Archive - SX300 3 Channel 100 Watt Combo Amp with Tube Emulation and Digital Effects

Discontinued 2017 -

SX300 User Manual

The SX300 amp is 3 channels offering "tone to the bone" from the heaviest metal to smooth blues. GT12-16 12 inch speaker are featured for their tone. Analog 12AX7 tube harmonic emulation on all three channels. Channel 1 offers deep, thick overdrive and a sensational liquid sustain with the HI-GAIN switch. Channel 2 offers deep, thick overdrive to heavy crunch and upper-midrange grit with the blues switch. Channel 3 delivers clean tones ranging from warm and full to shimmering and glassy. Internal lush effects processor with SmartEffects™ control. Just select an Effect and go to the next channel. SmartEffects™ remembers each channel's effects settings.


- Active tone circuits for individual contour and extreme range
- Each channel features: custom tailored BASS, MID, and Treble controls
- PRESENCE switch on each channel adds shimmering highs at the flick of a switch
- SmartEffects™ - Reverb, Chorus, Flange & Echo with two parameter controls for 256 variations
- Sealed controls, Classic black knobs, Red jewel lamp
- Strong Poplar plywood enclosure - not particle board. 
- Covered in thick black vinyl
- Premium components




- 100W Output
- 4 ohm, 8 ohm and 16 ohm impedance switch.
- CH1 EQ @ 80, 700 & 11.5k Hz
- CH2 EQ @ 50, 500 & 11.5k Hz
- GT12-16 12" Speakers
- Cabinet Voiced Line Out, External Effects Loop, Headphone Jack, 2 External Speaker Jacks
- AC Input: 120V OR 240V models
- Dimensions: 26 inches wide X 10.25 inches deep X 17.75 inches high
- Weight: 50 lbs.
- Made in San Diego, California



Michael A. O'Donoghue New York
"I've been playing guitar for over 30 years and let me begin by saying that I am a tube amp purist. I am a working musician and I rely on my Marshall combos and stacks as well as my Peavy 5150 amps. There is nothing as good or better than a Gibson Les Paul plugged into an all tube amp....or so I thought. 

I cannot believe that I am writing a positive review for a solid state amplifier. The SX300 100 watt combo is amazing!! It's like 3 amps in one. There's a HIGH GAIN channel;DISTORTED/NORMAL GAIN channel;and a CLEAN channel. Each channel has its own dedicated EQ.

The tone is unbelievable.Carvin engineers have somehow duplicated the response of tubes. The HIGH GAIN channel has the warmth and blistering sharpness that I get from my 5150's. The NORMAL GAIN has multiple settings and sounds very much like my Marshalls. The CLEAN channel is full of clarity and tone. It's bright and really stands out in the mix. 

There's also an EFFECTS channel. I prefer to use my own effects through the EFFECT LOOP but the SX300 effects are very good. All of these channels can be accessed with the SX300 footswitch and it's just like having 3 different amplifiers at your disposal. 

This is not a practice amp!!! This is a serious amplifier for serious musicians. It is absolutely powerful enough for gigs. Metal,classic, rock,jazz: it is great for all kinds of music. This is not some sort of muddy/digital speaker emulation amp (ala Marshall MG series). It is an amp with Celestian speakers and lots of true tone and power. 

I bought this amp because my tube amps are always in and out of the repair shops.They're great,but very high maintenance. I needed a reliable and equal back up.The SX300 is my answer. I'm a converted believer. Buy this amp!!!! Don't be afraid of the words SOLID STATE any longer. Carvin engineers know what they're doing. Thank you Carvin. Thank you for giving me another great tool for which I can use when I gig. I love this amp." 

Derek Jordan Ontario, Canada 
"I just received my SX300 combo two days before I leave for my trip to Texas. Man this amp rocks! I've tried other amps before but I couldn't wait to try a Carvin. Had a Marshall 900 series years ago I like the sound of a Carvin best investment I've made in a long time. I thought only people who endorse Carvin could get them. All I did was look them up online call spoke to Don and he hooked me up - thanks Don!" 

Gregory Zoebisch Grassflat, PA 
"I got this amp instead of the Belair, mainly because despite my best efforts to save money something always seemed to happen which would suck up my saved money. I semi-reluctantly decided to "settle" on the SX300 as a much needed upgrade to my other amplifier. Well, let me tell you it hasn't been a bad compromise at all. First of all this amplifier is built well. The construction is high quality. The tone is excellent and when turned up at around 4+ (which is as loud as I can get it in my practice room reasonably.) It really DOES compress and react like a tube amp. In fact better than many I've tried. All three channels sound good and the OD channels overdrive well. The tone knobs work and I was able to equalize out the annoying frequencies which my Epiphone Les Paul Ultra produces when overdriven (due to the resonant cavities in the guitar). The clean channel is nice and has a lot of chime. The first night my brother and I jammed he commented on "well I'll tell you this that amp (the Carvin) is three times the amp of that one (Line 6 Spider). The chorus is excellent and reminds my of the chorus on my Peavey "Classic Chorus" amp I had. The reverb is real good and does not give the annoying "digital reverb" sound. It sounds natural . Bottom line? This sucker can throw some sound and the tone is excellent. This is a good amp which I intend to keep." 

Cevin Pryor, OK 
"I bought an SX300 4 months ago and I love it. Its a very versatile amp." 

Joseph Chambers Provo, UT 
"I recently had a little accident with my Carvin V3 half stack in which I broke the power tubes during practice right before a show. And of course, thats not really something I keep spares for. I was about to panic and thought we were in serious trouble. Then I remembered my little practice amp, my SX-300 I bought on a whim last year. I love my V3 and the sound and power it has and I've been using it for almost two years now so I wondered how I could play even one show without it. But, I went and grabbed my SX300, plugged her in, and within about a minute or two I was able to get it to sound pretty darn close to my V3. This amp is really great for a solid state amp. Nothing like those Crates or Peaveys of the same price range that I have tried in the past. Beautiful dynamic cleans, nice crunchy rhythms, and blazing leads. With no effort at all I was able to get my favorite mid-scoop sound out of channel one and though I had to do without the boost feature of my V3, I had no real complaints. The show went amazingly well. Though I was the only guitarist that night going through a 2X12 solid state amp, I don't think my sound suffered at all. This little amp roars and is so versitile. Great practice amp, great intermediate amp, great for small to mid venues. If this is in your price range, get it. Carvin knows how to make great sounding equipment. Now to fix my V3..." 

Christian Rome, GA 
"I bought this amp a couple months ago and I have used it heavily since then. It's an amazing amp. No matter what style you play this amp is just great. It makes my guitar sound far better than it is. I am so impressed, I'm going to switch all my gear to Carvin. I have nothing but good things to say, Carvin. Awesome job!" 

Kenneth Starling Texas 
"I just got it and this thing is a beast! I'm barely on 1 on volume and getting tone like crazy any louder and the cops will be here! This amp is amazing, I'll never buy another name brand of amps again my next amp will be a Carvin too. The price is unbeatable, I'll be back next year to get the Legacy Half Stack. Thanks Carvin, unbeatable tones from this amp." 

Lex Florida 
"I'm a country lead guitar player who needed an amp in a pinch, so I was looking around trying to see what the deals were. I went in and plugged my tele into this SX300 and good lord that thing sounds INCREDIBLE! I immediately bought it and took it to a friend\'s house and played it side by side next to an original '65 Fender Twin Reverb and the tonal qualities are virtually IDENTICAL. I think that you would be hard pressed to find someone who can tell the difference between the SX300 and a high end tube amp without them being side by side...and even then the difference is virtually marginal. It stays clean all the way up the dial (which is what I need) and the slapback echo is PERFECT for Johnny Cash/Rockabilly type tunes. If I ever buy a high end tube amp it will be out of sheer novelty because this amp is my new workhorse. The clean channel screams with twangy goodness, and then it mellows into smooth jazzy tones on the neck pick up or with my '61 SG plugged in. It plays killer blues too, so don't kid yourself (especially with the Presence and Blues switches on). I have no use for an ultra high gain channel, so I haven't even flipped that switch. All I can say is that this amp is a beast! Thanks for designing such a sweet amp, Carvin!" 

Kevin R. Vaught Lowell, MI 
"Today my SX300 arrived at 2:45PM. It is now 11:30 PM and I am just now packing away my DC127 that I recieved last month. I have got to tell you, this combo of the DC127T and SX300 has no other competition anywhere. The tone and sonic palet that this amp delivers is out of this world. From the cleanest shimmering lines to the crunch and bite of a Marshall set at 11. This amp really does sound that good. You guys at Carvin are pure genius to have built such a masterpiece. Keep up the GREAT work!" 

William Prost Albuquerque, NM
"Just a quick note to you regarding my recent purchase of an SX300....this amp is a real eye-opener for a tube-only guy like myself! My old Ampegs and Gibsons (and the occasional Fender) were always the benchmark for me for tone, but I have to happily admit that this SX handily matches the responsiveness and excellent tone of any of my old stalwarts! And this amp is LOUD in the bargain, driving a 2 EVL loaded extension cab to incredible volumes while maintaining fabulous fat tone and sparkle in the higher registers. This amp is the best kept secret in the industry as far as I am concerned, especially in light of it's incredibly low price (and weight!). Thanks, Carvin, for an excellent piece of truly professional level gear. Customer service? First rate as well." 

Randy Jordan USA 
"I bought the SX300 amplifer . Iam very happy with this amp. Tone is great, very loud & the effects are great. I don't have alot of money ,so I try to get the most I can for the dollar. I bought an inexspensive Ibanez Artcore AS73. Was not happy with the sound of pickups. Replaced them with C22B-3 & C22J-3 humbuckers. I swear this guitar sounds like it cost 2 grand.Very happy with my purchases & will tell my friends . Thanks Carvin & staff." 

Micah USA 
"I read the reviews and researched the SX300 and some other amps before I made my decision. I was tired of spending lots of money on so called BOUTIQUE amps over the years, since I am not a PRO musician, and I dont do any gigging to warrant me having a $3000 amp, so I opted for the Carvin SX300, and I am so glad I did. I love this amp. The effects are useful, but I mainly bypass the effects, because I use BOSS effect pedals anyway, and a WAH, which is my favorite effect by the way, and can't play without one now, and its sad. I play mostly hard rock, classic rock, some jazz, jazz, fusion type stuff, blues. I love 80's hairband stuff, which this amp pulls off very well. Also, I can do my jazz fusion stuff on here, just dial in a little cleanand distortion mix, and I have it. Love this amp, and its so light. Get one." 

C. Robinson Slidell, LA 
"This is a great amp - much more than I expected. I have always preferred tube amps including my last amp which was a full tube stack. I don't really need 412 cabs anymore(according to my wife) I just run into the main PA. The sx 212 combo screams with plenty of power, loudness, and clarity. The biggest asset the SX amp has for is that it has PLENTY OF BOTTOM END - much like a tube amp. People usually profile solid state amps as bright, tinny, and has no balls. Believe me, this amp has balls. All of the reviews I read about the amp focused on how the amp compares to amps I've never heard. The amp is as powerful and has plenty of bottom end tube warmth as much as my past 3 tube amps if not more! Also, the people at Carvin that helped me with this order are Great-Especially Kevin who initially took my order!" 

Kevin K. Nisswa, MN 
"I was in the market for a solid state 3 channel amp; I picked the SX300. Let me tell you that Craig Anderton was right on the mark in his review. This amp has every tone that one could want: a crystal clear, dead quiet clean channel and/or any amount of distortion or overdrive that you could want. Add to that effect presets that are instantly recalled, along with footswitchable capabilites. As expected, it has Carvin's bulletproof build quality. I'm a 47 year veteran of club gigs and this SX300 amp takes it's rightful place on stage with me where I go! Kudos to Carvin once again!" 

Tim Lindsey St. Peters, MO 
"Unbelievable sound for the price. Well made and it looks great. You can get almost any tone you want. If it was bigger and heavier you would swear it was a tube. It's my second Carvin amp (also have 100W acoustic which is awesome) and as always it exceeded my expectations. Buy it."