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Carvin Amps and Cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SalmonCubes, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Okay, after scrolling through TB for a while, I've noticed that people don't consider Carvin to be bottom of the barrel when it comes to their products, despite them being so cheap in relation to other brands such as Ampeg or GK.

    Still though, I wonder about the quality, considering this potentially amazing deal: http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/BX500-410

    Anyone use it? How is it? Am I crazy?
    While I'm at it, how are Carvin basses as well? They seem to be good instruments for about $1000 or so.
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I have bought and gigged with Carvin basses, guitars and amps. FWIW, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Carvin bass or guitar. I will never buy another Carvin amp or cabinet though.

    Just my opinion.
  3. Any particular reason why you woulden't gig with one of their amps again?
  4. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Well, there are a lot of guys here who love their new offerings and I admit, they sound okay for ss, as long as they work. Plenty of horror stories regarding their reliability. I know my RL1000 preamp section blew on me so....

    As for their cabs, I have replaced many speakers and all the replacement are now Chinese. The last one I bought blew on it's first gig. That's when I got an Ampeg and it's the last time I blew a speaker.
  5. I own multiple Carvin basses that are amazing.

    I have owned and used multiple Carvin amps and cabs that were also excellent. I like to try different rigs which is the only reason I don't have them now, though I would not hesitate to buy another one from the newer line-up.

    A couple of points on the rig in the link:

    -Some bass instrument reviewers actually use the BX500 amp when reviewing/evaluating basses due to it's clarity and apparent neutrality...

    - Were I to buy another Carvin cab (and I'm thinking about that BRX 15.3) I would get the BRX cabs over the BR cabs like the one in the link. They are just a big step up from the BR series.

    You will get many opinions on Carvin stuff. Some is based on having tried the newer stuff (~last 5-6 years) and some will be based on old prejudices or from gear from the 80's and 90's. Make sure you heed the experiences (good or bad) from the newer stuff.
  6. Can't speak for others, but I can tell you my Carvin amp experiences have been positive. I started by buying my son a Carvin 200 watt when he graduated grade school around 2000, liked the tone so much I bought a few for myself:


    Carvin amps are all I use, they sound great and have never let me down. And...we still have the little 200 watter, and yes, it still works.
  7. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Well, my old RL1000 with the blown preamp is still the power source for my rack rig, which has been relegated to back up duty.
  8. They are "cheap" in relation to other brands because they are a direct seller. No mark ups from rediculous advertising budgets, no mark up from middle men, no distribution network or national stores, etc.

    All that savings gets passed on to the consumer.

    Basing an opinion on their amps based upon your experience 15+ years ago, in the face of all the positive reviews on the newer stuff is just rediculous.
  9. BobWestbrook

    BobWestbrook Mr. Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Philly suburb
    My past or current experiences with Carvin equipment include basses, PA speakers, powered mixer, power amp. I have only positive things to say about their gear.
  10. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    I couldn't imagine getting a better combo than the one you reference here.

    Edit: unless you got their Neo BRX410! All other things being equal. Except price, certainly worth another hundred plus bucks on the combo price....
  11. tommyr01

    tommyr01 Simma Down Nah ! Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Tucson, AZ, USA
    I have gigged many times with carvin amps and cabs..... The b2000 and bx1200 and 1500.... Never had any problems..... My sound taste has changed so I use an orange head with my carvin brx410......I love that cab!
  12. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Actually my experience was more like from 6 years ago until a few months ago, albeit with a 15 year old amp. Nevertheless, I also base my opinion on the 1000s of people who's B series bass amps failed them, over and over and over. Not to mention the 2 different guys I know who have found themselves screwed on a gig thanks to Carvin power amps not doing their job.

    As I said, this is my opinion based on my experience. There are many, many people here who will disagree. Such is life.
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Love your sig line. The bottom one. ;)
  14. Like all other companies mentioned, Carvin has some great gear & occasional duds. I have no experience with their instruments but play almost exclusively Carvin amps and have had great experience with them. The bx500 apparently had some issues when it first came out but seems to have been rectified. I run a b1500,b2000,bx500,stagemate (for busking) & brx210&410 neo cabs and have nothing but great things to say about their gear. It is quality made,top notch equipment in my opinion. I play G&L and fender basses but would love to get a fretless Carvin Icon bass.
  15. So..........a 15 year old amp dies on you sometime in the last 6 years, and the amp sucks :confused:

    And..........unless you have a way of getting stats directly from Carvin, I find it hard to believe you know of 1000's of people that had a B series amp die on them. Especially in the face of the glowing reviews of the B and BX series not only here on TB, but also from major publications.

    I have owned Carvin gear ranging from the V series cabs and the R series amps up to the present BX and B series without issue.

    Granted I found the sound of the R1000 sterile, but the newer stuff is not even in the same league.
  16. Seems as thought I will be buying the Carvin 410 500w stack then.
    Thanks for your opinions, everyone!
  17. bigeyejim


    Mar 27, 2011
    I have a BX 500, driving an Avatar TB153, and it seems sufficient....and never goes up over 5. Plenty of power, and I have had it for about 2 years with no issues. It's only been gigged about 10 times in that period, though.

    However, I have read a few reviews, and I do worry from time to time that it might quit on me, but that's a concern for any amp...should have a backup or at least a backup plan!
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    Ah, I never said they sucked. I said I wouldn't buy another one.

    As I stated, my RL1000 is still useful to me. FWIW, the 1x18 that Carvin sold with the 4x10 full stack, with mismatched impedances, still pulls sub duty for my PA. This cab is rock solid, probably because the speaker was made by Eminence, unlike the new ones.
  19. There are regular "why isn't Carvin more popular" threads. One common theme is that people are uncomfortable with not being able to try their stuff easily, and correspondingly they seem to have a bigger fan base in San Diego than elsewhere.

    As Grateful said above, the difference between the BR and BRX cabs is large and obvious. You can kind of tell the former are built to a price point, and at that price point I suppose they're not bad...

    I like the BRX15.3. I've jammed with it but not gigged it, so I don't have a comprehensive set of experiences, but with that disclaimer, it's a nice transparent-voiced PA-style cab at a good price. That said, it weighs like 2135823462349 pounds.

  20. 90dphillips


    Jan 11, 2012
    I use a Carvin BX-600 head and it works great for me. I got it for $100 so it was quite the bargain too. I get a nice sound out of it, especially with my precision bass.
    I've heard many issues about cab construction and poor speaker quality, but I have yet to try one of their cabinets myself.
    I'd say to try it out and see what you think. They work for some and not for others... just like almost any piece of gear you could buy.

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