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Carvin HD900 and HD1800 Power Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by barebones, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Anyone have any experience with these particular amps? Features look nice, but I'm wondering about their reliability. Doesn't seem they've been covered in this forum before. They sure do have a nice price tag on the Carvin website right now, but I'm the skeptical type. If it sounds too good to be true...

  2. I was seriously looking at the HD900, but opted for the QSC RMX-850 instead. Picked it up Sunday.

    The Carvin unit is indeed attractive for the price, the weight, and the size. At 28lbs it would be a little easier to lug around than the 35lb QSC. And at only 10" deep it would actually fit in my rack without hanging out the back, unlike the QSC.

    However, given QSC's (current) 6 year warranty, and a boatload more testimonials for the that amp, it seemed the right thing to do. Don't get me wrong, I like Carvin stuff, and am happy with my PB150 practice amp, but for the $25 difference in price (when you include shipping) I felt the QSC made more sense.

    Comments on Carvin's discussion board (see "Site Features" -> "Discussion Boards") indicated that the HD series do not have limiters, and do not have Speakon outputs. The QSC has both, but does not have 1/4" outputs. (I had to spend another $40 on banana plug -> 1/4" speaker cables.) Finally, another comment on that board indicates that the DCM1000 does have these features. It is currently selling for $329 vs. $249 for the HD900 vs. $299 for the QSC (Musician's Friend, free shipping).

    If you get a Carvin please post a review. I always like to know what the better deal is, even after the fact. :) I'm also particularly interested in how loud the cooling fan is on the Carvin.

    -- Sam
  3. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Hmm... Thanks, Sam. That's some very intriguing information. I have to admit I've had some slight aversion to the RMX series, because I heard they are built in China, and I've had some trouble with other gear from that part of the globe. But with a 6 year warranty, it seems like it's hard to go wrong there. Other posts I've read seem to indicate that the RMX amps are very reliable as well, so maybe that's the way I should go. I do like their features...

  4. Oh, one other thing: I did read some comments either here or on Carvin's board, that their power amps do tend to be a bit over-rated on power, regardless of what their site claims. That is, another maker's 1000w amp may be (or seem) more powerful than the Carvin 1000w amp, despite Carvin's verbage about "some amps being rated in 'pulse power' - NOT OURS" that you'll see in their Technical Specs.

    After pulling the trigger on mine, I think it's like most other things: A roll of the dice. You're probably as well off with either amp. I do wish my QSC didn't stick out the back of my rack (only about 1/2", but enough to snag on stuff) but not so much that I'm going to return it and buy the Carvin.

    -- Sam
  5. To revive this old thread, because really nothing new has been posted on these, I have one on the way -- an 1800 and will post my reviews / progress for anyone who is interested, or any other owners ... this thread is kinda old :)
  6. Amp came today, seems built solid, racking it up now -- we have a gig tonight so I'm wasting no time putting it to the test, heheeheeh
  7. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Funny to see this old thread pop up again! Let us know what you think of the amp. I think they're pretty darn solid for the money.

  8. Well the gig went well. Its hard to "review" a poweramp - I mean, its not a tone thing ... all I know is I had plenty of power and headroom (actually turned down my stage volume after the 2nd song) and this thing fed my Bergs plenty of power.

    True these amps do lack the features already discussed (speakons etc). I was running parallel input and non-bridged with regular 1/4" speaker cables and it was fine. Fed the output of my Sansamp to the amp. Pretty standard/vanilla setup.

    I really, really like the rack depth of these - makes for a clean space in the back with plenty of room for cables. I also like the front, very clean and smooth and the volume knobs are flat/recessed. I suppose Carvin haters could black out the name and not feel embarrased, hehe. I've never had an opinion of Carvin either way, this is my first piece of their gear.

    I feel my rig is complete (again, lol, GAS), so I guess the only thing to keep an eye on is reliability/service issues, which hopefully won't be an issue. BTW these have a 3 year warranty.

    For the price - excellent!
  9. I 've found carvin stuff to be GREAT for the price. Heck my main bass is a carvin! I had a 600 watt red eye combo for years before buying the rig I have now and it did me well. Sounding pretty good, kind of generic thinking about it now, but still pretty good.
  10. Eh, I'd take the QSC if you have the chance. I ran a Carvin Pre/Power setup and it flamed up on my the 2nd gig (it was an HD1800). The Carvin store guys were also jerks to us trying to get it fixed.
  11. What's that mean? It literally caught on fire?

    FWIW I've owned two QSC's and love them, and of course Bob helps us all out here.
  12. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    Ive been using an HD900 with my Ampeg pre and Bergantino NV610 for some now with no troubles. Superior low-end response to the Behringer Europower ( the only other contender worth mentioning in this price class )..... light, short, reliable.

    Its a 900 watt amp for $250 bucks that fits into a shortrack, Actually makes a real 900 watts and you can carry with one hand. What more do you want?
  13. It literally caught on fire. Electrical smoke. Etc. Totally put me off to Carvin gear.
  14. danster


    Jul 13, 2007
    Connecticut, USA
    Well, since this is a Carvin Poweramp thread....I've owned a DCM1000 for a few years now with Zero issues. Plug my sansamp in and away we go. As far as cooling fan noise - its very quiet...can't hear it.:)
  15. Werd that would put me off a brand too. I have plenty of technical reasons to hate Ampegs, but plenty of ppl swear by them.

    Anyhow I revived this thread because when I was searching for info on the HD900 / 1800 line, I found very little info here which surprised me. So I figured ppl might want an active / current thread if they are thinking about buying. Plenty of brand/flame/carvin war threads already abound, heeh.
  16. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    I own two HD900's (one for each band) and swear by both. I played an outdoor gig last night in 105 degree heat into 2 8-ohm cabs and easily matched the PA when the preamp was sitting at around 12 o'clock on the volume knob.

    They're outstanding in sound, pack tons of power, are small, are relatively light and have never let me down.
  17. Hey - thanks again for the PM's prior to my purchase, they were helpful. I can't believe you played outside here last night, lol, ouch!

  18. optikhog


    Apr 2, 2007
    St. Peters, MO
    Hey, no problem. I hope your experience is as good as mine.

    As for the temps, yah it was pretty brutal. I looked like I'd been swimming by the time we finished.
  19. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I recently bought a HD1800, and it sounds good. I use half to power my bass rig (Sansamp RBI, compressor, to 2 Aguilar GS112's, or a GS112 and a 1x10), and the other half to power the monitors. I have played five gigs so far with no problems and great sound.

    I put the amp in a short SKB rack. I had to make some modifications, but I always tinker with stuff anyway. Having this short rack really helps when setting up and fitting things in my car.

    I've owned a lot of Carvin stuff over the years (basses, bass necks, pickups, Redline amp, practice amp) and have had no troubles whatsoever.
  20. Well its good to know its been three + years since I bought my Carvin ....

    I have started having problems with mine ... when I use both channels outputs (1/4") I'm getting bad noise from channel two. So I've been using Channel one into a single cab.

    I started having problem with the 1/4" output connections being loose. Playing a gig, the stage vibrations would knock it loose, literally, making one of my cabs go quiet.

    So I'm about to try two banana -> Speakons to see if the amp is actually on the way dead (bad circuitry or something) or if its just the 1/4' output jacks that are .... jacked! I wish the 1800 had Speakon outputs but ... oh well, I can't really afford a new amp at the moment.

    Nothing like reviving old threads!

    I suppose I could run both my Bergs off channel one (amp to speaker, daisy chain speaker) but something tells me that won't be enough power for both cabs.