Don't Look Too Hard, Amp Might Fail
With the volume at only about 70-75%, My Fender Jazz 5-string was too much for this Carvin MB-10. I was merely trying to go for something round and a little gritty when I rolled off the top of my passive bass. Not at all overdriven. But it was too much for this little 'boutique' amp. I say boutique not in the sense that it is a limited run of high-end audio perfection but more of an amp you might see in a nail salon.
Years ago, I bought a Carvin BRX1200 and quickly resold it as it was embarrassingly dirty and distorted (in the bad way) at any volume approaching loud enough to play a gig. Carvin is now 0 for 2 with me. I won't be back to try a third swing with them.
Worse still, look closely at the shots above where I've removed the amplifier from the speaker enclosure. Notice all of the globs of silocone used to encase, nee entomb, all of the components to the printed circuit board. This is what passes for American made these days? I've been inside my Eden WT-400 many times and I assure you that there are no cheesy shortcuts like that.
I can't wait to see how long the turnaround and total repair cost for this thing is after its fun little trip to the San Diego factory. This repair is inside the one year warranty period and I have hardly played the thing.
Look for a future post where Carvin is redeemed a bit or I complain further.
Update (10 Nov 2011): Received my amp back in fairly short order. Attached was a note explaining "problem could not be duplicated." Huh, that's weird. I quickly placed the amp back in the enclosure, powered up, and experienced the same issue before I but it in a box headed for the factory. This lasted for about 5-10 and then stopped. Now the amp sounds and functions perfectly. I am stumped. In the meantime, I will keep my ears peeled. But I am thrilled to have my tiny amp back.