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Carvin BX600, Ampeg PF500, or Hartke LH500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheOnlyJuan, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. I thought I had finally narrowed down my search for a new head to the Ampeg PF500 or Hartke LH500 (I actually have my eye on a good deal for the Ampeg). However, I was continuing my browsing other brands and I came across a Carvin BX600.

    I have an Ampeg BA115 and I have played through an Ampeg PF500 on a 410 and it does sound sweet. The Carvin is older and the only reason that it is a consideration in my deliberations is because the first head that I had was a Carvin Pro Bass II and I actually love that sound.

    I only have one question regarding the two: Does anyone have any experience playing with a Carvin BX600? I would be paying the same for either one except that the Ampeg is a blem and the Carvin is used.

    I would like to hear from those of you who have played through a Carvin BX600 and tell me what you think. BTW - I have a GK 410MBX.

  2. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    I have experience with the Carvin and the Ampeg, not the Hartke. The Carvin is a less powerful version of the solid state head B1500, so it's VERY solid and sounds great. The Ampeg sounds like Ampeg so if you like that sound, which I do (I have a PF-350) it's good. There are multiple revisions of the Ampeg so the later ones are likely to be more stable than the old ones. I can't tell you which one to pick because they sound different. The Ampeg has a smoother, deep sound while the Carvin has a more immediate, punchy clear sound. I own both a Carvin BX1200 and an Ampeg PF-350. Ideally I would switch depending on the song but the Carvin, IMO, covers more bases (pun).
  3. Thanks. Does it matter that the Carvin BX600 kicks out less wattage than the Ampeg PF500 (225 watts for the Carvin and 375 watts for the Ampeg - both at 8ohms which is the load that I will be applying). I am asking insofar as cutting through (loudness).
  4. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    I played a year or so on the Hartke - great head for $$ imho and really nice tone - not the most flexible amp...but really powerful, good tone and reliable is the way to go (again ime)
  5. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Of those I'd go for the Hartke. Solid, simple head. Easy to get a good sound out of it.
  6. The Carvin BX600 is basically a mono amp version of the Carvin BX1200, which is a solid-state version of the BX1500. I guess that kinda makes the BX600 the solid-state for-runner of the much-lauded BX500 with a tube. I had a BX1200 and it was an great amp. I would assume the BX600 to be the same in a mono amp version. Very versatile and neutral sounding, with lots of eq and drive control.

    I also had the PF500. As others said, it's a great amp if you like the 'Ampeg' sound. Some do, some don't, so that's neither a compliment nor a dig.

    If you have the $ for a BX500, personally I would do that. If not, it should be a pretty easy choice between the PF500 and the Carvin, as one delivers a certain tone and the other does not. It depends on if you're after that tone or not.

    No experience one way or another w/a Hartke.
  7. +1 on the BX500.
    Carvin has them on sale for $349 right now! That makes it the same price as the LH500. The Hartke is a nice head too but for the same price I would take the BX500. It has a much larger EQ section and it's made in the US.
  8. Abrahampost


    Feb 22, 2013
    I gigged with a BX600 for years and it is a great versatile amp. I wouldn't worry too much in the power difference between the two since Ampeg tends to inflate their wattage ratings and Carvin doesn't IMHO. If you love the "Ampeg tone" you will love the PF500, for myself I enjoyed the fact that with the BX600 and a few pedals I could get any tone I wanted.
  9. I have an Ampeg combo amp (BA115) so I already have that sound (I do like that sound). I just wanted to keep my options open.
    I have to rule out the Hartke because of the higher cost. The Ampeg I am looking at is a blem but I can get it for $285.00.

    I think that I am headed more toward the Carvin for two reasons:
    1. The first head I owned was a Carvin and I really liked the tones I got. For some stupid reason I bought a 115 cab to go with my 410 (got a real good deal on it) which made me sell the Carvin. I am selling the 115 and staying with the 410.

    2. In addition to the nice, punchy tones that I am able to get from the Carvin, I have the opportunity to get it for less than $250.00, even though it is used. It is in excellent shape.

    Thanks for your input.

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