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CARVIN AMPS...reliable?


Mr. Phil

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I am finally going to get a new amp because my crate BX100 jsut cant keep up. I was looking at the Carvin RL610 full stack ( RL610 ). I've heard some of the older amps weren't reliable and the speakers werent too good. But these are before the Red Line series. I see that Philip Bynoe (bassist with steve vai) uses the same amp i want to get. Also John Entwhistle used a Redline i think. I've read some otehr reviews on it and it seems like a very good amp. Especially for the money. I had tried out a used RL1000 through a SWR 4x10 with 1 blown speaker and it sounded great (besides the blown speaker). I just to get some opinions on the Red Line amps because the older stuff i saw had bad reviews and if you guys could give me some first hand experiences, it would help me a lot.

 

If I dont get this amp, I was thinking of getting a Hartke 350 or 550 (the one with the graphic EQ). Which speakers would go good with that amp that arent too expensive? I wanted to get 1 big speaker (15") and maybe a 2x10 or 4x10.

 

Thanks

~Phil

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phil,

 

I'm not going to be much help. I've tried out used Carvin 600's and 1000's in stores. I didn't see anything wrong with them, but that's not a reliability test.

 

I don't see how you could test the sound of an amp with one blown driver in a cab. You might want to retest it with another cab even if it forces you to a lower sound level. Do this to confirm that all the tone controls work and that you can get the sounds that you want.

 

I don't recall John E playing Carvin, but others may know more. He was most recently endorsing Ashdown.

 

I don't think you can say that certain speakers go with certain amps. Playing through a rig is a combination experience, and both the amp and speakers create the sound that you hear. When I bought my Bergantino, I dragged my head and guitar into the shop so I could listen to all of the speakers that were available. That way, I had a good idea what it would sound like when I got it home.

 

I think the Hartke models are 4 digits - 3500, 4000. The bassist at the jam I've been visiting has a 3500 and likes it. I think it's OK if you get a decent deal on it, but I'd be tempted to take the Carvin. But then again, I'm playing out of a 70s guitar head :freak: that needs to be replaced.

Use your ears along with reliability comments from here. Also, read through back threads - there are brands that the majority avoid.

 

Keep visiting stores, try out lots of combinations of stuff, and then go back another day and try what you liked again. Bring your own bass.

 

Good Luck !!

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Also any idea why carvin would Raise the price of the amp from $1089 to $1145 and the shipping from $65 to $90?
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OK i dont think that one speaker was blown, it just was loose or something and it hit the steel grille when i palyed a low note.

 

BTW i tried it out with the bass i have (SR405) and this SWEEEEEEEET Spector Neck Through bass that was used. I think it used to be like $2000 or more new and now there are lots of dents and scratches on it and one of the knobs is weird. Im almost tempted to buy that instead of the amp. Its only $670.

 

And yea i forgot the last 0 on the hartke models.

 

Im gonna have to call Carvin and see if I can get a deal on that amp. Buy it for the lower price in the catalogue.

............... :P

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*BUMP*

I could really use some more insight on this please. thanks

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Phil,

 

I have an R600 that Ive used as part of my big rig now for over 4 years and it always sounded great. I bought the amp used and the only thing Ive ever had go wrong is a bit of noise on the pre volume pot. Before the R600 I had a SWR SM400 which always had problems. One of the nicest things about the amp is the eq....eq alllllll day long. I run my amp mono through an SWR Goliath II and have never had to turn the volume above 4.5.....ever, the amp is loud. And it is loud without sacrificing tone.

 

ikestr

...hertz down low....
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You mentioned Hartke amps and I would just like to tell you that I have a Hartke 5000 head and do not like it at all. I play a Stingray with it through a Hartke 4x10 or an Ashdown 15, and I can't seem to get a good tone out of it. Try it out and hear for yourself, you might like a different tone than I do. As for my Hartke head, it is getting replaced as soon as I get enough money together.

 

Sorry, I don't have any experience playing through Carvins so I can't help you there.

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I've been using a Carvin RC210-18 (600w 2x10" 1x18") for a little over a year now. I am pleased with both the sound and performance of the amp. I'm certainly not overworking the amp. I originally bought it, because I was tired of being lost in the mix of loud drummers and guitar players. And the amp fixed that problem.

Good Luck, ;)

Bobby

My family "coat of arms" buckles in the back. Is that normal?
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Originally posted by phil6006:

Also any idea why carvin would Raise the price of the amp from $1089 to $1145 and the shipping from $65 to $90?

Because the economy sucks and they are trying to stay keep a profit margin, pay their employees, and keep he lights on - perhaps?

 

One of my gigging, recording, and all-around bass playing friends has purchased a Carvin head and 410 cabinet used. He has been very pleased with the Customer Service department at Carvin - who helped him even though he bought their stuff used. When he bought the head he had the tube replaced (he has an older model with a real tube) and got it cleaned (less that $50?) and has had no reliability problems at all. He is also very tone-conscious, and likes what he gets out of his rig.

- Matt W.
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Originally posted by NuB-bass:

Because the economy sucks and they are trying to stay keep a profit margin, pay their employees, and keep he lights on - perhaps?[/QB]

I dont think Carvin will have a problem will $$$ if they are selling basses and guitars for more than 700 -1000 each. Those Legacy Vai guitar amps are pretty expensive too.

 

I wonder why... Its not much of a price hike but, still.. WHY?

 

I think i could definetely bargin my way with a SAlesperson on the phone saying that i never looked online at it. Thats the price in the Catalogue and I want it!!

What are they gonna say, "NO we want to suck you dry of your money!!" I think they would sell me the amp for about $50 less than not sell it to me at all.

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I was just mouthing off, and I shouldn't assume anything - you may be an Economist hanging out with us simple funkateers. But there are a lot of costs to running a business that consumers don't understand.

 

I agree that it was a bit shocking when I visited the website and saw they had a price hike, also because the catalog I have is from earlier this year.

- Matt W.
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I've gotta add, I've had sales-reps on the phone when placing orders (Carvin as well as other companies, non-music gear, who deal direct) who informed me when the price I had read was incorrect... and was now lower than before! These people are just doing their job, please don't give them a hassle and take undue advantage of them, especially over such a relatively small amount of cash. And, it's not like you don't know about the new price- you'd be lying! Hypothetically, if one of them gives in to you and sells for the former price, they could possibly get fired for a bad judgement call.

 

And, I have my doubts that they would, or should, make an exception on the price; it's no different than if you had an old catalog and hadn't received the newest one yet with some higher, and some lower prices printed in it.

 

Besides, they take the risk of offering you such a great "real-world" return policy, just in case you don't like the sound or even the color of the amp! Please refer to the above post by the guy with the Hartke amp that he wishes he had never bought! I bet he would be happier if they had that kind of return policy!

 

Also, Carvin has an awsome customer support and service. I've had a couple of their amps- a stereo tube power-amp and a little 33-watt guitar amp- that I purchased used, and when I called them up for schematics, manuals, parts, advice, and refurb/tech-service, they treated me better than many companies treat their new-purchase customers! (Yes, I told them I was not the original purchaser, that the amps were very used... )

 

They may have decided to go with a better component or something to improve the tone or reliability, they are always doing that with their products, whenever something seems like it is an issue with customer feedback... and these things can affect the price, both ways!

 

As far as I've seen, Carvin amps are quite reliable, and if you do have any trouble, their customer support is excellent.

 

And, finally, I'll say that I do not work for them, never have, and never knew anyone who did, to the best of my knowledge...

 

Good luck, regardless! -k

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I love my R1000.

Here's an idea... just buy the Head from Carvin, and then buy a 2x10 and 1x15 from Avatar... the total will come to around 1145 with shipping included for all 3 pieces... and everything I have heard or read says Avatar Cabs outperform Carvins by a long shot... and they use better Eminence drivers than Carvin's name brand speakers.

(Do a search on the forums for Carvin Amps and/or Avatar cabs and you'll see my glowing reviews in there all over the place...)

Avatar Speakers

 

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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Just to clarify..... I use an Avatar 4x10 and have never played through a Carvin cab of any size, except I think my highschool band had a Carvin bass cab about 15 years ago... but my Avatar sounds great.

 

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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