Overdriving my Carvin PB200-15 Combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jazzbo, Sep 8, 2000.

  1. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey guys, I need your help again.

    It's obvious I'm not a tech wizard, but I'm learning more and more everyday, especially on this website. I think I've learned more in a month on this site, than I have in the last 6 months reading Bassplayer articles and articles from other internet sites.

    I'm having serious problems with my Carvin PB200-15 Combo amp. I think I may have killed it. One of the bands I'm in practices in a single screen movie theater before they open, so we're practicing in a theater that fits 250 people, with 25 foot ceilings, and it's carpeted. Needless to say, the acoustics suck and don't give me back any of my sound. Naively, I've been using my Carvin amp because I thought it had enough power. Well, I should also mention that my drummer, probably the best drummer I've ever played with, and seriously skilled, does have a problem with playing soft. The problem is, when I drive it too hard, it starts overdriving. (I think that's what's happening). I have the volume set between 4 and 5, the gain doesn't do a thing, nor does the compressor (I'm finding out that's a common problem with Carvins), and I've got the EQ set at 70% bass, 60% mid, and 85% treble. I've also got the bass knob at 4 and the treble at 8. I've pretty much turned the tweeter off cuz I think that's dead. When I really start playing hard it starts to overdrive, but it's mostly on the 4 - 9 frets on my E. What is going on? Is it the bass, the speaker, the frequency of those notes? Plus, I have very clearly realized that 160W Combo amp (which probably isn't even delivering that much wattage) isn't going to suffice.

    Thanks guys.
  2. In my opion you have the wrong amp for the job.With 160 watts and 1X15 it won't cover the Theatre. For a Monitor for yourself it should work fine. You can try placing it on a stand you will hear over the drummer.A Sound barrier around the drums like you see on TV woks as well.If you wish to cover the theatre with only your amp you will need more Speakers and more power. Good luck!
  3. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I have some Carvin equipment, and my first thought is that some of their speaker cabinets aren't that efficient. You have to pump a lot of power in to get the volume you want (I have their R600 amp, and the clip lights get exercised regularly while feeding their speakers). Another thing I've noticed with Carvin is their power ratings tend to be somewhat more liberal than those of other manufacturers. They rate power at 1kHz and 1% THD instead of 20-20kHz and (say) 0.05% THD. This means you may not really get clean power at bass frequencies at the rated levels. Without the benefit of major test equipment, my estimation of their "clean" power at bass frequencies is more like about 85% of their rating (i.e., if they say 250 watts into 4 ohms, I believe it's more like 200 watts). In your case, it sounds like you've been clipping a lot, and you might have burned out the tweeter. Find out if the tweeter is fused, though, before you call it dead-on-arrival.

    Short of either getting a bigger combo amp OR a more efficient speaker cabinet to plug the head into, try turning down the bass EQ a bit. That will help conserve power where you are power-constrained. You'll give up the bottom rumble a bit, but it may enable the harmonics and other notes to be heard. I hope this helps.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks for the help guys. I'm looking into Ampeg's SVT 3 or 4, and a 4X10 cab. I'm doing a lot of researching, and taking my time, but I'm sure I'll find the right rig for the job!
  5. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hey, I have one of those, and it doesn't have a gain for the volume. The volume knob is the only thing that amplifies the signal other than the specific eq. There is a gain, but it is a gain for the variable mid range. Unless you have an older model I am not sure what you are meaning by gain. I have been told that the volume knob turns up the volume on the preamp, and that the power amp volume is fixed.