Carvin X100B Review

This is a review of the Carvin X100B amplifier.

If you’re looking for a guitar amp that can cover a lot of ground at a reasonable price, the Carvin X-100B series is hard to beat.

The Carvin X100B produces a wide range of sounds with great diversity, as well as a high-quality finish that no one else can match. That’s why musicians ranging from Steve Vai to Frank Zappa have always used this gear.

Product Overview

The Carvin X100B’s clear tone is what makes it so appealing. Everything you’ve heard and read about this channel is completely accurate. An amp will not produce a sweeter, purer, or louder sound. This amplifier is ideal for use on stage or at home when you need something that can stand on its own.

Carvin had previously retired the X100B series, however it was recently revived in both head and 212 combo versions. The latest ones are an attempt to recreate the originals’ magic with some slight changes of course.

I’ll go through the Carvin X100B amplifier in detail in this article. Continue reading to learn about its features, advantages and disadvantages, and alternatives.

Features of the Carvin X100 Amplifier

Mentioned below are the characteristics of the Carvin amp:

Construction

First and foremost, the build quality is excellent. The vinyl has a great fit and finish, and it’s built to last.

Both the head and the cabinet are well-made, and they feature the same vintage-style Carvin branding as the originals. The cabinet, as well as the heads, come in a variety of color combinations.

All cabinetry is made of excellent multi-laminate plywood with chrome edges for added durability. The loudspeaker cover was made of black, expanding metal that seemed quite protective to me. The whole construction appears to be sound, practical, and long-lasting, and the end product is visually appealing.

The Foot Switch

The four-button foot controller has a lot of uses. It contains: 

  • effects loop on/off switch
  • the standard channel switch
  • reverb on/off switch, and 
  • a fourth button that may be used as a mute switch or a boost switch for lead level when switching guitars. 

The FS BOOST button on the amp’s front panel can be used to change the operation of this switch. The switches’ functions are shown by LEDs, and the components are housed in a strong casing that should withstand even the strongest foot.

Sound

It’s one of the cleanest, loudest, and nicest tones I’ve ever heard from a guitar amp. Look no further if you’re seeking for a loud stage amplifier that can be utilized on its own or in conjunction with your effects pedals. The headroom is incredible, and it keeps its original sound even at painfully high volumes.

This amp offers the greatest clean channel I’ve ever used on any amp, with enough headroom to spare. I can get anything from country music chime to blues and that lovely nearly acoustic ballad sound. The lead channel is quite powerful, allowing me to switch from a clean, virtually distortion-free sound to jazz, rock, country music, hard rock, and even a heavy sound.

The tone controls were quite versatile, with active circuits offering cut and boost capabilities despite not being labeled as such. When used in conjunction with the 5-band EQ, an incredible spectrum of pure and overdriven tones was achieved. It was fairly intuitive, and I had no difficulty finding tones that I liked. The EQ can only be applied to one of the two channels, not both at the same time.

However, after some testing, I discovered that the clean channel didn’t require the EQ to provide clear, sparkling tones. The clear channel, in particular, was excellent. In comparison to some other amps, the bright option was neither harsh nor overwhelming. Even at higher gain levels with humbucking pickups, the clean channel had plenty of headroom and didn’t compress too much.

Despite the fact that the Carvin X100B is known for its clean sound, the overdrive channel will still impress you. It leans more toward blues and groove than something on the more extreme level of the rock range, although it can absolutely shred. With the new design, everything is top-notch.

Even without utilizing the gain toggle switch, the Overdrive channel could be cranked into enormous, creamy, thick distortion. However, if you’re so inclined, that switch will provide you with any level of over-the-top durability and gain you’ll ever require. It was simple to dial back these parameters to achieve the standard funky and classic rock effects that this amp is known for. Even at high gain settings, the guitar cleaned up wonderfully when dialed down. Using the EQ, I was able to add more mainstream rock tones to the mix. 

The EQ, on the other hand, greatly aided this, as well as providing the bottom-end boost that some performers may require.

This is a jack-of-all-trades amplifier that can take and make any tone thanks to the simple dial-in controls. On all sides of the world’s most sought after amps, the sounds are exceptionally rich and strong with clarity.

I’ve discovered that the Carvin X100B is well worth the money. Although there are high-quality options that offer richer sounds, they will set you back $4,500 or more. Why spend that much money when you can obtain outcomes that are practically identical for three times the price?

Where To Buy The Amplifier From?

This amplifier can be found on eBay or Reverb, so check those sites out if you want to get your hands on one.

Final Thoughts

Carvin has modified and peaked this amp through the years while keeping it very similar to the original, making fans like myself extremely happy. Most folks who have used any version of this amp appear to have loved it in some way and still play it or have it in their studio today.

The sound quality is excellent throughout, and the range of sounds is astounding. The pricing is even more incredible. Carvin, as always, provides a world-class piece of equipment at pawn shop pricing.