carvin cabs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SuperDuck, Nov 30, 2000.

  1. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    i'm a poor college student, and right now i'm playing through a crappy peavey tnt130 which is basically falling apart. i'm looking into getting a new amp, probably a head/cab setup, and i've seen that carvin is pretty cheap. i guess you can get a 2x10 with horn for $299 and a 4x10 for $399, which is decent compared to what i've seen. i just want some feedback from any owners, like, are they crap? i know that carvin makes good basses, i just want to see if their amps are any good. i've heard mixed reviews of their redline bass heads, if anyone has any comments about those i would appreciate it
  2. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I think they sound pretty good! The thing
    about most of the Carvin stuff I've played,
    including the basses and amps alike, is that
    the quality is 90% of the "premium" comparable
    gear, but the price is only half (IMHO blah
    blah blah).

    The other option is to buy a "premium" used
    cabinet. As it turns out, I just HAPPEN to
    be selling an Eden 2x10 XLT for $350. Email
    me if you're interested.

    Good luck!
  3. BassDude24


    Sep 12, 2000
    I have heard the same thing about Carvin, that their amps and bass' are like 90% of premium, but for the price, I think that they are premo equpitment. I myself don't have much cash (in high school) and I have used a Carvin PB200-15 for three years and the biggest problem I have had so far was when somebody I know thought that it would still work after he pulled the ground plug out and he blew a fuse of mine. None the less, I also play a carvin bass and love the thing.

  4. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Carvin's pretty good, overall. I particularly like the Redline heads, although the power output ratings are on the liberal side (in my estimation they put out about 80-85% of their claimed power as *clean* watts). Their speakers take a huge amount of power, but then again, they *need* a lot (they aren't very efficient). I play with a fairly loud drummer and a guitarist with a 50-watt 2x12 cabinet, and I'm running about 600 clean watts into two 4-ohm Carvin cabinets and it's just barely enough. Anyway, the quality is good, overall, but the efficiency and low-end response of the bass guitar cabinets could be better. For someone on a budget, it's not a bad way to go, really. However, I agree with other posters here that you should also check out used amps (that's what I did when I was younger).
    - Mike
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I've owned an RC210 combo for two years and haven't had any mis-givings about the money spent. I've used this on Jazz gigs, Rock gigs, and played it regularly with my now defunct Blues band and it has held it's own in every situation. Like MikeyD, I've gone up against two guitars and a loud drummer many times, but I found that the amp had no problems and I was quite confident that I could be the loudest thing in the room if I'd wanted to! I've also bi-amped with a 15" cabinet and the sound was able to 'breathe' a little more...

    A few weeks ago I subbed in a local rock band and the bass player was gracious enough to let me use his rig -- An SWR SM-900 with a Goliath 6X10 cabinet. Sweet! Now, no way am I gonna say that my Carvin sounds as good as this rig, cause it doesn't...But I did realize that at less than a quarter of the cost, it sounds DAMN GOOD. I've also used just the head with an Eden 2X10 cab, (the same one that CapitanWally is selling for $350, which is a heck of a deal IMO), and it sounded great...

    Anyhow, to get to your question, IMHO, Carvin cabinets are a great deal for the money...

    Have fun,
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I just came home from a gig after blowing through my Carvin RL1018 all night. The thing never lets me or the audience down. Some Carvin owners say that at first they thought the power ratings were too high compared to what they experienced or the amp shut down on them. Then they go on to say that they reread the manual carefully and now they love `em. My R1000 (and the practically identical R600) have scads of controls to give the amps great flexibility. I bought a Cyclops for home practice and now I think I should have bought something's cracking the grout in the bathroom and shaking the gutters loose. IMHO, they're sweethearts.

    [Edited by rickbass1 on 12-01-2000 at 03:04 PM]
  7. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I bought the carvin 2-10 cab to beef up my rig on out door gigs. (see my profile) I also use it alone with my svt head at smaller gigs and at practice. It sounds a little mid rangey, but I expect that out of a 210 cab. That is easily remedied with your tone controls or by adding a 1-15 or 1-18 under it. Keep in nimd that the 210 cab is 4ohm so if you plan on using another cab with it you'll need a second amp. by the way I have the tilt back version avaiable on their monitor and speaker cab page. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Carvin to any body, they're not high end, but they are excellent for the money spent.
  8. noweapon


    Feb 10, 2000
    I own a "cyclops" combo (R600 head, 1x15, 2x8 + horn) and it has served me well. I use it for small gigs now that I have a bigger setup, but it did good in those large gigs too. As for the value of carvin, I think they are worth asking price. Its great bang-for-your-buck stuff.
  9. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    It's great that you're digging your Carvin rig, as I am mine. I have the RC210 combo on top, with the 1x18" cab on the bottom. However, the R600 head in the combo was clipping a bit too much for comfort. I did compare (audible) power output with a 200-watt Fender head, and found that the Carvin fell short of its rating. The reason is that Carvin picks 1 kHz and 1% distortion (which is rather liberal, since bass players don't just play 1 kHz notes!); whereas some other manufacturers often rate power over the whole audible spectrum (20 - 20 kHz) and at THD of maybe .1% instead, which is much more conservative and "clean". My experience corroborates this. Anyway, because I was pretty happy with the R600 (other than the clean power output being 80-85% of the claimed values), I went ahead and bought an R1000 to add to the stack. I'm using only the R1000 with the full stack now, but the whole package gives me fantastic flexibility and power options (all the way up to 1350-1600 watts, depending on how much clipping you can tolerate). I can do almost anything now, with 4 separate power channels - plus if one head goes down, I have the other for backup. If I'm just doing a gig with a jazz combo, all I need to bring is the RC210 combo with the R600 head in it.

    Given the enormous flexibility and control options with these amps, one thing I wish is that Carvin had supplied a signal flow diagram, like the ones you see with mixers, in the user's manual. I agree with your comment that users should really read the manual carefully and understand the amp - it is rather complicated. I obtained a wiring diagram from Carvin and mapped out the signal flow for myself so I could see how the various input/output jacks and controls were connected. I found a way to master-slave the R1000 and R600 perfectly so I could blow out windows if the need arises. That said, I will comment on your grout problem: the volume controls do go all the way to zero (quite well, too), so don't blame that amp for the destruction it's causing, you power tripper! :)

    - Mike
  10. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN

    I've been thinking about getting that wedge and running it with one side of my power amp, strictly as a "personal " bass monitor. I'd still go through the PA and use a bigger cabinet in the "back line". Eden makes a 2X10 wedge, but it's like $175 more than the Carvin.

    So, what does that thing sound like? I know it won't have tons of lows, or take thousands of watts. But does it "cut through"? Does it play loud? Does it sound like bass in your face, or bumblebees in the distance?


  11. noweapon


    Feb 10, 2000

    I think that, by itself, the "Cyclops" would cut through pretty well in a decent sized room with about 100 to 200 people. In my experience, everybody at a gig that size had no trouble hearing me (or so they say...) with a small PA. The only bad thing though was I really had to pound on my bass to hear myself....Got sick of that real quick! Another thing is I never really got to "feel" my bass, unless I was standing right next to it. I have sice upgraded to a M0'Bass head and megoliath 8x10 cab and If I stand right in front of that thing it will turn me to jelly. The Carvin "cyclops" is a good, loud combo that is very easy to transport. Its got a lot of tone options....the EQ is awesome. The direct outs on the back are rock solid, better even than my SWR gear.
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    THANKS noweapon and MikeyD!!!!:D I just got the Cyclops and wish I had that wiring diagram for tonight's gig. Master slave the R600 + the R1000 with the Cyclops + the RL118, and use the Rl210 for a side bin, (for which I've been begging for months)...time to get in touch with Dr. Sound at Carvin.
  13. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
  14. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I bought an RC210 a couple months ago and its great. If you're the kind of guy that likes to tweak stuff the R600 or R1000 head is for you. I missed a couple classes becasue I was having too much fun tweaking my new amp. The cab is built pretty tough, and those speakers can handle a lot of power. I've sent the amp into clipping quite a bit and the speakers take it all in stride. That's 600 watts going into a cab that's rated at 400 watts. Now Carvin amps are not the most hifi amps out there, but to get the equivalent of what I have it would cost at least twice as much as what I paid.
  15. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    You're welcome. When I need to use both heads, I take the effects send from the R1000 to the effects return of the R600. The signal flow goes through the main processing of the R1000 pre-amp - all except for the graphic EQ - then right into the R600's graphic EQ section. It has no hum, because it's a strong line level signal and at identical points in the respective signal chain. It thereby bypasses the up-front processing of the R600, so you can control most of the tone of the two via the controls on the R1000! Now, what's ultra cool about this is I can run the R1000 full-range bridged to drive the big 1x18" bottom and use its graphic EQ to boost the bass and cut the treble out. Conversely, with the R600 running full-range bridged into the 2x10" cabinet, I can use the R600's graphic to cut the lowest bass (to keep the 2x10 cones from being extruded through the metal grille)! It's much, much better than bi-amping with this speaker set-up, because there is too much overlap between the cabinets' frequency responses to waste them by bi-amping. Besides, I don't like the range of bi-amp crossover frequencies Carvin provides - they don't go nearly low enough. Caviat: the above set up is quite likely to fry the speakers if I push it too hard, so "don't try this at home, kids!" (I'm thinking of adding some cabinets later for big venues.) Anyway, have fun with it!
    - Mike
  16. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I currently own the Carvin Rl Series 4x10 and 1x15 speaker cabs (see profile) I would recomend these cabs to anyone, The 4x10 has nice beefy lows without too much boominess, warm mids, and very crip highs. It is also suprisingly light for a 4x10 only 70 pounds. The 1x15 gets great kick you in the chest lows, and is very clear for a 1x15, Ive used it as a stand alone cab at a couple of gigs and rehersals and didnt get lost in a "muddy" mix when I did my runs and fills like I have with many a 15" cab. I know there are better sounding cabs out there like Eden, but for the money Carvin is very hard to beat and you definatly get the best bang for your buck. They have an excellent waranty even though its only a 1 year one and a 10 day no questions asked full return/refund policy. Only downside to Carvin is you have to pay all shipping costs, even if you should have to send it back for warranty repair, that is the only thing I dont like about it, but I havent had any problems with mine so far. I havent played there heads or combos but if they are anything like the cabs ive got then they are well worth it too.
  17. dylangrl


    Dec 5, 2000
    Help, my new r1000 just arrived. Have gig Saturday. Anybody have any tips for me on getting the settings close in such short time. Havent even played it yet. Tommorrow nite will be 1st time. Would hate to have to play my GK 400RB while the R1000 sits at home. Thanks in advance.
  18. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Funny you should ask. A guy just e-mailed me with an almost identical question. Here was my response (to which he said he had good luck):

    It depends somewhat on the speaker you're using, your bass, the strings, the effects you may be using, and the type of sound you want. I am using my Carvin heads with the 2x10" (+tweeter horn) combo and 1x18" speaker. I play Fender Precision and Jazz basses.

    I have all my preshape buttons pushed in. The graphic EQ is out, and I'm running the amp full-range (not bi-amped). I also use a little compression:

    THRESH: 9:00 o'clock
    RATIO: 10:00 o'clock

    However, my multi-effects pedal also does a bit of compression as well. You will have to develop your own settings to suit your style. I recommend starting with no compression (all the way off) and slowly building it up if you find you need some. If you play jazzy stuff, don't use much. If you play loud hard rock or Flea-style slap, you might want more.

    Anyway, the settings of the four EQ knobs are:

    LOW: +7 (about 3:00 o'clock)
    MID GAIN: -4 (about 10:00 o'clock)
    MID FREQ: 1.2k (about 2:30 o'clock)
    HIGH: +7 (about 3:00 o'clock)

    It gives a good full-range, balanced sound. It might be a little strong for the highs, but I do quite a bit of slap work so I need it.

    If these don't help you, I recommend starting with everything set flat, then moving methodically from left-to-right with the EQ controls. Keep the graphic EQ off and use it as a last resort to "fine tune" the amp to the particular room situation or give you additional flexibility if needed. You should be able to get close to the desired sound without the graphic EQ. Good luck.

    - Mike

  19. dylangrl


    Dec 5, 2000
    Thank you MikeyD : ) you rock. We'll try thoses settings @ practice tonite.You're too cool Mikey..we appreciate that very much,we were kinda sweatin it not really knowing how to dial in that amp so close to the saved the day Mikey...Peace and Happy Holidays...Dylangrl (Lisa) and Ron: )
  20. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I'm truly touched! :D Thanks for your kind response! (This makes this forum all worthwhile!) Another point about my settings: you'll note that the bass is boosted rather heavily. This is because the frequency response of the Carvin speakers - at the extreme low end - is a little weak. I play a lot of funk, and it needs to be felt - but not boomy. While I boost the highs quite a bit, the tweeter horn (which, BTW, I have the pad set to full volume on the speaker backplate) seems to have an obnoxious squawk, which is why I notched the mids at about 1.2 kHz.

    It is a complex amp to set up, for sure, but worth the effort. It sounds nice when it's set-up just right.

    Best of luck. I hope you get the sound you're after, and Happy Holidays to you, too!

    - Mike