Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #140802  by kurt eye
 Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:24 pm
Couple questions if you don't mind - (caution - some of these might be stupid).

1. Do you think the power conditioner is necessary? (I'm guessing that this question may have been asked and answered a million times on this message board elsewhere, but I'll ask it anyway.)

2A. How is the room in the back of the cab for cabling and power chords?

2B. Do you get any hum or hiss?

2C. Could you fit an XLR cable connector into the Carvin input if you wanted to?

Thank you...for a real nice design
 #140826  by toddgardn
 Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:11 am
Hi there! I wondered the same thing about the power conditioner before building the cabinet (wanted to keep the unit as small as possible), but decided that since the amp will be used in many different locations with varying power sources, it's likely wise to have a conditioner. There's plenty of room for cabling power cords both behind the amp/preamp/PC, and in the lower speaker cavity. I get no hum or hiss so far! With the current cut out configuration of the back panel I can easily insert a xlr into channel 1 of the carvin amp, but would need to make the cut out larger to accommodate the channel 2 xlr input (because the back panel is not far enough away from back of the amp unit, though a 90 degree 1/4" mono fits into channel 2 just fine). I think a redesign of the cut out for the back panel should take care of the spacing concerns for accessing the back of the amp/preamp/PC. :smile:
 #140834  by kurt eye
 Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:42 pm
Thanks Todd. Hopefully I'll be posting pictures of mine in a few months.
 #140835  by Jon S.
 Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:09 pm
It looks great and I'll bet it sounds great, too. I wanted a low weight, portable option, too. I went a bit differently: an SMS into a Carvin into a TRM 2X10. The 2U rack weighs about 16 lbs. The cab about 30. I can carry one in each hand with my guitar on my shoulder and M13 multieffects unit in a knapsack and do it all in one trip. I have my Furman voltage regulator in its own 2U rack (1U is open for ventilation). I need it on outdoor gigs where the power is suspect. I'm not much on rack unit "conditioners." I don't feel it gives me anything more than I'd already get from a quality floor power strip.

 #145647  by kurt eye
 Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:20 am
I ordered an SMS and Carvin DCM200L. The Carvin arrived the other day and the SMS should be on its way in a few weeks (No pressure Brad :-) ) I paired the Carvin to the preamp of my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and put my pedals in between the preamp and carvin. The sound was super clean (no hiss) and sterile (lacking the sound of warm power tubes) and there was no reverb :? . Is this expected? Is the reverb in an HRDX after the preamp in the signal chain? I know the SMS has reverb so this shouldn't be an issue when I pair the two.

My pedals behaved much differently. My OD and Distortion pedals were muddy and farty and didn't have any clean range and my Proton envelope filter sounded weird. Not sure why this is.
 #145649  by Searing75
 Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:16 am
Try the pedals before the pre.

 #145672  by kurt eye
 Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:10 am
I figured out my pedal issue. It had nothing to do with the amps. It was the power source. I have a new Voodoo Pedal Power unit and this DIPshit :drink: had the DIP switch in the wrong position. The Boss Turbo OD-2, HM-2 and Octave pedals are ACA type pedals requiring a higher voltage vs. PSA. The fact that the LED lights were dim should have clued me in that it was a power supply issue. I never paid any attention to this as they seemed to work fine along with my other pedals with my One Spot pedal power supply.

Now that my pedal issue is mostly cleaned up I was able to get a better feel for the Carvin. It sounds pretty nice, just lacking in reverb which contributes to it sounding somewhat sterile. I think I'll be able to dial in some warmth with the T OD-2.

Anyway, now I can begin working on my combo cabinet. I have a friend who milled some black walnut boards, so I was thinking of using that for the cab.
 #145674  by Searing75
 Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:59 am
Just curious. We're you expecting the Carvin amp to have reverb? It's just a power amp. Your new SMS will sound nice through it. An SKB 4 space shallow rack will hold your gear nicely, and give you space for a power conditioner, or whatever else you may desire.

 #145681  by Smolder
 Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:53 pm
That's a very cool idea and well done!
 #145697  by kurt eye
 Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:19 pm
Searing75 wrote:Just curious. We're you expecting the Carvin amp to have reverb? It's just a power amp. Your new SMS will sound nice through it. An SKB 4 space shallow rack will hold your gear nicely, and give you space for a power conditioner, or whatever else you may desire.


Hi Chris,

No. I'm a noob. I assumed that the reverb on my HRDX would've been in the preamp signal. Its a moot point anyway. I don't plan on keeping the Carvin hooked up to my HRDX. Just monkeying around.
 #148191  by kurt eye
 Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:02 pm
Well as promised here is my Carvin/SMS 1x12 Jerry Box. Major kudos to Toddgardn for the inspiration. Props of course to Brad. The SMS is incredible. I constructed the cabinet out of black walnut that a friend of mine had milled up and some 3/4" maple laminated together. This was my first real go at this type of lamination. I won't lie. It was a real bitch, but it came out ok. I outfitted with oxblood grill cloth, a leather handle, flat black corner hardware and some rubber feet. For a speaker I installed a JBL K-120 that I had reconed by Wesley Audio in Gray, GA to D-120 specs. You may have seen their add on ebay where they really talk up the D-120 as having the sweetest mid-range sound of the JBL line and that the K-120 and E-120 sacrificed sound quality for power handling. I tend to agree with their assessment. The speaker sounds incredible and has a lot more richness in the mids compared to my other K-120. The age of my K-120 may have a little to do with equation. Anyway, here are some pics.





 #148198  by Searing75
 Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:52 am
That looks great!
 #148225  by keirweir
 Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:17 am
Very cool!

I actually just ordered an SMS from Brad and am slowly looking to build a rack unit.

Are there any sound-audio clips of the SMS with the Carvin DCM power amp? I'm considering several rack unit power amps but want to measure 100 times cut once.