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Sound Quality

The clean channel sounds underpowered compared to the other 2 channels.  As each channel has its own tone and volume stack, this isn't a dealbreaker as you can adjust the relative volumes of each channel.   The "crunch" and "lead" channels have enough adjustment range that decent versions of these tones can be found.   The power scaling feature is very helpful as my band mates complain when in rehearsal I use the full 50 watt output.  For practice at home I use the 7w setting and during rehearsal I use the 22 w setting.  Very admirable quality of strong ability at 50 watts to cut through the mix.  The loudness to size ratio is great, and the amp is both very portable and loud.  If your playing uses both clean and distortion sounds you can get away with just using an amp and no pedals, very convenient.  However, the digital reverb just doesn't have a tone quality that I like. 

Reliability/Durability

The very best quality of this amp, its 3 channel design, is also paradoxically part of the worst quality of this amp in that I am now experiencing my second $50 Carvin footswitch going bad.  The flimsy connector cord on this footswitch is a design flaw and problem.  What good is a channel switching amp if you can't switch with your feet?  I am going to have to invest on my own on a repair that can restore footswitching capability.  

Price/Value

As Carvin seems to be out of the guitar amp business, I'm not sure what to say about the value of this amp.  It was a bit expensive when I bought new and specified a "python skin" tolex covering, but the functionality of channel switching is a bonus. 

General Comments

I wish the designers at Carvin would have paid more attention to creating a robust footswitch for this amp.  My rating would be much higher then. 


Reviewer's Background

I am a semi-professional player with 50 years of guitar playing experience and a studio with 25 guitars and 10 amps, so I manage to find the right rig for any gig.  


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