The X1 All Tube Preamp Pedal wins the Premier Gear Award from Premier Guitar Magazine! Read the review by Shawn Hammond below.
I’ve never played through the now-discontinued Carvin X100B tube amp, but to me Steve Vai never sounded better than on the stripped-down 1986 track “Blue Powder,” which was recorded to showcase its capabilities. He soared in his inimitable way—but with a tonal immediacy and intimacy that seemed missing through larger rigs.
My listening tastes and tone preferences have long since shifted away from guitar-hero shred. Even so, Carvin Amps' new X1 Tube Preamp—which aims to replicate the X100B’s tones—wowed me. With clean and dirty channels driven by two 12AX7 preamp tubes, a full EQ (bass, mid, treble, and presence knobs), and the ability to use footswitches to switch channels, engage a lead-channel boost, or activate a 5-band graphic EQ capable of drastically re-voicing either or both channels, the X1 offers a truly impressive array of tones ranging from spongy, beautifully compressed cleans to crunchy grit or high-gain sounds perfect for singing leads or evil metal.
Meanwhile, the “cab-voiced/phones” jack lets you record or practice with analog cab-emulation circuitry (2x12 or 4x12) that’s truly dynamic: Rather than sounding like some blanket of digital EQ-ing B.S., it responds to changes in master volume like a real amp. And the speaker output’s 1 watt facilitates late-night practice that can get loud enough to wake loved ones. There’s a bypassable buffered effects loop, too!
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Vote for Carvin Amps and Audio products in the ProSoundWeb & Live Sound International's 2019 Readers' Choice Awards! Please vote for the following products:
FDR60 Direct Box
AC120S Power Conditioner / Sequencer
EM900 Wireless In-Ear Monitor System
UX1200MC Wireless Microphone System
A GUITAR PREAMP can add new life to an amp by expanding an its tonal range, dynamics and performance. Even better is a versatile preamp like the Carvin X1 all-tube guitar preamp pedal that also sounds great on its own and can be used to drive a power amp for live performances or plugged directly into a recording system in the studio. While the Carvin X1 is packaged in a pedal format, it’s packed with features comparable to standalone multi-channel amps and professional preamp systems. When it comes to bang-for-the-buck and performance, the Carvin X1 is one of the most attractive preamps we’ve encountered recently.