Gear Friday: Carvin BX1500

To finish off my new, lighter bass rig, I needed a new, lighter bass head. Enter the Carvin BX1500.

Weighing in at right around 10 lbs, it is less than 1/3 the weight of my previous head. I dropped the Line 6 Bass Pod Pro into a rack bag with it (interestingly enough, the rack bag weighs more than both of those pieces of equipment combined) so I'd have a tuner and wireless access to changing eq and tone settings using my Guitar Wing.

But, how does the amp itself sound?

I'm assuming that's the only reason you'd be reading this. To be honest, it's loud and clean. It's tough to dial in a growl with this amp (the Line 6 is handy for that now), but it's not really meant to do that. It's raw, clean power. Just how a bass amp should be in my mind.

As for the eq section, I find that it has a lot of static if I don't drop a lot of the highs. It doesn't sound dark if I drop them out, but it sure sounds bright if I leave them in. This changes if I use a passive bass, though. It might just be the way I've EQ'd the bass itself, but I can adjust it easily by either dropping the highs knob or leaving it in place and adjusting between the two basses by turning the graphic eq on and off. I find that trick to be really, really cool.

One other thing that really makes it nice is that I have a switch on the front panel to turn the effects loop on and off. This may not seem like much, but when a friend comes over to practice, I can turn off the Line 6 so they don't have to mess with that and just get a great clean tone. If I want to add something in, flip a switch and choose a patch. That's an awesome feature that my other amps had been lacking. I'd imagine I'll find myself using that quite a bit on stage depending on the song.

Overall, this amp meets my needs since I use outboard effects. If I wanted to dial in some grit in the amp, this would have been a terrible choice. But, with how it's set up and how I use my gear, it's just what I wanted. A bit of reverb, perhaps some chorus, a hint of drive on occasion and we've got some great tones. And those are all things that Line 6 does fairly well. I don't need all the amp modeling. I'll stick to just the effects, thanks. But power, that's totally covered by the Carvin.

Oh, and just for grins, I did hook up my Acoustic 4x10 and 1x15 along with the Markbass 2x10. Yes, this has plenty of power for all of that, and with the bi-amp mode, I've been running just the lows to the 1x15 and the mids and highs to the 2x10. Makes for a lot of interesting setup possibilities.


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