Carvin Quad X-Amp
Carvin Quad X-Amp
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bouicmusic 03/11/2013

Carvin Quad X-Amp : bouicmusic's user review

«  Gas Plant - Plant Music »

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3 preamp channels 1/2 tube (1 channel real clear, real distortion channel with dedicated 3-band EQ, channels 2 and 3 have a shared équalo 2 bands)
9 12AX7
Format 19 "2U
Spring Reverb
6 effects loops!
5 Band Equalizer
Noise Gate
Speaker simulator
Mono or Stereo
Made in USA

This preamp is very comprehensive. It does everything except coffee.
That which I speak is the first version, which did not catch MIDI.


The use is not very complicated when you have the idea. Just turn the knobs and find its sound. It is the analog gear. That said it is very full, so it still take some time.
About effects loop:
This preamp has an effects loop mono channel. By default, it is located before the preamp section. The interest is to use an effect on one channel only. It is possible to mod the preamp electronics to move the loop after the preamp section. This allows for example to put a delay after distortion. I posted the trick on the page of the Quad-X AF.
The Carvin also has an effects loop Stereo Reverb specific. When you plug in jacks jacks, spring reverb is disconnected. The volume knob reverb, front, remains usable. It is a parallel loop. It can also be used for other effects as reverb. This loop is controllable with the pedals.
Finally the sixth loop is an effects loop Stereo Standard. I think this is a serial loop. It is also controllable with the pedals.
The bracket:
This preamp is analog yet it stores configurations. But it resets each extinction. To use: when turned on, we toured the channel by choosing for each effect that you want to use (Reverb, Loop, équalo). When you then go back on each channel, we find this configuration. This memory can be used interchangeably with the pedals or the switches on the front.
The noise Gate
Very efficient, and very discreet, because upstream loops stereo. With reverb enabled, we do not even realize it's there. That said, given the quality of the electronics, the noise gate is useless. It can correct the disruption caused by an external effect. But the Quad-X itself does not need a gate.


Sound level, this preamp is quite versatile.
Channel 1: The very bright light. Fenderien enough. With reverb, it is beautiful. I use a Mesa lamp for this channel. It is clear that the best sound I've heard in a preamp, Triaxis included.
Channel 2: The more clear than the previous round. No real interest in itself. I used it as a channel Fuzz, having put a pedal in the loop corresponding effect.
Channel 3: Disto Marshall typed, in any case with EHX tubes. Not a lot of gain, but it comes out sounds ACDC smoothly.
Channel 4: Grosse distortion, but not Hi-Gain so far. Good sound, quite versatile, especially thanks to the équalo. A good distortion lamp, but ultimately lacks personality.
The speaker simulator is very successful.
The reverb is quite short but perfectly done job.
The big criticism I have the Carvin is its lack of crunch sounds! Each channel has its use, which can not be diverted. Channels 1 and 2 saturate so disgusting. Channels 3 and 4 can not sufficiently low down between the gain level for a crunch correct ... Damage, but it does not deprive it of its qualities


The Carvin has its strengths and weaknesses. It's still a great value.

Sound factory, versatile, very comprehensive, clear sound sublime Simulator Cab, memory function effects the endless possibilities using the effects loop
Usine à Gaz, No Hi-Gain, Lack of personality distortion, no crunch, budget to change lamps
I finally sold my Quad-X, a Triaxis, I prefer the crunch and distortion sounds but not clear.
To give you an idea, I posted samples of the beast in the "Media".