Does anyone have any experience with this head and cab? Carvin BX500 and a GK 410MBE

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ryte, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. ryte


    Oct 8, 2014
    I'm considering getting a Carvin BX500 and a GK 410 MBE. It's going to be my first half stack setup, and I want it to be gigable... But I know the Carvin is 500W at 4 ohms and the GK is 400W at 8 ohms.

    Isn't it true that the carvin will cut the 500 Watts to 300 Watts, making it less-loud? Will it still be loud enough for playing maybe a small club or something? Thanks.
  2. ryte


    Oct 8, 2014
  3. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    I dont have any experience with that cab, but I do own a BX500 and at 8 ohms (300W) it should push that cab just fine for a small or even medium size club. Are you playing heavy metal with two guitarists with half stacks? If not, you should be fine.
  4. I have it's big brother, the 1500.
    For a bit more, you can have 900 watts, bridged into 8 ohms.

    300 watts seems to be enough to be heard,
    at least, that's what the SVT guys say.
  5. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    I had nearly that exact combo for a while: my cab was the 410 MBX (also 8 ohm). I can't recall the differences between the MBE and MBX series cabinets... In any case, the amp had plenty of power to drive that cab. Power wasn't the problem.

    The issue I had with the BX500 was that on two separate occasions -- both times were driving this cab -- the head went into "thermal runaway" and cut out in the middle of rehearsal. The only way to fix it was to yank the power cord and let it cool off for 10 minutes; after that it ran without any heat issue whatsoever. Both times were in the same room of the same house, so it's possible the culprit isn't the amp-cab combination but some other power problem there... In any case, there was no warning and under normal circumstances the amp barely gets warm, so I was really surprised to observe an apparent heat issue.
    ryte likes this.
  6. ryte


    Oct 8, 2014
    I'm not playing heavy metal, but punk rock instead. I still should do fime though.
  7. lazarusdoom

    lazarusdoom Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    meridian ms
    i had a BX 500 for a few years. the only problem i ever had was cleaning the ribbon cable connectors twice. imo it's not a head you can run flat, use the EQ options and it can sound like a beast.:thumbsup:
  8. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    sorry to derail but.... did Carvin ever resolve the ribbon cable issue on the BX500?
  9. npbassman

    npbassman Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    Subscribed. I have a BX500 head too. I'm pretty close to gigging out so I'm looking to pair it with a nice cab like the GK the op mentioned but I'm a little concerned that the head is gonna crap out on me mid gig.
    ryte likes this.
  10. I don't have any experience with the BX500, but I do own the GK 410MBE... Except I have the 800W version. In my opinion, it is a great cabinet. Super lightweight (like 43 lbs or something, can be carried with one hand like a suitcase), and it gets a really clear, sharp tone, even with horn off. It may not be the "roundest" sounding cabinet, in fact it's more punchy with good articulation, which serves you well for jamming/performances.

    My biggest gripe about the cab is that there is no lining inside, and I found it quite boomy at first (which I guess would have given a rounder tone), but I didn't want that so I bought some pillows and cut them open and filled the cabinet with the pillow stuffing. After this, the sound tightened up significantly and got me the good punch and articulation I listed above. Details on the pillow stuffing can be found here:

    Also, the cabinet is susceptible to screws coming slightly loose and rattling when playing and making it sound like a blown driver. I've had for two-three years now and it's happened maybe 4 times. Thankfully, I just re-tighten the screws and its back to normal, but it is very scary the first few times it happens. I've debated putting locktite or something on them, but still want good access to inside the cabinet in case I need to.

    Yeah, I never had anything like this happen. It was likely the problem with the home's electrical, but there could have also been a slightly loose wire termination in the cab somewhere causing some higher resistance. A simple check inside the cabinet could rule this out... Could have also been a bad cable from the amp to the cab.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
    ryte likes this.
  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    The Carvin indeed is 300 watts at 8 ohms. Plenty of power. Volume is more about cabs than watts. Your other option is to get a pair of 2x10s or 1x12s. More options, can stack vertically, and runs at 4 ohms. More expensive also.

    As to the other question, Carvin seems to have solved that issue.
  12. lazarusdoom

    lazarusdoom Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    meridian ms
    i have no clue i had mine for 6ish years and cleaned them 2 times. it never cut out on me when i was using it, i just clean my gear from time to time as routine maintenance.
  13. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    A loose wire causing higher resistance wouldn't be the problem at all; the amp would simply cut out but wouldn't overheat. A loose wire causing a short-circuit (zero resistance) would pose a problem if the amp didn't have over-current protection, which it should.

    I thought maybe it could be a problem with the cab's crossover, but apparently the cab doesn't even have a crossover. B-String (one of the resident amp gurus) suggested that engineers have observed weird resonances when some class D amps are driving certain piezo horns, which is the type of horn in this cab (and the MBE, IIRC).

    Regardless, individually I have never had problems with either unit. The cab is now at a music school where it sees hours of use daily with no issues (either SVT 7PRO or Hartke LH500 driving it). The amp has subsequently run several of my rehearsals with either a pair of 115 MBX cabs or a Avatar TB-153 4-ohm cab, and I've never seen the issue again: even in the same room of that same house. To me, that suggests that it's not a mains problem either.

    So, I personally don't trust that exact amp + cab combination, and I would never gig with it. YMMV, as always, but you asked for experiences, and there you go.