I know a lot of people who own the Carvin unit and love em. I tried one and i couldnt hear ANY difference between my ART and the Carvin. Both were awesome. But the Carvin weighs less indeed.
I would love to sit down and try out some other power amps. But its not like walking into a music store to try a standard guitar amp haha. Id have to bring my SMS and my Wolf or Bean etc and then where do i go? Guitar Center has jack shit for selection and thats it for places in my area. We should get some sort of Gear weekend for all us to get together every spring or summer or fall, something. We can all get together and try each others gear and all learn a LOT. Food for thought
But i know that some power amps with the SMS do NOT sound as good as either the Carvin or ART and its not the SMS fault, its the power amp. So you def need to pick the right unit that works with the SMS correctly. But hey if your not 100% chasing that Jerry tone and are just trying to get close, maybe some of these other power amps that I mentioned not liking, you may like.
If i had to replace my ART, id buy another haha. But if i spotted a Carvin before i ordered the ART, i would get the Carvin. Ive just had no reason not to replace this ART if it was stolen. Now if it fails on me live on the road or something and gives me that type of reason, well i would def be checking out the Carvin or another power amp over the ART for sure. But so far, so good and when i find something that works I stick to it. Used Twins for 20+ years, took surgery and medical issues for me to downsize to to the SMS setup i have now haha!! I loved my Twins.
With the ART tho (cant remember if i mentioned this before). Is the fans are known to be noisy and i dont think the Carvins have this issue. I bought a silent fan that moved more air and is quieter and the amp is silent now and never gets too warm (even cranked). The Carvin is a louder amp tho. The ART is 100watts per channel. So it may not be loud enough for some.
Blues Jr Mods, Tubes and kits.
"Bound to cover just a lil more ground"