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Carvin PB200 - 15

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nick g., Nov 9, 2003.


  1. nick g.

    nick g. Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Chandler, Arizona
    Well, this is my first post on the TalkBass website, so I figured I'd make it productive.

    My birthday is on the 28th, and I am basically set on getting the Carvin PB200 - 15 combo as my only gift. The big pull for me about this thing is merely the name Carvin, as my uncle is a seasoned guitar player who has had a Carvin guitar (DC 400) and two Carvin combos (SX 200) for about 16 years. I believe that fact speaks for itself. I like the specs it has; 5 band graphic eq, variable compressor, tweeter, and some other features that have slipped my mind. All I want is a dependable amp that will last me for at least a decade, and volume that can let me be heard above a drummer.

    Is this a good buy, at $400, or is there somwething better to be had in this range?

    I'm an indecisive little jerkoff, so I really need some good advice.
     
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    If you have a whimpy drummer... :D


    Maybe if you could save up a tad more money, you could get a Yorkville XM-200. 200 watts; Very efficient cabinet, and tough & reliable as hell. $479.99 from Musician's Fiend.
     
  3. nick g.

    nick g. Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Chandler, Arizona
    Hmm... I've seen that before, it's rather appealing. I'll check it out.
     
  4. I recently played a gig with 2 drummers, one on set and another on a custom home made Latin set and my little pb200 more than kept up.
     
  5. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I have the now-discontinued 12" version of the PB-200 combo. I've had it for about 6 years and only the speakers still work. The preamp crapped out first, then the input jacks and compressor started acting up. After that the power amp developed an intermittent problem. I took the amp part out and I still use the cab with my GK and Eden heads.

    To be fair I've used the amp a lot in that time--banged it around, lent it out, cranked it up all the way, left it in the trunk of my car in all sorts of weather. But even when it worked I had a real hard time getting a good sound out of it, even when using great instruments (Alembic Spoiler, MM StingRay, Peavey Cirrus, F-Bass BN-5).

    Part of the problem is that the mid-cut preset can NOT be turned off--the switch toggles between two different cut frequencies. You can compensate somewhat by dialing in a boost with the sweepable mids or graphic EQ but still the amp sounds 2-dimensional.

    Also the power section actually consists of two power amps that give their full output (160 watts) bridged into the combo's 8 ohm speaker. If you want to use, say, an 8 ohm extension speaker along with the internal one you can actually get only about 80 watts out of it, which kind of defeats the purpose. And there's only one volume control--I'd much rather have a separate gain and master--there's no XLR out, and the compressor and noise gate are pretty much useless.

    That said, I think the amp is a pretty good deal for the money, it's small and lightweight, and it gets loud for its size. I wouldn't buy another one, though--I'd consider a used SWR Workingman's 12 or 15, or maybe a Fender Bassman 100 or 200, a Yorkville, or a Peavey.
     
  6. I've seen and heard this combo on numerous occasions. It has no bottom, nor is bottom expected. It is compact, light weight, and cuts through well in noisy bar venues. Tone is not the strong suit, but it is loud enough to be heard well.
     
  7. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Hey Random Basser,

    I have a Carvin combo amp (PB300C with 15" speaker). It is an old model that I've had for probably going on 12 years (wow, I can't believe it's been that long!!:oops:). Anyway, I've had zero reliability issues with it. It always held up. I take really good care of my gear - so that's probably a factor. I only use it as a practice amp now because it was not loud enough for a band and I found tone I liked better in other amps.

    If I were you, I'd try out the comparable Ampeg and SWR combos out there at your local music store. Carvin amps have great features, but I like the sound of other amps better. This is just personal preference. You can it and send it back if it doesn't compare well to what you played through in the stores.

    Welcome to talkbass!
     
  8. nick g.

    nick g. Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Chandler, Arizona
    Bump; what amps do you recommend, if not the Carvin, in the $300-$500 range?
     
  9. All I have to say is don't get it. I have one. It sucks. I figured I'd just leave it in my hs for jazz band, but I tried that once, which reminded me how crappy and quiet it really is, so now I just bring my 2x10 rig back and forth and let the guitarist use the Carvin.

    The cabinet on it is decent, so I drilled a hole above the cabinet input so I could insert a straight cable and use it as an extension cab. However, the preamp has no gain and sounds like poo, and and the poweramp doens't deliver what it should.

    :spit:
     
  10. townsley

    townsley

    Nov 10, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I'm in the same boat. I've got about $300-$500 to spend on a combo amp. I've been reading reviews of Ampeg, Carvin, Eden, Fender, GK, SWR, and Yorkville and am more confused than ever. I definitely want 100W or more, a 15-inch speaker, and a tweeter - but which one? Help me Obi Wan - you're my only hope.
     
  11. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    If you want 200 LOUD watts for under 500, get the Yorkville XM-200. Loud, toneful, and very cool looking. :bassist: $479.99 at MF
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    It's really a matter of personal taste. Each one will have its own sound and you have to try as many as possible with your bass and your fingers. When I shop for a new combo, I'll probably get an ampeg, but that's just me and the sound I look for.
     
  13. ken

    ken

    Nov 12, 2003
    MICHIGAN
    townsley
    I got a Carvin PB200 in great shape only about a year old. I use it for a pratice amp.
    I'll make you a good deal in it!
     
  14. townsley

    townsley

    Nov 10, 2003
    Portland, OR
    ken - I PM'd you.