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Carvin Poweramp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MrFortuneCookie, Jan 17, 2002.


  1. Well i've done searches and i didn't really find what i was looking for, so i just thought i'd raise the question myself. How are Carvin Poweramps, in particular, the DCM1000? How do they sound? Would getting a poweramp from a higher grade company have better sound?
     
  2. while never playing on one, I've heard they're transparent.
     
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'll let you know next week...:D
     
  4. BigBohn

    BigBohn

    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Carvin amps are great. Virtually no hiss. No hum, clean clean wattage. I got the DCM2000, the civilian "flagship" model of Carvin's lineup. Very nice for the price too. Money wise, the Carvin is where its at. If I had alittle more money, I guess I would go for the QSC PLX 3002 because of sheerly weight issues. But the weight of the Carvin is a small price to pay for great tone and loads of wattage.
     
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    How did your rig end up working out, BB? What preamp did you end up with?
     
  6. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    If you want a pro sound guy's opinion about Carvin gear, check out the Live Audio Board.

    I don't think a Carvin DCM series amp will sound any worse or better than the competition in its price class. But sound quality and price are not the whole story.
     
  7. Chucko is right. In order to get to that price point Carvin had to skimp somewhere. Components and construction from what I've seen. The two Carvin power amps that I've had experience with spent more time on the bench than in the field. They had second rate components and were rife with bad soldering and generally shoddy workmanship. This may not be indicative of all Carvins but it sure scared me off. If I buy an amp, I want it to work all the time: My experience is that QSC and Crown MA series are exceptionally reliable. If I was going to buy a power amp it would be one of those.
     
  8. BigBohn

    BigBohn

    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    I got an Eden Navigator and I love it. Very nice stuff this Eden equipment. I'm so fortunate.

    And the rig is great. Tone, volume, shaping ability, its all there. Thanks for asking, buddy. :)
     
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Coolness! Glad to hear it's working out...
     
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I dunno Chucko, I hope you know I'm not just out to jump all over your stuff, but I can't help being something of a contrarian sometimes. I went over to the board you linked to, and to be honest, I think the stuff you see there has to be taken with just as big a grain of salt as what you read here, or at the Carvin board, or at Harmony Central or wherever. Soundmen are no more inherently trustworthy about gear than--shudder--bassists or guitarists are.

    To be honest, I've heard too many "pro" soundmen who I thought were indifferent at best and incompetent at worst to trust them reflexively. And I'm not just talking about guys with a Shure Vocal Master in the back of their Plymouth Dusters! With many of those guys, I'd trust my ears before theirs. Long before.

    Sound quality and price are pretty important in my book, but you're right, they're certainly not the only factors. In the posts I saw at the live-audio forum, the only other Carvin-related issues I saw with much regularity were (1) reliability and (2) name recognition (as in riders that specified "no Carvin"). For a working sound pro, (2) would be a real issue, but it shouldn't be for any sensible bass player. (1) would be a major issue for anybody with sense.

    But you know what? All the *opinions* at live-audio.com notwithstanding, I didn't see a huge amount of real-world experience with current DCM amps (though there was definitely some), and in particular I saw few head-to-head comparisons. I thought that was interesting. I also saw some incorrect statements about Carvin, such as that they spec power outputs at 1 kHz, which they currently don't. Seemed there was a fair bit of assuming going on, and somebody else's assumptions about gear tend not to impress me much.

    And something that I thought was really funny was that one guy, bravely I thought, posted that in a head-to-head he did, a Carvin came out much better than a QSC PLX. Now I don't now if that was right or wrong, and I'm not gonna lose sleep worrying about it, not being in the PA business, but I thought it was pretty funny how posters were coming out of the woodwork to explain how this *couldn't* be so, and that he must have been doing something wrong. I didn't see any evidence that any of these guys had done the same experiment. They were just sure that his results couldn't be right, without any direct knowledge.

    I'm not arguing that Carvin has to be the best amp of all, or even the best in its price range. And I certainly think the RMX you picked up was an absolutely killer buy, and I am considering one of those for later this year, when I get my own second Acme. I just believe in taking *everything* you read with a grain of salt, whether it's from me, you, TalkBass or a bunch of "audio pros" on some board somewhere.

    I know you did a buttload of research, but I wonder if you might be a bit hasty in scaring our man here off the DCM. An RMX or a PLX might be great for his purpose, but then, a DCM might be just the ticket for him as well. Or, of course, not.
     
  11. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I've read a lot of posts around here from people who are very happy with their Carvin amps.

    QSC and Crown may be more reliable, but I think this puts them above "solid" into the "indestructable" territory - that's especially what I've heard about Crowns. For a bass rig, I think "solid" is just fine. :)
     
  12. I dunno, I guess if I were going to build a big, in place system I'd go with Crest. For powering a bass cab the Carvins are fine.

    Frankly, my experience is that any power amp can fail. I've talked to a lot bands about gear over the years (particularly when I was on the road) and Carvin power amps seemed just as reliable as any other brand. That's one of the reasons I'm playing through one (DCM1000) now.
     
  13. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I would think instrument amplification is MUCH less challenging to an amp than PA use!

    I'm not going to lose any sleep over my decision to go with Carvin.
     
  14. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Richard, I don't object to your comments. You make a lot of valid points.

    It's true you have to take everything said on the Web with a grain of salt.

    HD, my intent wasn't to make you doubt your purchase. I own a fair bit of Carvin gear and it's all good value for the money.

    In fact, I was on track to buy a DCM1500 myself, until I found out the RMX1850HD was cheaper. Then I did my homework and ultimately went with the RMX.

    There were some comments about the DCM series amps that concerned me. Richard himself had trouble with a Carvin R600 bass amp bridged into a 4 ohm Acme Low B-2, which he discussed at length on the Carvin BBS. (The R600 uses the DCM600 power amp circuit.)

    Bridged into a 4 ohm Acme cab is a special case, but it's one that is very important to me, since I have an Acme on order.

    I do not want to spread innuendo, that's why I suggested people look at the Live Audio Board. The folks there use lots of big power amps for their living. You can judge for yourself whether people on that board are blowing smoke. You'll find reports of trouble with every brand of power amp - including QSC's flagship PowerLight line.

    In the end, what matters to me is reliability (bulletproof is good!), how well the manufacturer supports you if the amp fails, and whether you can get service on the road. Oh, and price.