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Need Reviews on Carvin BX500-15.3 (by users)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BayStateBass, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. I am likely going to purchase this amplifier sometime in the next month or so;


    I was just wondering if anyone on here has one and what they thought of it. Currently I am using a Carvin MB 210 and am very impressed with it (actually, I love it), but I need more power for performing. Going out to a PA with the direct out on my MB is not an option for me at this point.

    Some questions;

    1. How has it held up for you, how long have you had it

    2. Do you find the 500W is enough for performing with no PA (I am competing against 4 guitars who play moderately loud, but not LOUD LOUD, our PA is vocal only and is 800W).

    3. I like the tone of my 210 overall but could really use more grunt on the lows which tend to fart out a little bit with increased volume on my MB210. Can I expect better lows with the 15? (I play primarily country, classic rock, and southern rock with some blues, I need steady, thumpy low end and punch). I do not own a bass with more than 4 strings and I play standard tuning, at most half step down.

    Any information on this specific amp would be greatly appreciated!
  2. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    I've looked everywhere for reviews of the BRX15.3 to no avail unfortunately. I'm sure it's a solid cab based my experience with other BRX cabs, although it's a bit bulky (same dimensions as the 10.4) and it's also heavy due to NEO be gone.

    You might want to consider adding the MB210E extension cabinet for more sound however. I’ve run a single 12” extension to my little MB10 and the difference was extraordinary. The 210 extension will get the combo up near ear level for more volume and the addition of 2 more woofers will add to the lows. By using that great semi-parametric EQ on the combo, you can target the low mids while removing mud for great tone.

    That’s been my experience.
  3. Thanks, Jeff.

    Kinda where I'm at right now; I can order the MB 210 extension cabinet for low cost, and then I'll be 250W and 4 10"s, and if that would work I'd be ecstatic. Been trying to get as many opinions as I can and most people I've talked to kinda say maybe it'll be enough, maybe it won't, probably be marginal....I know it's such a subjective thing and there's no reliable answer other than trying it out.

    If it doesn't work I have a large, expensive practice amp :bawl:

    If you had to guess or put a number to it, how much more sound would you say adding the extension gave you? 50%? 25%? Double? Just wondering.

  4. So what does adding the extension get you?

    Simply adding a second 210 cab nets you a 3 dB volume increase. Thats like doubling the power used (if the cab could take it). This will also increase your low end extension a bit, and get the mids closer to your ear and make them more present.

    You will also get a power increase. If you doubled the power you would gain 3 dB so you are really looking at a 4-5 dB increase.
  5. DerTeufel

    DerTeufel Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Wildomar, CA
    If I recall correctly, I believe that adding a matching extension (in your case another 210) gives you a +3db gain in volume.
  6. ^ This is really helpful! Now I can do some comparison on the specifications of my expanded 210 Vs. the 15.3

    I owe you big time. It's the information I needed.
  7. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    If you can, and I would try, drop the combo on a 15” extension and see if you like it. It’s easy for me to do because I have like 4 friends who all play bass. Maybe not so for you.
    I use to also have a 15” cab combined with a 210 and the distribution of sound was NOT equal. With the MB210E extension then all of your speakers are identical, which means same power, sound, a volume levels for all.
    The 250w into 4 vertically aligned speakers should be plenty for most gigging situations. I only turned up my MB10 + 112 up to 4 (out of 10) on the volume for my rock band. The EQ section is so pinpoint and flexible that you can coax more clean volume out of it compared to other inexpensive, similarly powered amps.
    I recommend the MB210E as an extension. Nice and light too.
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I don't think those 3-ways have been out long enough to have really any useful reviews. If the Neo, is out, it probably uses their PS15 driver used in other 115 bass cabs and PA speakers. Using that to speculate, and it is pure speculation, putting it in that big box should extend it's lowend, probably making it run deeper than the 210's. The price for that is less powerhandling down there, so it'll still have a fartout limit a good deal less than it's "power rating".

    I'd also go with another 210 like you have, especially if you can get a good price on it. The results will be predictable, and it will give you a pretty substantial increase in output.

    4 guitars.....that's must be a fun band. You can take that either sarcastically or seriously depending on said guitar players.:p. It would be pretty cool if y'all can manage to fit it all together. A real southern rock onslaught.

    Moving up to 410's would let you actually be able to make use of a bit more power than your 250 watt has to give, at least cleanly. The 500 watter would probably be a good fit.
  9. Thanks Will, I really appreciate the advice.

    4 guitars is a lot to play through....but this is an awesome group and I'm having a good time. They mostly do Country, running two rhythm players and two leads trading duties on solos. Holy crap it's a lot of work to keep up and push through!

    But this group will absolutely crush guitar work... They're all seasoned players and they know their roles. Plus they're all really great guys who are, without a doubt, the best group I've ever had the privilege to work with.

    The advice is noted and I thank you very much!
  10. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    The 3-way has a 15" cast frame woofer (previously discontinued PS 15C?) and I'm guessing the 8" driver is the Neo? Celestion? Eminence? Pizza?
  11. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    I can't speak to the cab, but I have gigged a BX500 with a GK 212MBE (4ohm) since February. I play every weekend in a 7 piece soul/RnB band -the typical cover band routine. It has performed very well, very durable and very lightweight. I tuck it in a laptop bag and go. I play with full PA support, so its a stage monitor. But run with the "Active" switch engaged, drive level at 5, master at about 3-4 and everything else pretty close to flat (with flat contour and compressor off), its got a pretty healthy dose of what I like to hear from my Stingray 5. I engage the graphic in some songs with a bump in the 800-2.5 for some extra zing and it just has a good tone to it. Its never been dropped, I treat it pretty well because it feels so light that I don't want to rough it around at all, but yeah its a great little unit that has been 100% reliable to this point. The main reasons that I purchased this amp were for weight and that it is made in the USA. I assumed that it would perform well and it hasn't disappointed yet. I like it!

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