Carvin Heads - Junk or Not?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Selta, May 1, 2002.

  1. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Hey, I've been looking for a new head for a little while now, and I was originally going with Ampegs, (B-2R 350w @ 4ohms) but I saw that I can get the Carvin R600 (600w bridged @ 400ohms) for only $20 more. I was just wondering what you guys thought of Carvins in general, and Carvins vs Ampegs. Also, if anyone out there currently or has in the past owned a Carvin R series head, please IM me on AOL IM (BasSR305), I just have a few more questions. Thanks!
  2. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    I have a small carvin combo (PB100-10), and love it. It has great tone and lots of great features and sound possibilities. Obviously, is mainly for low volume settings. I have even banged around with it in rock (drum and a couple guitar) type settings, and it did ok. I have had it for a year and a half or so and have had no problem with it at all. I haven't tried their R-series heads, though.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    How old is it? What kind of work have you had to put into it? Has there been any problems?
  4. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    i bought it new a year and a half ago - maybe 2 years... anyway, never any work, never any problem... my cats like to use it as a scratching post - that's the only damage to it, is the carpet cover is torn up from them.
  5. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    That's nice. I heard that Carvin speakers don't really last to long. I duno though.
  6. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I just wanted to add, if you end up going for the R600, spend $80 more for the R1000 if you can. When dealing with bass, it's always better to have more available power on hand than not enough. For $80 more, it would be worth the extra watts.

    As far as the heads themselves, I would give the 'search' function on the front page a try. There's been tons of threads on the R series, and you'll no doubt find lots of discussion.

    I think their heads are a good value, and I haven't had any trouble with mine. Carvin's cabs are nothing to write home about though.

    Good luck! :)
  7. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Lots of good info here on Carvin and Ampeg. I use the Carvin R600. (in their RC210 combo)

    I did a lot of looking around recently, playing with a number of 18", 15" and 10" cabs... on my R600, on a SWR Bass 350, GK, Ampeg B2 series, Ampeg SVT 400T, and Ampeg the 350H.

    As far as I can tell all amps and / or cabinets have their own sound. An Ampeg sounds like an Ampeg. A SWR sounds like a SWR...

    Carvin has it's own sound too. Some people will like it, and some will not. I have never been able to reproduce what I would consider an Ampeg tone with my Carvin. But I like it.

    I have not had any quality problems with Carvin amps and I own the R600, DCM 1000, and an old 200 watt powered mixer too.
  8. i own the Carvin r1000.

    i love it, it's very powerful and it has good tones.

    i'd really like an sm900 though...

    but for 1/3 the cost, and 100 more watts, the Carvin is awesome.
  9. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    The Ampeg B2R has kind of a stale, harsh sound to my ears. (noticeably more so than their more expensive amps, set flat with the same bass & cab) As to how the Carvin sounds compared to that, I do not know.
  10. Dean_CustomJazz

    Dean_CustomJazz Guest

    Jan 23, 2002
    mmmm..... swr. nice and natural, always smooth. never harsh, never to light. geez, sounds like a cigarette ad! but seriously the whole different cab vs. different sound theory is way more than true. It took me some time to rty stuff out. I found the right head. I found the right cab. I found much more happiness.
  11. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I am in the process of doing what several people here on TB are doing. I am getting a DCM2000 power amp. Then I will get the pre-amp of my choice. I was going to go either Ampeg or aguilar, But I've heard that epifoni has come out with a pre-amp.. there cabs are most excellent.. anyone know about the pre-amps??
  12. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    SWR- never warm
  13. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I think a dcm2000 would be overkill. If you need that much volume the venue should have a PA, no?
    Unless you have a 16 ohm cam you want to run, or something wierd like that.
  14. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I own an R600 and I'd Gladly trade it for that Ampeg any day of the week!

    I've had it since '97 and it's been decent, but not great. It really seems underpowered, frankly. I mean, at 8 ohms, you're only pushing 175 watts through each amp. With the R600, it shows.

    If had it to do over again, would I buy a Carvin? Probably not. I'd probably spring for the extra cash or take my time and look for a good used deal.

    Just my opinion. MANY others have had great experiences with their stuf and, overall, I think that Carvin makes high quality equipment, though their basses turn me off (time to lose the 80s-esque angled headstock and the narrow spacing on the 5s & 6s).
  15. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Having played the R600 and the B2R head to head through the same cabs, I personally would take the Carvin in a hot second. I'm not a big Ampeg fan. Mileage varies, of course, and somebody else might legitimately have exactly the opposite view.

    If you go for the Carvin, spending the extra $80 for the R1000 is a very good idea IMO.
  16. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    I have the PB100-15 and I must say I like it quite a bit. Great sound and I've gigged with it twice in a small gym with a guitarist running a 50 watt amp I had to sacrifice my sound a bit for a less bassy tone but it worked fine. I don't know about the Ampeg B2R I'm not sure if I really like the tone of it... oh yea and Dean_CustomJazz you own a SWR Goliath Jr. are you talking about the cabs or heads? :confused:
  17. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I've gigged quite a few times with a R1000, and I am happy with it. I think Carvin is a little "generous" in their power ratings, though. I've played some amps that were rated lower, but seemed louder than the Carvin. I also own the 1000 watt 1x10, which I love. I would say the R1000 is a good, reliable head with many features and has a great cash/power ratio. There cabinets are another story, though...
  18. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have 2 Carvin bass cabinets that I bought in 1995, and have used constantly since, and they are both still going strong. Some people don't like the sound of them, but from my experience they are very reliable.
  19. For a few bucks more you could buy a QSC RMX 850 with a Sans amp RBI preamp, and if you need more eq. range, an equalizer is not expensive.

    I have a QSC RMX 850 with an Ampeg SVP-pro preamp into a Ampeg SVT410HLF cab. and this is a
    Killer Combination!!!!
  20. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    QSC? Explain....:confused: