GK VS. Carvin Head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by grass132456, Oct 31, 2011.


  1. grass132456

    grass132456

    Sep 12, 2011
    Which is overall a better buy for the money tone, and volume?
    GK MB500 or Carvin BX500?
     
  2. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I have not used that particular GK head, but I have and still use the GK MB 200, and have used the RB 700II and, 1001, also. I have used the Carvin BX 500 and currently own the BX1500. As I think it was Chef who said, the GK heads, no matter what model , have that signature sound, to some degree, and I agree. Almost like Ampegs, imho, as in all sounding similar in more ways than not. The Carvin BX series have, again, imho, a much more versatile EQ section, and the best sounding graphic EQ I have ever used. I'm not knocking the MB 200 head, as I have used it on occaision, and it is the best headphone amp I have ever used. The Carvin just has so much more versatility, imho, that you can really get it to sound like anything you want. It will also go down to 2 ohms, if that is an important option for you. All imho, and ime, of course.
     
  3. John Herzog

    John Herzog

    Jun 14, 2002
    Schertz, TX
    I wanted to try the BX500 until I found out the DI is PRE EQ only. If a POST eq DI is important to you and you still want the features of the Carvin, you might want to look at the BX1500.
     
  4. grass132456

    grass132456

    Sep 12, 2011
    I have no idea what you are talking about o_O I guess I'm just a newb :p Can you explain?
     
  5. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    The Direct Out connection (XLR output) on the GK head is Pre-EQ only. That means whatever you plug into the head is going to be sent through the XLR out - any adjustments you make on the head with the tone controls will NOT be present in that tone. The Carvin can be set to POST EQ on the Direct Out Connection which means all of the knobs and tone alterations on the amp you make will be present on the signal out.

    "DI" - stands for Direct Injection. Typically, this is the signal you give to the sound guy.

    Try the GK if you can. If you do not like the signature tone of the head and want something cleaner and more transparent sounding, the Cravin BX1500 will kick some butt. I use the BX1200 and can get any version of a clean tone you can imagine. No tube growl or anything like that, but a very easy to adjust bass head.
     
  6. grass132456

    grass132456

    Sep 12, 2011
    DId you contradict yourself two posts above saying that the BX500 is only Pre-EQ, but now saying the MB500 is pre-eq? And I don't think it really matter for me right now because I'm not lining out, I'm just separately connecting to my amp. If I want a low bass rumble, which amp would be better for the sound?
     
  7. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Unfortunately, you have asked a subjective question. You'll get GK fans, and you'll get Carvin fans. I have had several GK amps, and now have a Carvin BX600/210 and BX1200 with a Carvin 410 cab. Couldn't dial my tone on the GKs. The Carvins are spot-on.
     
  8. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I think I screwed some of that up - the BX500 is Pre EQ only. You can control the DI level off the head though.

    The MB500 is Pre-EQ or Post EQ switchable on the DI out.

    Both amp heads can give you low bass rumble, but you need to have a good cab hooked up to the head.
     
  9. 77 StingRayBass

    77 StingRayBass

    Sep 15, 2011
    I own the BX500, used it twice so far, and for me, I prefer the BX over my Eden Metro. As stated in previous post's, the E.Q. section makes it VERY easy to dial in your tone. This BX500 is LOUD, but, for me that equates to "Headroom!" I'm running my BX with a Avatar B210 cab...love the tone!
     
  10. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    What exactly do you like from the Carvin that the Eden didn't provide?
     
  11. 77 StingRayBass

    77 StingRayBass

    Sep 15, 2011
    Well, my 51 year old body was having a hard time lifting that Eden Metro 78 pound badd boy...with my new set-up, I've cut down about 23 lbs. The Carvin head is 5.6 pounds. I'd been running that Eden since '98, and I do dig the Eden tone, but, the BX500 so far is giving me a really nice tone with a 9 band EQ. and a smaller on stage "foot-print". Also, since I had the older model Metro, it was running 200 watts @ 8 ohms, where the Carvin is rated [email protected] 8ohms...nice to have the headroom.
     
  12. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    ahh, cool. I know those Metro's are beasts to move around.
     
  13. Dustin Teel

    Dustin Teel Guest

    Jun 2, 2011
    Carvin BX500, hands down, imo.

    I've had the MB210 combo which utilizes pretty much the MB500 head, from what I understand. The head has that signature GK tone. The GIVE boost gives it some nice growl. I cut the treble, as the head had a bit too much "sizzle", which apparently many GK heads are known for. It didn't have the outstandingly deep lows, but it could get bassy.

    I've only used the Carvin head (through a Carvin 410), never owned it, but was blown away by the tone you get for the price. The Carvin had far more shaping abilities than the GK head. The GK head always sounded good, but rather flat. It seemed like changing the EQ only produced minor reflections in the overall live sound of the amp; whereas, with the Carvin head, the slight slide of a single knob was a whole new tone. The Carvin seemed to offer a multitude of different sounds. It also seemed to get a lot deeper than the GK head frequency wise.

    Also, from what I recall, the Carvin head can handle a 2 ohm load. Some could care less, but for me, that is a HUGE selling point. Who wouldn't want to rock 8x12s, 16x10s, or 4x15s?!?!?!:bassist::bassist::bassist:

    But on a more serious note, I believe the overall tone of the Carvin head was superior. Good luck on your purchase! :hyper:
     
  14. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Ohio
    You'd better add "reliability" to that.. search TB and read all the pro's and con's of both models.;)
     
  15. TRob1293

    TRob1293

    Feb 1, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    Had the BX500 - too clean for me.
    Now have a GK 700RB II - clean AND growly whenever I want.

    I know it wasn't the MB500 you asked for, but I spent almost 2 years trying to dial in that tone in my head with the Carvin, while I was able to do it in about 15 minutes with the GK.

    It really depends on that tone in your head - Carvin has a 10 day return policy (no matter what)... try it out. GK you can find in any Guitar Center to try.
     
  16. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Ohio
    One more thing from my own personal experience,, GK's service is top notch.
     
  17. Jarrett

    Jarrett

    Jan 19, 2004
    Waxahachie, Tx
    I haven't played the new GK MB stuff yet, but I owned a Carvin BX500 for a while. Great little amp for the price. It's a swiss army knife of EQ. It can be as flat as you want it, more than any other head I've dealt with or you can use the two EQ sections to dial anything you want. You can also dial in a little grit with with the tube pre. It's light and portable and mine was reliable. I know early on there were some problems, but the current run of BX500s seem very reliable. I thought the Pre only EQ would be an issue, but the way the head is voiced flat sounds great for a DI feed. I never had an issue with that. And I loved have the DI level out and miss it on my current head (RH750) The BX500 is also very loud. In direct A/B tests I found it to be louder than my Genz Benz Shuttle 9.0 and have a better overall tone, imo. And Carvin's customer service is flat out great.
     
  18. grass132456

    grass132456

    Sep 12, 2011
    When you guys say that GK has a more growly sound, is it like a deep bass rumble? Because I don't want a tone is is just low's with no rumble. But how much of the tone comes from the head? Because I'm considering getting a GK with the Carvin head, but where does more (or most) of the tone come from? (saying that you use the same bass - mine is PJ config.)
     
  19. Jarrett

    Jarrett

    Jan 19, 2004
    Waxahachie, Tx
    Something to think about, Carvin has a 10-day trial on their stuff. I bet Music123 has GK amps and they have a 45-day trial. Could get them both in house, try them out and return the one you like less.
     
  20. TRob1293

    TRob1293

    Feb 1, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    I cannot adequately describe the GK growl, but if you run a search on it (GK growl -or- Gallien Krueger growl), you will find all the explanation you need... and about all of their cabs.

    Jarrett was hard on the knuckle with the massive versitility and high volume level of the BX500, but that overly high amount of versitility and little to no growl (low-end gutteral gurgling) was what pushed me in a different direction.
     
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