9 12ax7s preamp tubes
5 band graphic EQ
CH 1 knobs: low, mid, high, volume
CH 2 and 3: low, high, cloaking, volume, overdrive
Ch 4: volume, overdrive, high, mid, low.
This is basically a huge 4 channel preamp. Similar i believe, to that of a boogie mark IV in a rack style preamp.
HUGe in size! Gigantic!! Heavy and tons of tubes too!!
Ok it gets a little bit confusing especially since the 5 band EQ can be assigned to nearly any channel so you have to set that.
The clean channels are easy to use and have gain knows so you can crank them to get any bit of dirt if you want a sort of mild crunch.
It's slightly difficult at first, you should most likely read the manual to get started if you haven't dealt with multi channel amps before. The manual is quite easy to read and understand each setting etc.
Though it is generally easy to get the ball rolling and get some decent sounds to start.
I like carvin clean sounds. They are completely underrated and suit for any type of genre doesn't matter what, blues funk, jazz etc. It works all the time for anything! It's so crisp, clear and shimmers!! There isn't much else a clean channel can really do for you but now with the quad X you have TWO? What?! So now you can make one super clean, and one dirt up a bit to get those bluesy sounds all in one? And just switch between them if you feel? How perfect is that?
Let's not mention the dirt, it stays true to the hot rodded vintage sound that can range anywhere from classic rock to modern heavy metal depending on the rest of your gear of course. The poweramp you have plays an important part in this. The 3rd channel has the super hot rodded vintage sound while the 4th channel is very reminiscent of a lead boogie mark series, thick and creamy! Very cool!
Another thing to note is the speaker sim it was unfortunate that I didn't have enough recording equipment at the time to try this but the fact that it's tonally adjustable means that the speaker sim was not an afterthought and must have some potential in some way.
The added noise gate is a good feature too I wouldn't say it's completely transparent but it does a half decent job and stopping squeaks and whatnot depending on how you set it, try not to set it it too high and stay a good distance from the speaker to avoid any unnecessary noise.
Overall, I think this is carvin's response to the boogie preamps that came out during the same era and I gotta say it's held up quite well in terms of tone. In terms of popularity it hasn't gotten as big, but that's ok, it keeps the costs low for players who know about this amp! It's the price point that really gets me, it's so cheap yet it's amazing. How is this possible in today's world? It's not really, I think I'm just lucky! Super lucky!
I could imagine pairing this up with a VHT poweramp and just going balls to the wall crazy!! Good buy good price, if you can find one with the footswitch you'll be in tonal heaven!!