Respond to This

Carvin BX1200

Yesterday, I received the Carvin BX1200 bass head from Carvin. This is a pretty cool box, all in all. It allows input from active or passive instruments, has drive (some fuzz) and compression (doesn't do anything I can hear) knobs, a mute switch, a switchable graphic 9-band EQ, a 5-band semi-parametric EQ, a switchable effects loop.

It also has three modes: Standard mode sends the same signal to each cab except for wattage, so if you have two cabs that have different limits, you can control this. Bi-amp mode does the same, except there's an internal crossover so if you have a 15" cab and a 4x10 (as I do), you can send low frequencies (as dialed) to the 15", as well as controlling wattage.

Finally, there's a bridged mode that sends 1200w into 4 ohms (in my case, 2 chained 8-ohm cabs).

A couple hours of trial and error showed me that the bi-amp/standard switch really does make a difference, the drive knob works, the graphic EQ does a good job. I had some stuff in the room really rattling at certain frequencies, and I was able to use the parametrics to notch those frequencies out without affecting the sound much at all.

Overall, the flat sound is nice and neutral, and there is a LOT more clean power than I could ever want to use; the loudest I can tolerate is about halfway up on both the bass volume and the amp master volume - and in the active input. The passive input requires that I turn everything WAY down.

Now, the effects loop proved a little disturbing. I hit the mute switch, and ran a cable from "effects send" into the "in" hole on my trusty flanger, and a cable from the flanger's "out" hole to the "effects receive" on the amp. The flangers red light is supposed to come on when I press the pedal, but it didn't ever light up. Odd...

Then I turn the mute off, and the speakers produced very loud static. I could turn off this static either by switching the effects loop out of the circuit on the amp, or pressing the flanger pedal once. In either case, of course, no flanging.

So I switched the flanger back in, and the speakers started producing pops and a horrible wailing sound. I tried fiddling with some of the knobs on the flanger, and got a really loud POW!!! - and then complete silence. The amp would not produce any more sound at all.

So I switched off the effects loop on the amp, and it worked fine. Switch the flanger back into the loop, no sound. Press the flanger's pedal, no change. Unplug the cables from the flanger, still no sound with the amp's effects loop enabled. Remove the effects cables from the amp, and it works fine with or without the effects loop enabled. Plug in the effects cables (but just hanging loose, no effects) and the amp is silent. Apparently if there are cables in the effects loop, you better have a complete circuit to get any sound from the amp. Also from the headphones, which are post-effects loop.

Now, indications are that the flanger itself smoked. Would the amp have smoked the flanger? Do I dare buy another effect and plug it in? This flanger worked perfectly with my last amp.

Well, for now I don't need any effects. Other than that, the amp seems great. It even has a knob to determine output to the DI. I'm using speakon cables.
Responses (continued)  [ Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 ]

Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

11/7/2006 3:54 PM

Ivan Thuringer (41017) wrote:

Congrats on your new Carvin!



Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

11/7/2006 4:09 PM

Flint Cowden (2941) wrote:

Thank you, Ivan. I confidently expect I'm going to enjoy this amp a LOT more than my neighbors will!

Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

2/27/2008 5:27 AM

Paul Reagan (36) wrote:

I bought the stack with 18 inch woofer and the 4 tens I added the footswitch as well which allows the EQ to be turned on and off This is a great amp I spent a alot of time on the phone with Carvin since the manual SUCKS Several of the guys I talked to were very helpfull The bi amp feature allows you to really fine tune your sound I have hooked up as many as 4 cabinets with it as well and it really pushes them. My guitarists now tell me to turn the f--k down



Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

2/27/2008 9:38 AM

Flint Cowden (2941) wrote:

I have recently plugged a couple more stomp boxes into the effects loop, and they work just fine, so I think the amp had nothing to do with smoking the flanger.

Yeah, I really like the bi-amp feature with the crossover frequency you can dial. Lots of power, too. And it runs very cool and quiet. A good product.

Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

2/27/2008 10:30 AM

Douglas Wyatt (6811) wrote:

Flint,
I think you are really going to enjoy the Carvin head. I hve owned three of their basses and two of three of their amps. I have only had trouble with one amp, and that was when I actually dropped it. Best of luck.
Doug

P.S.
Did you get your bass straightend out that had all the neck troubles?



Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

2/27/2008 11:12 AM

Flint Cowden (2941) wrote:

Doug,

I've been enjoying the Carvin amp for about 16 months now, not a bit of trouble. I get a lot of use out of the switch that turns the graphic EQ on and off - I can have a custom EQ for one bass that way. The semi-parametrics let me adjust to the room. It's a nice box.

As for the bass with the neck troubles, well, um. After dicking with this thing for 5 months, I think there are two separate issues. The first is that it's a thin neck for all the tension on it, and it's going to swing back and forth with the temperature and humidity. I've become quite adept at adjusting the truss rod (about twice a week) and the bridge saddles (once or twice a day). This isn't a big deal; I like the thin neck.

But the other issue is that when the action gets too low, it's always the same strings at the same fret. I suspect a slight wave in the fretboard. Possibly this can be corrected with a little fret leveling (fairly simple); possibly this requires leveling the fingerboard itself, which is major surgery involving removing all the frets. That's a scary prospect.

But as things stand, I can quickly get the neck perfectly playable anytime it isn't. And the bass is well balanced and sounds great. Probably the rock-stable necks of the Tobias and Modulus have spoiled me. Maybe I need to learn to live with higher action on this bass?



Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

2/28/2008 10:03 PM

Douglas Wyatt (6811) wrote:

I do not mind having the string height a little high, as long as it is not a chore to press the strings down. If it is not too noticilble to you, I wouldn't worry much about it.
I do think you should contact the luthier (Benovente?)and give him the idea of whats going on. There may be a particular problem he has dealt with before. His company and products have been too good for this it would seem.
You may be right on the unlevel fretboard since it has been doing some twisting and turning and other weird things. I wish you well.
Yeah, those Tobias and Modulas Graphite basses are a dream. Of all the high end basses, I would think the Modulas jobs just might be the one that is really worth all the money. I will have one when I make my first million dollars teaching :)
Doug



Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

2/29/2008 2:37 PM

Flint Cowden (2941) wrote:

I plan to alert Benavente someday maybe soon, but since it's really never a hard adjustment (just frequent and annoying), I'm not in any big hurry. It has a lifetime warranty.

This is a 7-string and used for chords. High action makes chords tough.

And while I'm at it, I'll once again trumpet the virtues of this Tobias bass. Gibson is producing wonderful instruments. If they made a 7-string, I'd sell the Benavente and buy a Tobias on the spot. The Modulus, well, it's fretless and I'm still struggling with that feature. The neck is permanently perfect, of course.

Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

2/27/2008 11:07 AM

Bill Carollo (1468) wrote:

Congratulations on the new amp! I used to have a Carvin, albeit, MUCH smaller! It was really good. It had great sound. I hope you enjoy it.
Bill

Respond to this

Re: Carvin BX1200

2/28/2008 10:53 PM

Brian Buckham (26315) wrote:

Congrats Flint. I still have the B800 and it's bulletproof. Have fun

More Responses  [ Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 ]