Carvin SX


Hero Member
Hey all, I'm downsizing my rig and I'm looking for a low maintenance (solid state) versatile amp to replace all of my amps that have to go (stupid economy). I know that there isn't one amp that can do everything but I just want a workhorse that'll fill some basic needs. Have any of you played these Carvin SX amps and what do you think?

Here's a link.
I have an older version of the SX200 I picked up used at GC for under $200.

It's alright. The cleans are clean, the reverb is reverby. The distortion is pretty blah - I guess it's usable, but compared to my Jekyll & Hyde, it's a joke...still, I've heard worse.

It's my only amp at the moment (out of financial necessity, not choice), and it gets the job done. Using a distortion pedal, it sounds pretty decent. I played a gig with it last week and didn't have any complaints.

If nothing else, this thing is LOUD. About 2.5 gets me louder than our drummer. 3 is cover-your-ears worthy...I've never turned it up past 5. I don't want to.

A/Bing it against, say a Twin Reverb, the SX is a huge pile of crap...but just for a kickaround amp that's loud enough to gig's worth the money if you find it at a good price. When I do manage to get myself a nice amp, I will probably keep it has two channels and is beefy enough to handle my wife's bass at low to moderate volumes. It will make a nice practice amp that we can both use at the same time.
I've got a Warmoth, and I'm happy with it. For 200 dollars, you can't buy a better amp.

If the finances came down to it, I'd rather have a nice guitar than a nice amp any day of the week. In fact...I only have my Warmoth because I chose to not buy an expensive amp when my gear got stolen. And as much as I want a nice Fender Twin/Deluxe/Super Reverb, I wouldn't give up either of my guitars for it.  :dontknow:

I wouldn't recommend he go out and buy one ASAP...but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I definitely understand that.
Yeah, you could get a Spider. The SX probably isn't as good as a Flextone, but I'd definitely prefer an SX to a Spider. The SX feels like a workhorse...the Spider feels like a toy.

But if he's really looking for versatility, I guess the Line 6 might be a better way to go.
I'd put your tone 60% amp and 40% guitar. Just make sure you'll be happy with the SX is all I'm saying. You can grab a nice tube amp for $600ish and unless you're dead broke, I'd go for it, being the better investment. But whatever you want, dude.