Carvin amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LA, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. LA


    Oct 17, 2001
    I think I'm getting a combo amp next year and want to hear some Carvin stories (good/bad/indifferent). I really like what I see in this one, but I'd appreciate some opinions:

    The Carvin RC210

  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    From my experience here, you will get mixed opinions.

    Some people like them some dont.

    My opinion is that they make great amps for the money, but their cabs suck, which basically translates to their combos not being too good.

    Their heads come wih plenty of power, lots of features, and good sound, all at a killer price.

    Their cabs on the other hand are lacking in the low end response.

    Thats my experience with them.

  3. I have an older Pro Bass 500 head, powering a Carvin 2 x 10 cab (with Emminence speakers) and a Carvin 1 x 15. I got the rig in early 1995.

    I have had 4 problems:

    1.) I don't know, it was a really long time ago, probably a surge. Solution: replace blown fuse.

    2.) Overheat while on tour. I was driving an Ampeg preamp way too hard in Phoenix, in August. Solution: after letting the amp cool for 2 minutes, I lowered the pre's gain and finished the set.

    3.) Overheat while lending. The headlining band's amp died, so I let him use mine. He had turned on the Ampeg preamp (again) and everything got a little too warm. Solution: power down, unplug the pre, tell some jokes, power back up. The Carvin ran fine for another hour.

    4.) Another surge during practice. Solution: replace blown fuse. Call surge protector company and complain (it was a huge surge though, my PC's motherboard and the soundcard are ruined as well).

    I'd keep some extra fuses in your bass case. But over 7 years, I wouldn't consider these huge problems.

    I had another Carvin (PB-150) that blew fuses, apparently as a result of the bad wiring in the Randall cab I was using. After getting it fixed, I played through several practices and a couple shows without problems. Then that rig was stolen.

    You can replace the speakers in that combo, if you need to. Otherwise the head is still useful.
  4. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    i have a dcm1500 power amp.. so far no problems.. only had it about 2 1/2 months.. but it has lots of power.
  5. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    My take is: heads quite good, cabs so-so. It's not that the cabs are actually bad, at least not for my purposes; I just think it's not that hard to do as well or better. Having said that, I prefer the RC210 to their bigger and pricier combo, the Cyclops, which sounds somehow hazy to me without having the major bottom it oughta have to justify its weight. The 210 at least has some punch, though you're not gonna get a lot of low low end if you play a 5 or detune.

    Would you consider getting just the Carvin head and a different cab? That--especially if you go used--may be the better choice.
  6. My hands-on experience is the same as Nick Man.

  7. SCH


    May 3, 2002
    San Antonio, Texas
    I think Carvin amps are a good value. I'd recommend you stay clear of their combo amps. Get an R-1000. It's a solid amp at a good price and you can use whatever cabs suit you.
  8. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    I've got a R-1000 head...great for the cost, have had no issues and use it all the time. Plenty of ways to shape your sound. Don't have a Carvin cab...I stayed away from them because of so many comments on here about them. (my Avatar cab is awesome matched up with the Carvin head)

    good luck!
  9. Sprinkler

    Sprinkler [account disabled]

    Jul 31, 2002
    their 210 cab is one of the best 210 cabs there is.

    seeing as your amp basically is that cabinet with a head(which is said to be good over here), i'd give it a try. if it doesnt work out, you'd be able to sell it easily for a little less than the list price to an ignorant :p
  10. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I have an RC210... Worked fine as a stand-alone except at higher volumes with my current band... I played it for two years with a 3 piece blues band with zero problems. Now in a classic rock band with two loud guitarists and the cabinet couldn't hang... Sounds very good bi-amped with a 4 Ohm 1X15 bottom cab...

    I retired the cabinet and now use the head straight into two 1X15 cabs and it sounds great. 4 years without a problem on the head...

    Like everyone else has said, the head rocks, the cabinet is sometimes less than adequate... Still a great deal at $799

  11. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I have the 210 tilt back cabinet. I have used it by itself and in my rig with other speaker cabs for 3 years of steady weekend gigging. sounds good. never had any problems. a little lacking in low end but hey, it's a 210 after all. For the money I'd say pretty good.
  12. rok51


    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    Played the new RC1000 last week through a Carvin 410 and 115 (both new). I think the head has promise, but it was hard to tell, because the cabs sucked. The port scheme on the 410 is rather bizarre. The slot-loaded port appears far too small to augment the front-radiated sound of the drivers. Possibly, the cab is not tuned for max low end-I don't know. The 115 had a more reasonable port area, but still the overall combination was lacking.
    I played a Carvin 2-15 set up with one of their 250 watt heads in the mid 70s and was very impressed. Extremely clean with detailed bottom and serviceable mids. We weren't concerned with highs back then...
    I know they can make great gear-their guitars are gorgeous! Don't know about their new bass amps, though, My initial reaction was "back to the drawing board".

  13. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I used a PB-300 (the same amp, but only one power amp, and 300 watts) for years, and never had a problem.

    As far as their speakers, I had a Carvin 210 I bought in 1994 and was still using it on every gig until last month when it was stolen. After listening to people here say how much better other cabinets are, I decided to replace it with another brand. I bought a Nemesis, and while it is a nice sounding cabinet I wish I had bought a Carvin. My Carvin sounded much better.