Price Check: Vintage Carvin X100b

The Whale

Supporting Member
Messages
695
Hey All,

There's a guy on craiglist locally who's looking to offload an old X100b. I remember these amps being very versatile and to sound really good. He's basically asked me to make him an offer. I'm curious as to what you think amp would be worth. Here are the pictures he posted: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35508788@N08/

As you can see, cosmetically it's in rough shape. I would definitely make sure it sounds good and is in good working order before making an offer, but based on the pictures and the assumption that it sounds good, name your price.

Thanks,
M.
 

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brutalist
Messages
9,346
i sold an '82(?) 6l6 for three bills a few years ago on CL. very good condition. sold the fs36 footswitch separately for $75. the footswitches are hard to come by, but as you can see from his pics, aftermarkets are available.
 

The Whale

Supporting Member
Messages
695
Yeah, $300 seems like the going rate for X100b's in really good condition. This one seems to have seen some battle though. I don't want to low ball the guy, but $300 seems high, as i'd probably replace or repair the headbox and a few switches. Thoughts?
m.
 

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brutalist
Messages
9,346
i just checked "completed listings" on the bay. 2 sold recently that were just like mine(early 80s curved logo 6l6). one for $375. one for $359. neither one was with the footswitch. depending on how old the ad is, you could go check it out and offer 2 bills with the intent of getting it ~250.

lack of footswitch and semi-battered condition are your leverage.
did he set a price?
 

The Whale

Supporting Member
Messages
695
His original asking price was $400. He's looking to buy a Blues Jr. with the proceeds of this sale, and that would probably get him there. I told him that seemed really steep, having down the same search you just did on the 'bay. He replied by asking what i thought a fair price would be.
 

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brutalist
Messages
9,346
yeah, hold out for one at realistic market value if you're not up to negotiating. it is a buyer's market.
 

Lution

Member
Messages
8,855
that amp is pretty beat.... $150 shipped.... otherwise hold out for one in better condition.
 

JoeB63

Supporting Member
Messages
13,454
I sold mine (1x12" combo) in mint condition for $150 in 2007. It sold on Craigslist in about 5 minutes. Probably could have gotten more for it.
 

gulliver

Supporting Member
Messages
9,035
I sold mine several years ago with matching celestion 4x12 for $550. I had it as my main amp for over 15 years ... and had the combo as well.

In the end, I think you should continue shopping for an amp that sounds better. The Carvin preamp sections sound decent, but I bought a Peavy Rockmaster preamp at the time for $125 that blew it away. At least for me, I could never get the power tubes smoking ... sounded muddy loud. I think some amp designs are like that, they just don't push the power tubes hard enough.

On the cheap, I just bought a Laney AOR for $400 that sounds mad awesome ... unfortunately you need to spend more for an attenuator since they are so loud. It's always something.

Good luck.
 

telelion

Member
Messages
2,681
For me the earlier ones with the 6L6's(forget the EL84's IMO) are some of the finest sounding high headroom clean amps ever made and there is a pretty strong cult out there who agree with this. It seems today more are realizing the benefits of high clean power as a platform but for many years boutique makers avoided this almost exclusively. If that is your thing. I like high/medium and low powered amps but the Carvin satisfies my vintage BF Showman/Twin/Bassman needs and I have A/B'ed them. It came up a weensy bit short in terms of girth but that's all and I am comparing them to the best of the best in this category. Perfect voicing though. As far as the OD, it is very mediocre by today's standards but could certainly be improved with OD pedals. Back then it was probably the best mass produced channel switcher available if BF Fender clean was a necessity. (Oh and they have great reverb.)

So I say, wait for a good one if you want it for the specific purpose of it's amazing strengths, as it is a lifetime keeper for what it is. Or if you can try it and it sounds great, 200 bucks. $400 is high in that condition and they are sleepers so you can find a great one for $400. I have the EV-12 combo version which is just letting you know they sound amazing with EV's. Good luck finding one of those.
 
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gulliver

Supporting Member
Messages
9,035
/\ Great point ... I had that model and you are right about the cleans. Funny, they seemed to be mostly pushed as shredder amps, especially as they grew into the '80s. Also, they were mated with british style speakers, usually in 4x12s ... not so much Fender territory.

Mine was a 100 watter fitted with the high headroom (10) groove tubes 6L6's. Not super loud, but clean.
 

JTM fan

Member
Messages
20
I had a 6L6 1x12 combo a while back I sold for $300 with footswitch.

When I first played the X100B I thought the cleans were amazing....stunning.....and the dirt sounds huge (large tonal spectrum), but in the end is too grainy and quirky to dial in properly (even with the 5 band EQ).
Then I compared the cleans to my old Fender.......that's when I decided to sell it.

I suppose it would make a good poor man's Fender.

I would suggest that you save your money for something else.
 

gulliver

Supporting Member
Messages
9,035
/\ What was your old Fender?

Vintage Fenders have haunting reverb ... that's were most amps fall short.
 

telelion

Member
Messages
2,681
I had a 6L6 1x12 combo a while back I sold for $300 with footswitch.

When I first played the X100B I thought the cleans were amazing....stunning.....and the dirt sounds huge (large tonal spectrum), but in the end is too grainy and quirky to dial in properly (even with the 5 band EQ).
Then I compared the cleans to my old Fender.......that's when I decided to sell it.

I suppose it would make a good poor man's Fender.

I would suggest that you save your money for something else.
In all due respect, I think your Fenders needed a tuneup or your Carvin lost it's spark for some reason that cold have been fixed. It is stunning. And I agree with you on the OD side though they never impressed me. I can see the criticism if someone wanted a Deluxe with breakup but it can hold it's own in the high clean headroom with any Fender I have heard and that is tons as I have owned most of them a few times over and they were in top working order. If the Carvin X clean(6L6) was in most of today's boutique channel switchers, you would hear shouting from the rooftops.
 

JTM fan

Member
Messages
20
Like I said, I thought the Carvin's cleans were nice, until I compared them to my Super Reverb. I sold the Carvin kept the SR. :)

I thought the Carvin's cleans sounded "notched"....while not the worst nor the best clean ever....it's just not as good as everyone raves. Plain and simple.

I agree though.....the cleans on the X100b would be a welcomed addition to any modern day "crappy" clean channel on a multi channel amp.
 


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