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"The Monster" - Carvin BX1500-BR210-BR118 field test

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by TheOxRocks, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. TheOxRocks


    Apr 23, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I know that giving a tone report based on playing in the house is not the full measure of what an amp is capable of, so I wanted to give another report based on playing in gig conditions.

    When my band mates saw me wheeling the Monster in, they were naturally apprehensive. After all, we were playing in a restaurant/bar, not Madison Square Garden, and they were concerned that I would blast them all off the stage - and the patrons right out of the club. Told them "Don't sweat it. I've been playing around with this guy for a week. I KNOW I've got a handle on this. Just trust me."

    I set my levels, maybe consciously considering the power I had at my command. During the first song, my wife pointed at her ear and mouthed "You're not loud enough." (We had no FOH - it was our PA and we set our own levels. None of the amps were miked) I looked at my lead guitarist, pointed at my ear and mouthed "Can you hear me?" He shook his head no. So I turned up ever so slightly.


    It was like cutting in the after-burners on a drag racer. Not only did I distinctly HEAR every note I played, I also FELT every note. Clear, crisp highs, solid but not boomy bottom end, very articulate even down to the lowest C on my 5-string. I'd never sounded like this before - or this good. Even when I tweaked the treble for my John Entwistle impersonation on "The Real Me", nothing was lost as far as carrying the low end. Having the bi-amping capability really gave me a lot of control over the two cabinets - I could alter my sound just by cutting or boosting the 210 (I left the 118 alone) with minimal tweaks on the bass EQ itself.

    A friend of mine who was sitting in the back of the club told me that she felt "shovelfuls" of bass - but that it was well integrated into the overall band sound and was in no way overpowering. She's been to a few of our gigs and said "I've never really heard you well until tonight." My wife concurred, even if by her own admission she's not as musically sophisticated as my friend - plus, she hears me play nearly every day.

    The band were impressed mostly that I was able to tame the beast and not kill their hearing.

    So, Carvin, you've convinced me. You make great basses, great amps, great cabinets... and I will never do business with any other company for the rest of my bass-playing life.

    PS - apropos of nothing, the new amp system has prompted another purchase. The 210 - the smaller of the two cabinets - doesn't fit into my car's trunk by a matter of centimeters (not that it's too long, it's too deep for me to even get it past the opening). So my timetable for buying an SUV has necessarily been moved up by several months. Thank you for that, too, Carvin! ;)

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