When I was a kid I toured with a youth r&b band. I mostly played keys but occasionally played guitar. The youth group's guitar amp was a Yamaha "hundred 410" aka G100-410 and to this day it was one of the best sounding clean amps I've ever played.

When I first started playing professionally, I was young and poor. I remembered how much I loved the old Yamaha and figured if I could only afford one amp, I wanted a cheap, loud, clean, solid state amp like the Yamaha. At the time there werent a lot of solid state amps on the market that focused on having a nice clean channel. At the time modeling amps were really popular. Other than those, the only thing I found that was loud and solid state was the Carvin.

I bought two, one for the east coast, one for the midwest. It was in fact loud and clean and reliable, in addition to being lightweight and cheap. But something was missing from the sound compared to what I was used to. At the time I didnt understand what it was, but I knew I could get it from a Fender. I eventually sold the east coast Carvin and bought a Fender FM212r when it came out. Sound quality and volume were lesser but it had the missing element, which I now know to be "sparkle".

Eventually I found a bunch of Yamahas and sold the other Carvin. Some of those failed, some were stolen, some were too big/heavy to gig with. Been gigging with Crate Vintage Club Series (when I have to provide my own amp) since 2010. My favorite version is the 3x10. Unfortunately a 3x10 tube amp is just as big and heavy as a 410 solid state (Yamaha). I've recently picked up a bunch of smaller local gigs and a huge loud tube amp is overkill. Plus the reliability issues that come with tubes-- I've had a fuse blow during a gig on multiple occasions.

Someone mentioned the Carvin in a thread and it reminded me that I used to own one. Thought occurred that swapping speakers might have been all that was needed to find the missing sparkle. Craigslist had one a few hours away (in an area I needed to travel to anyways) for $130.

Grabbed it, and it was exactly as I remembered. LOUD, small, lightweight, LOUD, very sterile cleans, and LOUD. The stock speakers were Celestions (British) and as I remembered it was an excellent amp for pedals and external distortion.

I swapped in many different speakers and documented that with plenty of video. I can post the videos if there's interest.

Bottom line, I plan to use it for smaller gigs where I dont want to bring a big heavy amp or worry about having a backup. It's plenty loud for even the biggest venues although it doesnt sit in the mix quite as well as a tube amp.

I would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a loud clean solid state amp for similar circumstances. I would NOT use it for recording although I should probably try the "voiced line out" in the studio out of curiosity.

I remember the gain channel(s) favorably but do not care for them now. Could be because of the speaker swap but I dont think I liked them before the swap either.

Anyone else have any experience with these amps they want to share?
cool story.
that may have been sarcastic. maybe?
Can't say I'm a huge fan of the SX series. Glad you found an amp that works for you, it sounds like it does just what you want it to do.

I will agree that the FM212 is very good at "loud and clean." I had the 65, and a buddy had the 212. Both were excellent for running pedals.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.