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Carvin Redline

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Laserman, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Guys,

    What do you think of the Carvin Redline 1000 amp? I bought one a year ago when I didn't know what was out there or about Ebay altogether. I got the R 1000 head with a 1-15 cab and a 4-10 cab. It sounds OK but I don't think it sounds great. Any Exp with Carvin?

    Barry :bag:
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Your opinion seems to be the general consensus. Okay, but not great, definitely a good price.

    You might want to run a forum search for the various comments. IIRC, few think they're great, most think they're fine, some have had reliability problems, others haven't and swear by Carvin's customer service.

    You already own the rig . . . what's important is YOUR opinion, tastes and preferences.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    IME & IMO, the head isn't the problem with satisfaction at all --- it's the Carvin cabs that don't allow the head to really show off.

    IMO, those Redline heads are quite good, (then again, realize I have a Redline II series...the one with a tube in the preamp. I have no idea how the Tube Emulator stuff sounds).

    Right now, I have $2k invested in an Aguilar preamp and a QSC power amp and I still have to use my SansAmp Bass Driver to get it to sound as good as my Carvin Redline (again, with the SansAmp).

    So, my advice - junk those Carvin cabs and get some good cabs that don't fart out whenever you give them some real juice.
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    One of my students has the head and I must say for the price it seems to deliver.

    He uses it for both BG and DB. I went to his place to help him dial in a good sound for his DB and so I got to turn all the knobs and whatnot. WE did come up with a good usable tone.

    So, I would consider it if I were looking for a verstile head.
  5. bogart


    Dec 11, 2003
    big bear, ca
    Carvin is weak. **** can that amp on ebay and buy ampeg or ashdown. Ashdown's mag series is super cheap and imho, blows the doors off that carvin. I used to have the same rig. It only sounded decent with my music man. Any other guitar and it sounded weak.
  6. Rickbass,

    I think you may have something there. The 1 -15 cab sounds OK but it's the 4-10 cab where I think the tone is lacking. Maybe an Ampeg 4-10 could be an answer. Do you think it's the cab designs/construction or just the Carvin Speakers that suck?

    Barry :hyper: :help:
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    CArvin uses Eminence speakers, a very good, reputable, speaker company. But the Eminence speakers Carvin uses are made to Carvin's specs..........and that's where I think the Carvin cabs suffer and why they can sell bigass speaker stacks at such good prices.
    I have their 18" and 4x10" cabs as backup gear but they don't compare with smaller stacks I've had made by better companies at all. If you look at the frequency responce graphs in their catalogs, you can see their bass speakers just die before you hit those low notes. They simply cannot handle the higher wattage lower notes at decent volume demand.

    I can take my R1000 (I use it for rehearsals(, stick it on top of my Eden 15" and my B string sounds lovely
  8. Rick,

    I'm never been a fan of Eminence speakers. Would changing the speakers out be an option? If so, which speakers would I want for a solid rock/metal tone with plenty of Balls?

    Barry :help:
  9. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'm happy with the tone of my R1000, but I'm suffering reliability problems....I'm running off of half the power amp section, as the other half fried out or something. 350 watts is NOT working, I'm running the sucker near full blast with both my bands.

    I opened the top up to see if it was a simple connection or sautering problem, and was faced with nothing but packed circuit boards...so I'm outta luck.

    Good price, Good tone, Road Ready Reliability? har har....I'll get back to you on customer service.
  10. BCinU


    Jun 24, 2004
    I had the R600 2x10 combo sitting on top of a 1x15 Carvin cab. Sounded awful.

    The emulator is a nice touch, but real tubes are where its at.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I asked Carvin about upgrading to Eminence Kappa series and they told me that would change the performance characteristics of the cabs.........and not for the better.

    I don't know enough about acoustic engineering to know if that's bull or not.
  12. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Actually, Eminence speakers are used by about 90% if not more of the US bass cab manufacturers. The companies draw the specs and contract with Eminence to manufacture them with the company's own stickers on them. My Aguilars are a case in point.

    Nothing wrong with Eminence per se, but each speaker design may or may not fit the tuning of your particular cab. You can't just drop any old speaker in there. A great speaker in a cab that isn't designed for it will perform like crap.
  13. I'm with rick--the head is quite good, but the basic RL speakers aren't IMO as high quality. The same head with other speakers might surprise you.

    FWIW, Carvin is now making what they say is a much better series of speakers--the BRX series. Haven't heard them, but sounds as if the company is in part reacting to sentiments such as those expressed in this thread. Worth checking out, maybe--I certainly plan to next time I'm in CA.

    I dunno that Ampeg speakers would be such a huge upgrade, seeing that I'm not a huge fan of their rigs. I'd be curious to hear one of those Schroeder cabs people have been talking about (see other thread). I know some people have liked Avatar better than the standard Carvin RL cabs. I know from experience that the RedLine head can sound nice into an Eden XLT if you like that particular coloring.

    Bottom line--try some other speakers before you make any big moves. If that doesn't make enough of a difference for you, then you know that the amp isn't "the one" for you, and you can then act accordingly. :bassist:
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I'm curious to hear working reviews of the new BRX series cabs. What concerns me is that they use neodymium speakers, which from other people's reviews are great for low-weight benefits, but lack a tiny bit in audio quality compared to regular ferrite-magnet speakers. With the new Carvin BRX's, there's really no consumer-weight benefit since the cabs weigh about as much as everyone else's "standard" weight cabs. I'd be surprised if the neo's sound that great in comparison.

    Its not that I'm dissing neo's, its just that I haven't heard a neo speaker yet that sounded quite as good as its "regular" magnet counterparts . . .
  15. Re the neodymium, I guess their thinking, at least in part, is that the lighter speakers would allow them to build the cab like an absolute brick ****house and still be in the ballpark with competing cabs weightwise. As we know, the way a cab is built, and the degree to which it does or doesn't enhance resonances, has a noticeable effect on the way it sounds. So the cab solidity could be giving you back as much tone as you might lose with the neo, or conceivably more. Whether that actually happens in the case of the BRX, I dunno, but like you I'm curious.
  16. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I ordered one and thought it was junk, hated it, sent it back as soon as I could. I didn't think all of the features were high end enough.I didn't like the noise gate, the compresion was either to much or too little, the amp was noisey, and the overall tone sounded cheap to me. I sent it back thinking something had to wrong with it and the next one I got sounded just as aweful to me.
  17. Chapbass


    Dec 11, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I know MGood has a set of BRX series cabs (i think he got the 410, the 212 and the B1500 head). He posts a little in the BG forums, but i havent really seen him over here. Do a search for his stuff on the carvin forum and you should be able to find his review. He said they were quite awesome if i remember right. Given the frequency response on the 410 and 212, I think theyre definitely trying to fix the shortcomings of the RL series.
  18. motorhall


    Jul 1, 2004
    I have the 600 watt version of this and am pleased with it. I'm using a Carvin 4x10 and Fender 1x15. The stock 4x10 is okay for me, but the 1x15 is loaded with a JBL E140. I am a big believer in good speakers and am a JBL nut beyond rational thought. I've also found that amp efficiency makes a huge difference with this rig. I run bridged mono, which yields 600 watts at 4 ohms, and that sounds much better than running the rig in bi-amped mode, which would only yield 175 watts per side at 8 ohms.

    I have a friend that has the 1000 head but he is running a 1x18 on the bottom. He has good tone and plenty of volume, even outdoors. If you are running stock Carvin cabinets, I'd junk the 15" and stick in a JBL or try a different bottom cabinet. Either experiment will not be cheap, but that's where the guts of your sound is. Also experiment with running bridged instead of bi-amped.
  19. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I'd just ditch the cabinets for now.... because I'm sure that they're mediocre. A friend of mine overspent his budget on the head of his rig, so he had to shop for a cheap cab, and got a Carvin 4x10. He used that with an SVT3-Pro... and it like TOTALLY killed the tone, compared to the other great sounds I've heard from the 3Pro.

    Not sure on the Carvin heads though. I'd keep it for now. It does offer some decent power, at least.
  20. bogart


    Dec 11, 2003
    big bear, ca
    It is by far and away the quitest 100 watts out there. If you don't have a great bass, it sounds very dull, lacking in definition. I t didn't really matter what cab was used, as I tried several. I finally gave up, sold it, and bought Ashdown. Now, all is well in the house of the bass master general. Seriously, though, you could try different cab configurations until you're blue in the face with a hernia. Or sell it and roll with something that sounds good now. You're choice