Carvin bx500

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by bassramos, Apr 3, 2011.


  1. bassramos

    bassramos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago North
    Hey tber's, what do you all think of the Carvin BX500 and Carvins little cabs? Are they as good as markbass, schroeder or genz Benz? Would any of this compact gear produce room shaking powerful bottom? Thanks!
  2. bassramos

    bassramos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago North
    Does anybody know about these amps?
  3. Bass_Pounder

    Bass_Pounder

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    Location:
    Palm Coast, Florida
    Search function is your friend..............LOTS of threads about them
  4. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
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  6. MyMusic

    MyMusic

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    Dover, De
    I'm very happy with my BX500 and BRX10.2 cab. Its very loud when necessary and dependable (only had mine since Nov.) and lightweight. More importantly, it sounds great and its easy to use. Excellent value.
    Can't tell you if its better than the above mentioned amps, that's somewhat of a personal thing. It works for me and I'm quite satisfied.
  7. bassramos

    bassramos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago North
    Cant seem to find much on here about this head... I used my friend the search function... Does anybody know how this compares to Markbass heads?:meh:
  8. ddbassGA

    ddbassGA Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Athens, GA
    There is a ton on here about this head. Keep looking. It is a huge value, about half the price or less than Mark, Genz, or Gallien. Good power, nice eq with para mids, light and small, though not as small as Mark or Shuttle or GK MB series. I don't know why they have the graphic eq when the para eq works just fine. I think they could have made it cheaper and smaller yet without the graphic. Some annoyances -- direct out is only pre-eq, not post. But overall a very respectable little amp with a ton of power for the money. Though some folks have had some trouble with theirs. I bought mine used for under $300, shipped. I like it, but it now serves as my backup since I like my Shuttle better.

    To your original post, the guy who turned me on to the BX500 ran it into 2 Carvin 2x10 4-ohm cabs. That's doable since the BX goes down to 2 ohms. He was getting some serious serious volume from that compact rig, all for under $800 brand new. Carvin doesn't have the name prestige of some of the other brands, but they make real good stuff, mostly here in the USA, and sell it direct at a reasonable price. My 2 cents.

    Now go search, grasshopper.
  9. Jarrett

    Jarrett Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Waxahachie, Tx
    I like my BX500 a lot. I had a Shuttle 9.0, but sold it after getting the BX500. I also bought one of their BR (not X) 2x10 cabs and I'm not as fired up about it as I am the head.
  10. cavedweller

    cavedweller

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Kansas City,Missouri
    It's a nice little head but has too much eq for my taste. It took me a little while to dial it in until I just shut off the graphic eq.
  11. MyMusic

    MyMusic

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    Dover, De
    Jarrett, the BRX is the cab to have.
  12. cavedweller

    cavedweller

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    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Kansas City,Missouri
    +1 on the brx,I am running a 410 brx.It is a quality box.
  13. elwood1205

    elwood1205

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Location:
    The Triangle, North Carolina
    I have had the BX500 for about a month now and love it. I waited a while before buying. I saw a lot of the folks on here having some issues initially. I waited for the debug period to pass and pulled the trigger. I have to say this is a great little head. Powerful, lightweight and tons of EQ possibilities. I love the tone. I find it punchy and clean but when I engage the tube in the preamp and give a little drive I can get a little dirt as well.

    I have no experience with the other amps you mention.

    I have had a less than stellar experience with the one Carvin cab I had. I bought one of the old Red Line 2x10 used and it went back after 2 days. Farted out pretty bad on the E string. But I don't have any experience with the newer BR or BRX cabs. I have heard a lot of good things but no personal experience.
  14. vinxbass

    vinxbass

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Location:
    Sacramento/Pacifica, CA
    The BRX series cabs are the ones to go for.
  15. Handyman

    Handyman

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The BX500 allows for some pretty awesome cabinet flexibility. It can put out a full 500 watts into either a 4 or 2 ohm load.
  16. Bodyelectric

    Bodyelectric

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    southern Vermont USA
    To be fair,I searched here for reviews when considering purchasing the BX 500, Found all the threads but it was so littered with discussions about peoples other equipment that I could not find a decent review. I finally found some reviews elsewhere that prompted me to go ahead and buy this amazing amp. I read through hundreds of Carvin BX 500 posts and found literally nothing useful to someone wanting to purchase one. I gave up after a half hour or so. I knew the info was in their somewhere but It was mostly about peoples gear in general. So Here is my review. I love it . I run a 4ohm 4x12 (also Carvin). I found it to be super clean almost to a fault and quite loud.
  17. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Wausau, WI
    Because Graphic EQ's control a wider band of frequencies, whereas a Parametric EQ deals with specific frequencies. Having both allows you to boost/cut a wider swath of frequencies with the Graphic and then fine tune it further with the Parametric. Or visa versa.

    Say you cut 80Hz and 125Hz on the Graphic but it takes out just a little too much low end overall than you like, but you don't want to boost them back up either. With the Parametric, you can boost specifically 100Hz (for example) without affecting the surrounding frequencies.

    Some people also use the Graphic EQ (because it is switchable) to be able to switch back and forth between dramatic tone changes quickly.
  18. brocco

    brocco

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    I use my BX 500 thru two small 13 lbs. 1 x 12 cabs with DeltaLite 2512's and I can not say enough good things about this set up!Play with 2 loud groups and can use this rig with out PA support if needed.This head kills,I like to crank the drive up max and the contour totally flat,talk about punch.Or scoop the mids and have a nice vintage sound.I throw mine in a small footlocker with all my cables,I can carry in all 3 pieces ready to go in 10 min.I have had a lot of gear in the last 40 yeasrs but I am done now.
  19. Jarrett

    Jarrett Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Waxahachie, Tx
    Thanks, I've sworn off Carvin cabs and use the SWR Golights now. I've been playing an SWR or Eden cab since I started playing bass 20 years ago and I just kind of gravitate to that sound I guess. I had the BRN 2x10 and just really didnt like the way it sounded. Love my Carvin SB5000 and BX500, but their cab didn't do it for me. Considering it uses the same speakers and wood, I thought the BRX was probably not for me either.

    Yep that's my favorite part of this amp, its like a swiss army knife. I can use it with anything and at least get a decent sound.

    I wouldn't say it has "too much eq" as you said you can turn it off if not needed. I don't use the graphic much either. I figured if I ever want a second sound from the amp in a live situation, I can get a footswitch and put the graphic EQ to use as an on the fly tone shaper as Sundogue mentioned.

    This post made me chuckle a bit. There is tons of useful info about the BX500 on this forum, just throw BX500 in the search field and you'll get multiple pages of threads about the amp. Here's a good one for example:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/carvin-bx500-pt-3-a-644097/

    But the part that made me laugh was after complaining about not finding good, in depth reviews of the amp, this is what you offer:
    I'm sorry man to laugh, but you have to admit that's a little funny :D
  20. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Location:
    Davenport Iowa
    I've got the BX500 and it's a great amp . I had a Markbass LMII before this and like the BX500 just as much . They both sound very good but different .

    The Markbass seems warmer with smoother mids and can get a few different sounds with the VLE and VPF knobs . The Carvin is more clinical , not as warm but it seems to cut through more than the LMII . The BX500 can get close to the sound of the LMII if you want but the LMII isn't as versitile as the Carvin .

    I think the Carvin is just as much a quality amp and is way more versitile and will do 2 ohm loads too . They both have the same amount of power but my Carvin does seem to have a little more with my band .

    Would I want an LMII again since I've had the Carvin ? Sure , it's a great sounding amp . Do I have any desire to go sell the Carvin and get an LMII again ? No , I like the Carvin just as much .
  21. locriansharpsec

    locriansharpsec

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Ive had mine for quite a while playing through their brx 2x10 and thought it was just alright. Tried it with a few more of their cabs (br4x10 and a brx 18) and honestly not real happy. Then I bought an Ampeg 8x10 cab and this thing is so different now in so many good ways. It kicks ass! Still want to go to an all tube amp though and then use this as a backup but for under $400 brand new this amp is a good deal. Im just looking for a more tube tone myself.

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