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Carvin Combos.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tritoch, Mar 26, 2001.

  1. Tritoch


    Sep 9, 2000
    anybody have anycomments about carvins bass amps? they seem so cheap that there has to be something wrong with them. i just ordered a PB-100 ,15 inch woofer, 100 watts. does anybody have any expireince with carvin? mainly bass amps?
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Yep... Welcome to Talkbass!! If you use the search feature and look for 'Carvin' you'll find a ton of opinions. I have an RC210 and love it... have had smaller Carvins in the past, (a PB150 head... 150W into 4 ohms), and they've been reliable.

    Let us know how you like yours!

  3. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    That one did not suit me. It sounded nice at low volumes but distorted way too soon for my taste. I would probably like the 10 inch speaker model better for its portability or the PB200 for a bit more clean volume.

    Ultimately I chose the Cyclops. It's a great amp, but a lot more expensive. It's not as portable as I like so if I could trade this sucker I would trade it for the Redeye combo which I consider the best combo amp for the dollar.
  4. I can't comment on the PB-100 as I've never used it. However my rig is a Carvin R1000 head running a Carvin 4x10 and I think it sounds great. Plus it has been very reliable, even in my situation where I beat the hell out of it with a heavy metal band 2-3 times a week.
  5. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    If I were looking at that price range, I'd probably step up to the PB200 for the extra watts.

    Don't forget there are other combos in that price range too, try out as many as you can.

    Good luck! :)
  6. seville8


    Sep 8, 2000
    I too just ordered a Carvin combo, the PB200 ..as a matter of fact I am expecting delivery today!...I have not owned one before but I have heard some good things about them so I bought one...I will let you know how it sounds as soon as I get it..They seem to be alot of bang for the buck..that is if they sound as good as their competition..I will keep you posted!
  7. AssMan


    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    There's nothing wrong with them. They're cheap because carvin sells factory direct eliminating distribution and music store markups. Which means they charge a little bit more than whole sale prices. I have a RC210 redeye combo and I love it. Run a thread search on carvin amps here on talk bass and you'll find lot's of info. Or Look at this thread http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=12768
  8. fender58

    fender58 Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Southern California
    I have had a PB100-15 since I started playing four years ago and it's been great. I never played it with a band so I'm not sure how loud it gets on a "stage" ( I just played my first "concert" Sat night). I just got a new amp but will keep the Carvin forever. I think you will be very happy!
  9. Flea24


    Apr 7, 2000
    I used to have a Carvin 100 watt 1-15 it was a nice amp it had enough power and on stage it had enough power also so i think you will be impressed
  10. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I have the PB200 with the 12". It was my main amp for 2 years of heavy gigging and rehearsing with jazz, folk, and funk bands. It sounds stiff, cold and flat compared to the SWR Workingman's 12 I had. The Carvin has also been fairly unreliable, suffering a blown speaker and various crackles and hums. Also, you can't get a flat sound-the mid-shape preset toggles between two different mid cuts. Even when playing great-sounding basses (Alembic Spoiler, MusicMan StingRay, Peavey Cirrus) the amp sounds pretty lifeless without major EQ. The speaker sounds much better when I drive it with my Ampeg B2R or Mesa Boogie Bass 400. The Carvin was cheap and lightweight but I can't say I'd recommend it to anyone.
  11. if it's that bad, why keep it for the 2 years?? something tells me it must not have been as bad as you're describing if you kept using it for that long.
  12. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I didn't have any money to spend on music gear at the time because I was saving up for a car and to move out on my own. I'd rather put up with a piece of junk for a while and save up for something really good (I got a Mesa 400 and a nice SWR 1x15/2x10 setup) than move incrementally up the ladder of crappy gear.
    I think too many people on this site suffer from the illusion that better gear will automatically make them better players. And sometimes working with equipment that has limitations can help you overcome your own deficiencies.
    Example: I bought a used StingRay pretty much sight unseen. The standard line on 'Rays is that they're great but they only have one sound. Having to play the StingRay in different situations (jazz to rock to pop to gypsy klezmer funk) as my only bass made me really pay attention to getting different sounds through variations in right-hand positioning and techniques. I'd never seriously explored palm muting, flatpicking or thumb-plucking before but having a "one sound" bass made me broaden my palette, and for that I'm thankful.
    I'm not anti-Carvin-I also own one of their '80's tube guitar amps that has served me better than the PB200 and I'd consider buying one of their power amps for a rack system. But my experience with their bass gear has not been particularly positive, and I think it's appropriate to share that info in a thread about Carvin amps.
  13. AssMan


    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    Everybody's different, and what one likes, another may not. Doesn't the PB200 have a 5 band graphic? Along with the pre-shapes and the main eq with a sweepable mid, I'd call that major eq, but that's me. It seems to the crackling you described was probably because of the supplied 1/4" speaker cable was garbage like my redeye's was, or because you ran it way too hard (It's hard to blow speakers if you have a compressor like the PB200 does) and hurt other things when you blew the speaker (also the 15 that's in the PB200 is rated at 400 watts, and the PB200 puts out 160 watts bridged, so I have no clue how you blew that thing). I agree that the SWR or the Ampeg will probably sound a bit better but, they cost more, aren't as versatile, and don't have as many features as the Carvin IMO.
  14. seville8


    Sep 8, 2000
    OK..I finally got it..My PB200 with 15" speaker..I have just started using it and I have to say I love this thing..For a small frame and its light weight it rocks...I find that it is pretty versatile and even though an SWR may sound a little better this amp is by FAR to me the better value because the SWR costs alot more money.. I was a little leary at first to buy an amp without the benefit of playing it but the price drew me in and I'd reccommend this amp to anyone interested in buying a combo unit..IMO Carvin gives you the most bang for your buck.
  15. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    I have the PB-200 too. I really like it. It hin it wsounds great. There was a coment about the mid cut always engaged (either one frequency or the other), but I am able to counter that with the sweepable mid shift. I got out a marker and marked on the sweep dial where the cut frequencies are, and then turn the gain for the mid up all the way up. It counters most of the cut if it is undesireable. I actually liked the cut on both settings. I leave it cut at the lower frequency most of the time. To me it gets more of the jazz bass tone. I push in the high cut for more of a Music Man sound (a little punchier and more bass heavy). I feel there are a lot og sounds in it. I like the depth of the 15" woofer. I would liked to have tried it in a 12", but it is not available.

    I tried the SWR Working man, but I hated the sound. It could be that I tried one that just stunk, but I really did not like it. I tried out the Hartke kickback. I liked it, but it sounded rotten when turned up. I tried an Ampeg (I can't remember what model...100w)and almost went for it, but the Carvin was louder. The Ampeg probably had the nicest sound. It was more expensive.

    Check out the combo amp shootout at www.bassplayer.com
    There is some good info there. No Carvin info though.

    If you can afford it www.musiciansfriend.com is carying an Eden 2x10 combo. I believe this is the one in the BP mag shootout. It is expebsive, but I believe it puts out like 225 watts!

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