Carvin BX1200

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sundogue, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Well, I finally went and purchased a Carvin BX1200 amphead.


    I was going to get either the BX500 (the lightweight model), or the BX600 (standard model), but I thought for $549, why not just get the model with the most horsepower?

    I use two 115 neos that are 4 ohms each and rated at 200 watts, so I needed an amp that could handle either a 2 ohm load or each 4 ohm cab separately.

    I know that either the BX500 or BX600 would be enough power for my cabs as I've been running them with 500 watts and it's been fine, though I know at times I've pushed my amps a bit harder than I like. So I thought I might as well get the BX1200 so I could get the volume I want without pushing my amp hard no matter how large a venue I play.

    Plus the BX1200 gives me so many more options with a variety of cab configurations plus bi-amping if I care to.

    I've read all the threads on the BX500, 600 and 1200 but if anyone cares to add to this thread with their impressions or experience using the BX1200, I'd love to read your thoughts on it. Now I just need to sell some of my old gear to help pay for it.
  2. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Nice! Enjoy it.
  3. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    When I look at this amp I seriously wonder why anyone would buy a B1500 :) so much more flexible.
  4. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Some of us like the simplistic, yet extremely effective, setup of the B series amps over all the bells and whistles of the BX series. I do have a BX500 on order, but I really wish it was the BX500 power section and the B1500 preamp.

    But yes, extremely flexible. Can't deny that ...

  5. 1. If you don't want or need the type of flexibility the BX1200 offers.

    2. If you like the sound of the B1500 better.

    3. If you just like carrying heavier amps.

  6. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    IME the BX1200 is the best deal by faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar in a head that pushes at least 500W into 8 Ohms. Great piece of gear! Bullet-proof build quality, excellent tone and juice to spare. And no more rat fur!
  7. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Honestly the B1500 was in the running, except for two factors that swayed me to the BX1200.

    1. I really love a graphic EQ (not for tone, but for room control)


    2. I was already pushing my limits with the wife going from the price of the BX600 ($399) to the BX1200 ($549).

    I didn't love the B1500 that much. Yeah, it's only $100 more than the BX1200, but it's $250 more than the BX600 I was originally going to get (and wife reluctantly agreed to). I thought the BX1200 covered everything I need now and even in the future. Way too many features/options/power for the money to pass up.
  8. Before I switched to the BX500 because of the weight and 500 watts at 4 ohms is all I really need, I used the SBR1018 as my rig for over 2 yrs. The BX1200 is built like a tank, super reliable and durable. It will take time to get use to all the EQ which IMO is close to overkill, but still useful. Be patient and you'll eventually find your sound for any gig you do. Have fun with it's, it a real winner of a head.:smug:
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Odd that the only hybrid head Carvin offers is the 500...

    You think that they could score a real touchdown by taking the 1500 and mating it with a nice tube preamp...
  10. Sparkdog


    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    I had a BX1200, really great amp. But I'm in the camp that finds the eq options to be just too much, I always got frustrated with the parametric mid section before I got the tone dialed in.

    I replaced it with a B1500 and that was a perfect fit for me. Dialing in my sound in any room takes seconds and there's more power than I'll ever need, no matter the gig or cab setup.

    These days I use the B1500 with a 410 as my big rig, and I've added a BX500 with a 210 as my mini rig...truly the best of both worlds :)
  11. Sparkdog


    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    If I were a gambling man I would wager that's exactly what the boys are Carvin will unveil next in their amp line.

    The preamp in the BX500 sounds absolutely incredible to me, pair it up with some big block horsepower and they would really have a winner.
  12. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I used to have an R600 head in the RC210 combo years ago. I pulled the head out and used it with a variety of other cabs over the years and loved it. So I'm used to Carvin's bells and whistles. ;)

    And a graphic EQ is an absolute must for me these days. I don't use it for tone control much...more to control unforgiving rooms. I like having an amp that has both the parametric and graphic EQ's. I'm sure it will take me a bit to get the sound down right with it, but it looks to be exactly what I look for in a head, with the ability to scale it back and use it with most everything flat or turned off, or to be able to play around with anything. IMO, it's better to have options and not use them, than to want them and not have them.

    I didn't really buy it for all the tonal sculpting though. I get my sound mostly through my bass and a Zoom B2 pedal. My last two amps sounded decidedly different alone, but almost identical with the Zoom B2. Both had 7 band graphic EQ's. Both had enough power (500 watts) but at some gigs I needed to push them a bit too hard, which is why I opted for the BX1200 instead of the BX600. Running two 4 ohm 115 neo cabs, I felt the BX1200 would give me a bit of breathing space, where if I did need to push my cabs a little more, the BX1200 wouldn't break a sweat over it.

    Thanks for the recommendation. I think I've read a few posts of yours about the BX1200 and the new BX500, so it's good to read that I made a good purchase (not that I really had to have my choice validated). Heck if I was happy with Carvin's Redline series, this amp ought to be awesome for me.
  13. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI

    I just checked my UPS tracking and the expected delivery isn't until next Monday (would have been Friday if I'd ordered on Monday, but it took an extra day to convince the wife :scowl:). I was hoping to have the BX1200 for Saturday's outdoor gig on the 4th. BIG gig for us...every year we play THE event for the 4th around here and are guaranteed 900+ people for it. Crazy, wild time every year.


    Anybody ever get their order from Carvin before it was expected? I've had lots of online orders shipped via UPS that came a day earlier than the expected delivery date, so I'm hoping it holds true on this amp.

    I'm like a kid four days before Christmas...I want it now! :D
  14. My expereince has been that it gets here when UPS says it gets here. Unfortunately.:bawl:

    However, there may be one long shot you can try. if you know where your local collection center or hub or whatever it's called is, a package will usually get there a day before they put it on the local-route trucks to bring it to you. If you call them ahead of time, give them the tracking number and all that, and ask them to hold the package for pickup at the local hub, you MIGHT (no guarantees) be able to get it a day early (assuming that you'd be able to get off work and go get it). Can't hurt to ask, anyway.
  15. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I know the guy at the local UPS. I'm an artist and I go there to ship off paintings all the time. Of course, that also means I don't have to take off work to go there.;)

    Thanks. I had forgotten about possibly picking it up instead of waiting. Usually if it gets there though, it's delivered the same day here, but it's worth checking into.
  16. I got my BX500 3 days early, but I live in Cali so it's just up the street on I-5 with Carvin and I;).
  17. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Lucky you. ;) :cool:

    I have an amp to use this weekend at least, but this would have been THE gig to see what kind of horsepower is under the hood of the BX1200 as it is outdoors, on a big stage and one of our larger shows of the year.

    We have another outdoor one in August that is even bigger so I'll have a chance to really test it then. Currently I'm running with a 500 watt into 2 ohm "backup" amp, but it's old and I'll be putting it up for sale after I get the Carvin. After this weekend it's a couple of boring wedding gigs with all that "low volume fluff" so my amp will barely be on. :crying:
  18. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    I visited the Carvin booth @ NAMM in January & campared the BX1200 & the BX500 back to back~ The 1200 just seemed to have more of everything soundwise & I think you made the right choice. I've got to tell you though, 5 minites later I was at the Markbass booth plugged into the new LMIII & for $600~ my goodness...forgot all about the Carvins.
  19. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    The Markbass LM III specs show that it's output power is 300W @ 8 ohm, 500W @ 4 ohm.

    I just posted this in another thread and for me, the BX1200 gives me so many options with cabs that it's borderline ridiculous.

    The BX1200 handles 8, 4 and even 2 ohm cab configurations with plenty of power...

    Mono full range or Bi-amped

    8 ohm 275W/ch, 4 ohm 400W/ch, 2ohm 600W/ch

    Or Bridged full range...

    8 ohms - 800W, 4 ohms - 1200W

    Think about it...with the BX1200 you could run four 4 ohm 810 or 215 cabs from that head and each would still get 300 watts per cab!!! Eight 15's or Thirty two 10's???!!! :eek:

    I personally won't ever buy another head that can't handle a 2 ohm load, no matter how great it is otherwise. But that's me, because I have a lot of different cabs lying around of varying ohms and it's nice to not be stuck with only one 4 ohm cab to maximize the amp's power and have no option to add another.
  20. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    Yeah The BX1200 is a true chameleon. There are just SO MANY options with it that it takes real time to get it down, plus you need a good understanding of how your cab(s) work with it. For instance;
    1. Bridge both amps into 4 ohms - 1200w RMS. Brutal power. AMP2 volume disabled.
    2. X-OVER mode with two 8 ohms cabs - 275w per channel (550w total).
    3. X-OVER mode with two 4 ohms cabs - 400w per channel (800w total).

    I prefer the sound in X-OVER mode and the effect of the CROSSOVER knob because I have two different cabs.
    One cab is like a SUB and my other is a 3-way. This is what X-OVER mode is designed for. It's like having an active crossover unit on a PA.
    Therefore I think that running two 4 ohms cabs is the best match for the BX1200.
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