Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by anubis101, Oct 28, 2000.
I'm looking at buying a Carvin amp....what do you guys think of them?
You'll find that some like them and some don't. Unfortunately, unless you live close to a store, you can't try one for yourself, which is really the only true test. For me, my RC210 has been a wonderful amp, a real dependable partner. I have had it for two years and played it on numerous gigs with no problems whatsoever. I get the tone I like, plenty of punch, and ample power. There are negatives to be found in any brand of amp, bass, or effect on the market today. You just have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself...
Gear snobs scoff at them and they've been zinged before for overstated power ratings and poor customer service. Despite all this, I ordered a Carvin PB100-10 combo sight unseen about a year ago as a practice amp, and have no complaints. Great construction, well-focused lows, very transparent EQ section and plenty of volume. I also like the fact that there's one and only one price for Carvin stuff, so there's no time wasted on comparison shopping and haggling.
I exchanged my Ampeg B2 Head for an old Carvin Pro-Bass 500 because to me the tone is much better. Warmer, punchier, more balls and much greater control of the tone with alot more options and features. When I thought I had problems Carvin were very helpful (Via Email) but the problem turned out to be the fact that I need a different speaker configeration to handle the much greater power of the low freq's and also I need to get use to the head. It has a very individual tone.
If I had the money I'de buy the 1000watt Red Line with 1x18 & 4x10.
[Edited by pkeeg on 10-29-2000 at 08:57 PM]
I got a Carvin RC210 combo a couple weeks ago and love it. You can get a very wide range of tones from its extensive EQ and it is pretty loud. I'm not sure its really as loud as the stated 600 watts, but it is still pretty dang loud. Its also pretty easy to carry and seems to be very solidly built. The best part is the price. I have played through comparable combos (SWR Super Redhead, Eden Metro) that cost over $1200, and can't really justify paying the extra 500 or so bucks for "name brand" combos.
I suggest you do a search for carvin amps for more opinions because a lot has been written about them on talkbass.
I recently bought Carvin's RL1018 stack. It consists of the R1000 (1000 watt) head, a 4x10" plus bullet tweeter, and a 1x18" cab. This thing ROCKS! I'll write more if you like. But for now, I HIGHLY recommend Carvin's products (I have one of their guitars too -- and will be ordering a bass soon). Some folks will argue that Carvin's not the best (I think it's probably as good as anything out there), but not many will argue that Carvin's not an absolute bargain.
I like the Carvin stuff I have - particularly the electronics. However, I find that Carvin is rather liberal with their power ratings compared to some other manufacturers. They measure power output at 1 kHz, with a higher distortion figure, whereas others might measure it over a broad band (20 Hz - 20 kHz) at a much lower distortion figure. In my estimation, you can count on about 80-85% of their claimed power as being "clean" power over the whole spectrum. In other words, if they say their R1000 head puts out 1000 watts bridged into 4 ohms, I believe it's more like about 800-850 *clean* watts. I have not measured it myself, so this is somewhat conjecture on my part. I did A/B my Carvin amp with a Fender 300-watt head, and it supported my thinking about Carvin's power ratings.
Another item to be aware of is: while Carvin's speakers sound nice and can handle tremendous power, they are not particularly efficient, so it takes lots of power to get decent volume from them. Pay attention to their frequency response curves, too. The sound is warm and nice, but a little weak in the extreme low end, in my opinion. Overall, the value is pretty good. If you need something that has killer (as in "blow windows out") volume, though, you might consider getting more efficient speakers than Carvin's.
I am considering getting a Carvin RL610 stack (RL600 head, 2x10, and 1x15 speakers). Does anyone have any opinions on this? I believe the 600W (or 250/250 into 4 ohms bi-amped) should be sufficient for my needs (I am never going to be playing to stadiums). I am just trying to decide how it compares with the SWR Workingman's 15 combo (old style 120W) I have. My biggest complaint with the SWR is that the sound is kind of sterile (even with the effects knob, because I use effects) and that I need a little more power and head room to be heard. Please give me your thoughts on this.
As I said above, I have the bigger RL1018. I think you'll be plenty happy with the Carvin stuff. Tone shaping is almost endless with this amp. One thing I might suggest is to spend the extra $80 and get the R1000 head. I've been able to get everything from bright slap, to J growl to P thump and everything in between -- and LOUDLY. I prefer my Carvin to my previous Ampeg and Hartke. But I have never owned SWR, so I can't comment. One other comment I should make is to suggest you take the time to really study the manual. This amp has lotsa capabilities and can be confusing -- even disappointing -- if ya don't take the time to understand all its capabilities.
Love my Cyclops! .. Al
I wouldn't consider myself a gear snob though Biff, Muffy, myself and all my chums at the country club use Yorkville speakers (they are truly the bee's knees). I've tried lots of Carvin amps/speakers and so far they just don't do it for me. It is relatively inexpensive gear however and should definitely be considered, diferent strokes...
For about $200 more you can get a MESA/BOOGIE Buster 200...
With 1x15" and a horn this puppy rocks, also you don't need your own crew to carry your gear.... If your heart is really set on Carvin I would suggest the RL6815 Cyclops, still not a BOOGIE but this dude drops a great foundation for about $400 less......Remember you are plugged into a P.A. and the head is what people hear, not necessarily your cabs......
.....if you groove it, they will come........
Sorry but I do havta say that my Cyclops absolutely smokes the Mesa Boogie Buster. I tried every frelling combo in town ( LA ) and you just can't beat a Cyclops even for $2000 .. Peace, Al mp3.com/badart
Can you hear your bass through the PB100 when you play with a drummer?