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Thread: Carvin 832's

  1. #1
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    Carvin 832's

    There is a guy selling 2 Carvin 832 full range passive PA cabinets on Craigslist for $300.00. I'm thinking of running them with a Crest CA6 power amp. Does anyone have any experience with Carvin in general or with this particular model?

    They are rated for 400 watts each and have a 15'' woofer...and wheels ; )

    Should I pull the plug on this one?

  2. #2
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    Re: Carvin 832's

    Can't believe noone has ever tried a Carvin PA speaker. Not a good sign.

  3. #3
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    Re: Carvin 832's

    I use carvins in my rehearsal studio. Not sure of the model, but they are 1-15 with a horn. Probably at least 10-15 years old. I run the axe thru them direct but I also use a power amp and cab, which is what I do live. My sound thru the Carvins is nice. I've also pulled them down and tried them right next to me with the axe and power amp using cab sims and they also sounded fine. They're certainly not "flat response" but neither is anything else (to include most of the stuff that claims it is). I've also used the axe with some newer Carvin 1-12 stage wedge monitors with decent results. Carvin is good workhorse stuff, I have plenty of it laying around. And I use a Carvin power amp with my axe (as did Cliff for a long time).

    I tend not to care about the "flat response" thing since I use a guitar cabinet for me and go direct to the board for my "out front" sound. The audience is hearing my direct feed, that's what's coming out of the PA mains. So my deal is that I try to make what's coming out of the mains sound close to what I'm hearing onstage thu my cab. Spending a fortune on FRFR gives you a lot of nuance and control in your bedroom, but your mains aren't FRFR so you are never going to match that tone out front. So for me, I get a sound I like and try to make sure the audience gets something close. There are plenty of ways to do that.

    I use an FX loop in all my patches right before the cab sim, which routes my signal to output 2. That goes to my power amp and guitar cab. Output 1 goes to the board, and I use a cab sim that matches the cab I'm using (currently a recto but I change up frequently). Then my sound in the mains comes pretty close to what my rig would sound like thru the mains if I had a mic in front of my cab, which is for the most part what the world is used to hearing anyway.

    To answer your question about using the Carvins with the axe, I suspect they'll work fine, as will any decent small PA cab. I'm not sure how they'd sound compared to anything else out there, though. Do they have a real horn or a piezo? The newer carvins with the 1" horn have smoother highs than older ones.

    It comes down to this: What are you going for? If you want an "in the room" sound your best bet is using output 2 (using an FX loop in your chain) and running thru a power amp into a guitar cab of choice with no speaker emulation, while output 1 goes to the board with a cab sim. Then match your output 1 tones at the board with what's coming out of your cab. You'll be able to get pretty damn close.

    If you want FRFR for yourself, the fratomics seem cool but personally I'd want two because I use lots of stereo effects. And that runs into some money and weight. If you don't want to deal with the complication of programming all your patches to have cab sims in one output and not in the other, and want basically the same thing at your feet that's coming out of the mains, then go with the Carvins or even some monitor wedges. At that point, the only thing you need to deal with is how different they sound from your mains, and you can probably do some EQ tweaks to fix some of that. It just comes down to how anal you want to be.

    Think about it, how exact is your sound in the mains to what's coming out of your amp if you are mic'd? Mic placement makes a huge difference in your tone, so it's really all about liking your tone and the audience getting something that sounds just as good even if it's not exactly the same thing.

    Sorry for the long-winded answer.

  4. #4
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    Re: Carvin 832's

    Please,

    No apologies. I appreciate every word.

    yeah, flat response seems like an unobtainable goal for everyone here. Anything will yield some coloration, i guess. That's a great point you make about house systems. In the end, that's what the audience will hear regardless of your efforts.

    The 832's have a real horn. Don't know how old they are, but they sound very similar to yours...although, the guy says they are only 3 years old :

    Anyhow, for now, I'd be happy satisfying myself and my bandmates. I'll worry about the audience later.

    Once again, thanks JoJo.

  5. #5
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    Re: Carvin 832's

    The 832's are one generation later than what I have, and one generation prior to what they are selling now. they are ported enclosures, 400w RMS each (and 47 lbs each). They should sound pretty good, and will double as compact PA speakers for home or small gigs if you get tired of them. Here's a link to the manual:

    http://www.carvinservice.com/crg/manuals/832-v1.pdf

  6. #6
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    Re: Carvin 832's

    One other thing, and this is purely subjective, about FRFR. The whole point of the FRFR thing is to *really really* sound like totally different amps when you switch patches. That's cool for recording and getting great sounds at home. But live, there is a bit of a complication that I've found.

    I used a rack with a triaxis, mesa power amp, and a bunch of effects for many years. Even though I had tones ranging from very clean to very overdriven, no matter how drastically different my sounds and EQ curves were there was a basic footprint that was consistent, in part due to the common power amp, same cab, and of course it was all the same preamp. That consistency goes away when something models as well as the axe. You may love the sound of an AC30 with an open back 1-12 cab, and switching to a marshall thru a 4x12 for crunch and a Diezel or whatever for lead, but those amps, especially considering the different speaker cabs, have very different sonic footprints. I found that switching between such drastically different amps within the same song created these weird disconnects in terms of the space within the sound spectrum I was taking up. I mostly play 3-piece so that really messed with my mix; I try to fill a lot of space and I think it's important to fill the *same* space as the song moves along.

    I think that guys like Eric Johnson and Joe Bonamassa who use multi-amp rigs have mighty soundguys compensating to some degree for the differences between the amps. But when you are going direct you can't hide the difference in footprint between a supro with an 8" speaker and a Rivera with a Los Lobottom sub (for an extreme example). So what I've done with my live patches is try to use consistent speaker emulations for different patches, and mess with the power amp parameters so that the sounds take up similar sonic space even if they are dramatically different. For example, I use a recto cab right now, and a recto cab sim in my feed for almost all my patches no matter what amp they are based on. As odd as it is to play a twin or a Dr. Z or a marshall all thru a recto cab, it helps my footprint stay consistent (and that's what's sitting behind me on the stage so it's easier to match my stage tone with what's out front more consistently). I also tweak some of the power amp parameters to try to massage the tones into the same footprint since different amps take up different space even regardless of speakers. I've made some exceptions, some sounds just demand a certain speaker type. You can mess with it a bit without creating the weirdness I'm talking about, but you really need to be careful mixing and matching small and large amps in the same song.

    I don't know if that makes any sense to you, but it's one more reason that I don't go full-range ontstage. I use a lot of different sounds and effects from spanky clean with compression all the way to super saturated, but I try to take up the same space with each one. (I'd be a better engineer than guitar player.... too bad my hands aren't as good as my ears : ).

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