Need help with Carvin

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    BX700 died. I get nothing when I plug it in and turn it on, and checked the power cord, all buttons, lights, etc.

    A lot of suggestions were made yesterday in a thread that I broke a rule on - so the thread disappeared. I'm not looking to start that dialogue up again, I was wrong with how I handled a frustrating experience. Period. I would however love if anyone could offer any solutions. If there's hope to bring it back to life, I'd like to.

    I love(ed) that head, and got bummed when I came home from last nights gig and started searching for replacements. Need to start a thread about that now, too.
  2. Joe,

    You've been around long enough to know how this is going to play out.

    A bunch of us are going to throw at you, every idea in the book.
    One of them may be correct, all the rest of them will be wrong.
    And every one if them will be a W A G.
    It is nearly impossible to do a long distance diagnosis on something like this.

    As an electronics tech, I would have additional questions about other symptoms and still only being guessing at the cause. There are thousands of components in an amp. Any one of a hundred or two hundred being bad may contribute to your problem. And it may not even be an actual discrete component failure causing it. You could spend weeks or months trying out all the unfounded suggestions that come along in this thread.

    If you checked the obvious, power cord, instrument cable, different bass, fuses, then it's time to have it looked at by a qualified technician. Eyes on the problem coupled with the proper experience are your best, fastest, and possibly least expensive way to get your amp going again.

    Good luck.
    agedhorse, Giffro, JRA and 4 others like this.
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Personally, once this happens it’s hard to ever trust the thing again. I rebuilt a gk rb 1001 and svt 3 pro that blew up, but I could never gig with them now. Only exception was an old swr that blew a fuse, i was able to forgive that (and I couldn’t afford to replace it).

    I vote mesa d-800+!
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Thanks :). And true... but I left out a little info...

    The head is now in the hands of a capable and qualified pro who I trust. Our sound guy. He's an authorized Fender repair person, and know most gear pretty well. I know however that there are some specifics to Carvins that people pointed out in yesterdays thread that would be really hard to search out here. My hopes are that the suggestions could get catalogued in this single thread and then I could pass it along to him with hopes that it might be a simple, but unique, solution. Like Deoxit on those bands or whatever. I kept my BX500 alive like that for a while.
    Giffro and Old Garage-Bander like this.
  5. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Ribbon connectors. Pulling them and cleaning the ends. Also running plugs in and out of all the 1/4" plugs. Those are the known diy fixes for the bx-500. But those are more for when it gets noisy, not doa.
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    True to that, too.

    When my BX500 crapped out, there was an awesome bass playing local dude at the gig that ran home and got me his head to use (there was no PA support on the gig and I had no backup). I got REAL lucky, but never wanted to be in that position again. Picked up a tiny TC Electronics BH250 (that I got for like $40 using Backstage pass points from my Ric that I got at MF) that I could keep in my glove compartment. That head totally saved my butt yesterday! I could have gone through the PA, but we were letting a 14 year old kid do 3 songs with us that we had to rehearse... it would have gotten ugly.
  7. I respect your opinion and feelings on this.
    However to throw out an entire brand or model of gear because of one failure is not fair.

    IMHO, the blown fuse, without knowing why it blew, is one of the scariest things to have in the history of a piece of equipment. If there was a thing I would not trust, it would be that.

    On the other hand, there is no reason that a failed piece of equipment, properly repaired, will not give good service for many years.
    alaskaleftybass, agedhorse and wvbass like this.
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I have only had two problems with my Carvin gear. A BX1500 that had a silent Effects Send and Tuner Out. A DCM1000 that suffered a fall and became intermittent on one channel. In both cases cleaning the ribbon cable connectors solved the problem. They have been flawless since.
  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I think Carvin put all their schematics online. You might have to go to the wayback machine to find them.
    A tech that can read the schematics could probably fix it.

    Do the servicing part first as people have recommended.
    check cables, jacks, effects return, bypass the tube, ...
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  10. jshinal


    May 28, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    I have one of those too. One bit of advice, keep a fan blowing on it if you run it at 4 ohms on a hot day. Mine thermally shut down and re-started (it's supposed to protect itself), but I wouldn't want that to happen in mid-set.
  11. There's a tube? Well there's your problem! :bag:

    But seriously, it's an easy thing to sub out.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  12. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Some, but not all, and they excluded the later gear :(

    @Joe Nerve you might want to forward this link to your repair guy: Bass Amplifier Schematics Sadly, no BX700 or 1600 :( But I'm guessing either the BX500 or the BX600/1200 schematics would get him in the ballpark. I looked at the available schematics since they don't have my BX1600 published, and IIRC, all the class D amps I found use the same IRS2092 IC to control the class D section. It's labeled on the schematic, but he should be able to find a data sheet on it to determine what does what on that chip.

    In fact, it has a switch to choose a SS preamp or use the tube, so that would be a super easy test. I think it should be powered off to switch it. I don't recall a warning in the manual, but they put that switch on the back side for a reason. I think it's called "tube bypass."
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  13. I sent an inquiry to Carvin this morning regarding my BX1500 which suffers from the "standard" issues - more than just the corroded ribbon cables. I was hoping for a miracle like, "Our former service guy, Dan, is now fixing those. Give him a call." No such luck.

    This might be old news to some (or all) of you but their response was:

    The Carvin Audio factory is closed and no longer accepting service or technical requests.

    You can access schematics, product manuals, and frequently asked questions here. If the schematic is not listed than it is unavailable. Service & Frequently Asked Questions

    Replacement parts can be purchased here:
    Replacement Parts

    Thank you,

    The Carvin Audio Team

    I now wish that I'd paid a little more attention to the actual fixes back when the topic was current. Oh well, such is life.
  14. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    What is the “standard issue” that the BX1500 suffers from?
  15. Well, perhaps "standard" is not the right word- maybe "relatively common" or "known". Anyway, it was the thing where the drivers in your cab would be moving slowly even though there was no signal being sent to them. I can't recall if there was one more issue that was fairly common, too. (with the 500 as well as I recall, but it's been a while.)
  16. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    That's designed in. It's just keeping your voice coils warmed up for the next song :D

    Sorry you are having trouble. That's really the only thing I really didn't like about how they went about liquidating. Promised us an alternative, and they couldn't take the time to scan and upload the schematics for the most current customers :( My BX1600 is very worried about her health care plan.
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    If he's a pro, he should be able to sort out anything that is typical, but if parts are no longer available then it's not going to end as you hope.
    alaskaleftybass and BadExample like this.
  18. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I have never seen this with my BX1500.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  19. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Hi Joe, I'm curious if you are still using the Carvin 115MBE cabinets? Your recommendation was a big part of the reason why I acquired a pair of them. :)
  20. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Update. Cut and pasted from another thread I had to update...


    Broken lead on input coil of Carvin BX700. Caused by either vibrations, or in transportation. Fixed. As good as new.

    I've dealt with a lot of repair people in the past, but this guy is the best as far as I'm concerned. For both his knowledge, and the fact that he's a super sweet guy. I urge anyone in the NY area to seek him out if you need repairs, he's authorized with Fender, Marshall, Mesa, Yamaha, Korg, Vox, Black Star... and very familiar with Ampeg, Hartkey, and GK.

    @Mushroo , yes and no. The Carvins are still my favorite cabs, but my band (as of a year ago) has roadies and a truck we leave our equipment on. For those reasons I've been using a GK 212 that I had sitting around collecting dust. I don't like the GK for loud shows, but we use IEMs in this band and I never have to crank my amp at all. Very low stage volume works well with the 212s. I also don't care if it gets banged around :).
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