs were too heavy (price & weight), Marshalls sounded too brassy to me, and everything else just seemed too pricey and might not have been made in America (that's very important to me!). Then a couple of months ago I got my new Carvin catalog. While checking it out, I came to the vintage amp section and saw the Belair. Knowing how reliable and bulletproof Carvin's equipment is, I thought I'd go to Harmony and read some reviews on the Belair...that sealed it. I called the order line and talked to a very knowledgeable young man by the name of Keith who was very patient in answering all my questions before and after I ordered my amp. I received it quickly and it sounded great right out of the box. The more I play through it the sweeter it gets. I love the clarity, tone and the looks of it. The paperwork says to keep the box in case you have to ship the amp back, but after I played through it about 20 mins. the first night, the box went to the trash. I'm keeping this for a long, long time, and will continue to recommend Carvin to everyone for any musical equipment or instrument needs. Thanks Carvin, you folks are great!" 

Aaron Kelso St. Augustine, FL 
"This amp is amazing, I've owned it about a year, with multiple gigs a week, it just keeps putting out. Great tone, and the tubes will just scream. From my strat, to the les paul, to the gibby chet atkins special( thin body acoustic) it's just great. My friends love it, how clean and smooth it is with the Chet Atkins, or how it turns up when i need it. Thanks Carvin for making an awsome product." 

Angelo Hopewell Jct, NY 
"I've had my Belair for over 10 years, and to this day I feel like I've underpaid for it. I mainly play a 50th Anniversary Deluxe Strat through it, and the tonal variety I can get with this combination is outstanding. I've recently added a Carvin 2x12 extension cabinet to the rig, and my tone has gotten even better. I own many Carvin products (TL60 guitar, RX1200 powered mixer, Studio Mate mixer, wireless guitar transmitter, to name a few) and have NEVER been disappointed. The quality of Carvin products, coupled with the reasonable prices, makes buying Carvin products a no-brainer! Keep it up Carvin!" 

John Elston Dallas, TX 
"Got it two weeks ago and all I can say is wow. The clean channel is really good with that sound I was looking for. Been looking for that quality sound since I have been playing, but I hadn't found it till now. Easy to dial in the sound you want without any effort. The overdrive channel is good with a hint of fuzz overtone great for classic rock. Easy to say this is the best amps for the money out there." 

Jason Isley Huntsville, AL
"I just got my BelAir today, and I am truly amazed. I have been searching for this amp for many years and didn't know the Belair was the "ONE". It got good reviews on Harmony Central, and good reviews on the Carvin site. I have been exposed to Carvin gear through the years, and I have been impressed with the quality of the guitars and amps, so I took a gamble and bought the BelAir, and I couldn't be happier. I have owned Marshall and Fender tube amps, and the BelAir blows them away! The features...the tone...all of the above! My next purchase will be the matching 2X12 extension cab! Thumbs UP Carvin!" 

Bob Gannuscio Temecula, CA 
"Over the years I've played my Fenders, Gibsons and assorted other guitars through a variety of amps - Fender, Vox, Crate, Roland - looking for that elusive tone. After tinkering with settings, I've usually been able to get something acceptable to good, but nothing that sent me over the top. Then I took the road less traveled and bought myself a Carvin Belair. I plugged in my Strat, played thru a few songs and thought "It doesn't get any better than this!" Then I plugged in my 335 and thought I'd died and gone to guitar heaven. I can dial in just about any tone I want... from full and rich, to smooth and creamy, to edgy and searing, to rough and bluesy. Then I plugged in my new Carvin California Carve Top. I was suddenly transported back in time; I got the same tingles running up and down my spine as I did when I heard the Beatles for the first time back in 1964. The Belair and CCT are meant to go together like Romeo and Juliet. Great products, great price! Way to go Carvin!" 

Thomas E. Coleman Belvidere, IL
"YOU GUYS ROCK,I purchased this amp a couple of months ago and I just wanted to say THANKS. Its simply a wonderful product I got it in the bronco white tolex and it sounds as nice as it looks. I play in a cover band that plays everything from The Beatles to Megadeath and it plays them all. One of my favorite set ups is running the guitar through 2 chorus pedals and a boss metal zone stomp box WOW what a tone. Sorry about my e-mail name but I have several guitars and several amps and I always keep an open mind about guitars and amps if it sounds good use it. But thanks for a great sounding and very cost effective amp. And I will stand up to anyone who tries to put down because its a Carvin I will just crank it up and let them drool." 

James Spaulding Dallas, TX 
"Just received my custom made blue Belair with Vin 30 speakers. WOW, it's awesome! Great sound and looks and I received it in a little over a week. I did a lot of amp research over the past month and after looking at Fender, Mesa, Vox, I decided for the money and options to go with Carvin once again. The quality of amp with all the options for the money is a no brainer!! Great work and I'll recommend Carvin to everyone! I'll be back!!!"