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BX1500 amp disappointment
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BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:14 am Reply with quote  
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  SotR59
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Last week I purchased a BX1500 amp to upgrade from my R600 II. I wound up picking the 1500 after realizing I really did like the extra versatilily whether I need that much power or not.
But I am very disappointed with the tone of the BX1500. I messed with it for hours finally thinking maybe there was something wrong with my speakers or FX or cords or basses etc etc. So I plugged in my R600 and the sound was like night and day. Nothing I could do with the BX1500 could give me the rich and complex tone I get with my old amp just set totally flat.
I was wondering if maybe the Class D amps just don't have the tone of the old standards or what is going on.
I've spent the last 4 days A/B-ing both amps and just cannot get a tone out of the BX1500 that I like, and nothing in comparison to my R600. It honestly just sounds muffled now matter what the settings. Sorta like the sound is coming through a blanket over the speaker cabinet. Then when I switch over to the R600 it's like the sun just suddenly came out.
I tried everything in every combination with and with-out anything in the signal chain.
I'm really bummed. This is the first time in my 30+ years of buying Carvin gear that I was anything less than thrilled. But I've already re-packed the amp to ship it back.
Any thoughts on this?

George

Various items used: BASSES--MTD Kingston, Fender Jaguar, BC Rich Innovator, Ibanez Destroyer, OLP MMIII... CABINETS--Carvin 2x10 redeye w/Carvin neo's, GK 2x12 w/Eminence, Hartke 4x10 XL, Hartke 1x15 XL... FX-- BBE sonic maximizer, Digitech bass chorus, Digitech Bass synth-wah, Korg Ampworks bass multi.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:21 pm Reply with quote  
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  BigSkyBassGuy
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Hi, George - hey, I'll take your BX1500 off your hands for $50.

I guess bass amps are like underwear - sometimes they're a perfect fit, or we just learn to live in them... or we just go freeballing, and that's that.

It's funny, when you get onto the fEARful forum - TalkBass, too -- the BX1500 is all the rage. It's what lots of bass mooks are using. Big bang for little bucks. My BX1500 - bridged into my fEARful 15/6 cab - to me - is stunning bass. I couldn't be happier. Even my band guys, who are quite the audiophile snots, have commented on how fab and big my new rig sounds.

You've certainly had a chance to dial in the amp tones by now. Maybe in fact there IS something wrong with your new amp. But I wouldn't suffer through it... call Carvin and tell them your concerns. Bitch a little. They may send you a second try amp. Worst case, take advantage of their 30-day moolah-back guarantee and ship your bad dog back to them. Best of luck.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:51 pm Reply with quote  
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  SotR59
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yeah, I'm not sure what to think. I'm usually not real picky about my bass amps, if they have power, headroom and a basically decent tone I can work with it and find a setting that pleases me. But this BX1500 just sounds weird. Like I said about the only description I can give is sounding like a blanket is over the speakers. Even with all the knobs boosted and the G-eq all treble it still has an odd muffled tone.
Wait, something just crossed my mind. The sound is like the speakers are wired backwards so the cones are sucking in instead of pushing out. I wonder if the speaker out jacks or the internal wiring is incorrect. Hmmm....
George
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  Wayne
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I don't have this amp my amp is a bx250 sounds great , but I played a R 1000 and it sounded muddy and I found the biamp switch was on and I was only getting the sub lows changed that to full tone and that fixed it I am a one finger typing person the only reason I am typing now is I hate it that you spent your money and time and your not please so I might help
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:00 pm Reply with quote  
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  mariosangermano
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I have the BX1200 and It sounds awesome. I know it's not class D like the BX1500,but I've played the BX1500 through the BRX 10.4 NEO at NAMM this past year and it sounded awesome as well. I was using my SB5000 fretted and fretless. Just sounds great! Very Happy
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  BigSkyBassGuy
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Wayne has a valid point with the crossover. I've goofed around with the xover in the past, and was able to achieve that "blanket" tone. You've got lows to low and highs to high, I presume? Something is just weird, because if anything, people comment that this amp - set flat - is sort of middy... but never muddy. Wonder if its circuitry has a bad hooty?
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:36 am Reply with quote  
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  Chucko
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My limited experience with the Redline series is that it's a very different voicing from the BX series. I happen to be a big fan of the BX, and not happy with the Redline voicing. But someone who loved the Redline voicing might have a hard time with the BX.

Two suggestions before you send it back: play with the Contour control a bit more; use the semi-parametric mid to dial up a deep cut at 250 or 500 Hz. Those should make it sound more like a Redline head.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:00 pm Reply with quote  
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  SotR59
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Yeah, I've pretty much messed with every possibilty on the amp. I figure either there is something wrong with it or I just don't like the tone. Either way it's going back.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:37 pm Reply with quote  
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  5port
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I too came from the Redline R600 I owned for ten years to the BX1500. My main bass is a G&L2500. Ai first I found it very middy...not muddy...middy. It took me a while to find my sound. At first I used the parametrics only. Then I tried the para and the equalizer and bam there was my sound. It took a little bit of time but I have now fully made the transition and have sold my R600 (still going strong).

What really gets my attention in this thread is that the OP wont even entertain that there could be something wrong with his BX1500 (because muffled or muddy is one thing that it is not). By all means send it back as we all have to be happy. Life is too short to go around disatisfied with our amp.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:18 am Reply with quote  
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  SotR59
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What the hell are you talking about? I am the OP and the post you replied to I specifically stated there could be something wrong with the amp.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:25 pm Reply with quote  
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  JLS
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I am not happy yet with mine, either. It has been back to Carvin, who were unable to duplicate it's problem of farting out on low notes, and perceived lack of power. I've played this amp through many different speaker combinations, so that is not the problem.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:00 pm Reply with quote  
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  SotR59
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Yeah, I shipped mine back. I figured what's the point. Even if there really were something wrong with it, I only bought it to save some weight over my R600II which I was totally happy with tone wise. But I have since dumped my big heavy rack case and a lot of the extra gear in my rack then bought a smaller, shallow Gator case that brought my overall weight down from over 60lbs to under 30 so that is doable.
Maybe I'll put the refund towards an SB4000 Smile

George (SotR59)
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:35 am Reply with quote  
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  BigSkyBassGuy
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That's a bummer, Sot, that you're getting a refund ... I was kinda hoping you'd get a new unit to find out if it was just a bad head you received.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:59 pm Reply with quote  
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  JLS
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Apparently Sot & myself aren't alone:

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/Carvin-bx1500-837922/index2.html
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:09 pm Reply with quote  
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  xjbebop
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That's too bad... wonder if they had a bad batch run?
Not sure about the differences, but I've got the earlier B1500.
I got mine when they first came out ( around 2004?? )
Gigged with it plenty and loved every minute of it.
Never cared for the redlines... way too complicated. If you've got a decent-to-good quality instrument, why in the world should you need all those different eq sections?
My Carvin basses sound fantastic on their own, and have plenty of eq adjustment on-board.
The B1500 was just what I was looking for... a powerful, clean power amp with basic eq.
Something I really wish Carvin would do is offer more -simple- amps, bass & guitar.
I always figure an amp should sound good set flat, not depend on bells & whistles to find tone...
Good luck!


Last edited by xjbebop on Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  BassPlayer4Life35
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xjbebop wrote:
That's too bad... wonder if they had a bad batch run?
Not sure about the differences, but I've got the earlier B1500.
I got mine when they first came out ( what's it been...12 - 15 years ago now?? sheesh! )
Gigged with it plenty and loved every minute of it.
Never cared for the redlines... way too complicated. If you've got a decent-to-good quality instrument, why in the world should you need all those different eq sections?
My Carvin basses sound fantastic on their own, and have plenty of eq adjustment on-board.
The B1500 was just what I was looking for... a powerful, clean power amp with basic eq.
Something I really wish Carvin would do is offer more -simple- amps, bass & guitar.
I always figure an amp should sound good set flat, not depend on bells & whistles to find tone...
Good luck!


I am right there with you. I prefer to have a great bass with all the eq I need on board. When it comes to amps I live by the motto.. "Keep it simple stupid!". Which is why I am stuck trying to figure what to buy amp wise. I could go Carvin and get the B2000 or go Genz Benz. I know Genz Benz is expensive but I have a friend that is endorsed by them and he has a lot of their amps he doesn't use anymore.

But either way what I like about both is they are simple in lay out. As far as Carvin goes I would like to see them make more smaller and simple amps, but I would like to see them also take the B2000 a make a little brother of sorts. Say a B1000 with a better tube system like what you see in the Streamliner series from Genz Benz.

Jazz basses like the Carvin SB series sound awesome in more tube driven amps, and like I said an amp similar to the Streamliner from Genz Benz would be a big seller for Carvin especially if done well.
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:59 pm Reply with quote  
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  JLS
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"Not sure about the differences, but I've got the earlier B1500."


Completely different amplifier. Apples & oranges.
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Re: re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:45 pm Reply with quote  
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  xjbebop
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JLS wrote:
"Not sure about the differences, but I've got the earlier B1500."


Completely different amplifier. Apples & oranges.


Right. I posted before my coffee this morning...oops! Rolling Eyes

Double checked a few things and corrected my timeline above...kinda...
And looked at the catalog. The BX is much closer to the old Redline series where as my B1500 was replaced by the B2000...

I know that the Redline & BX amps can sound great, I just prefer the other for performing.
*for home/studio sweet tone, I prefer my old Eden WT400 that I will never sell.....

Just my opinion, YMMV....

Rock on!! Cool
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  JLS
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My unit is going to be picked up by the brown truck, Carvin will have another looksee & hear.
Kudos to Bart in customer service!
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re: BX1500 amp disappointment
 PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:54 pm Reply with quote  
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  Green Lantern
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I was all set on getting this amp, but I have heard too many complaints about it. I am wondering if the completely different amp in the B2000 is better? I think I will aim more for that amp over the BX1500.
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