NAD: Carvin HD1000+BRX15.3
Pardon the terrible picture; I can't find the actual digital camera, and the phone's camera is noisy as heck in low light.
I've been feeling like I wanted to go pre+PA+cab for flexibility, and like I wasn't confident in the power levels of my Basic Black for use with a rock drummer, so I talked myself into dropping by the Carvin showroom on the way home from work. (I live about ten minutes' drive from the place; it's just plain dangerous.)
At the moment the SWR is just holding the pre/PA up at eye level, but I can also use it as the preamp (either with or without its own speaker contributing). I haven't really wrung the system out yet, just verified that everything works, but tomorrow night I have the house to myself. Look out, neighbors. :-)
Nice. I love my Carvin gear.
Please post back once you've used the BRX15.3 for awhile. It would be nice to hear a review from someone who's actually used one. :smug:
+1 on the review of the BRX15.3. And yes the Carvin showroom is a dangerous place. I used to live about 30 min. south of there. It was my favorite toy store.
I'm not too familiar with the BBE preamp yet (I've mostly used it as a glorified DI for recording), so it's going to be a little hard to recognize what's the cabinet and what's the preamp. I'll do my best.
I did A/B it against the BRX 2x10 in the showroom, using one of the heads they had on hand, and there was *no* comparison. Maybe that should have been obvious, but after hearing (and feeling) some really good small cabinets with expensive names on them, I was starting to feel like a couple of 10s with a good power level feeding them might be all I needed. That might still be true if I spent Epifani or Bergantino amounts of money, but not at this price point, it ain't.
An update after an evening with the musical gear, bothering no one but the dogs and the chickens: The 15.3 seems to me like a fairly transparent cabinet. I did some fiddling with cables so that I could run the same signal (from the SWR preamp) into both the 3-way (via the Carvin PA) and the 15" in the SWR (via its own power section), and did my best to compare the results. Unfortunately I couldn't work out a way to get the exact same signal to both speakers (I don't have a spare speaker cable around), so some of the differences could conceivably be down to the power sections.
The Carvin cab isn't as articulate in the low end, but it's OK, just not as distinguished as the SWR (which I believe is a PAF speaker of some kind). On the other hand, I actually liked its high-mids better than the BB, which has much more of a vocal "quack" that I find sort of obtrusive and artificial-sounding. Slap-and-pop sounds, to the limited extent that I can do them, are more in-your-face with the SWR, but more natural-sounding through the Carvin.
The Carvin might have a harder time cutting through a mix; I'm not sure, it may depend on what kind of "cut" you want. The SWR tends to make transient-y noises, clicks and clanks, which are plenty audible but don't necessarily carry much tonal information with them. I'm feeling like the Carvin may need more power to be heard, but sound fuller when it does get through.
The Carvin PA, by the way, seems nice and drama-free. It claims "above 106 dB" SNR; at full volume I didn't hear any noticeable hiss. What can I say? It's a power amp, y'know? It takes things and makes them loud. I like that.
Carvin kicks ass. The BRX15.3 cab won't be a big hit for people who like their cabs light, but it's still a good deal for a well built, 15" 3-way cab.
I believe, after comparing dimensions, they cut costs on construction by using the BRX10.4 box, which is a big box for a 115. It's only real competitor in the price range is the Avatar TB153, which is a bit more expensive but carries with it a solid reputation here at Talkbass. A head-to-head comparison would be cool.
This is actually the first review I've seen of the BRX15.3. I was confident it would be good because the other BRX cabs are very good.
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