1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

TC BG250 vs Carvin MB15 which one for me

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mkmsound, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. mkmsound


    Mar 10, 2011
    Arnold MD
    I play a 5 string(Low B)
    Main rig 90's Hartke 3500 into Trace Elliott 15.
    Have not played a venue where it was not adequate.

    Looking for light weight to carry for auditions, jams but possible backup to main rig.

    I also have a VT bass deluxe and an Ampeg BA-115.
    Ampeg is still 65 pounds and a little quiet in a rock band.

    I do not use effects. Both are about 30 pounds.

    I can get both of the above for same price. The Carvin on line and the TC locally.

    My concern about the TC is no ext speaker out and no ground lift on the DI. I do not care about the TonePrint.

    Is there any reason to get the TC and not the Carvin. The Carvin does have ext speaker out to use with my TE15 and the Carvin does have ground lift on the DI (which I have occasionally had to use on gigs with my Hartke)

    I dont wanr anything heavier nor higher priced than $350.

  2. Cyclone101


    Mar 20, 2013
    Hey, have you played through both? I have no idea how the Carvin sounds as there aren't any suppliers where I am, bud I was looking to buy a bg250 and played with it a bit and I was amazed at how well it handled anything I threw at it.

    It handles a low B well, and the spectracomp compressor is really worth looking at. It has a very nice tone and quite adjustable. I would call it the ultimate one hand amp. But I have also heard great thing of the carvin. Try both out if you can
  3. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    Carvin has a 10 day return policy, so you could try it and if you don't like it send it back. You would be out of the cost of shipping. Also, the Carvin has a nice compressor included. I don't have the MB15 but I have the BX250 which is the head. Works real nice.
  4. Sounds like you answered your own question. If extension cab support and ground lift are factors, there doesn't appear to be much reason not to choose the Carvin.

    Never hear a bad word about them, and the Carvin is actually lighter and smaller. Interesting amp.

    It's a great time to be in the market for a 15" combo.

    Good luck with the decision.
  5. BassyBass81


    Feb 26, 2013
    I'm more than happy with my carvin micro 10'' handles my 6 string well although I have to run the E.Q. Pretty aggressive. When I run my 15'' extension it really pumps. I just wanted something to play with acoustics's but the rig can keep up with a full drum set just fine, even with a low B
  6. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Hi Mike - I also have a 90's Hartke 3500 head I use with one or two 15's (Genz Benz Focus 115). Honestly I had been using my little GK MB200 head with one Focus for most gigs though.
    I recently got a BG250. REALLY like it. I have only used it at one gig with house sound. Don't know if there was any noise issue with the DI, but the sound guy never said anything. I have a gig Sat Apr 6 where I am running sound with my system, so will check out the DI more then.
    If I need more than one 15 I would just use the Hartke with the two Focus 115's - so lack of a external speaker jack is no issue for me.

    That said - that Carvin looks nice and is a tad smaller/lighter as noted. However - I see there is $34 shipping - so you are looking at $383. A guy in the BG250 thread recently got zZounds to price match B&H Photo/Video down to $313 with free shipping.
  7. I like my Carvin MB15 a lot. Great amp by itself, but when I plug in the 15" extension speaker the amp is guite the little monster! Its nice to have the ability to add an extension speaker. Plus its got great eq and a built in usable compressor. It has a pre and post direct line out so you can send your sound to the board before the sound guy can totally mess it up! Plus the ground lift and a mute switch which is handy. Made in the USA too! I think you'll like it!
  8. mkmsound


    Mar 10, 2011
    Arnold MD
    Cant try it out without committing to possibly 2 shipping charges.($34 to purchase and $34 to return it. It is curious that if ordering from their ebay store shipping is quoted as $ 25.

    Are there any cons to either the Carvin or TC other than the price or shipping?

    Leaning towards Carvin. No sales tax. If I buy the TC I would most likely buy from Chuck Levin's Washington Music and pay the sales tax. I do like supporting local stores and I have bought items there and paid less with tax than from the web.

    Thanks Mike
  9. No issues with my Carvin. Fills my needs which is home practice and rehearsal with very loud friends! Even sounds great with my Kala Ubass with an fdeck preamp. Others swear by the TC which I have no experience with. The only thing I don't care for with that amp is you cannot add an ext. speaker. Others say its plenty loud enough, and you can run a line to the PA anyway, and the amp would be basically a monitor. I like the GK micro amps also although they are a bit pricy.
  10. Both are fine combos and will likely give you what you want. Here are couple of points of difference:

    Carvin Advantages:
    - More control for DI (Ground Lift/separate DI Level)
    - Jack for adding extension cab (sounds like a monster w/2x15's)
    - More and separate eq controls (contour, + para eq)
    - Dedicated compressor
    - Tweeter on/off switch

    BH250 Advantages
    - A little cheaper (can get them new close to $300)
    - TubeDrive - Gives a lot of useable tones easily and makes a killer dirty to overdriven tube sound by comparison.
    - Toneprint - allows you to keep an effect loaded and change it with your smartphone through the app.
    - Built in, always-on 5 string tuner.
    - Easy to dial in great tone.
    - usually 30 day return policy from online retailers.

    Some other things to consider:
    The BG250 is ported, the MB15 is not. Some like sealed cabs, some prefer ported.

    I have played the amps in question, and have owned the MB210 cab from Carvin and it was great. I now own the BG250, and it is my favorite combo amp thus far due to it's ease of use, features and tone. I play only 5 strings, and the BG250 takes whatever I can throw at it with that B.

    But again, either will probably do you fine. Get the one that speaks to you and don't look back!
  11. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    In my opinion the last thing you want to play a 5-string through is a ported cab, unless it's tuned specifically for that type of duty (cabs like that are few and far between) OR you've taken steps to prevent damage at or slightly below box tuning, which you'd have to calculate (subsonic filter in the effects loop, for example, and that can be done in various ways). For that reason alone, I'd choose the MB15. It can handle about 65% of its 200 watts all the way down to 20 Hz, which leaves you a decent safety margin for B string use. Add the 115MB and you can run it wide open with no risk of damaging either driver due to overexcursion.
  12. My experience has been the opposite. When I've gone through cabs (210s, 112s, 410s, 115s) that are not ported, they usually don't sound 'open' enough for me and I generally don't care for the overall tone. I don't really do much math when buying cabs, as I tend to rely on past experiences through a variety of cabs with my gear and how I like things to sound. My specs are usually "Loud Enough", "Light Enough" and 'Sounds Like What I Need it to Sound Like". Other people prefer different things and that's great. I know what has worked for me. If I didn't already own so much Carvin stuff, I would be happy to have an MB15 w/the extension cab.

    That's why porting/no porting was not in the list of advantages. It's just a difference.

    Either one of the combos the OP listed will likely do him just fine.

Share This Page