New Carvin X100b Yeah or Neah

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Glass Onion, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. Glass Onion

    Glass Onion Toneful truth seeker. Gold Supporting Member

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    I am thinking I want a Reeves Custom Lead....I want it for a great Marshall type sound. I just got a Carvin catalog and they have reissued the X100b ....for 699 that seems like a great value. I know there will be a distinct difference in the quality due to construction and the Reeves will probably blow the Carvin away in a side by side but for the money and if I never hear the Reeves to compare in person would I be a fool to try the X100B first ... IT IS A LOT LESS money

    Any personal experiences with the Carvin better yet anyone ver owned both...

    I know we are talking apples and oranges but I do not care about bragging rights just a great or pretty good tone.:BluesBros
     
  2. mvd18969

    mvd18969 Member

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    In 1985, I bought brand new from the catalog, an X100B head. The first one arrived damaged (there's a thread going on about damage with the big name carriers). I sent it back and received a new one a short time later. I bought it without ever hearing a note. It had all the features I wanted; reverb, channel switching, fx loop, and supposedly enough gain to not need a stomp box distortion unit. At the time, I thought it sounded good. After having it for a few years and having developed an ear for tone by getting into a band where the other guitar player had a Mesa Boogie SOB head; it was obvious that this thing was a POS. For $699, I'd grab a used Peavey 5150, mesa boogie, or a new Peavey Valveking.
     
  3. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I had one back around 1991 or 1992. It was loud. That's the only good thing I can say about it. For $699, get a Traynor YCS-50. Does the Fender/Marshall thing better than any other amp I've heard.
     
  4. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    I played an original.... they are a LOT of amp for the money. Very full and warm cleans for an EL34 head. Also had graphic EQ, reverb and footswitchable boost. Clean channel definitely felt like it takes pedals really really well. OD was alright... nothing fantastic.
     
  5. jaycee

    jaycee Member

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    I had an x100b in the early 90's and grew to hate it.
     
  6. popsongsmith

    popsongsmith Senior Member

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    It's absolute rubbish. I agree with the above suggestions, and I would add the Mesa Single Rectifier. $750 or so used, and absolutely destroys the Carvin.
     
  7. Glass Onion

    Glass Onion Toneful truth seeker. Gold Supporting Member

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    That is all I needed to hear. ihave owned my share of amps (that would do) but I was missing out on good tone. I love my Univavle for some things but I need Class AB oomph with big Iron. I think the Reeves is the next stop.I got to thinking the X100B does not have any kind of power control either. Reeves will be the next stop. Thank you gents for the clarifying thoughts:dude
     
  8. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    I believe the X100b is switchable from 100 watts down to both 50 and 25.


    Reeves will probably be nicer nonetheless.
     
  9. devilrob1979

    devilrob1979 Member

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    They stopped making them because they became unpopular. For $699 you could buy 2 originals. That tell you anything? I think they were going more for a Boogie sound than a Marshall sound with those (judging from aesthetics). Also, I'd wait since Carvin has a history of having problems with its first couple of runs of new models. Legacys used to burn and V3s used to just die. Give it a while and try to hear it. From what I've heard of them they have great cleans but the lead channel is rather, eh. For $699 I'd look for a Mark III Green Stripe. The Legacy's going to be closer to a Marshall sound than the X100B in all likelihood. I had one for 5 years and it was good for leads (as you may imagine) but I couldn't get over its dark lead sound so I sold it and got a Mark IV. I liked the cleans on it as well.
     
  10. jetydosa

    jetydosa Silver Supporting Member

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    I got a used X100B for cheap at a pawnshop some years ago. I had heard they were decent sounding amps, but got it home I was less than impressed. I put it on the bay not long after that.

    The clean channel would sound decent if you cranked it up a bit, but the gain ch was just bad, bad.
     
  11. JoshuaTSP

    JoshuaTSP Senior Member

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    I just picked up a 100w X-100 1x12 Combo yesterday for $300.

    Normally, I'm not one to fall head over heels for an amp. I have a handful of amps, Jubilee, old Traynor, TOL50.....and the Carvin kills them all.

    The clean on the x-100 is the absolute best I've ever heard. Just perfect.

    The 'lead' channel can be dialed in for a fairly sweet clean tone too....if need be. Otherwise the gain channel is decent. It's not modern....duh....it's couldn't be. It's what we call a vintage voiced amp...today. It's not made for super high gain metal.....it's high gain though...liquid leads. Over the two days I've owned it...I've been playing it non-stop, and the key for me is the 5 band EQ on the lead channel. Depends what you're looking for. I've been searching for the tones found in the X-100 for a long time. Luckily, I've finally found them.

    I think the options are worth the admission alone. I mean.....2 channels, TMB+P along with a channel assignable 5 band EQ, 2 different lead channel voicings, sweet reverb, active tone controls, power level switch Full/50%/25%, XLR line out, footswitchable channels, footswitchable FX loop, and footswitchable reverb.

    I've cracked it open, and it seems well built....not tank solid, but close.

    If you're looking for clean headroom at high volumes this amp has it. spectacular. On the 25% setting, you can get the clean channel to break up naturally. With the clean channel, it's almost hard to make it sound bad.

    The thing I noticed right away was how "HUGE" this amp sounded. It fills a room without blowing out the windows. A large sonic foot print.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. jbird

    jbird Member

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    Umm, as I understand, they have added more gain to the lead channel! I would see that as an improvement!
     
  13. telelion

    telelion Member

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    Joshua, what did I tell ya? I bet it has 6L6's. You should hear how good it sounds with the EVM that mine came with.

    Like I said there should be more channel switchers around with as good a clean channel. Also, when I see folks talking about Bassman's and Showman's, why not get the X amp. It would be hard to tell the difference in an A/B(which I have done) with the clean channel and though I think the OD channel is it's weakness(but pretty decent for the time all things considered) it's a bonus. Trust me, it has it's following based on the remarkable clean channel if huge headroom and glassy cleans is your thing. Nice find and enjoy.
     
  14. JoshuaTSP

    JoshuaTSP Senior Member

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    Yep....they've added the "hot rod" mod....

    Yep, 6L6's......I'm not sure which speaker I have.....it looks like an Eminence....no label, just plain speaker, with a small sticker on the side of the magnet. Sounds great, whatever I have.....tons of low end girth.

    I had a '67 Bassman at one time, and I think the Carvin's cleans are a step above. I've also A/B'd the Carvin with my TOL50....which I thought had a great clean too.....nope....the carvin is just better in all respects.

    I like the gain tones.....they aren't as spectacular as the cleans, but none the less pretty good. Plenty can be had with the 5 band EQ. I actually prefer to back off the amount of gain and run it between clean and full saturation.

    I can't believe the people here dogging it.
     
  15. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    I can't speak to that particular model, but I have the discontinued Vintage Tube 50 head & 4x10 cabinet & have never had an issue with it except for pots needing cleaning. That's after 10 years of moderate use,but minimal gigging.
    All-in-all a solid performer!

    Tony
     
  16. JoshuaTSP

    JoshuaTSP Senior Member

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    Yeah.....so up yours!
    Carvin haters!
     
  17. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    I've had a ~1986 non-hotrod 6L6 X100B half stack since 1998 and still love it. It was my first tube amp. Incredibly good cleans, and on the overdrive channel... well it still sounds very good, but even with gain on 10, it didn't sound like a pre-amp high gain at all. It was all cleans, blues, and classic rock.

    The design of my version is basically a 100 watt Fender BF Bassman with active EQ + 5 band active EQ, great SS hammond spring reverb, effects loop and master volume channel. If you want great clean and gritty tones up to vintage AC/DC, it is great. Any more gain than that and you need a good pedal. You could make the 6L6 version sound like a good vintage Plexi just by having the 5 band EQ in a frown or fat mid range boost.

    I have no knowledge or opinion of the new version or the hotroded or EL34 version. They supposedly were better for high gain, but not as good for clean, so I'm glad I have the right one for me. Also note that I still have vintage USA made 6L6s in my outer tube sockets with THD Yellowjackets in the center sockets.

    My advice is look for a used one with the old curvy logo if you like my description of mine. They switched to a hotrodded & EL34 version about the same time they switched to the block logo... which is why it is odd that the new version supposedly sounds like the block logo version but uses the old curvy logo
     
  18. JoshuaTSP

    JoshuaTSP Senior Member

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    tone is in teh logo.
     
  19. DavidE

    DavidE Member

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    "But in the early to mid eighties there was not much to buy in terms of channel switchers. I sold a Mark III(I think it was), but whatever it had the Simul-class feature to it. It was about the most expensive amp of the day and I despised it. Horrible cleans. Nasally overdrive. Tons of switches. Sold it at a major loss for the Carvin. Much improvement."

    I did the opposite. I had a Carvin X100B in the 80s. 1/2 stack. I remember several letters and phone calls with Carvin about their "mud-cutting circuit" and asking why my amp sounded like mud. It was terrible.

    I replaced it with a Mesa Mark III simulclass with eq and reverb. I actually ordered a Mark II but was told that those were done and the Mark III was better for the same price. Ugh. Terrible too. I thought it was me until years later when I talked to some real tone gurus and they had the same experience.
     
  20. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    commonly true sometimes...I owned a few of these in my day. I would liken there tone to a Vanilla Milkshake. Not bad but nothing memorable. I would find a used one (easy probably) due some tube swapping and maybe a some pedal e.q finessing and you'd have a decent budget amp.
     

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