Thoughts on the Carvin MB15 considering the "going-out-of-business-price?"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikeddd, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Lots of threads and reviews out there on the Carvin MB15. Yes, the cab is small for a 15" driver. No, thunderous dub tones probably not found here.

    But, with the new going out of business pricing at $314 SHIPPED, I'm taking a hard look at this for a small gigging amp/practice amp. See here: MB15 Micro Bass Amp 15 Inch

    There are cheaper combo amps out there, but not many with such a flexible EQ section. That is a big plus in my book.

    I currently have a fEARful 15/6/1 and a racked pre/pro amp rig. Flexible, mighty loud and tasty tones but it's still a lot to lug.

    So considering all we know about the MB15 and taking into account it's pretty much a steal price, what are the collective's thoughts on it now?

    Oh my. Carvin is selling it new for $285 shipped on Ebay! MB15 Micro Bass Amp 15 Inch (NEW) | eBay

    I may just have to pull the trigger. Appreciate your thoughts.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  2. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    I bought an MB10 from the Carvin web site about a month before they went out of business, and I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread! Awesome tones from this thing and it's LOUD. I liked its tonality so much that I went out and got a BX500 head shortly afterwards. I am not bothered by the fact CarvinAudio are out of business . If Carvin (liquidators) would still ship to Canada I would be all over one of those ebay MB15s. Maybe two! Seriously, I would love to have a couple more of these little combos to leave in different rooms...
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
    FingerDub, Mpike, kpc and 1 other person like this.
  3. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Well, this is sort of typical...after reading CAREFULLY I see the disclaimer "ALL SALES FINAL NO EXCHANGE WARRANTY OR REFUNDS".

    Well, darn it! I'm OK with no long-term warranty, but what if I get a dead or problematic amp? I can change fuses or even solder something obviously out of place but what if say, I get an amp with a dead Class D amp module? Then what? Chances are low, sure, but....

    As the old saying goes, "There is no free lunch."

    I wonder if some of the combos for sale are previous returns? Definitely possible. Funny how you can talk yourself out of things sometimes. But damn, that's a good price for what you get...assuming it works off the bat and continues to work...
    FenderB likes this.
  4. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Well, the Ebay sale states this : " You are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee - opens in a new window or tab if you received an item that is not as described in the listing." It might be a big hassle if it arrives DOA, but, Carvin states the item is " new ", so it just might be worth it if you want it bad enough. The Carvin liquidation sale has it's own thread, iirc, and the discussion included what happens down the road, if the amp goes south. Obviously Carvin is not gonna do anything for you, but I can't help but think that any competent tech would be able to fix any obvious faults. You puts down your money and you takes your chances !
  5. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    The schematic is on their website. Worse case would be a pay for repair somewhere. IMO not likely. The DOA rate is probably the same as before they went under. I might be more hesitant for a $400 or $500 bit of gear.

    I bought some spare speakers at the beginning of the closeout, about $200 total. One got lost in shipping and they sent another. Of course, it's your choice if it's worth the risk, but I think the risk is minimal, and if you buy e-bay and get the protection, you should be pretty well covered.

    Also, on ebay, click this: 1-year protection from Assurant - $13.99
  6. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    The Carvin website price is the same as the combo sold for a year ago with warranty. The eBay price is a 10% discount. This is not "liquidation" pricing, folks.
    cchorney, ColdEye, BadExample and 4 others like this.
  7. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    I think it's a great amp, bought one a couple of years ago along with the 115MBE extension cabinet, had Carvin add neo speakers to both, which makes them even more light weight, $815 shipped to Los Angeles.
    kpc likes this.
  8. kpc


    Apr 6, 2011
    Shame about them. I have two of their amps. The BX500 and 700. I use them all the time. Great amps.
  9. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. I did search for "MB15" but didn't search for "Carvin Liquidation", so sorry for any duplication.

    As Carvin is defunct at this point, they won't be fixing anything nor supplying spare parts down the road. But these amps wouldn't be the first amps being played by bassists around the world that are no longer manufacturer-supported. We all probably have at least one piece of gear that falls into that category.

    If I buy it'll definitely be through EBay to get the cheaper price and whatever additional protections I can get through them. This isn't the only "cheap combo" out there but it does look to be the most full-featured, when comparing it to your average single 12" or single 15" combo amp. To get more you have to go bigger and pay a lot more and the purpose of this buy would be "Cheap gigging/practice amp."

    Thanks again! Appreciate the input.
  10. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Did that also include free shipping ?
  11. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Yeah, I've been seeing this as a "reason" for not purchasing any Carvin products at this point.

    Pretty asinine considering all the out-of-production products still on the market being sold and used.

    Even worst case scenario, you spend $200-300 bucks on an outlet item with no warranty, and get 5-10+ years of service out of it. Often TB members will have gone through a few amps in that amount of time. Tons of Carvin RL gear still out there getting abused every night.

    and... I'm done! :D

    JRA, Lvjoebass and packhowitzer like this.
  12. FenderB


    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Why did you think they would take it back if they're going out of business?
  13. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    My logic is that the items are not marked "AS-IS", which to me isn't the same thing as "All sales final." The former implies "Whatever state it's in, that's what you get." The latter implies "No refunds".

    Therefore, if they sold me an amp that was DOA, I would think they would be obligated to take it back and either refund the full purchase price or provide a working item.
    JRA likes this.
  14. mmbass21

    mmbass21 Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2016
    I'm hoping to nab a BX700 if they still have them once their website hits 40-50% off. I'm not concerned about warranty, just as risky buying used IMO.
    JRA likes this.
  15. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Carvin is already out of business. All that’s left is a building containing various units. These the liquidators are selling for as much as they can. There are no refunds, exchanges or warranty given. What you get is yours whether it works or not.

    I find it extremely sad that a great family owned business has collapsed from what I understand to be family bickering over money.
    mikeddd likes this.
  16. bobomatic


    Jan 15, 2018
    I own an MB15! Just did my first band practice with it the other day paired with an Acoustic BN210 as an extension cab. 250 loud watts, all the volume I’m gonna need. Solid EQ section, being small it’s a little barky in the mids so the contour knob is a nice thing to have. Sounds awesome with my 4003SW, brings that Rick tone out like a boss. Definitely a little shy on low end but that’s the price of portability. Only complaint is the drive isn’t what you’d expect... it doesn’t necessarily get dirty. In the interest of keeping it econo I’m waiting on a BDI21 to get a little warm filth out of it.

    TL/DR I’d recommend this little beast, especially if you can hook up an extension to get the most out of it!

    Attached Files:

    mikewalker likes this.
  17. mikeddd


    Nov 12, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Nice rig, bobomatic. Thank you for sharing your experience with the MB15. I'm probably going to pull the trigger on either the 15 or the 210...trying to read as many reviews as possible to get a good read on one vs. the other. With the small, sealed box 15", a ton of real low-end just isn't physically possible. That said, it comes down to punch. A single 15" in a sealed box or two 10's in a sealed box? That is the question.

    I have always been interested in Carvin gear, even though I've never owned any. Several times over the years, I had a Carvin bass build in the cart, but never pulled the trigger.

    I'm viewing this fire sale as a chance to get a pretty nicely appointed practice/small gig amp for not a lot of coin. A solid 200/250 watts, the ability to add an extension cab, the DI and the EQ section all in one package is very tempting at this price.
  18. Bass4Gsus


    Feb 13, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    I saw the initial post and the email regarding the "going out of business" They still talked about the future and their options. That struck me odd. The liquidations prices are too close to what they were charging before they were "going out of business". I want a much bigger discount at this point for no warranty, no possibility for service or parts. Liquidating in my mind should be greater than 50% discount, but that's my opinion.

    I have the MB12 I purchased for my Upright bass, the BX500 and the BRX2-10 neo's for my Carvin BB-5 and BB-5FL both 5 strings and I'm very happy with all the gear. My RedLine 1K stack still going strong and feels even heavier each year. I've had very minor issues in the past and they always came through. Everyone has minor issues over that span of time. I am sad they are going out of business

    But now they claim they are out of business, I really feel a bigger discount is appropriate.

    And get the schematics while you can, I did.

    Check with Ebay what your options are if sold as is and it arrives dead. Give it a good work out quickly while you have recourse and if good it should hopefully stay that way for a while.

    cchorney and mikeddd like this.
  19. Rick James

    Rick James Inactive

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    I've got a nice new never driven Pontiac you can buy, you can have it for 50% off. :cool:
  20. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    There are too many other manufacturers out there, IMO.
    CapnSev and Mowbro like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Aug 1, 2021

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