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Carvin Redline Tube Emulator

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rickbass, Jan 7, 2001.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Carvin's new Redline Series III's are now in the catalog and they have yanked the 12XA7 and replaced it with an "improvement," a tube emulator sircuit." I own Redlines which are only a few months old but aren't Series III and I haven't tried a series III.

    I'm no Steven Rabe, but I do know that no one, to my knowledge, has been able to get the virtues of the tube without at least having a tube or two in the preamp stage. Even ART's newly introduced DI/O digital converter's "warmth circuit" has a 12AX7.

    Does anyone think Carvin has found "the answer" or do you think this may be an "improvement" only for Carvin's owners?

    [Edited by rickbass1 on 01-08-2001 at 04:08 PM]
  2. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Rickbass, thanks for the news. I just went to Carvin's web site (http://www.carvin.com/). Even though the headers and labels still say Series II, there's some new paragraphs discussing the Series III. I don't know how well their tube emulator works. I remember a few years ago Bob Carver (no relation to Carvin that I know of) came up with a design to emulate high-end tube stereo amplifiers. He talked about replicating the transfer function of tubes with solid state. It seemed like a reasonable approach, and the man is an audio genius, IMO. So... it seems possible that one could design a tube emulator that would sound good. If Carvin can pull it off, I think it would be a positive development - a solid-state preamp would last longer and use less power. That's all I know right now.
    - Mike
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    MIkeyD - I was hoping you and/or Joris and some of the other tech gurus would see this thread!!! Their website hasn't been updated with a lot of the new print catalog info yet, (tried getting more info on the new subwoofers...click...nada).

    First, I saw the new Carvin P bass with the piezo in the print catalog and thought " :confused: " Then I see this "tube emulator circuit" rave and I'm get this, "genuine leather Naugahyde" vibe.

    It would really be something if they were the first, to my knowledge, to successfully break the "tube barrier." Did you see the Jan. Bass Player where the RC210 was reviewed? They really liked it, especially the (Series II) R600, except they were a little intimidated by all the swarms of controls, as we all probably were at first.

    Switching to this tube emulator thingy is a bold step for them. It'll be interesting, until the dust settles. If it bombs, we may have a classic in our hands.
  4. KB

    KB Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Yes I was concerned about this too. I have been looking at Carvin amps for a while and am getting close to buying one, but now I am a little concerned. I read on the Carvin board that the tube was replaced with MOSFET, but this is unverified. I would be interested in any opinions on this as well.

  5. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I haven't been a real big follower of "tubes", per se, so I can't contribute a lot. However, I noticed in my MF catalog that gadgets like the SansAmp DI, etc. have tube emulators as well. I have no experience with these, but if they work well, I'm sure there would be no difficulty incorporating that technology into the Carvin heads.
    - Mike
  6. I own the Sansamp Bass Driver, and had it before I had a tube amp. I ran it though my solid-state amp and it did improve the sound and round it out and it's also a great signal to send to the board/PA. THEN, I got an old Ampeg V4-B and now I know what tubes are all about!!! All the adjectives you've ever heard about tube sound are true....warmth, buttery, creamy, round, growl, guts, organic. I cannot, no matter how long I fuss with it, get that sound from my Sansamp and a solid-state amp. HOWEVER, for slapping, I like a good clean, crisp SS tone. Distortion, however discreet, just doesn't work for slap.

    So, as far as "tube emulation" goes, it's a little like smoking ultra-light cigarettes; if you want the real, Camel no filter flavor, go with tubes!

    [Edited by MarkMcCombs on 01-08-2001 at 02:32 PM]
  7. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Well I just got my r1000 a couple of weeks ago and the guy said that it was a series III, but there is no proof, i guess i just have to look for the tube. I have played a series II r600, and other than power I can't tell any diff.
    So the didn't loose anything. imo. If I can figure out if it is a series III, I will post back with confermation.
  8. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    The tube on the Series II amps is located just to the rear of the input (gain, blend) controls inside the chassis. If it has a tube, you'd see it there as soon as you remove the top cover.
    - Mike
  9. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Well, I had to know. I opened up the case and boom, there was the tube staring me in the face. So now i am just as curius as you guys whats it sound like? The carvin guy told me that it was supposed to emulate the old svt tube sound, but he also told me that i had a series III.
  10. I have the R600 in my Cyclops. It looks to me like the rear panel on the seriesIII may be a little easier to read on a dark stage and it has direct out level which I think is nice. I can't for the life of me figure out why some amps have the on off switch on the back panel. I like the fact that the series II has the on off switch and the phone/tuner jack on the front. However the SeriesIII phone/tuner jack is now on the back. Seems to me it just makes it easier to accidentally plug it into the wrong jack. No big deal but you know how it gets sometimes when you have to set up in a hurry.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Hey JB -

    Good to see you on the board!
  12. Al Steen

    Al Steen

    Feb 1, 2000
    If I get any time at all over the next couple-o-weeks I'll go by Carvin and see what the hoopla is about and report back .. Al
  13. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I don't know how the Cyclops is, but my RC210 combo (with R600) makes it really hard to see the rear panel without good lighting. I planned on mounting a power strip and rigging up a nightlight back there, but they don't quite fit. That would be a perfect way to see what's happening. A level control on the Redline amp's direct out would be a great addition. My outputs are way too hot and have to be padded down a lot to avoid overdriving mixer inputs.
    - Mike

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