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Efficiency of Carvin cabinets

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SLiGhTLy_STooPiD, Jun 12, 2001.

  1. after vigorous searching, i decided on a carvin RL210T. (price had alot to do with the decision) when it came yesterday, i hooked up my hartke 3500 to it and played it outside on the deck (mom doesn't want it cranked inside)....and cranked it. of course, this was much louder. up until now, i've unly used small combos. i could feel the deck moving and the neighbors houses down came over to make me turn down the volume.

    but i don't know if the cab is actually putting out the 350 watts. my friend came over to check it out, but he was telling me about how Carvin cabs aren't very efficient and use alot of power and put out little volume. is this true? should i return this before the 10 day return policy runs out?

    and one more thing: will setting it on its' side hurt anything?
    i mean, not like the regular "|OO|" 2x10
    but i want to set it like :
    |O| won't hurt anything, right?
  2. First, setting it on its side won't hurt anything.

    Second, cabs don't put out watts, amplifiers do. If the amp is rated at 350 watts into 4 ohms, and the cab is 4 ohms (which that cab is), then the amp is delivering the 350 watts, or close enough to it. For practical purposes, it's that simple.

    Third, as far as what your buddy says, he's IMO a little bit right and a little bit wrong. No, Carvin cabs are not the most efficient cabs in the industry. But they are not by any means the least efficient either; my Acme 2-10 is far less efficient than the Carvin 2-10. As for there being "little volume," trust your ears: was it loud when you cranked it? If so, why listen to anybody who says it will produce "little volume"? If you got punched in the stomach, would you listen to anyone who said that you were feeling no pain?

    If you're concerned primarily about getting the most acoustic output you can, then take your rig down to a shop and compare cabinets. You will probably be able to find a louder cab, but almost certainly at higher cost. But volume isn't everything. If it matters, Bass Player tested a truckload of 2-10s a couple of years ago and gave the Carvin a rather high rating. It might still be in their archives if you wanna look it up.

  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have played a Carvin cabinet for a couple of years. RL410T. I haven't noticed it to be any less efficient than than any other. In fact, I like it about as well as anything I have played.

    As for volume. Remember, you only have 2 ten inch speakers. There are 210 cabs out there that can handle a ton of power, and 450 watts into a 210 is going to be loud, but not crack concrete, nose-bleed kind of loud. If you want that, you need more speakers.

  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    FWIW - The Bass Player review said they like it better standing on one end for projecting sound beyond the stage apron. For hi-fi effect, they preferred using the tiltback hardware that comes with it.

    As far as efficiency, I quit worrying about parameters and measurements some time ago. All I judge by is;

    - Does it sound good enough?

    - Does it get loud enough?

    - Does it seem well-built?

    Unless you are simply a curious techie, that's all a musician needs to know.
  5. Yep, that really is pretty much it. I would add that you should consider those variables *in that specific order.* If your cab sounds great but is not all that efficient, to the point where your amp can't cut it, you can often get the sound you want by just getting a bigger amp. You could also get a more efficient speaker, but you'd want to make sure it was as good tonally as your old one. If it isn't, you've purchased volume at the cost of tone.

    The point is, if you have a good sounding but inefficient speaker, there's usually a way to get it to a usable volume if you have reasonable expectations (e.g., if you don't expect a 2-10 to keep up with four Marshall stacks in a stadium setting). If the cab doesn't sound good to begin with, it doesn't really matter how efficient it may be, because it's unlikely that anything you do will help. IMO
  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I have a Carvin RL 4x10 that I run through a Hartke 2000 head,

    I was told by someone here at Talk Bass that the Carvins werent the most efficient cabs on the market, I think they are rated at 96 or 98 db where others are rated at 102 or higher.. I cant quite remember the exact figures and I apologize for that.

    In my experiance with the cab Ive found that even though I think it sounds great, but for it being 600 watts, I cant get as loud with it as I think I should be able to before it starts to distort.

    But it sounds good and does what i need it too so I keep it around, love it so much I bought a used one the other day
  7. I think you might be misunderstanding something here. If the cab is rated to handle 600 watts, that has nothing to do with how much volume it puts out--it has to do with how much amplifier power it can handle and still perform to a specified level. The basic determinants of volume are (1) amp output and (2) cabinet efficiency. If you go from a 2-10 rated to handle 300 W with an efficiency of 102 dB at a specified frequency to a 2-10 rated to handle 600 W with an efficiency of 98 dB, you won't get more volume at a given amp setting--you'll get *less*, because the efficiency is lower.

    If I remember correctly, the Hartke 2000 doesn't put out a ton of power. If you want more volume out of it, don't just get a cab that can *handle* more power--in and of itself, that won't give you more volume, and may give you less. Get one that's more efficient.

    But since you love the tone of the cab, probably the best thing you can do is get yourself some more power somehow.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Richard - Those are very good points. What you said really demonstrates why people run out and buy what they are told are very efficient cabs and then find out they don't sound nearly as good at the gig as the guy down the street because they bought on spec's alone instead of shopping with their ears.
  9. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I don't know what the ratings are on it... But my Cyclops (which is the Carvin R600 on a 1x15, 2x8 + Horn cab) is loud as hell. :)

    Carvin's are good value for the money. Almost everyone says that, including most of the people that don't like Carvin.

    You mentioned that you bought this partly because of the cost.

    You mentioned that the amp/cab sounded loud.

    You seemed to like it.

    That seems good enough to me.
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Yeah the Hartke 2000 doesnt put out much power at all, only 200 watts @ 4 ohm....I was only getting the 120@8 ohm for a while. I do plan on buying a power amp sometime in the very near future, something around 400 watts.

    Thanks for clearing that up for me. I still think these cabs arent very efficent though. Are'nt most 4x10's rated somewhere around 102 db?
  11. There's quite a range. Eden claims 106 dB for the D410XLT, whereas Acme (which I prefer to the Eden sonically) claims 96 for their 4-10. I have the Carvin catalog, but I don't see any efficiency ratings. There's also the issue of what frequency or frequencies efficiency is measured at. If it's measured at 1 kHz and the cab happens to have a 4 dB peak there, that could inflate the efficiency rating unrealistically.

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