Anybody have experiences with Carvin Amps???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ldiezman, Aug 12, 2001.

  1. ldiezman

    ldiezman Guest

    Jul 11, 2001
    I was just wondering what people think or know about carvin amps. I have heard mixed things.. I've played through a friends carvin practice amp.. but that is about it... Some say they are excellent some people say they aren't so great. The price is an eye catcher.. I mean these things look great on the website but how do they sound.. So what do you guys think???
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I have yet to own my RL1018, but I have sold some Carvin Power Amps and Guitar Amps.
    Taking that point as a reference I can truly say their craftmanship is superb.
    Their power amps are really good, in fact, I prefeer them over Mackie´s and QSC´s, in terms of price and true reproduction.

    Now, the Tube Guitar amps are just AMAZING, they sound better than any Marshall I have tried/sold and have MesaBoogie like tone qualities, it is impresive that the Clean channel stays clean even if cranked.
    The AG100D Sounds incredible too.

    Great products in my opinion.
    If the quality of this products is present in their Bass line, (wich Im sure its the case), You will be more than happy.

    Im getting a RL1018 soon.
  3. I have the R600 (series II) and it sounds great! I plan to get a R1000 soon (more power, plus a direct out level control and speakon friendly on the series III.)
    The sound on the practice amps may differ from that of the larger combo amps, like the 210 and the cyclops, because the practice amps don't have a pre amp tube or tube emulator. If you want a combo, I'd go for the bigger ones, cuz they feature the R600 amp.
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Another vote for Carvin here. I have an RC210, (R600 head and 2X10 combo), and it has been my main gig rig for nearly three years. Dependable, versatile, portable, loads of power... Well worth the bucks! And, like Luis says, the tube guitar amps are the satch!!!

  5. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I've had great luck with their amps. I've owned a R1000 and a 4-ohm 1x15 which sounds great. I also have a PB100, which is a 100-watt 1x10 combo. It sounds great, and is small and light. I've never had a problem with them.
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I have 2 of their 4x10 bass cabs, imo they sound very good. and the craftsmenship is 2nd to none, I cant comment on the bass amps but if they are anything like the guitar head/cab I played at a local music store, then Id have to say it'll be a great sounding head. I was more impressed by carvins guitar amp than I was the marshalls that ive heard. So Id like to think the rl bass heads are just as good.
  7. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    :eek: Easy! Just kidding! I own the cyclops and have had to send the amp back twice, once after warranty was up and they still covered it. I definatly have mixed feelings about it's performance. I really can't compare it to anything else because it is the only real amp I have ever owned. If I were to do it again I would get the DCM 1000 if I was to go with Carvin and add a preamp. Then I would find some sweet cabs to go along with that. I would advise against the R600 Cyclops. The cab isn't much to brag about sound wise and it is alot to drag around. For a few dollors more you can get the R600 amp, a 15 cab, and a 2x10 cab as seperates. Much more versitile, you can use different combinations. And then for a few more bucks you can get the R1000. I guess for the money they are hard to beat. And they stand behind their product. But like Daddy always said, "Son, don't ever be afraid to get the very best. That way you will always be satisfied."

    So my 2000 watt QSC is on order along with my Bergantino Cabs. Or did I order Bag End? And my preamp, Well I am still undecided.:D
  8. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I have an RC210 combo and I have to say the quality is top notch. This thing is built rock solid and made to last. I really like the head. It is versatile and powerful. The speakers are IMO "good". They aren't really anything to brag about but they aren't shabby. When you consider the price Carvin's are a steal.
  9. They're very good amps IMO. I like them, tonally, better than anything in their price range, the watt-dollar ratio is great, and they're not overly huge. The only reason I don't own one today is that the series III R600s (yes, more than one) I tried would shut down when bridged into a 4 ohm Acme Low B-2. If you're using a different cab, and especially if you would be either (a) running the two sides individually into loads no lower than 4 ohms or (b) bridging into 8 rather than 4 ohms, you'd very likely be just fine.

    If you go for a bass head, I suggest the R1000 rather than the R600. Only $80 more, and the extra headroom would be worth it. It won't give you a huge volume increase, just more reserve power, which is always good to have.
  10. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    FWIW i run my R600 Series II bridged into 4 ohms all the time and never have problems.
  11. The reason the Carvin price is, as you say, an "eye catcher" is because they seem to leave one aspect of their products compromised, IME. For instance, with their basses, it's the pickups, with their amps, it's the speakers, that get shortchanged. Still, they are a very good value.

    The R series heads are a great buy. Incredible flexibility, very good reliablility, latest technology, no plastic knobs, features galore.

    The cabs are built first rate - thick birch plywood, tough-as-nails covering instead of Tolex, strong steel grilles. But they do "goosey" things like making their 4x10 an 8 ohm cab instead of a 4 ohm which would draw more power. Better Eminence speakers or the option to have them installed would be a big plus. Those that they use get the job done for me, but they're what keeps their cabs from being taken seriously by sound connoisseurs.
  12. Oh yeah, I'm sure most people don't. That's why I didn't say, DON'T BUY IT, IT SUXX! :D And why I listed my particular gear and noted that people who don't use what I do will probably do fine.

    But I have heard of at least three people besides me, here and on the Carvin board, who have had shutdown problems. I think most had series IIIs. Even if the chance of inappropriate shutdown is statistically small, which it appears to be, it's worth mentioning IMO, because it's a major hassle when it happens. Especially since most people can't just drive 20 minutes down to the Carvin shop for returns or repairs.
  13. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    No argument from me there. I also run my RC210 bridged into 4 ohms all the time and have never had a problem. I'm running the Series II head. I totally agree with Richard though... Gear problems on a gig are among the worst experiences. My Eden vt .40 developed this really nasty sounding distortion on a gig. Power dropped significantly, and I thought I had blown a speaker, except the DI to the PA sounded identical. Turned out one of the little trim pots inside had 'self adjusted'. Only took five minutes for my electronic engineer buddy to track down, but it was a bummer at the time.

  14. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    Bizarro, I agree with you about the Cyclops. I visited Carvin's showroom when I was in California specifically to try the Cyclops. I was very disappointed in the sound. I expected much bigger sound and better lows from a big cab like that, but it wasn't so. I sure like my Carvin rig, though.

    I agree the speakers in Carvin cabs aren't great. Any suggestions on a replacement 15 that isn't too expensive?
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    there cabs are poplar. at least thats what the guy at Carvin told me
  16. Hah! Shows to go you - depends on who gives you the info. at Carvin I guess.

    Really. birch didn't make sense to me. Birch cabs are known to be ''bright" sounding.
  17. Murtz

    Murtz Guest

    Jun 27, 2001
    Dosent carvin give a crap slap sound? :oops:
  18. FalsehoodBass

    FalsehoodBass Guest

    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I second what rickbass said. I have owned the Pb-200 combo and a RL1000 II with a 410 and a 15.. all carvin.. and with both systems the amps performed fine and the speakers didn't. I managed to blow the tweeter on the combo, and the L-pad was not turned all the way up, and the full-stack would start distorting before the amp volume was halfway up. I tried different combos of eq and bridging the amp, but the speakers just couldn't handle it, although they were rated to.
    The amp on the other hand.. did its job well... i dropped it from chest level once "i'm 6'2" and managed to bend the aluminum front panel, but everything inside held up fine.
  19. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    seems to me that some people there dont know much about their product. if one told you birch and me poplar.

    I noticed this about my 4x10's too, The rl 4x10 rated at 600 watts, distorts at higher sound pressures for me, i thought it could be because I was only pushing 120 watts into it. I just keep the volume a bit lower on the RL 4x10 to avoid this problem.
  20. The variable compression on the R heads helps a lot. Plus, you can run the amp that handles high freq's at a higher setting than the amp that handles lows. As long as you have your crossover set to accommodate slap, the R heads do fine, IMO.

    Depends on the cab, too, IMO. With my Cyclops, I can hear the cab - sort of a "boxed" sound. It doesn't go away until the volumes get serious.

    The 4x10 performs better for slapping/popping.