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Carvin B1500 vs B800

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chef, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    So, if I wanna try the B1500...is there any reason to choose or not choose the B800 instead?
    If you've played both, do you really feel and enjoy the headroom of the 1500?
    I have a TFB420, and it has plenty of power for really everything I do...but I also have a WT800B, and it feels pretty good too;)

    thanks, alan
  2. Hey Alan! Happy New Year!

    I have not played the 800, but I think that is a 'head' mounted in a wooden case, versus the rack mountable B1500. That would tilt me toward the B1500 right there, and given the relatively small $ difference and size/weight difference, it would be the 1500 all the way for me!
  3. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    B800 has the same front end, just a smaller amp section.

    If the rack mounting isn't an issue, you probably could function just fine on the power section of the B800.

    Protecting the head is a concern. No B800 owners here on Talkbass have really said anything so far about how they protect the head. Carvin does not sell a cover.

    I would imagine the way to go would be to get a custom cover maker (Tuki, Allcover, etc.) to make a head cover with a protective panel to go over the knobs and front of the head.

    I've never seen a side view of the B800 to know if the ends of the knobs stick out beyond the rack. It looks like they do. Any custom cover would have to have a frame that would place the cover panel out past the knobs.
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Hey KJ, Happy New Year backatcha;)
    The price diff b/t 800 and 1500 is significant: not quite double, but big...Like $450 vs $700.
    Yeah, the "cased" 800 looks a little vulnerable, but I'm careful, and it's a significantly lighter.
    If it's "500 Thunderfunk watts at 4 ohms," that's prolly more than I need...but hey, stoopid headroom is stoopid headroom-and this is America after all.
    More has got to be better, right?

  5. Another way to look at this is that with the B1500 (still very low cost at $700... that's just amazing!), you could sell your current 'big rig' and still come out ahead. The B1500 for larger gigs, and the TF for everything else would be all anyone would need (that's how I use my TF/Glock pair... with the TF for 90% of my gigs, and the mighty Glock for those rare huge rooms, etc. that I do).
  6. MarkMyWordsXx


    May 17, 2006
    if your just trying it then returning it id say go with the 800. there the same head it just has less power. if your playing for keeps theres no reason to not spend the extra $200 or whatever it is to get an extra 1000 watts. excuse me if my numbers are a bit off
  7. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005


    take the 800 (seems like that's what you are leaning toward) out on a gig and put it through it's paces. if it falls short - you know where to go.

    I like my B1500

    I really wish Carvin would release it's power section as a standalone power amp.
  8. RG


    May 11, 2000
    central Illinois
    I bought the B 800 and I made sure I had a gig that week end so if I didnt like it I would return it. It sounded great and had plenty of power for me. I kept it but would not have hesitated to return it, Some years back I tried a small Carvin combo that I didnt like and I returned it.
    I would rather have the option of rackability. The knobs do stick out and could possibly be damaged in transit for instance. I thought about getting a cover but instead went to my hall closet and got a carry on bag, airline size, 20"x13"x8", it fits perfectly.
  9. I own both amps. I purchased the B800 to keep in the van as a backup to the B1500. However, given the compact size and less weight of the B800, I've ended up using it about 75% of the time (over 80 gigs this year). You can't go wrong with either amp. Plenty of headroom in both amps, same voicing, and both will run at 2 ohms all day long.
  10. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I own the B800 in a combo with a 12 inch speaker and I can't imagine a gig it couldn't handle, especially after adding an extension cab or two. Even in the loud classic rock band I was playing in, the Carvin BRX112neo combo sitting on top of an Aguilar GS112 was plenty loud enough to get the job done. But if you have the extra bucks available and don't mind lugging it around, the extra headroom of the B1500 would be nice.
    Hey RG, I think I know who you are. How's it going buddy?
  11. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Sounds like the weight/price issues are on one side and headroom on the other.

    Decide where your priorities lie.

    One other thing to consider -- future changes in you system.

    Regardless of how you feel about your current system, there's no guarantee of freedom from the GAS virus in the future.
    Headroom might become more important than it currently is.

    Just a thought.
  12. RG


    May 11, 2000
    central Illinois
    Yep, I think you do know me cb56. I just PM'd you.
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    thxs guys....anyone else?
  14. Flintc


    Aug 15, 2006
    I gave the B1500 a lot of consideration, and then I bought Carvin's BX1200 on the strength of the features. The BX1200 has 5-band semi-parametric and 9-band graphic equalizing, and built in compression (1:1 to 3:1). But what did it for me was the built-in bi-amp control, allowing you to control *both* the power sent to each of two cabs, and the crossover frequency between them. I run a 4x10 and a 1x15, and twisting the crossover frequency knob makes a striking difference.

    If you just want to run it as a monoblock into an effective 4-ohm load, the power output is about the same (1200W rather than 1250W). It weighs about 12 pounds less, if that matters. Might be worth a look.
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine

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