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Carvin Amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fetusyolk, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Fetusyolk


    Aug 7, 2008
    So i'm aware that carvin amps are pretty cheap (from what the site shows at least). But since they're kind of a custom shop typa gig, i obviously cant try any out nearby (there dont seem to be any local people that have them).

    So of your opinion , and experience, how do these amps stack up against some of the other big names? I've got an Ampeg Combo and while sometimes ampeg fails me this one gives me a great warm low end.

    What kinda tone do they give off, and do they handle themselves well?

    incase ur interested in my equipment, i've got a Fender Deluxe Active Jazz V (MIM)

    Edit: I would love it if anyone could supply sound clips?
  2. Captain_Arrrg


    Jan 23, 2008
    Mountains of Colorado
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Carvin's amps are real good at not coloring your tone. While you can add warmth through the drive knob, it's not an instant Ampeg dial. If you like the sound of your bass, and you want that but amplified, Carvin is your best bet.

    Personally, I like to use that as a base to build on with effects.
  3. jarrod cunningham

    jarrod cunningham

    Apr 24, 2007
    sylacauga alabama
    spector basses
    they are very good clean amps . i had a bx1200 and really liked it . for the money you cant beat them
  4. Fetusyolk


    Aug 7, 2008
    do you have any videos or sound clips that i could hear/see so i can better understand what you're getting at?
  5. I will agree that Carvin makes a great bass amp. They have a great amp in the BX1200 which is the one I currently run with.

    They do amplify the sound of your bass cleanly without any noticeable coloration. They provide plenty of power and have a ton of tonal flexibility via extensive eq'ing section. It feels very responsive when you play through it. You never feel like you are missing something .

    I can mostly compare it to GK amps which is the other brand I've used over the years. Too my ears I think I slightly prefer the sound of GK over my Carvin but my confidence in GK was shattered with 3 separate amps all crapping out on me. The GK's color you sound though, not drastically but it's there. The nice thing about the Carvin is with so much EQ options available, it's fairly easy to dial in a "GK" sound if I want it.

    I run my BX1200 biamped into the cabs listed in my sig and I frequently get positive comments on my live sound. I stopped using the POD so I don't have any recordings available but if you want to hear it in action I'll try to make a demo of it straight through the DI and also mic'd live for you. Might take me a few days to have the time though.
  6. Captain_Arrrg


    Jan 23, 2008
    Mountains of Colorado
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Sorry, but I don't. The only way I can better describe it is the tone you get when the amp's controls are flat, is created by the construction of your bass and it's electronics.

    I also have a BX1200 and it is awesome. Lots of power and tone shaping capabilities. I also have it bi-amped with a Carvin 115 (and a Carvin 410) and the clarity is amazing!
  7. B1500 - very loud, punchy, clean v nice eq -- will growl up with the drive control but is not squishy or flabby at all. The opposite.

    The first time I cranked that thing naked with the drive up at rehersal... my drummer had the frown of "f*** me" on his face.

    That said, still use my BDDI for a bit of 'brown sound' and hi gain from an English Muffn.

    Compared to an old peavey Mk6 which has a 'flat unadultered sound'... EQ is much better, just sounds more lively and tons more headroom. Though with the controls flat and the punch and edge buttons pushed in, the peavey is quite good -and you can hammer it without risking speaker destruction which I wouldn't put past the carvin at all.
  8. I have a three of them myself. I like my SWR amps for clubs but larger venues I like the RL 1000 with 4x10 and 1x18. It s good and powerful and sounds sweet, really gives you that piano tone that I love. I also have a PB500 that I use with 2 Gauss 15's in single cabinets. I also have a PB100 that I use for a monitor for the drummer in some locations since the sound engineers just don't seem to get him enough of my bass through the monitors.
    They are great amps, and not just for the money...
  9. I too own a carvin bx1200 (with a 4x10.4 neo) and it packs a huge punch, you really cant beat it for the money. I have used it in every situation and it works like a charm. the graphic eq is a like a manual transmission, you're incontrol of every aspect of the eq.
  10. I had a CR210 combo for several years.
    It had the R600 head in it.
    Very nice amp. I put a 115 below it and bi-amped for many years.
    I never had a problem with the amp.
    Although I did blow both speakers.
    I thought the amp itself was very reliable.
  11. dsDodgers

    dsDodgers Banned

    Sep 7, 2008
    sunny so cal
    not to hijack, but,

    can i get a vintage tone out of an ashdown head and a 210 carvin cab?

  12. pedalguy1


    Jun 3, 2008
    Riverton Utah
    sorry about the double hijack. lol. Its just im torn between the BX1200 and the LMII as my next amp. Can anyone give me advice?
  13. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    Do a search on specific amp you are looking at, the B1500 is still one of the best deals on the market it seems. While I' sure the power ratings are a bit inflated, still a great deal. You can always send it back if you don't like it.
  14. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I've played through the same Carvin amp since '92 or '93. Plenty of balls and never had a lick of trouble.
  15. I have a bx600. Runninng it at 4 ohms I have no problems keeping up with the drummer and gutarist through an avatar 212 neo. If I added another avatar and ran the carvin at 2 ohms it would probably just be silly.

    I agree, it doesn't color the sound unless you start messing with the eq. What you play is what you get. The eq options give you a good range of coloration options. I like on/off switch for the graphic eq, since it gives you the ability to completely change our sound at the flick of a switch. I use the drive knob but can't tell much of a difference unless I crank the thing to the max, and even then it's subtle. I use the compressor on a very low setting mostly for speaker protection from those hard hits. This is the first real rig I've ever had but I like it. I also like that it's made in the USA.

    Overall I'd say it gives out more of a hi-fi, modern tone than the thumpiness of a fender pro or ampeg, but for the money, the carvin seems to do a nice job. I've had mine for about 6 months now with no problems.

    I suck, but here's a clip of my playing through the carvin and avatar through a mic sampled at 48k since audacity sucks at 44.1. Please forgive my terrible playing, hopefully it doesn't take away from the gear :crying: It's a bass line I wrote for a song, doesn't mak much sense out of context but eh, it's a sample. Bass is an '07 MIA standard p-bass, eq flat, tone full on, 3 month old dr fat beams, no effects, very slight compression, drive at 3 or 4.

    Click here to watch My-Dreams-45
  16. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    The other possibility is to pair a top quality preamp with one of the very nice Carvin DCM power amps. I have played several preamps into first, a DCM1500, and then currently a DCM600, and feel this is very effective IF you want to go the rackmount separate route.

    An Alembic F-1X into a DCM is very righteous. ;)
  17. I'm the proud owner of a Carvin SBR1018, that's their BX1200 head w/BR410 & BR118 cabs and for the last 2 yrs. this amp has worked flawlessly for me. It's more than enough amp that I will ever need. Usually, I use the BX1200 w/BR410 cab for indoors and for outdoors I'll add the BR118 cab. The tonal possiblities are nearly endless, for the money you can't beat it, plus in made in USA.;)
  18. Here are a few more sound clips of the BX600 with my Avatar B212 neo (still '07 mia standard p-bass, and still pretty crappy playing):

    Click here to watch Fingerstyle-and-Slap-EQ-flat-no-drive-no-compression

    Click here to watch Slap-bass-and-treble-boosted-midrange-cut-medium-compression-no-drive

    Click here to watch Fingerstyle-eq-flat-no-drive or compression

    Click here to watch Fingerstyle-With-Drive-on-8-eq-flat-no-compression

    All these are with the avatar's tweeter on full and new DR lo-rider strings. Sorry again for the playing but maybe this will help.
  19. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have a B1500. Built like a tank, sounds great, power for DAYS, and great tone. I only use it when I need that kinda' horsepower, which is not very often, but if I do, it's definitely got it covered. It's definitely no lightweight, 35 pounds unracked, but all things considered, it's not bad at all. One of the all time great sleepers in the big iron out there. HUGE value!
  20. eotpr


    Jun 25, 2007
    I play a little Carvin that is only 600 watts. I use it bi-amped. It has been all I need with a 2x10 cab and 1x15 cab. If I need more I would just buy another 2x10 and another 1x15. It has been a great amp.

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