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Author Topic: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?  (Read 10539 times)

Rainsong

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New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« on: April 23, 2004, 12:09:36 PM »

Hi folks,

New to this forum... Just a little background.  I'm an acoustic guitarist/singer in an acoustic duo playing bars 1-2 times a week to audiences of 50 or less.  I'm no sound man and don't really have any aspirations to be one.  We run our own sound from stage and right now our gear is a Carvin PA620 200 watt powered mixer w/ Yamaha AS312 12" acoustic suspension speakers.  My partner runs his acoustic bass through a seperat PEavey bass amp w/ 15" speaker.  We also have a 2nd 150 watt carvin power amp that we use to run 2 spot monitors off of.  To me and the people in the crowd who's opinion I've asked, we sound pretty good as far as acoustic duos go.
I know the opinions of the "Pros" on Harmony central about Carvin products but would like yours as well.  Most of the guys lump Carvin into the same catagory as Nady, Kustom, Behringer etc (ie: entry level crap).  I know Carvin doesn't probably compare with high end EAW, etc., but would you say it's on the same level as Peavey or Mackie or JBL (comparing like specs with like specs)?  I guess what I'm driving it is if I have a budget of, say, $1000.00 do you think I can signicantly improve our sound over what we have going with Peavey or Yorkville or JBL or Mackie?  Or is Carvin as good as the rest of those brands and about as good as I'll get unless I want to spend $2000 or more.  We have found that the Carvin PA gives us plenty of volume in our venues and we really only need a 6 channel mixer (as of now, we still have an extra unused channel, even adding a mic in addition to the pickup on my guitar).  Do any of you think going the seperate component "rack route" will be significantly better, given our budget and the fact we run our own sound from stage?
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Vic Turner

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2004, 10:34:37 PM »

I want to start by saying I am not an expert by any means. From my research and being a Carvin owner (not for much longer) I would say with what you are doing you should be fine. All accoustic, no drums. But if you planned doing covers, adding drums, becomming a rock band you may need upgrades. What I feel would greatly improve your sound is to upgrade you power amp. I recently discovered that you want to run an amp that has 2x the RMS rating of your speakers. The Carvins are prolly 300RMS which means you have been underpowering with the Carvin amp. That will greatly improve your sound.
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Dietrich Sider

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2004, 11:53:01 PM »

In my opinion, if your system is doing what you want it to do, then it should be just fine. Don't get too hung up on brands. Adding rack components means adding complexity and weight. I'd say focus on what you do best - play your music!

Regarding amplification - I doubt that you're underpowering your speakers. For your application, I can't see that you'd be driving the Carvin mixer's amplifier all that hard. Do you know if that 200 Watt rating on the Carvin is per channel or for both channels? The most important thing to remember is to not drive the amplifier into clipping. If you see that little red light blinking, back off!

Saying all of that, if you have doubts about your system's capabilities, then the best thing you could ever do is audition some other mixers. I don't just mean in the store though - take one out on rental and use it at a gig. This will tell you a couple of things - how is it to transport, and set up, and how does it perform in the application you're going to use it in. For the cost of a few rentals, you can save yourself a lot of heartache (and money)

Good Luck
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Dietrich Sider

Rain Jaudon

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2004, 02:37:17 AM »

I agree with the other guys -
Don't get sucked into Gear Snobbery -
If what you have does the gig consistently each week, then don't worry about it.
Put the profits into a savings account or a mutual fund.
(at some point the vocalist will move away, gigs will dry up, or one day you will not be healty enough to perform and will need that cash to live on)

I have seen my share of hard working delta blues bands on a peavey top box mixer and a set of old SP2 cabs.
They havent bought a piece of PA gear in 15 years and still do not need to.

Me?  I have been the entire road on this.
I started my own system with a Crate 8 channel powered mixer and a set of JBL Cabaret speakers.
Then I gave that back to the guy I was renting from(15$ a gig) and bought my first system. (yamaha 12/horn Club III series mains on tripods, same cab monitors, Carver PT series amps on mains and monitors, yamaha SPX90 efx, Peavey Autograph EQ, Nady wireless, and a DOD 12 channel rackmount mixer) Had it all in a nice rat fur covered rack. All cables stayed in the mixer/rack so set up took 5 minutes for a 3 pc acoustic act.

Eventually the gear bug(and box of cash) got to me and I sold the yamahas for a DAWN system.  dual voice coil 15 inch sub and coaxial 10 inch mid/hi boxes on tripods.
Then parted with the entire rack and picked up a Peavey top box mixer.  That was underpowering the DAWNs but I kept a careful eye on the levels.

I've gone thru Club IV series Yamaha mains, peavey wedges, EV mains, Yorkville subs, Mackie powered heads, Yamaha powered desks, Presonus compressors, peavey Eqs, mackie amps, qsc amps, and even a few Community pieces.

So I've seen my share of MI series gear!  
I've also decided, SIMPLE IS BEST!

I run the Mackie 808m with drums and acoustic guitar plus 2 vocals 3-6 shows a week.  Mains are nearly always EVsx200 tops with a single powered Yorkville es700p sub(dual 10s 700 watt amp on board).  Monitor is an active Community 12/horn wedge.
No external anything!  And its a solid quiet show every night of the week(plus it takes me one trip from the van to the stage).

I do occasionally add steel pans, lead guitar, or other vocals to this system with no problem.  

Rain
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Rainsong

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2004, 06:53:23 PM »

Motown,

Actually the RMS rating of the speakers I use is only 180 watts, they are 8 ohms (Inefficient acoustic suspensions, but oh so smooooth).  The Carvin PA is rated 200 watt RMS into 4 ohms (So I assume that is 100 watts power ea. speaker)  Still think I need a higher watt amp?

Thanks!
Mike
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Vic Turner

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2004, 07:35:55 PM »

Rainsong wrote on Mon, 26 April 2004 18:53

Motown,

Actually the RMS rating of the speakers I use is only 180 watts, they are 8 ohms (Inefficient acoustic suspensions, but oh so smooooth).  The Carvin PA is rated 200 watt RMS into 4 ohms (So I assume that is 100 watts power ea. speaker)  Still think I need a higher watt amp?

Thanks!
Mike


Hey Mike,

Well I would say if your posting you must not be totally satisfied with your gear. Like I said I am not an expert, maybe someone else could give you better advise. Being a Carvin ower I found when you purchase a Carvin PA system from them they seem to come underpowered, and making sure they got the power they needed would improve your sound, I think that's a fair statement. But, what's you application? You are an accoustic band so like many of the others were saying you may not need to do that. How does it sound to you? Where does it lack and what would you want it to do that it already doesn't? I am in an original/cover rock band. So my purpose is if we use our own gear to sound freakin awesome. I want to run an amp that's 2x the RMS on my speakers to get the most out of my set up. My goal is to upgrade our system to get close as possible to a pro set up without breaking the bank (too badly)to improve my sound as much as possible. But.... we leave our accoustic guitars at home. Your volume is low I would immagine compared to an average rock band, so you probably won't need to upgrade unless your just totally unhappy with your sound, and if that's the case maybe an EQ would be a better purchase than an amp. Does you set up contain any sort of EQ?
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Rainsong

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2004, 03:14:13 PM »

Hi Motown,

I guess I would say I'm not unhappy with anything, just want to get the best sound we can without breaking the bank.  Was really wondering how Carvin compared to other brands since I can't go out and "borrow" somebody's Yorkville (or other "higher end") PA to see if there is a marked improvement.
Sometimes you think what you have sounds pretty good, until you hear something else.../  Kind of like my Yairi, I thought it was a great sounding guitar, until I bought my Rainsong.  Now it sits in a case.  I've also made the mistake of buying something because I thought it would sound better because it costs twice as much only to find that what I had sounded just as good.  That's the reason for my inquiry.  Wondering if any Carvin users think there is better bang for the buck out there.
    As far as EQ, it's got a simple 7 band EQ with Hi and low shelving filters on the individual channels.  And yes, I agree that ideally I should have a 300-400 watt amp for a speaker rated @ 180 watts program.  Just didn't know if it would make much difference since I'm only running my curent amp at 4 (out of 10) to get the volume we need.

Thanks for your input!
MIke
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Henry Denman

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2004, 06:13:26 PM »

Hey Rainsong,

The theme of the posts seem to be if it ain't broke don't fix it.  Be careful and don't get to complacent with your Carvin stuff.  You need to ask yourself a couple simple questions.

1. What do you want/need in a sound system?  

2. Do you want ease of use, pro-quality sound or something in between?

If you really want to find out if you sound better through other equipment then a good idea is to rent.  Carvin is great starter stuff but I personally wouldn't rely on it for the "big show" or long term giging.  That is not to say go out and buy all new stuff next week.  

Bottom line is if you are happy with what you have then yes use it.  Just keep in mind you will never know how you will sound through other equipment unless you give it a try.

Have Fun
Henry
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Vic Turner

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2004, 10:13:42 PM »

Mike,


The renting is a good idea, I would rent a good quality amp that has enough power to power you cabs,(2 x 180rms), make sure the RMS is correct. Get online with Carvin or call the tech and see what exactly that amp is putting out per side. Rent a QCS, Crown, Crest something that we know will sound good. Give it a shot, hear how it sounds compared to your other amp. Switch between them fo S & G's to see the difference in sound.
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Rainsong

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Re: New Guy! Carvin Opinions?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2004, 12:44:29 PM »

Thanks Henry and Motown,

In answer to Henry's question, yes, I want ease of use and yes, I want professionally sound (Yes, I want to have cake and eat it too!).  I guess I can't expect really pro sound from a "PA in a box",  I just need to decide if it's worth the extra $$$ and hauling to go the seperate rack component route.  Maybe I'll try the rental route and see if the sound is that much better than what I have.  Thanks for the suggestion.

MIke
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