Carvin MACH100 review

A 100-watt stereo power amp the size of an MXR stompbox

(Image: © courtesy of Carvin)

Guitar World Verdict

A small box with a big output, the MACH100 makes perfect sense for those looking for loud, clean and reliable power – perfect for when your amp fails on your, perfect for building a compact and portable pedalboard rig.


  • +

    A lot of power from the teensiest of footprints.

  • +

    Tone-wise, it's clean and neutral.

  • +

    Stereo functionality and line-in.

  • +

    Good value.


  • -

    Some players may want an EQ control or two.

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Sooner or later, I believe you’re going to be seeing a lot more power amp pedals. Nearly every guitarist I know relies on multiple stompboxes or modeling amps/effects-processing floorboards as their main guitar rig, and at this point you’d be foolish not to have one of these compact power amps as the last part of your signal chain on a pedalboard. 

In the rare occurrence that your favorite amplifier fails you, at least you’d have this as a backup. However, in the interest of downsizing and convenience, there are many players who already use a power amp pedal in their rigs. 

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.