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Carvin BX500 thoughts?


zeronyne

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Yeah, I've gigged that amp for almost two years now. Its loud and has a great eq section. Its very transparent in that if you play great, it sounds great. It has a preamp tube that doesn't do anything, if you want a warm tubey sound? I don't know I can't get it out of this amp. But its light and I can get sizzling highs out of it. I love it for outdoor gigs because of that. When I play out, I have PA support so I'm always hearing the FOH low end and no matter the amp I'm backing off on the lows and boosting the high mids. This amp is great for that. It really shimmers for me in the higher registers. Pretty durable for a 6lb unit and definitely a keeper. Its just a very aggressive, snarly and in your face kind of tone I think. But the preamp tube doesn't do anything.
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It has a preamp tube that doesn't do anything, if you want a warm tubey sound? I don't know I can't get it out of this amp.

 

Generally, a preamp tube will only add a bit of grit to the sound -- it won't give you a warm, tubey sound.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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It has a preamp tube that doesn't do anything, if you want a warm tubey sound? I don't know I can't get it out of this amp.

 

Generally, a preamp tube will only add a bit of grit to the sound -- it won't give you a warm, tubey sound.

 

The only hybrid head that I've found was able to offer that big, warm, tubey sound was a GK Fusion 550. That particular amp has a series of 4 in line tubes in the preamp section. I've had at least a couple of other hybrid heads with a single preamp tube, and none really gave that genuine tube amp warmth.

 

As for the Carvin? The power rating sounds great. But I've always been leery of them for some reason. Probably because of how they do business, with their direct to consumer model. Granted, that seems to be the way the musical instrument business is going. But I've always wanted to at least have the opportunity to try a piece of gear out in a shop before purchasing it.

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I get a lot of use out of my XP600L powered mixer for bass and for solo act PA. Two years old, no problems. Light and loud and clean. I assume the poweramp sections are identical, or at least closely related. On the BX500, it's got that mad switch on the back to be able to handle a 2 ohm load. I'd dig that 'cause I've a couple 4 ohm cabinets arranged for use with my Ashdown Superfly, which sucks.

 

Others on other lists have said that they replaced the tube in the tube preamp section for better results. Not being a tube guy, I've nothing to add to that conversation.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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I also have a Genz shuttle 6.2 that has a preamp tube and utilizing the tube (up around 3:00) really makes for a nice creamy tone. Not so on the BX500, that drive knob just gets crazy clean and loud. I used the Carvin last night on top of a couple of vertically stacked Av B210s and my SR5. Took me towards the middle of the second set to tame it a bit, what a beast. That being said, the better I hear, the better I play.
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Generally, a preamp tube will only add a bit of grit to the sound -- it won't give you a warm, tubey sound.

I beg to disagree. Every recording studio in the country is using tube preamps to warm up the sound of their digital recordings.

 

I've got the Genz Benz Shuttle with a tube channel and a solid-state channel. The tube channel is warmer. If you push the preamp section, you'll get some grit. I never do that.

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I'm loving the Genz Benz Streamliner 900 I've been gigging, with its three 12AX7 tubes in the front end and 900 watts of Class D headroom. It's more reminiscent of the Kern IP-777 preamp (three or four tubes, I forget) I used to have than, single tube unit I've played just can't be compared. For example, while I love the tweakability and features of the Shuttlemax 9.2 I've been playing with, its single 12AX7 doesn't even come close.

 

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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Generally, a preamp tube will only add a bit of grit to the sound -- it won't give you a warm, tubey sound.

I beg to disagree. Every recording studio in the country is using tube preamps to warm up the sound of their digital recordings.

 

I've got the Genz Benz Shuttle with a tube channel and a solid-state channel. The tube channel is warmer. If you push the preamp section, you'll get some grit. I never do that.

 

I can only speak from my experience with Peavey T-Max and Eden WT-550 heads -- no big tube sound like an Ampeg SVT, but a bit of grit and grind from the 12AX7A tube.

 

Your mileage may vary.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Good luck, 0-9.

 

I haven't played the Carvin head, but I tend not to love a bunch of controls on my amp, which the Carvin has. I like my GB Shuttle 9.0. I very much like the GK 500MB, and assume the GK 800MB is similarly luvlii w/ more oomph.

 

There is a noticable difference between preamp tube and power amp tube saturation.

 

Yes!

 

This is why I like the Warwick Quad preamp I have and why I like the SWR Interstellar Overdrive preamp. Both have a power tube packed inside, and I've dug that.

 

Peace.

--s-uu

 

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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I haven't played the Carvin head, but I tend not to love a bunch of controls on my amp, which the Carvin has.

 

I agree with that. It'd be cool if it had the power it has with the front panel of it's little 250 watt brother. Sister. Whatever.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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... or a pre/power to get the most oomph out of those Acmes.

 

Agree. I used a QSC PLX 1602 with a Demeter VTBP201 in a 4 space rack for years. Plenty of power, but the difference of lugging a 25+ pound rack and two cabs versus a 5 pound amp (ShuttleMax 12.0) and the two cabs made a world of difference.

 

Maybe I could hear the difference - but with 5 female vocalists, a horn section and 4 piece rhythm section - I doubt any one else did?

 

Recording may be an entirely different matter...

Jim

Confirmed RoscoeHead

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The thing is though, with this little box its only 6lbs and fits in a laptop bag. And it can get just stupid loud, I mean CLEAN loud. I used to run a QSC RMX1450 for power a few years ago and this thing just smokes it. And all those knobs on the front actually do something, even the graphic has all the right frequency sliders. The only downside to this amp is that it might as well not have a tube. I don't know why they even put it in there, it must be a marketing thing because it doesn't do anything.
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  • 3 weeks later...
The new Carvin catalog came today. There's new bass heads that are interesting. So consider that, or I'll bet the BX500's go on blowout sale soon. Check Carvin's eBay store; that's were they unload stuff.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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Mine came today as well and actually gave them a call to check out the SB5000 & B50 basses. Prior to receiving this today I had seen a B50 for sale on TB that looked really nice.

 

If any of you reading this have one of these basses please let me know.

 

Thanks,

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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Wally I've owned (but unfortunately sold) a SB5000. It is a true secret in the bass world. The new J 99 pickups sound fantastic and their preamp is surprisingly musical. When I'm back in the market for an active jazz, I'll order another one. Currently playing two passive US fender jazz V's, a 1997 and a 2013 that each have their own character.

 

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r279/rizzo9247/20140113_175851_zpsmboo6hp2.jpg

 

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Wally I've owned (but unfortunately sold) a SB5000. It is a true secret in the bass world.

 

Carvin makes a nice bass. The LB70 is a nice instrument, too. Neckthru rather than bolt-on like the SB series. When I got mine I didn't love the stock electronics and replaced w/ Bartolini (pre and p'ups). (Oh, and shameless plug: I'm selling mine now in an effort to thin the herd.)

 

I played a SB4000 shortly after they came out at one of the Carvin California sites. It was a nice instrument.

 

Peace.

--SW

 

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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The B50 for sale at TB is trans green with a maple board and cream pickups. the owner is from Jersey and lives off of Exit 82. It hasn't moved yet and I don't see others interested: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f126/fs-trans-green-carvin-b50-w-h50a-pups-all-passive-%24750-bo-1041337/#post15381719

 

I'm considering making an offer but also looking at the SB5000 or a new B50 direct from Carvin.

 

Looks like the link above needs to be copied and pasted.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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