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Carvin B1500 vs. QSC PLX 1202/Sansamp RBI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dave Siff, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    After doing an extensive search and reading a lot of opinions, I felt like I still didn't have an answer.. so, welcome to another "this" vs. "that" thread!
    I'm using an SWR 550-X through a Goliath Sr., and I'm looking for more headroom and power, simple as that. My rig sounds good if you crank it, but I don't want to have to crank it.
    I plan on selling the 550-X, but I can't spend very much money on top of that. The two best choices I've come up with are:
    Carvin B1500: $699 direct, 1250 watts. From what I've read, it's very loud, has a pretty flat response, and is considerably better than the Redline series. I also dig the risk-free trial period. The main "con" seems to be that if something goes wrong, you have to send it to California.
    QSC 1202/Sansamp RBI: $900 together from Musician's Friend, 1200 watts. The only negative I've read is the mid scoop on the RBI, but I've also read explanations of how to get around that, so I'm not overly concerned.
    I'm leaning toward the Carvin.. it's $200 less and will take up one less rack space. Anyone wanna help me decide?
  2. I haven't heard the Carvin but I use an RBI with a Crown CE 1000(1100w.@4 ohm bridged),close to the RBI/PLX in power.I just run a 410 with it but it's plenty of power for what I need.I know the RBI's tone works for me.I had a Carvin R 1000 head that I liked pretty well until I got a Sans Amp Bass driver pedal.After plugging it in I knew that was what I wanted for tone.The Carvin could get all kinds of different tones but none of them sounded as good as the Sans Amp.I bought an RBI and used it with the Carvin head for a couple of years so I know the Carvin stuff holds up all right.

    The main thing I see different from the Carvin and the RBI/PLX setups is the Carvin is more powerful but also weighs more but it also costs $200 less..The Carvin is a totally diferent animal than the R 1000 I had too,much simpler EQ and more power.I think either would be great but I'd do the RBI/PLX myself for the ability to change preamps if you want and it's a little lighter too.Either would have enough power with the senior I'd think.
  3. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Well, I know I'm probably going to be among the minority when I say: if the RBI sounds like the BDDI, go with the Carvin.

    After reading all the raves and hype about the SansAmp, I bought one hoping it would enhance the sound of my Hartke rig. My opinion is that it sounds great while practicing alone, but once I started using it in a live situation that great tone got completely lost in the mix. I've tried all kinds of EQ settings and I just can't get the SansAmp tone to cut through. Wasn't long before I went back to playing my Hartke rig without it. The only reason I didn't return or sell the BDDI is I figure I can use it as a backup through the PA if I ever have a problem with my amp at a gig.

    I have not had the opportunity to try or hear any of Carvins bass amps, but I don't recall reading anything negative about their new B series stuff. Supposed to be great if your looking for a vintage style tone. More power for $200 less?! My choice would be the Carvin.
  4. bassist286


    Nov 22, 2001
    rhode island
    the carvin runs 1900w @ 2ohms. great amp. get one.
  5. I had both, the RBI can be a little more aggressive in the higher mids while the B1500 sounds overall meatier and a little warmer than the RBI. I've kept the B1500 for outdoor gigs,
    ~2000 Watts @ 2 ohm for that price is pretty darn good.
    For up to mid size gigs I am using an AI Focus.
  6. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    Thanks for the feedback, guys. That Carvin has got me doing some serious thinking! I'd really like to hear how my 6x10 would sound with some real power going through it..