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Carvin B800 vs. Thunderfunk 550

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

  1. I am curious as to how does the tone of the Carvin B800 sound in comparison to the TF 550? I know Ken and Smash have touched a little upon this subject here and there, but it would be great to get a more in depth comparison and have it all available on one thread.

    On a side not-- but still related to this thread-- I really have been loving the Tibre knob on the Thunderfunk lately. An amazing tonal feature indeed.
  2. TyronPotamkin


    Dec 12, 2006
    I cant speak for the ThunderFunk as I have never played through one.

    What I do have is the Carvin BRX212 combo that has the B800 head. It runs at 500w@4ohms with the 2 12's, it will run at 800w when bridged down to 2ohms.

    With 500w on 2 12's this thing sounds amazing with everything set on 5(flat responce). really tight, punchy and crisp with great lows and a hint of growl the lower you go. The only thing the Carvin doesnt have in the cabinet is real boomy lows, My Carvin PB200-15 is the same way, even though it is a 15" it wasnt very boomy which doesnt bother me cuz I'd rather have a crisp low end than a sloppy nut sack rattling low end
    I play in D standard and it has clear definition between the open D and the first fret. something to look for in an amp.
  3. As many know, I've done the TF/B1500 direct comparison, and since the 800 has the same front end, I assume that comparison would be similar.

    TF.... compared to the Carvin800/1500...smaller, lighter, more 'mid punch' when set flat, my guess would be about the same volume into 4ohms as the 800. The Carvin tone is wider... deeper down low, sizzlier up top. I like the tone controls on both of these amps very much... with the TF having the uber complex, massive tone control capability (although you don't really even need to use it), with the Timbre control, enhance, the switch, four bands of semi-parametric EQ, bass and treble shelving, limiter, etc... whew.

    The Carvin is much more straightforward, with five (if I remember correctly) bands of EQ. The dual bass controls are wonderful on the Carvin (deep bass and very low mids), and similer to the Glock Soul and HR pre... with two bands of 'bass' that interact to give you everything from Jaco burp to the deepest, lowest rumble any cab could handle. The Carvin also has a super high treble control (just like the Glock and EBS line.. and the old SWR Transparancy control..remember that... an option of the original SM400!) that really only impacts 'tweeter type' upper treble... nice to add sparkle if you want it.

    So, IME and IMO... the Carvin has more deep low and upper treble capability (along with the capability of getting somewhat gritty and grindy with the 'drive' control vs. the 'always clean' TF tone), and the 1500 is about the loudest thing I've ever heard (I assume the 800 is similar to the TF in volume)... the TF is warm, quick and voiced to really punch through a mix with very little tweeking. It won't do EBS sizzle or massive, rumbling low end... but those two things are usually not a good idea in the mix anyway:smug:

    Both are great... for the price, I'd go with the B1500 all the way... rack mountable (versus the 'head' type of design of the 800), and still a fraction of the cost of its closest competition (The Ag DB750 and the Glock Heart Rock).

    I still believe the TF is the best all around lightweight head on the market... it sounds great through every cab I've tried it with, and is a VERY loud 550 watts. However, if you don't have a ton of cash, and need massive volume, the B1500 is hard to beat IMO!
  4. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    Two different sounds in my opinion

    I've owned a TFB550 and I got the B1500.

    the Funk has more mids inherently but I never got the guy to clip - ever

    B1500 is flat and DEEP (because the preamp is flat flat flat and the power amp is simply massive)

    But i've clipped it, go figure

    I'm not a nice player though, I'm rather mean to my amps.

    Bottom line I'm pretty sure the Funk will be louder than the 800B that is if you like the middy timbre of the amp.

    Now if you need 2ohm capability that's another story

    I'm GOING to pickup another schroeder cab at some point and I will need that capability.

    i do regret selling the Thunderfunk though - damn fine amp there.
  5. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I was wondering if anyone else had any more opinions regarding the above?

  6. e.maynard


    Nov 11, 2004
    Afton, Virginia
    There you go.

    Who has ever said the same after unloading a Carvin "amp"?
    Certainly not me. The mediocre tone and missing build quality make it a guilt free sale.
  7. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    You need to pull your head out of your bottom.:confused:
  8. The new Carvin B1500 is a VERY different thing regarding tone, build quality, and design versus every other Carvin bass amp I've played. I would have totally agreed with you here unless I had experienced the B1500.
  9. Wow, you really have an emotional investment in trashing Carvin. This isn't the first similar thread where you've shown up to contribute nothing more useful than this.

    If you knew anything about the B series heads, as some of us here actually do, you would be unable to make such an off-base comment about build quality. They're in fact built very well. As for tone, eh, it's personal. Nothing is perfect for everybody. But there are some very experienced players here who, after listening with their ears rather than their assumptions, actually like the B1500 very much. That's a reality. Believe it or don't.

    It's a valid question by the OP, and a valid comparison, and your comment contributed absolutely nothing toward addressing it. Nice one.
  10. TyronPotamkin


    Dec 12, 2006
    WWWWOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! go Rich!!
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I own and loooove the late model TFB420 I have.
    I have a B1500 en route. Not a fair comparision in terms of power, but I'll report back in terms of "tone" and "workability" for me.
    The TFB mates well with every bass and cab I own, or have tried, and works awesome for double bass as well.
    I'm hoping the Carvin can meet those same needs, run two 4 ohm cabs when I need, and just generally provide "that big power behind you" feeling that the TFB doesn't quite do.
    If you've ever played a DB750, big Glock, or a pre/power setup with 2000 watts in it, you know where I'm coming from. Even at low volumes, rigs like that just provide a feeling of substance to the notes even a low volume that the TFB-god bless it all the way 'round-just never quite completely gets. TFB750 Dave?
    The TFB is, by far and way, my favorite amp of all time. And I'm old, and a gear whore, so don't think I'm selling it short.
    I'm not, and it remains my favorite go to work piece of kit.
    The Carvin b series has big shoes to fill to come close to overthrowing it.
  12. e.maynard


    Nov 11, 2004
    Afton, Virginia


    Fair enough.
    And yup you're right. I have had my share of Carvin problems in the past, both with they're earlier model bass heads, A power amp as well as a headphone amp. I get a little emotional toward Carvin. Let me try again.........

    I haven't played the Carvin B-800, but my experiences with their earlier models have been hot & cold. The Tone was there...... I must say. Not a ton of headroom for the rated wattage, but flexible tone wise. The built in DI was very usable. Reliability was poor. Repairs were slow. Perhaps that was just back then.

    The Thunderfunk is such a thick punchy and defined amp, it is amazing. Lots of focus & clarity in the low mids. Unique. The DI is nothing to write home about, I use a Radial instead. Never a lick of trouble with it though.

    I shall henceforth cease & desist from bashing the current Carvin bass line.

    Sorry Brothers & Sisters
  13. :) Don't get me wrong... when push comes to shove, it's the TF all the way. However, I really was surprised at the B1500, given the IMO really lame bass amp offerings by Carvin in the past.

    So... you get a free pass as far as I'm concerned:D
  14. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Carvin stuff has always intrigued me, so I went to the website and I can't find either of the amps you guys are talking about. Are they discontinued? They have a " Red Line " series a " BRX " series , but no B800 or B1500. :help:
  15. It's all good. Thanks for taking what I had to say like a gentleman, and not getting all huffy.

    I myself would love to check out a TF one day.
  16. Look under BRX.

  17. Yeah... for some reason, the B1500 does not have a direct link. I think the way I found it was to click on the 'package deal' of the 410 and B1500, and then the spec's, etc. of the B1500 come up.
  18. spideyjg


    Mar 19, 2006
    San Diego
    Please do Alan. I like the really clean sound of the B800 and the huge power in the 22lb package.

    Of course at NAMM there was even smaller stuff. :eek:

  19. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Got it, thanks. Wonder what exactly the "Internal OPTO CLIP activated limiter " does ? Is it always on , like compression, or just activated when amp is clipping? 35 lbs. is a bit heavy for me.

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