Carvin FET-450

Except for the some guitar hardware, knobs and such, this is the only thing I’ve ever purchased from Carvin. But not for lack of interest. I’ve had an eye on their guitars and basses for decades.

I bought this amp when I was intending to put together what I call a “universal rig”. I play guitar and bass both, and switch between them live. Instead of having a separate rig for each, I figured it made sense to have a power amp and speaker system that could serve either. With separate guitar and bass preamps and a small rack-mounted mixer, you could just flip a switch to pick which instrument you wanted to play.

The Universal Rig never happened. Mostly due to my annoying habit of changing direction right in the middle of things. Not long after I got the power amp, I lost interest in playing live. Too many headaches. Too many egos. Musicians can really be a major pain the ass, you know. This power amp saw use mostly as part of my stereo.

I never gave up on the idea of the Universal Rig. It still makes sense today. For someone like me, anyway. I’m not hung up on the idea of playing Marshalls and Ampegs. I have some kick-ass preamps in my Alembic F-2B and my old ART SGX-2000.

Hell, I’ve toyed around with the idea of setting a laptop computer on top of the speaker cabinet and using Amplitube 2 or Ampeg SVX during shows. That’d blow some minds, wouldn’t it? I kind of like the idea of your guitar head being a graphic displayed on a monitor.

Okay, so the point of all this is that from the beginning I’ve wanted something flexible enough to serve as either a guitar rig or a bass rig, as the need arose. That’s how I wound up with this power amp back in the very early 1990’s. For that purpose, it’s perfect.

Luckily Carvin built the FET-450 like a tank. After all these years, it’s still going strong. Who knows? It might achieve that Universal Rig one day. I never really let go of a good idea. I really only need the right speaker cabinet. For the moment, I’m using it in my gigging bass rig, and it’s doing just fine.

“For the price, features, and quality
you can’t beat Carvin.”

– Mario Sangermano

Purchased: 1990
Condition: Functional
Amp Type: Solid State
Model: FET-450
Manufacturer: Carvin
Seller: Carvin
Price: $350

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