Deciding: Carvin MB15 or Hartke Kickback KB12

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Orpheus55, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Now that my trusty SWR Workingpro12 has finally been put out to pasture (nephew starting out, needed an amp), I am needing a small combo. My main rig is a Peavey Minimax through an Avatar B115T, and this serves quite well everywhere we play (10 person classic rock band with horns). However, we have lately taken on some very tightly spaced venues with tiny stages, and the footprint is a factor. First off, we ALWAYS have PA support, as we have a dedicated sound tech on the payroll. Much as I love the Avatar for bigger stages, a stage monitor is really all I need. The Carvin appears to be everything I could wish, though I likely wouldn't need an additional cab. And yet, I really liked my old Hartke KB of ten years ago, though it was heavy. The "500 watts" is a misnomer, I know (250 more like it), and the DI out is only set for pre (MB has pre/post and a level adjustment) and reliability is important too. The MB15 looks great, though I am tempted by the MB210 as well. Thoughts? Recommendations? Thanks.
  2. On paper I like the Carvin MB15 over the KB15.
    Same amount of power (RMS), but pretty much all the bells and whistles are on the MB.
    Carvin is also not as pricy as the Hartke..
    But you knew all that.
    I was looking seriously at the Carvin, but a Rumble came along at a price that I couldn't pass up.
    Also a good choice BTW.
    deathness and Orpheus55 like this.
  3. Now that I look at it, the Rumble does look rally good. I rather prefer a metal grill, and the more advanced DI options of the MB15, but the Fender amps are looking like real alternatives these last few years. In the past, I couldn't get past the name "Rumble" as it sounded somewhat amateurish; the flashing lights and all that. But, it appears they're serious players these days so I will check one out today.
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  4. kramerj

    kramerj Supporting Member

    May 22, 2003
    Iowa City, IA
    I ended up with a Carvin MB210 for use in a relatively quiet trio and as a stage monitor in a six-piece rock band. It has one if the smallest footprints I've seen (roughly one foot square), and the nearly two foot height is nice as well. I really like the compressor, adjustable mids, and pre-post DI. It is very clear and articulate ---but the Rumble and Hartke will give you more low end. Some MB210 and MB15 owners use extension cabs to beef up their sound.
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  5. Thanks for your response. My thinking has evolved somewhat in that I am finding the Peavey Minimax to be so reliable (and durable; been dropped and knocked over twice by our over active sax player) that I might consider a second cabinet--the Hartke Hydrive 12 being a leading candidate at the moment (don't like the form factor of the GK neo12) instead of another combo. Thinking I can pickup an older dinosaur head or a used PF350 for emergency use down the line. But, I am afraid that the Minimax at 500W (350 into 8 ohm) might be too much for a single 12" cab.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  6. I hadn't considered the 210, but the more I look at it the better it might be for my needs, given the postage-stamp sized stage we use. Your comment on the footprint size brought it home, and the fact that it is vertical might make it easier to hear when used as a monitor. I'm thinking this is might be the way to go. The handle on the side--is it hard to carry like that?
  7. kramerj

    kramerj Supporting Member

    May 22, 2003
    Iowa City, IA
    It's a very minor inconvenience to lean over the amp to pick it up by its handle after a gig. The actual transport sideways is fine and makes it easy to slide into a car.
    Orpheus55 likes this.
  8. Thinking of shopping for a nice 1x12 cab (Hartke Hydrive 12?) and pairing it with my Peavey minimax rather than going combo again. Other candidates include GK112 neo or even the Peavey Headliner 12; already have a bigger rig for larger gigs, so I will be looking for a good deal somewhere.
  9. A good gigging friend of mine swears by the Peavey Headliner 12 cab; sure looks like a no BS unit. Might be a good match for my Peavey minimax. Weight claims are all over the place; some say 32, some 35, a few 40. It's an Eminence driver, not neo, so I'm thinking closer to 40 lbs. I like the sturdy look, metal grill, the form factor, and the fact that I will use it only with FOH support. I also am considering the Avatar SB112 (39 neo, 44 ceramic), as I own the B115 now, but the box looks pretty big and it's not light either. Though even at my age (mid 60s) 40 lbs. doesn't seem at all unreasonable.
  10. If you ever make your way down to Ft Myers let me know. If I'm around at the same time your there you can swing by and check out my Carvin MB15 combo.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
    Orpheus55 likes this.
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