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Carvin Conundrum......

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tharv, Sep 12, 2008.


  1. tharv

    tharv

    Feb 5, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    Hoping to get some perspective on a change to my stage gear. Sorry this is long, but there's probably multiple problems....

    I'm in a blues band (Mostly Blues w/ some rock, R&B, & Funk). We play in smaller clubs where only the vocals are run through the PA, so we rely on our amps for everything. I've been playing through a Carvin RL610 (2X10), and the sound is kinda lack luster and barely cuts through.... I recently picked up a MIA Jazz ('05) that sounded huge & punchy when I played it at the shop (through a 4x10), but average to not so good through my stage rig. I like the portability of the combo, & it should have plenty of oomph, power wise. I know the extra 2 speakers at the store would make some difference, at least volume wise, but the tone was way different too?

    I know from my recent reading on here I need to do some EQ work. I think I have it all backwards? Don't have the gain turned up hardly at all. Using the "Pre Shape" button for bass boost, and changing the mid scoop. Leaving the 9 band out of the loop. Just dialed in a little bass & treble on the 3 band, and not using the Para-Mid.

    Anyone got some good rough setup ideas for me? I'd work towards that classic Jazz sound, even leaning towards Marcus Miller a little? I know you're all groaning now.... Lol! Just want to head in that direction, not be a clone.... :D

    On stage I'm competing w/ a guitar through a Fender 2x12, and a harp through a more powerful Fender 2x12. I keep having to turn up as the stage volume gets to where it should be, and I never seem to have enough to cut through the mix.

    Should I contemplate adding a 1x15 bi-amped w/ the 2x10, or maybe yanking the head out of the Carvin & running my old Goliaith II 4X10 with it? What will give me more of what I want? Punch, bottom end & volume?

    Thanks in advance for the advice!! I'm sure someone knows more than me!!! :(
     
  2. watspan

    watspan

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    mids are what cuts through a mix. try setting the amp flat w/o any of the other shape buttons or anything and boost the mids slightly. You may also want to try setting the gain until you just start to clip on your hardest plucks, then back off a bit. use the master volume to set overall volume needs. You may want to make sure the guitar and harp are not bass-heavy, filling up your space. IMHO YMMV etc.
     
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    In addition to watspan's remarks, I would question whether you've even got enough firepower to do what you need to do - especially since your bandmates have got bigger amps than you, bass typically requires a lot more power than anything else - and you have no PA support at all.

    IMO, you're asking a 2x10 combo to do a lot more than it is capable of doing. However you decide to go for your tone - with whatever gear you settle upon - simply experiment with the settings until you get what you want. And start getting realistic about your power and speaker requirements! :eyebrow:

    MM
     
  4. andymcclure

    andymcclure

    May 10, 2008
    Minneapolis
    I had similar trouble. By the numbers, Carvin bass amps are awesome, but in reality, I found mine to have no teeth. I've played through amps with half the rated power that smoked the Carvin. I ran my R600 through several different cab configurations, and it never delivered. My 120-watt Peavey blew the doors off it.

    My Carvin was stolen, and although I was bummed to be out the cash, I never missed the amp for a second. I hope whoever took it has it fail at as many gigs.

    This may be an unpopular stance, but in my experience, there is not a bass amp out there that matches a Peavey. Sure, some sound better, but nothing delivers more clean, solid, reliable power per dollar than a Peavey.
     
  5. prokfrog

    prokfrog

    Mar 16, 2007
    new jersey
    You definately need to dial in more mids if you want to be heard. I have an R1000 head. I run it with a 210, and a 112.

    Make sure all your preshape buttons are OUT. Dial in your bass between the bass knob, and the 125 slider on the eq. get some 250 in there also.

    A 210 alone might be a little anemic. adding a 112 would definately get you over the hump .
     
  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    The problem with the old Carvin Redline heads is that they have a non-defeatable mid-scoop (you can choose one of two frequencies to scoop but you can't choose none!) which makes them sound quieter and less punchy than they really are. Use the semi-parametric EQ to fill those mids back in and you should notice a radical difference.

    Also, there are very few 2x10" cabs that have enough bottom to fill a venue with fat bass. Add a second cab and problem solved.

    Alex
     
  7. tharv

    tharv

    Feb 5, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    Great replies so far guys!!! Thanks for the input!

    I guess I need to at least look into another cab..... Would a 12 be good, or should I go for a 15? 200W @ 8ohm or 300W @ 4ohm should be enough right?

    I'll start monkeying w/ the EQ a little this weekend..... I'd read in an EQ thread on here about cutting what you have too much of instead of boosting what you lack..... Anyone have any real world experience with that theory?

    Alex – Gr8 point on the mid scoop not being able to be turned off!! I'll have to work on that one a bit....

    Thanks again! Keep the ideas coming....
     
  8. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    +1 to all of this! I used to run an RL210 sitting on top of an RL115 (1x15). You have to run the gain as hot as you can - just clipping on too-hard hits to the E string. DON'T fall in love with onboard compressor - a little goes a long ways. Definitely avoid those preset buttons and use the semi-parametric mid control to bring out the frequency that will boost you up in your band's mix. The graphic EQ is actually quite good on this amp, so you should be able to get the mix you want with enough experimentation. Also, forget about biamping. The 2x10 is 4 ohms, and you can run another 4 ohm cabinet (such as the RL115) in "full range" mode. That will give you the biggest, fullest sound and the most power, IME.

    These are not bad amps, and they are not underpowered. They just need lots of speaker and lots of work to dial in the right EQ.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Personally I like the 2x10 format but I always use a minimum of two. You are asking way too much of your speakers expecting them to keep up with larger amps pumping higher frequencies. Get another 2x10 and run both cabinets. Make sure, however, that your amplifier can operate into the lower impedance load.

    Paul
     
  10. prokfrog

    prokfrog

    Mar 16, 2007
    new jersey
    I don't want to turn this into another thread, but I've been stumped on how to interpret from the owners manual of my R1000 what the IN and OUT positions exactly cut /boost. I'll guess with the button OUT, I'm cutting 250? Then what happens to the 500 frequency, and vise versa?
     
  11. tharv

    tharv

    Feb 5, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    Scottbass – Just a question.... If you're running the 2X10 & 1X15, why not put it in bi-amp mode & just run lows out of the 15, and the rest out of the 10's & horn? Does it just not work as well as one would think? Have you tried it both ways?
     
  12. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I would suggest adding a nice 8ohm 1x15 or 1x18.
    also, i used to have the R600 head. if i remember correctly you can run those bridged? that would give you a lot more power.
     
  13. prokfrog

    prokfrog

    Mar 16, 2007
    new jersey
    I think I figured it out.

    With the button OUT, you would have to set the 250 slider on the EQ to +10db to effectively be "flat". the 500 slider stays at center.

    with the button IN, the 500 slider needs to be at +10db, and the 250 at center to be effectively flat
     
  14. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    tharv - that's right. Sending the full-range signal to both cabs results in a fuller sound. While it is true that the 1x15 reproduces the lowest lows a little better than the 2x10, and the 2x10 reproduces highs better than the 1x15, if you want the best, fullest sound you should put both cabinets to work reproducing the entire signal. What I specifically noticed is that the 2x10 sounds weak and thin when you cut everything below the crossover point - 400 Hz or 250 Hz or wherever you set it. So what I had was a big ol 1x15 putting out lows with no mids whatsoever, and a 2x10 putting out mids and highs that lacked fullness.

    I know, I didn't believe it either until a TB'er covinced me to try it full range instead of biamped. It makes a HUGE difference, at least with this equipment (RC210, RL115).
     
  15. watspan

    watspan

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    w/ bi-amping you really need more power to the lows than the highs--if this amp sends equal power and you have no way to adjust that, it probably would sound better full range. When I bi-amp and can send about a 60/40 low/high power output it sounds great!
     
  16. tharv

    tharv

    Feb 5, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    Hmmmm....... Makes sense when you put it that way. I guess I'll stick to your advice & run both full range.

    Working a deal w/ another TB'er on a Bag End 1X15..... ;) That should help a little!!
     
  17. tharv

    tharv

    Feb 5, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    There are actually separate volume controls for each amp, so technically one could do that....... But, with what Scottbass wrote, sounds like full range for both is better for the overall sound? Must be something to do with the less than great speakers I've been reading about? :eyebrow:
     
  18. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    I've had older carvin (redline series) 10's and yes, they lack on the bottom. I'd add an 8ohm 15 to what you have and should sound pretty good, my 210+15 carvin stack did anyway. Would be cheaper than getting a whole 'nother rig and run them both full range. Would still leave you with the combo part for practice and such, bring the 15 for gigs.
     

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