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another Carvin B1500 thread, opinions needed

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by totallybacan, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. totallybacan


    Mar 30, 2009
    So I was talking bass with my bass mentor, who's played for over 30 years. I told him my situation which is as follows:

    My guitarist uses a mesa road king II (100+ w)

    My drummer is used to not being mic'd. aka, LOUD

    And the singer has her own PA system for vocals.

    The majority of shows we play are without PA or provide it with PA but only for vocals.

    I'm using an SVT 200T running at 8 ohms into an SWR Working Man's 410T. Sometimes I bring a Big Ben to drop it down to 4 ohms. However, this is nowhere near the amount or projection that I have. I'm afraid of clipping the power amp, which i do about every other gig. So of course i lower the volume and, like magic, the bass player disappears.

    Ideally, I would like to get a Carvin b1500 with 2 avatar 212's. totaling 4 ohms. This is where i would like anyone's opinions. I don't have much money at all for gear, I would like a good set up which can match the rest of the ensemble easily, doesn't sound like crap, and won't fall apart after a month on the road. Is this a good setup to have in mind? Also, I showed my mentor the b1500 and his reaction was to stay away from it. I fear he is suffering from boutique syndrome, but I can't help but be worried that if i buy this amp it will be worth a lot in the tone and power department.

    P.S. Sorry for the long message
  2. The Carvin boys will speak up and I don't think you'll hear much bad. IMO you are on a good track. I just did an outdoor gig, everyone except me in the FOH. I used a G-K Fusion 550 and G-K NEO 412 against a powerful drummer and two guitars, oh yeah and the guy that spits at the mike. I got asked to turn down.
  3. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I'm curious as to why he said to stay away from it. I love boutique gear as much as the next guy, but I'm currently using a B1500 and markbass F1 (not exactly boutique amps), and my tone has never been better.
  4. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I know a guy that uses a 200T with an SWR 4x10. Sounds pretty awesome.
  5. You're looking to go from an amp that puts out 350 watts (@4 ohms) to an amp that puts out 1500. I'd say there will be a difference! I do not own a B1500, but I do own Carvin equipment, & I can tell you they have plenty of power. My
    R1000 (with Carvin 10's + 15) will shake the earth. And the tonal variations available are many; I have found that Carvin amps work well with all my basses, active & passive.

    In short, I wouldn't sweat the B1500. Whether the Avatar cab's can take that kind of power is another matter...
  6. totallybacan


    Mar 30, 2009
    I'm not looking to crank up drive and volume. I'm more interested in having an amp that considers one of my gigs a lazy sunday morning as opposed to the svt which is running a marathon the entire time. In other words, headroom, clean tone, and ability to turn up if the room requires.

    I just checked the specs and 2x 212's would be 1000 w rating at 4, so that's more than enough for the carvin's 1250 IME.

    To Tony G, About the boutique stuff that my mentor said, he gave me the talk about "I knew Carvin growing up but my teacher told me to stay away." He's never tried one of their amps. Then when I showed him the amp on Carvin's website, he was discouraged by the knobs (said they looked like they had stickers on them) and in general said the amp seemed like it could have the power, but no good tone to match his GK 800rb
  7. No disrespect to your mentor, but the B1500 is a high quality, solid head with loads of power for very reasonable money. Do some searching around here and you'll find a lot of good stories, and likely a video of Carvin's president, IIRC, doing a "durability test". Something about throwing one across the parking lot, then hooking it up to see if it still works...
  8. Really? The knobs? Come on now, that's not the kind of objection any sensible person should take seriously. No disrespect, but if your mentor has never even tried the B1500, how can his opinion about it be worth anything?

    Opinions differ, and no amp is the best amp for everybody. Nobody is obliged to love Carvin, or G-K, or Ampeg, or anything else. But at least I can say that any amp I have an opinion on, I've at least tried. Sheesh. Nothing like a closed mind....

    FWIW, I've put in a lot of time on 800RBs, and I've owned a B1500 for a while. The G-K is a good amp, but I personally would take the B1500 11 times out of 10. Not just for power, but for tone. Just my $0.02.
  9. OK, 1250 watts...I'm used to running 2 Carvin 4 ohm cabs, so in my situation a B1500 would be putting out 1900:eek: watts. Which my speakers would definitely NOT handle. But you're right: it's all about handling the requirements of the situation, without breaking a sweat, without pushing (too) hard, without clipping, & the issues clipping brings. As for the tone: I've played GK, & they have great sounding amps. But I think the Carvin is every bit the equal, with more power less cost. JMO. For the record I have 3 Carvin amps (2 RL, 1 BX series) and none of them look...or sound...cheap, in any way.
  10. Are going to get a sound to please your mentor's ears or your ears? The 800rb is a great amp I played one for almost a decade, playing a G-K Fusion 550 now, but niether one may have the sound that is in your head or soul.
  11. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I'm a satisfied B1500 user. It has abundant power, sounds good, and is affordable; it's a no-brainer if you don't mind the weight.

    If you check the last installment of BassGear magazine, you'll find a favorable review.

    If you use the TalkBass search function, you'll find abundant posts on the B1500.

    IIRC, there's a used B1500 in the TB classifieds right now.

    Good luck in your quest. :)
  12. totallybacan


    Mar 30, 2009
    That's why i called this thread "another carvin..." because i have searched and read reviews (Smash's) and the general opinion on the amp. I was mainly seeing if that was the right direction i should go in given my situation. and since i don't have money to throw around, if i buy the carvin it's still with me for a while whether i like it or not. but i agree with what has been said, and that name doesn't matter at all. as for the knobs, it was like he was finding excuses to hate it because it was carvin. overall, i'm pleased with the good response of the b1500 and am planning on being a future owner of one.

    In the end, it doesn't matter what the audience sees IMO, but what they hear coming out of the speakers
  13. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    I love my B1500. It does everything I want in an amp, and sounds great. And has headroom to spare. Carvin has put out some duds (many disliked the Redline items, although some liked them just fine), but this is a true gem that is severely underpriced.

    And, it has a 10 day return policy, so give it a whirl and see what you think. If you don't like it, you'll be out shipping, but that's it.

    I played a fair sized gig this weekend with mine powering a GK SBX410 cab. Had the Subbass, Bass and Treble knobs cut to about 11:00, the Mid boosted to about 1:00, all other EQ knobs flat. Had the drive on 11:00 and volume at about 10:00, and filled the room, balancing a full country/rock/blues band (lead guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar through PA, drums, 2 voices, plus me). The amp truly was loafing, taking it easy, and that's running into a not-overly-efficient, sealed 8 ohm 410.

    I seriously doubt you'd be disappointed. No amp is perfect for everyone, of course, but this is a truly good one.

    Good luck!

  14. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    If tone is something your worried about, take a listen to this rough demo we cut last night. Ill put this up against any "boutique" tone.

    http://www.kjdmusic.com/band/Keepers 2009.04.27.mp3

    Just my P/J bass, carvin post eq direct into the recording board. and untouched other than volume.
  15. If you look at my profile, you'll see that I've been through my fair share of amps in the last 2 years! IMHO, the Carvin was one of my favorite, with my favorite going to the DB750. For the price, you can't beat it. Don't be fooled by the price, if Carvin didn't sell direct, I'm sure this amp would be at least twice what they sell it for. You could throw the B1500 in a shallow 3 space rack and have a somewhat small quick setup. I LOVED the B1500/NV215 combination. It's a very quick and clean sounding amp. It's also one of the only amps that didn't constantly clip on me during the bigger shows. Yes, I play loud and need tons of power, not only for the volume, but for the pants flapping as well. ;)
  16. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    That pretty much describes my experience with the B1500 to a tee.

    Actually, the knobs on the B1500 feel amazingly smooth and solid--much better than many of the "boutique" amps I've owned.

  17. i dont know about the 1500 but i bought the br615 last year and had problems with it all the time. its rated at 600 watts but plays at 400 by itself. just a few days after the warranty was up it started to distort bad and crappin out and had only been played at 3 or 4 gigs and i take care of my stuff, no effects no distortion and i dont peak it out. anyway i check the speaker and every thing carvin told me to check, couldnt afford to send it to them since the warranty was out. our guitar player is some what of a tech and took it apart and found some of the solder joints are what ever their called needed resolder and ther were a bunch. so it works now and seems to work good, but now its scares me to use it with out a backup. it seems to work okay. iam also a guitar player and had one of thier belair 212s it crap out should had learn my lesson. so be careful.
  18. Dude, find another mentor. His mind is about as encapsulated as it gets. The B1500 is a beast and very well respected around these parts. Your mentor needs to watch his tone.:eyebrow:
  19. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=529729 - Read this.......there are some TBr's whose opinion I respect who comment in that thread that they prefer the B1500 over the Aguilar DB750 and/or Glockenlang Heart Rock!!!!!! Seriously, the B1500 is one of the best kept secrets in amplification.

    Also, the B1500 can pull 2 ohms.......might as well make it 2ea 4ohm Avatars.
  20. totallybacan


    Mar 30, 2009
    awesome guys thanks for that. just waiting to see if a fellow tb'er is willing to sell his carvin. Then to get a rack, a 212, then a rack tuner, power conditioner, road cases... the list goes on

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