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Carvin bass amps??...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by venezuelanbass, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I had a Carvin setup for a while. The amp went to the shop 3 times in 1 year (R600) under warranty but since I live across the country that meant 1-3 weeks without my amp each time.

    The tone from the amp was just kind of blah. Not bad, but not particularly super dooper either.

    of a choice between the 2 you mention I would go Ampeg

    Their cabinets have a hard time with lows. I would recommend getting some other type of cabinet
    Munjibunga likes this.
  2. kmacleish


    Nov 19, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Jumping jelly jars . . . .1900 watts/2 ohms? Didn't know that Carvin was getting into that territory.

    I have used a variety of Carvin gear over the years, and have found them to be well built, well backed and reliable. That amp for $800 looks like a pretty nice deal, unless you have e freight premium to get it delivered in your area.

    Others would have to add opinions about the Ampeg (and I'm sure they will . . . ).
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Had a Cyclops, (which I sold), and still keep my RL1018 as a back-up to my gig rig.

    I found their R heads to be very good values, at least the Series II - very dependable, rugged, and loads of tones because all those controls make them quite flexible. The only downsides I can think of are that their Noise Gates are worthless, their crossovers are weird for bass (high for bass Hz's, IMO), and some people find their DI's too hot to be useable.
    I haven't any experience with their new monoblock heads.

    Their speakers are another story. While the cabs are very well-constructed, their Eminence speakers, built to Carvin's specs, just cannot handle low end at decent volume/much power.

    When I've paired my Carvin head with my Eden cabs instead of the Carvin cabs, the difference was like day and night.
  4. DaBassman


    Mar 25, 2002
    Oneonta, NY
    If you can find a used AG100, get it! Although it's not a "bass" amp it sounds great, is loud and light (30lbs). It has a bass channel you can use.
  5. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    The new BRX cabs don't.
    I just got my BRX10 (4x10) and BRX12 (2x12) yesterday to go with my new B1500. This system has TONS of lows.
  6. Over the years I've owned a variety of Carvin products and I've found them to be reliable and functional. Carvin bass amps will get the job done. However,I've found them to be a bit over rated in power and a little shy in the bottom end. I prefer the sound and power of Ampeg, if all other things are equal.
  7. Carvin's claiming that the new BRX cabs are superior to many competitors. A quote from the Carvin website:

    Amongst the competitors was Epiphani(sp.?), Glockenklang(sp?), high-end Ampeg, SWR, Eden, and a B&C-loaded BRX. The Eminence Neo-loaded BRX beat them all.

    This is definetly saying alot about Carvin, however, it's also coming from a Carvin employee. It's definetly possible that these new cabs sound great, but what sucks is that they're only available from Carvin, meaning bass players can't compare them against high end brands. Maybe bassplayer magazine will have a shootout.
  8. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I can't say anything specific about the B1500, but if you're not planning on ever loading it with a 2-ohm load (two 4-ohm cabs), then I'd buy an R1000 instead. Nearly the same power at 4 ohms (1000 vs 1250 -- not a big difference), and WAY more tone features and biamp flexibility -- for $150 less!

    I own and am thrilled with an R600 Series III. I just didn't need the power of the R1000, and the preamp is the same.
  9. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I don't need the crossover, I prefer to run full-range. If I decide I need a compressor or noise gate, I'll get an outboard unit that has more control than what is usually built into bass heads.

  10. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    Nice rig...... I´m going to try that amp and cabs in a new Carvin authorized dealer here in Caracas in few days.

    How do you compare the 2x12 with the 4x10?
  11. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas

    I've written a lot about it, including comparisons of the two here.
  12. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain

    Nice..... I can see you REALLY like your rig, do you?
  13. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    I was wondering about those new Carvin mono block heads, seems like a ton of power.

    I'd be interested to hear one up against an Ampeg SVT-4.
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    As stated by someone before, its not a lot of power unless you plan on running it at a 2 ohm load, which very, very few people do. At 8 ohms or even 4, its not that much more power than Carvin's R1000 . . .

    I always feel sorry for people who run one 8 ohm cab through an amp and say its "xxx watts" just because the amp touts that rating at 2 ohms, when in reality they are only getting around half of that power when using their cab.
  15. Herein lies the conundrum. (I just love saying that!) If something really sucks, and because Carvin ONLY sells by direct order, thereby relying entirely on advertising, thus spending a LOT of money advertising- is Bassplayer, or any other magazine going to give a bad review to a piece of equipment that comes from an advertiser? When was the last time you read a bad review in a magazine? Why would you tell your audience that your advertisers' products sucked? Your own ears or word of mouth from someone you trust. In other words, not Harmony Central.

  16. I knew this would come up...and you're right. So the only fair comparison then, would be for musicians to get together and do a shootout of their own.
  17. Pretty much, and even then, since tone is so subjective, you'd have to know that the person has similar likes and similar gear and such to get an "fair and balanced" shootout review. Really, the only fair option is to A/B them yourself.
  18. Sandman64


    Sep 9, 2015
    I had an R600 head and two 4x10 cabs a number of years ago. It was an ok rig, had lots of cool features and a great compressor. However it sounded kind of bland to me, much like Peavey bass amps do. Carvin does provide you with great value for the money. But their bass amps can't touch other manufactures such as GK, Mesa, Aguilar and Markbass as far as tonal quality goes. All of those have great reputations and sound better than the Carvin did IMHO.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
  19. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    There are actually much simpler reasons why you rarely read bad reviews:

    -Mags like BP receive more great gear than they could ever possibly review, so there's little motivation to devote the substantial time and effort (much less precious print space) to reviews of bad gear

    -A manufacturer would be pretty stupid to send gear for review without first checking to ensure that it was as immaculate an example of their product as they could possibly make

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