**I originally posted this on the BBS on the Carvin website, but no responses so far...**
This might get a bit long-winded, so please bear with me...also, disclaimer: I will be throwing out names of bass amps OTHER than Carvin, hopefully that's okay (Mods, please feel free to move this to the "Non-Carvin Gear" forum if I am breaking rules here
I am a long-time "bedroom bassist" (last time I played in public was 1995...sigh...) who wants to spread his wings and start playing out again. Right now I am thinking just small "coffeehouse" type gigs, just myself playing some solo bass compositions (hoping it evolves into hooking up with some other players and being in an actual band.)
The amp I have been using for years is a solid-state SWR combo. There is nothing "wrong" with it per sť, save for the fact that it is a little sterile sounding to my ears a lot of the time. I am pretty sure it has enough power to project in the small venues that I am thinking of playing in at this time...
So what am I looking for? That's a good question...for starters, I am a bit of a technophobe, and I get pretty overwhelmed when I start looking at what's out there. Tube amps, solid state, hybrid...how does one choose? Here are a few things that I can say:
1. I definitely love the warmth of an amp that has tubes somewhere in the signal path.
2. Weight is not a real issue for me, I know a lot of people shy away from tube amps because they don't wanna be schlepping the heavy buggers around, but I am used to packing lots of weight/doing lots of heavy physical labour in my job, so...
3. I am leaning more towards a combo or stack as opposed to a rackmount rig, both for simplicity's sake and (hopefully) to keep the costs down.
4. As mentioned, I am hoping to start jamming with other people and maybe being in an actual band again at some point. So although I am talking small venues/solo performances to start, I am thinking it might be an idea to go with a high-powered rig right from the get-go so that I have the power/volume to compete with other instruments in a band setting down the road.
Now having said all that, here are a few brands that have piqued my interest:
1. Carvin (obviously.) I am considering the BX1500 head, but not sure which cabinet configuration(s) would work best.
2. Hartke HyDrive 210C combo amp. Saw one of these in a shop the other day, didn't actually plug into it, but have read some online reviews, mostly seems to be highly-regarded stuff.
3. Peavey Tour 700. Totally solid state (as far as I know), but I have read good things about these amps/Peavey gear in general, so it's definitely on my radar.
4. Trace Elliot AH-1200. I watched Ed Friedland's review of this amp on the "Bass Whisperer" YouTube channel, seems like a solid amp for sure, obviously with power to spare at 1200 watts.
I have absolutely no doubt that the Carvin BX1500 with almost any cab config would compete with any of the systems I mentioned (and power-wise it would obviously decimate the Hartke, which I believe is only rated at 100 watts.) I don't even have a huge problem with the fact that I can't plug into and try out a Carvin rig beforehand, as I am well aware of Carvin's quality/reputation. I guess my one potential issue with Carvin is if it needed repairs at some point, would I actually have to pack it up and ship it back to Carvin to be fixed? Not that that'd necessarily be the end of the world either, especially if I had a backup rig...
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? All are welcome...