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Carvin B1500 compared to Thunderfunk?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bigbadwolf1314, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. I have been reading and listening to clips on basstasters.com and I like the sound of the Thunderfunk more than anything else. I would jump on it if I came across a used Thunderfunk, but I am hesitant to buy a new 550.
    The Carvin B1500 seems to get really good reviews but I am sort of concerned that a lot of the comments are about how much "headroom" you have with it. Headroom is nice, but I don't feel like I need a so much I can only turn to 2 or 3. But I really like the price of it, and a lot of people like it. How does the tone of the Carvin compare to the Thunderfunk. Are they completely different? What amps sound similar to the Carvin?
  2. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Great warm SS tone. Drive knob gives excellent upper mid definition bringing out more harmonics.
  3. Flintc


    Aug 15, 2006
    I'm running the Carvin BX1200, and I think it would be most accurate to say this head doesn't HAVE a sound. The box is very flat. It has a lot of equalization (both graphic and parametric) to boost or cut specifiable frequency ranges, but none of the EQ colors the sound. It just amplifies what it sees, and passes that along to DI or speakers (or both).

    The tone comes from two sources: the instrument, and the speakers. Carvin amps don't change the tone, they just amplify it. So the Carvin "sounds like" your bass.
  4. svtb15

    svtb15 SUSPENDED

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I need to follow this one
  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I've directly A/B'd then with a couple of different cabs, but did not have the Carvin B1500 on a gig. The Thunderfunk is my main gigging amp.

    Both are great. The Thunderfunk is half the weight and half the size of the Carvin.... so that's something to consider right there. Build quality is quite similar... both have a great quality, feel to the knobs, switches, etc.

    The Thunderfunk is voiced to be very midrange present, very tight in the low end, and somewhat warm, but very clean (i.e., no grit or 'tube-like' distortion at all). It has the most extensive EQ of any amp made at the moment IMO, and if you run it into a large 4ohm cab or two 8ohm cabs, its 550 watts are loud enough for virtually any gig short of a super loud metal gig. It is a very articulate sounding amp... you can hear every nuance to your playing. It's not 'flat or transparant' so much as 'precise, quick, and clean'. Many of the amps marketed as more 'transparant' and 'flat' sound quite sterile to me personally. Even though I do like a totally clean, accurate, articulate tone, I do appreciate a little 'warmth and character' to the tone also. The Thunderfunk delivers this combination of tones better than any amp I've ever owned in a loud, powerful, small, lightweight unit.

    The Carvin has the capability to get MUCH louder, more grindy sounding with the drive control, and the Carvin has a little more 'zing' in the treble region. The 'bass' control on the Carvin, combined with all those watts (1250 into 4ohm) is really something... through a large cab, it can really 'shake the ashtrays'.

    I was never able to get that trademark Thunderfunk 'quick punch' out of the Carvin (although I got close), but then the TF is not capable of the deep bass huge tone of the Carvin.

    If you are on a budget, are more of a 'rock oriented' player, and don't mind three rack spaces and 35 or so pounds, it would be the Carvin all the way. The Carvin B1500 reminds me somewhat of a very loud EBS650, but with nicer mid control, if that helps (I guess most have not heard the 650).... it's a unique combination of VERY clean but with the drive control provided a little 'tube-like' grit if you want it.

    If you are more of a pop/funk/jazz type player, don't need massive low end or 'grit/distortion, and are at least somewhat sensitive to size and weight, it would be the Thunderfunk all the way... IMO the best small, moderate power, lightweight head ever made.
  6. Thanks, that sort of pushes me more towards the TF, which I sort of knew I was going to lean more towards anyway. I am not really looking for a "gritty" sound, and I don't ever play at volumes that the TF would not cut it for.
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Just to be clear... the Carvin can get totally, crystal clean... it just has the ability to 'warm up' a bit with the drive control. However, if you don't need huge volume, it would seem a little bit overkill to get this amp. They do make a lower powered version, but it's still quite a bit larger and heavier than the TF.
  8. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    If wattage doesn't need to be so high a more relevant comparison might be between the B800 and the TF.

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