Carvin RC210 vs Trace 7210H vs SWR WM15 vs ....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by NJXT, Jan 20, 2001.

  1. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    I hope that's the last time I bother you guys with my "quest for Ye Amp" threads.
    I manage to sell a couple of old basses I own(ed) (sob, sob :( ) so I can afford a bigger combo than I planned to.
    Currently, I was offered those (almost the same price in my town in France) :
    - Warwick CCL : 250W RMS, 15" + Horn Tweeter. Pros : powerfull sound, the price. Cons : not many features (just 3 knobs Eq,, Fx loop), no Speaker Ext.
    - SWR 15 : 160RMS, 15" + Tweeter (Horn ? Can't remember ...). Pros : features (Eq, COmpressor ...), Speaker ext. Cons : Liked the sound but not as much as others listed in here.
    - Trace Elliot 7210H : 300 watt RMS combo, 2x10" with HF horn. Pros : Ext. Speaker, EQ, preshape, compressor, SOUND ! Cons : Price (maximum i can afford), rumours I've heard about long term reability.
    - Carvin RC 210 : 600W, 2*10" + COmpressor Horn. Pros : power, features (EQ, compressor ...), Speaker Extension. COns : can't try it before buying it ! No one is selling it in my area but i can get a good price directly from the guy who imports it.
    So any advice ? Espacially on the Carvin that I can't try (but it really teases me though) ?

  2. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    The RC210 combo is pretty nice. I have one. If you talked more about your application/type of music, etc. I could comment further. I also recommend you do a search in this forum for "Carvin" and "RC210", etc. Lots of previous discussion on it. You can also check Usenet bass groups (via newsreader or

    Being in France, you might first check into service facilities in case there is a problem with it. I don't know if Carvin is affiliated with any service centers in Europe. You should contact Carvin about this. My RC210 has been reliable, except I think I overdrove one of the 10" woofers because I connected it to my external R1000 amp and was probably beating on it too much.

    You need to also consider "returnability" in case you aren't happy with the unit. You might find that the other brands, if bought more locally, might be easier to return for a refund.

    - Mike
  3. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Same amp... Just 1x15, 2x8 instead of the 2x10... It is the most versatile amp I have ever played on. It has great punch when I want it and good booms too. I definately recommend Carvin stuff. My only reservation for you is that you do not have a local dealer. I love my amp. The only thing I wish is that it was a little lighter. Mine weighs over 100lbs. The 2x10 that you are looking at weighs about 80lbs I heard. The other amps you mentioned I have never played myself... Geddy Lee uses Trace Elliot though... That's good enough for me! :) hehe
  4. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Thx for the answers.

    MikeyD : I play in a rock trio (drum/guitar/bass), pretty loud sometimes, so I need some power to be heard. We play mostly rock/pop kind of songs (with alternating clean/overdrived guitars), with some reggae parts sometimes. It's original music. From song to song, I need to have a sweet low "fretless style" sound to a dry slap one, via heavy rock. Kind of tricky to get an amp ;)

    gbrooks : Yep, Carvin amps/combos seem to be pretty heavy ! That's why I would like to go with the 210 now, and get eventually a 15" cabinet later (for financial reason and for ... portability !)

    YOu seemed both concerned by the presence of a local dealer. There's none. Only that the distributor (is that an english word ?) for France is living in the same town as I do. There's a european "Carvin Center" sort of thing in UK, though.
    Are the Carvin stuff known to have problems and often need technical returns ?
  5. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Okay - my situation is similar, and I found that the RC210 was a little weak (the drummer is fairly loud at times). But there I was running only off one side of the amp, so about 200 watts into the 2x10. I never tried running it alone bridged (500 watts or so) with the band out of concern for blowing the speakers. I then ran with the Carvin 1x18 extension speaker, and that helped. However, it still wasn't quite enough (I think that Carvin bass speakers are rather inefficient), so I bought a separate R1000 head to drive the speakers.
    Actually, they are fairly light for their size. The RC210 weighs about 80 lbs. (36 kg) and is well-balanced for carrying. Your idea of planning on adding a 15" later is good - you might want to upgrade, and the amp is well-suited for it. The 1x18" is another option to consider.
    Yes, "distributor" is the correct word. I'd recommend finding out about the Carvin Center - whether it is the factory-authorized service center. If so, then Carvin might be a good choice.
    I'd say their stuff is of pretty good quality. I have read in other places that some people have complained about reliability, yet others say they've had no problems. (You can search this forum, the web, or Usenet groups with a search engine; I also recommend looking at user reviews under My guess is that some of the people having problems were mis-using the equipment and/or not reading and understanding the manual (e.g., wiring speakers incorrectly, etc.). I think Carvin is pretty good, but it isn't perfect, and you don't want to be stuck in a situation of having to ship it back to California for repairs should they be needed.
    - Mike

  6. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    I love my R1000 head. It has excellent power, for an excellent price, and an awesome preamp. The Carvin speakers are quite inefficient though. I'd get different cabs if I were you, but the amp is great.
    too80 likes this.
  7. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I have an RC210 and love it. It is very versatile and relatively easy to transport. I agree with previous posters about the speakers not being too efficient, but when I run it mono bridged it is still plenty loud for my three piece band. If you really need tons of volume getting the R1000 head with more efficient cabs from a different company might be the way to go.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Carvin uses Eminence speakers, a proven player in the speaker world.

    I have both Carvin R series heads. The R600 you are looking at is the one I got with my Cyclops. Your thinking about getting another cab down the line is well founded. When I don't bridge the R600 into another cab, using it with the Cyclops cab is like putting a 226.8kg/500lb. guy on a 50cc motor scooter. It's way more juice than speaker, not a bad problem to have, kind of like being "too sexy."