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Converting my Carvin PB200 combo with new BX500 head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassingeorge, Jan 9, 2012.


  1. Hello!
    So, I have this Carvin PB200-15 Combo amp which I bought long time ago, probably 2004 when came out, and that has been my only bass amp. I've replaced the speaker, misplaced the knobs, changed a fuse...and it keeps going!

    Now that I' more "serious" about tone, I'm kinda disliking the bass amp.

    I was thinking about solutions...should I change the speaker again? Maybe a Neo one? And then it came to me, why not a new head? Maybe the BX500 by Carvin?

    I'm not really that techy, let alone amp tech...so help me out!

    Would a Carvin BX500 bass amp head fit AND work with my current combo?

    Heres the link to my combo amp:
    The Carvin Museum - 2004 Red Line Bass Systems

    Maybe change the fabric to Tweed Tolex and put a fabric grill...that would look cool!

    Thanks!
     
  2. bump?
     
  3. The Bx500 is a little taller than your original head. You'd have to cut out some wood and take out the tweeter. This will change the dimensions of the cab also.
    Pro: lighter combo, massive wattage
    Con: cosmetics will look all fugly

    If you can't get a 2x10 or 1x15, leave the combo intact and use it as a cab for the BX500.
     
  4. Or, sell or trade-in the combo towards a 2x10, 1x15, or 4x10 cab and pay the difference.

    If you do all the mods, as you mentioned, you'll lose the resale option of the combo. A year from you'll want a bigger cab anyway. I would sell the combo IMO.
     
  5. 5port

    5port

    Oct 14, 2009
    LI,new yawk
    You might expand on what you mean by "more serious about your tone". I've seen people upgrade the PB- series of bass amps by mounting the BX500. It can be done.

    If your getting more serious about your tone I suggest you buy the BX500 and maybe the BRX2.10. That will be one serious combo and still very portable. Carvin already sells them as a combo on their site:

    Carvin.com :: BX500-10.2N

    To put it in perspective I can back up two guitars and drums with my brx2.10 and my GK MB200 head in a rock situation. You can sell the PB-200 to finance the new amp or keep it for practice.

    You will only get a incremental increase in performance by staying with the PB-200 cabinet and changing to the BX500 head IMO.
     
  6. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Another solution if tone is the only issue is just add a pedal... such at the VT Bass or Tech 21 paradriver (with variable mids and blend).
     
  7. Oh, I've used the Sans Amp for...let's see...5 years now?

    The combo is really not in condition to be sold.. :meh:
    I've been gigging with it a lot....I would probably get around a hundred...

    I'm thinking changing the looks, making it look like a reissue of some sorts, with the tweed tolex, fabric grill, get an old carvin logo, etc.

    However, I did come across a picture of my combo with a BX500 last night...so I know it fits.

    Anybody want to tell me how to do it?

    Would the speaker I have hold up to the new head? In what ohm setting do I have to use it?

    Heres the pic I'm telling you about.
    4390_PBX500_013_1.

    I don't think it looks that fugly... :smug:
     
  8. 5port

    5port

    Oct 14, 2009
    LI,new yawk
    I had the PB-100 and the RC210. Carvin's MO is the same for their combos. The original PB-200 head screwed in from the top. The BX500 screws in from the front (rack mount). Once you remove the PB-200 head you need to cut a 3/4' X3/4" wooden strip that is the height of the head opening. You will need two of these.

    Once you have them cut to length you need to screw them in each opening just behind the mark left by the PB-200 head. I used Gorilla Glue to back this up. Once the Gorilla Glue is set you can slide in the BX500 head and screw it to the 3/4" strip thru the rack holes. I predrilled and counter sunk the holes going into the side walls. I did a slight predrill before I screwed the head into the strip.

    The original speaker in your combo was a Carvin PS-15 rated at 400W at 8 ohms. Should be no problem with the BX500.

    I did this on my RC210 when I mounted my BX1500 in it.
     
  9. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The combo amp is what it is. If you're unhappy with it, don't waste money on it. Sell it and buy something you do like. But a separate head will need a separate cab.
     
  10. Ok, so this is what I need to do! Thanks! I would get a separate cabinet and such....but aside having to spend for a new cab...which eventually I'll have to...Right now, I don't need that much...It's mostly for small gigs and rehearsals...so I combo will do!

    I had the speaker replaced....Should be the same ohm and wattage rating I suppose...

    Anyway I could change the 1/4" speaker connection of the cabinet to a speakon? Or is it to much hassle?
     
  11. 5port

    5port

    Oct 14, 2009
    LI,new yawk
    Carvin uses a 1/4" connector coming out of the speaker area so you can use that neat little 90 degree cable they gave you with the PB-200 (unless you lost it). IMHO 1/4" is good to a little over 500W no problem.
     
  12. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I've swapped my BX500 into and out of my BR12 (kickback 12 Carvin combo) several times. My process:

    - unscrew 4 screws on top of combo
    - unscrew plate on tweeter attenuator (probably not an issue on your combo but it needs to slide out of the way on mine)
    - push combo head out the back of the combo
    - take little plastic screw receptors out of top of combo head
    - take top plate off of BX500
    - unscrew feet from BX500
    - put little plastic screw receptors into top of BX500
    - slide BX500 into combo from the back
    - screw into place with 4 long screws from the top of the combo (cursing while moving BX500 slightly in different directions to get it to line up without being able to see)
    - put tweeter attenuator plate back in place and screw down
    - put away BX500 top, feet, screws & combo head carefull to restore later


    Right now I've got the combo head back in place but I'm sure I'll swap them back at some point.
     
  13. Wow! Yes, thats exactly what I'm going to do!

    The BX500 price is ridiculous too! ;)

    Quick Question:
    Can you get away without taking the top plate off?

    The stock pb200 head doesn't have it and I find it gets pretty dusty inside...plus kinda noisy...I guess the FULL enclosure will avoid those things.
     
  14. I said it would look fugly if you had to cut away some of the wood, sorry if I sounded a little harsh. I didn't want you to de-value the combo, it's still a good amp. But, I really thought the BX500 was too tall to be transplanted into the combo so I'm wrong about that.
    That pic of the combo with the BX500 looks rockin dude.:bassist:
    You must do a follow up on the results, with pics.
     
  15. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    IME the top has to be off to expose the spots for the plastic screw receptors (not sure of the correct name for these things). They go into square cutouts in the same flanges that the screws for the top go into and are covered up when the top is on. I suppose you could drill/cut the top to expose those spots but I'd be concerned that the added height of the top & screws would not fit in the slot - YMMV.
     
  16. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Apr 9, 2009
    That combo is a great leave-at-somebody-elses-house rehearsal combo and you won’t get nearly what it’s worth by selling it. Loud enough for backup gig rig too.
    Keep it, knuckle down and buy a gigging amp. If you’re serious about playing out then you’ll need a second amp. I rehearsed with a PB100-115 for 4 years and it performed flawlessly, plus it fit it a little spot in my guitar player’s basement. I’m sorry I sold it!
    Carvin has gig-worthy half-stacks for VERY reasonable prices.
     
  17. Hey thanks guys for all the replies!

    At first I thought that it would look fugly as well...but I plan to retro the crap out of it so to speak with new tweed tolex which I've yet to buy, and I'm thinking of gluing some fabric to the grill...a la Fender Bassman...but have to know which type they used...oxblood??

    It's sold at mojotone or something...

    First I'm gonna do that...I have a guy who does that.
    Then I'll buy the head.

    Oh I forgot...do you guys know if carvin is willing to sell an amp emblem (logo) of the vintage style?
     

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