Carvin Users Thread

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Sep 16, 2001.

  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Hello to all.
    I do not work for Carvin, but I think I could help to inprove some of their products by giving some input to Carvin.
    What Im looking for is for comments on what you think could be improved on the Redline Series Cabs.

    Being a Carvin distributor Im concerned about the users locally, but I was talking to my sales manager and I gave some input on the efficiency of the Speakers.
    He said he forwarded my E-mail to the Research and Development team for maybe a future revision.

    They have conducted tests with many other brands, and they belive that EDEN came better than Carvin´s and impresively the 410TXF was on the winning side too. This test was conducted with some Profesional Bass players and also some Bass Players that work at Carvin.

    About the "mismatch" on the 1x15 and 1x18" with a 4x10"
    Their aproach is to make a matched system for the head.
    For many of us , we think they are unmatched in impedance terms, but in their view they are not.
    Why? Because they are designed to run Bi-Amped, giving more power to the lows (hence the 4 Ohm Cabs) and less to the Midrange/Highs (8Ohm for the 4x10) when running on a R series head.
    Also, the desing of the R heads is a complete independent channels so it doesnt affect the performace on how much it is being pushed by each side.

    I would like all of you to post your ideas to make them better and more suitable to most players, so I could make a list and then forward it to Carvin´s apropiate department.

    Get Involved!
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I'm only going to mention a few, because MikeyD could probably give you a 4 page post on this, (or will :D ). Plus, he's eminently more qualified to talk about speaker efficiency than I.

    This isn't a "wish list" because one has to keep the great prices of their R series in mind.

    - If they would wake up and realize some people play 5 strings - their cheap, "custom," Eminence 15"s just can't take it. They totally break up even at moderate (10-11 o'clock) volumes. :rolleyes: People, including me, have asked them continuously to offer an upgrade option to a decent 15". I contacted them about replacing their Eminence 15" with an Eminence Kilomax on my own, but they advised against it because they said the cab is designed specifically for that lousy 15". My Carvin 18" can take the B string, but there are trade offs.

    - Truthful RMS output. MikeyD can explain this one better than I could.

    - Noise Gate: either get rid of it or start designing a useable one. If used, it causes volume/power dips. Lots of people get on their case about how they don't/can't use the Gate and everyone gets ignored.

    - Improve their user instructions. I've see posts all the time from new owners, here and on their board, who have never owned a head as complex as the R series, asking how other owners use their controls.

    Personally, I never had a complaint about the so- called, "mismatch" you mention. My stack with the 4x10 has been doing okay and it's been getting beaten like a rented mule for over a year.

    Luis - Your comment about the "410TXF" confuses me. Did you mean to say the Carvin RL410T was preferred in testing with an Eden or vice versa :confused:

    Good luck. If they listen to you, that's a real accomplishment.
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    About the 410TXF Part:
    No, the EDEN was prefered over the Carvin. But also the Peavey 410TXF (only that cab, not the amp or the rest)
  4. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Thanks again, Rick! Luis - I've elaborated on my views quite a bit relative to Carvin bass amp cabinets (and their R-series heads), so at this point I recommend doing a search. Also look at my review of the Eden D-215XLT cabinet under Reviews. Then see the related thread about "Eden 215XLT anyone", wherein I think I wrote at length about shortcomings of Carvin cabinets.

    That said, I will continue to say that Carvin's products are very nice for the money - particularly their electronics (such as mixers, amp, and heads). I generally like the sound of their systems, although their 18" drivers are too muddy for use by themselves (e.g., without 10" complements). For a bassist on a budget, their cabinets are certainly adequate. I upgraded to Eden because I had a much more challenging low bass situation, and I had the resources to do so.

    My view is that Carvin should probably keep their current, low-cost line of bass cabinets, but offer a premium line (at higher cost, and similar to what they do with their TCS PA cabinets) that might compete with other premium cabinet brands. But then, that's a business decision, because that market may already be too competitive.

    - Mike
  5. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I was considering getting one. They don't seem too available near me in Pennsylvania. I won't purchase music equipment on-line though. They have a super 600watt combo at the studio near me. He offered it to me if I wanted if for $650 bucks. If only he asked a month ago.:rolleyes:
  6. Carvin publishes the Thiele-Small data for the drivers that go into the Redline cabinets. The drivers Carvin uses are designed to operate in much larger internal volume than is provided by the factory Red Line cabinets.

    The PS10 driver used in the RL210 each requires 4 cubic feet to operate optimally. This is 8 cubic feet for a 2x10 configuration, and this driver still won't perform with a 5-string bass. Even when optimally enclosed, the PS10 is -3 dB at 39 Hz which is a 4-string low E tuned down to Eb. The PS10 driver is down -12 dB at low B. Yuck. I've played the RL210 with my RB5 and the gutless low end is very apparent to my ears.

    The PS15 15" driver wants over 11 cubic feet for correction operation, and gets down to 33 Hz *if* properly enclosed. The RL115 cab is less than 6 cubic feet internal volume, which is way too small for this driver.

    Suggestion: target your market and match your drivers to that market. :D

    Cabs for 4 string basses are very different than cabs specifically designed for 5 strings. It is much easier to have a loud, compact cabinet good to 41 Hz. That extra 10 Hz of bass extension comes with a considerable tradeoff between size and loudness.

    There is no reason Carvin cannot contract with Eminence to get the correct drivers for the RL210 as a 4-string design. Eminence offers thousands of combinations to OEMs. 5-string players will have to add the RL115 cabinet and bi-amp. Design the RL115 specifically for bi-amping, and optimized in the 31 to 50 Hz range.

    Unfortunately, the R600 head internal crossover is insufficient for flexible biamping. The crossover is too high, as the lowest point is 200 Hz. This means the 10s are literally reproducing only the harmonics and none of the fundamental. The RL115 is producing all the fundamental and the capacity of the 2x10 portion is wasted.

    Suggestion: change the variable electronic crossover to a low point of 50 Hz to a high of 200 Hz. This will allow the 15" to carry the range from 31 to 50 Hz, and the 2x10 to carry 50 Hz and higher. This will utilize each driver in its range of maximum efficiency, and all drivers will contribute to the fundamental.
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    1. improve efficiency of them
    2. Increase low end frequencies so they can get a bit more bottom end out of their 4x10's
    3. use Birch wood instead of Poplar
    4. offer the option of 4 or 8 ohm cabs, in all their cabinet designs. or at least in their 4x10 or 1x15 cabs

    thats all i can think of for now, overall im pretty content with my carvins, at least untill i get up the cash to get an Eden :D
  8. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    This is only my personal opinion, but ever since they stopped putting real preamp tubes in their heads and put in those emulator circuits, I've lost interest. Come on, Eden SWR and Ampeg(among others) do it successfully and we all know there's nothing like the real thing.
    Also, I'd like to see them introduce something simple in a preamp esign. Demeter, Kern and others don't require gobs and gobs of EQ and other tone shaping. They sound great the way they are.
    Again, just my personal opinion. Until then, I'll be happy with my Carvin Bunny B and look elsewhere for a rig.
    Thanks for inquiring though!

    T. Alan
  9. LowfreqB


    Nov 10, 2000
    United States
    I second the noise gate comment, get rid of it or improve it. I own a vt410 (the older 410 model) I like it. Its not filtet minon but its beefy. At rehersals I use my guitarist redeye combo 210, with a noname 15 external speaker cab. The sound is fine and accourate for our small space.
    I like the suggestion for carvin to put out a "Pro" line. Price it between peavey and ampeg. You would have my money.
  10. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
  11. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    If there is one totally useless thing on their R series heads it is the noise gate. I doubt anyone uses it so if they don't want to put a usable one in they should just get rid of it and save everyone some money.

    Also, the crossover in the R series heads goes from 200 hz to some really high frequency. The manual recommends setting it to 800hz. IMO this is really high for a crossover. I'd like to see a crossover that goes lower to say 80hz.
  12. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    Overall, I'm satisfied with my Carvin stuff, but if I had more money, I would upgrade. The 1x15 I have seems very inefficient. It is light and sturdy, but it should be louder.

    Also, I don't think I believe their power ratings. I have the R1000, and I have been running it bridged into a 4-ohm 1x15. The clip lights on the head start to light up when the amp is on 2! I don't understand: I have the bass button pushed in, but the rest of the amp is set flat and the EQ is disengaged. The preamp is not clipping. The sound is loud, but shouldn't I have more headroom than that?

    Ditch the noise gate!

    I agree with bgavin about the crossover. I biamped my head with a 1x10 and found that the 10 had very little sound coming out. There should be more overlap.

    I would also like to see Carvin put a tweeter in their 1x15, or offer it as an option. I think it would be great if they offered a higher-quality line of cabs.
  13. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I agree with Phat Ham about what I consider the most serious shortcomings of the R heads: the noise gate (useless) and the bi-amp crossover frequency range. The range should be 50-200 Hz. (or 400 Hz. at most).

    The Series III has a level control for the DI output, which was a good move on Carvin's part. (The Series II doesn't have it, and the output is often too strong, easily overloading inputs of other devices, such as mixers.)

    And, as I've said in past threads, the power output ratings are a bit on the liberal side, IMO. Despite this, the *clean* watts per dollar is still hard to beat. I have a lot of respect for Carvin's power amp designs. They are not the *best* in the business, but you'd have to at least double or triple your expenditure to get a better design with as much power output, IMO.

    - Mike
  14. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I played an R600 Series II for more than a year. Good clean power, usuable. Not spectacular. To improve, I suggest Carvin offer:

    1. More realistic power ratings.

    2. Got back to real tubes in the preamp.

    3. Kill the gate or fix it.

    4. Better compressor. The max ratio is only 5:1. This is way too low for aggressive playing styles.

    5. Better cooling/overload protection in bridged mode.
  15. I love my Carvin rig. I have not experienced a problem with the 15" speaker and a 5 string. Mine sounds awesome.

    I do have a problem with the compression. Either I don't know how to use it or it doesn't work very well. I don't care too much for the tube emulation circuitry. It doesn't seem to improve the sound much.

    Other than that it suits me great. Perfect for my needs.
  16. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Although I still play a 4 string I do tune down and I do some low B work on a 4 string. This is not the 70's anymore and bass players have evolved into a totally different player than 30 years ago. Proline cabs that are good for the low b is my biggest deal. If it cost more so be it but at least an option. Nowdays we have 4,5,6,7 and 8 string basses , we go lower and higher but they still design cabs that are marginal for a 4 string. They need to evolve as their target audiance haas evolved. Yes the gate sux too.
  17. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    From what ive read and heard Birch is a better wood to use for the cabinets. The cabs Ive played that were made from Birch seemed to have a bit more of a deeper sound to them.

    I dont know if its the combo of the wood and freq, just the freq range itself, or if its the way the cab is tuned itself.

    IMO its a better tone wood.
  18. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    On the matter of efficiency, I have to conclude that, when comparing to Eden or SWR, Carvin is indeed less efficient.

    Actually Carvin enclosures are more efficient than ACME, AMPEG Classic and PRO enclosures, Marshall, GK, Hartke, and some others.

    For Example:

    Carvin RL210T shows a Sensivity of 101dB 1watt/1metter 1KHz.

    When an Ampeg SVT210HE has a sensivity of 97dB 1W/1M.
    That´s 4 dB´s more to the Carvin!
    Same applies for the 410HE vs RL410T.

    And the Rl410T even has almost the same Freq response as the SVT410HE, and the Ampeg has a sensivity of 98dB 1W/1M.

    Hartke 210 is on 96dB 1W/1M and the 2.5XL on 99dB 1W/1M

    I have not compared other cabs yet, because I dont have all the sensivity specs of the Carvins but I think I will have them soon.

    I will also conduct some tests with my trusty SPL meter and compare it to a SWR Goliath SR, Ampeg SVT 410HE , Hartke 4.5XL and other home made cabs.

    Eden´s and SWR are definetly other league of equipment. Boosting around 105dB´s with enhanced frequency spectrum, of course, they cost 2x or 3x Times more than the others.

    Reading this, why is then that most people say Carvins are inneficient?
    Are we comparing in the same league?

    I cannot have an answer myself yet, but tomorrow I will test (if it gets delivered tomorrow) my own RL1018 and will give some feedback.
    If I dont like it , it will be BYE BYE asap to the cabs and get a SWR Goliath SR. , but if I do like it, then I will hug it until I get dizzy.
  19. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    1) They are realistic, the thing is that the test is conducted at 1% THD, wich is too high. So actually you would get 80% Clean Power about less than 0.5% THD.
    2) I dont think they plan to do that, specially because that single tube doesnt do anything to the sound actually, it just adds costs and manteinance problems.
    In fact, even when it had a tube, it was still an "Emulation" circuitry.

    3) Reading from some sources (havent tested it myself yet) I think I agree on that, A slow mute/unmute gate just kills a performance.

    4) I will tell them in my feedback after testing the RL1018

    5) Carvin amps have 30% Overcooling in their DCM Design, the problems with the ACME cabs are isolated to those as far as I know, and I think it could be that the Impedance of those Acme cabs are not accurate and posibly go lower than 4 Ohms, hence the protection circuitry activates.
  20. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA

    I noticed that the carvin was rated at 1khz. Are the others also measured at 1khz?

    I would like to see the cabs offered with different speaker configurations. (so some are 8 ohm and some are 4 ohm depending on your needs)

    Also I would like to see them offer a "B box". They could use the same speaker, but in a larger box that was tuned lower. This would be marketed to 5 string users (and more of course).

    I like the crossover idea. It would seem to make better use of a "subwoofer" to be able to cut the freq off at 50 to 200hz.

    I would like to see them offer a RC210 Pro model with 600w RMS speakers and the R1000 head in it.