Will a Carvin MB10 work for me?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by walt68, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. walt68


    Apr 14, 2012
    My combo amps seem to become heavier each year, for some reason ;) and I need to find a lightweight replacement, but the choices seem bewildering.

    I play with a small jazz combo and an old-time fiddle group, using a passive Carvin 4-string bass with nylon tape-wound strings (trying to approximate the tone of an upright). Most of the time, my 50-watt Ampeg is loud enough, but occasionally I need the old Peavey TNT 130 (with 130 watts and a 15" speaker).

    I'm intrigued by the MB10, for its light weight and its tone controls, but I've seen conflicting reviews.

    Can it be made to sound warm, perhaps by use of the Drive control or Contour?
    Can it possibly put out as much sound as the Peavey, on an outdoor gig?

    Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  2. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    That MB10 won't do it for you. Not even close.

    If you fancy the BX250 head, which is what's inside that MB10, then consider getting only the head from Carvin. Then go find a 1x15 Neo cab in the 40 pound range. Gallien makes one and I'm sure there are others.

    You could also get the MB15 combo, and keep an 115MB extension cabinet at home for when more is needed. But you do have to boost the hell out of the bass with those little boxes. (I mean full bass boost, some hi para cut at around 450-500, and maybe even some contour, like maybe 10 o'clock.) It also helps to line those cabs to cut back their tendency to bark in the midrange.
  3. walt68


    Apr 14, 2012
    Thanks, craig.p

    The MB10 does sound too good to be true, and the Carvin website's alleged demos are useless (demonstrating the players' skills more than the amps).

    I tried a GK112 and a GK115 at a local dealer the other day. They both had plenty of power, but I found the GK115 to be too bass-heavy. I also found with that I liked the tone of both with the contour switch engaged.

    Neither struck me as particularly warm sounding, but if the Carvin's are as deficient as you say, I'll give the GK112 another listen.
  4. Direct Box Rox

    Direct Box Rox Silence = Deaf

    Feb 12, 2012
    The MB10 would be perfect. I've had mine for almost year now and love, love it. Even though the controls pretty much stay put now, you can dial up a barrage of different tones. The extra features like XLR out, extention cab input, tuner input, parametric EQ are nice touches.

    I would say to go ahead & order one. Worst case scenario; you play it at a gig and dont like it - send it back for a full refund (minus shipping).
  5. Direct Box Rox

    Direct Box Rox Silence = Deaf

    Feb 12, 2012
    I also wanted to mention the price point as well. You can't go wrong. I've owned SWR's, Edens and Ampegs. Any combo with 250w is going to be $700+. I am really happy with this combo and would order from Carvin again.
  6. tomana


    Apr 12, 2012
    Feature rich for sure
  7. walt68


    Apr 14, 2012
    Agonizing over the choices, it just occurred to my that my LB20 bass with tape wound strings is pretty thin in the low end. So maybe I should be considering the MB15.

    FWIW.... playing it through my Ampeg B100R, I cut the mids and boost the bass to get a nice sound.

    Any further thoughts?
  8. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    I would look at the MB210 combo. Now you have 200w going into a pair of ten inch speakers instead of one, giving you more girth and volume naturally. You can still add an extension if you need it, but for the type of music you play I doubt you’ll need it. I really like the design of the MB210, with the “vertical-style” woofers.
  9. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland

    Feb 11, 2003

    Try the Carvin MB15.
    A loud 250 watts, small, lightweight, sounds good.
  10. If the MB (Micro Bass) series seems a bit underpowered for your use, then Carvin also has their BR series combos. 500 watt instead of 250 for the MB. The 500 head section has greater EQ options than the 250 version does. I've decided to get the BR with the 15in driver. Now saving up.