Decisions, Decisions... Carvin PB4 or G&L LB100 or ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by invalidprotocol, Feb 12, 2014.


  1. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    I've been wanting a custom build bass for some time now, in particular a PJ. I'm looking for a jazz neck with excellent quality and playability, a weight of no more than 9lbs yet balanced, the ability to cop a P bass tone and throaty growl.

    You're noting the LB100 isn't a PJ but I am aware of that. I was looking at the SB2 but I haven't heard sound samples that I like. The LB100 sounds much better to my ears and I can always follow up later with a bridge pickup. I originally wanted an L2000 but I don't think G&L can build one at the 9lb mark, otherwise my decision would have already been made.

    I'm very impressed with G&L build quality and playability, having had my hands on a few recent samples. It's been a while since I've played on a Carvin but as best I remembered they seemed very nice. The recent sound samples of the PB series have me just about sold. As far as specs and options go the Carvin seems like a shoe in.

    If you were faced with these options what would you choose and why? Neither has stellar resale value but I'm not too concerned with that. I like the consistency of G&L but the options available on the Carvins is hard to ignore.

    Is there anyone else I'm missing in the low cost custom space? Atkinson is no longer building or he'd be an option for me as well. Bluesman is of interest to me but considerably more than what I'm wanting to spend.
  2. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    I believe the LB100 has a regular Fender-style alnico pickup, while the SB's might have the Magnetic Field Design. Good ears.

    I've heard bad stories about Carvin. Enough to make me not want one.

    G&L obviously has a better wood supply...
  3. Tunaman

    Tunaman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    Order the LB100... less orders in front of my Carvin build to come :)
  4. bassplayer1960

    bassplayer1960

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    i have had my pb4 for about two and a half months and i can barely put it down. it is passive with just the split p alinco p/u. Just last night at a jam i was switching between my pb and my friend's Pedulla Thunderbass which are about 4k new now. I actuallly far enjoyed my Carvin (which is a third the price!). My other basses include a fretless Rob Allen and Pedulla Buzz and i often play other small batch boutique basses but Carvin's build quality is really up there. The Carvin PB sounds to me ears like a pb should. The neck is however much faster and easy to manage, like Pedulla necks. My Carvin is all ash which may get the weight down as well as sticking with four strings. i hope this helps!
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  6. Jarrett

    Jarrett Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Waxahachie, Tx
    Get the Carvin.
  7. Tunaman

    Tunaman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    Whats your fingerboard wood BTW?
  8. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Bristow, VA
    The dealer you order through should be able to specify that you want a light one and you can get an L-2000 around 9 pounds.

    Otherwise, I would get the SB-2 with a Tone control added. You can roll the P pickup down to around 75% and get the same classic P bass sound that you would get from an LB or the Carvin (or a good Fender P, for that matter). But, when you turn it up, you simply get more/ballsier. If that's not what you want, you don't ever have to play it set that way.
  9. cv115505

    cv115505 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Disclosures:
    Lakland Basses | Hanson Guitars | Augustas Guitars | Paul & Mills Amplification
    You could go the Warmoth route as long as you have a good Luthier who doesnt try to charge you ridiculous amounts of money to do the final assembly (or try it yourself) a couple other custom companies to consider would be Gamma (though you might be upgrading pickups and bridge)... Also, it's not custom, but Reverend makes a pretty cool PJ called the Decision. I have one and I swapped the pickups out, but when it had the originals I could get a good classic p tone after some EQing. My only real complaint with it was the neck dive, but that got fixed with some Hipshot tuners
  10. Tunaman

    Tunaman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    I know you've seen it but for the others...

    I think the trick to a more "Authentic" P tone out of the Carvin would be a rosewood board. Carvins website clips have the best idea of rosewood & throaty growl I think. I'm looking for my P to be a J as well & punchy hence I'm grabbing a Ebony PJ. I tried a MIA P in GC this weekend & it was awesome, just the spacing ! Can't play it!

    Try the Lakland Duck Dunn 44-64 I believe, P bass passive with a J neck. I was about to pull the trigger on that before I heard the Carvin clips

    Ben Jones Ebony P5

    Carvin Website Clips (Rosewood P5)

    Zach Fowler Maple Pb5

    Trevor James PB5 part 2(Rare mid control) Ebony compared to SB5000

    Trevor James PB5 part 1 Ebony

    Amateur PB4 Rosewood PB4 Passive
  11. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    The sb2 sound samples have been very mid forward just like my old Schecter Diamond P. Rolling of the volume helped but never alleviated the mid range congestion. The sample of the Carvin PBs are hot but don't seem to be so congested in the mids. The openness of the P tone is hindered if the mids are too in your face.
  12. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    I have considered the Lakland as well. I haven't gotten to try that model in particular but a recent exploration on a jazz model left me impressed.
  13. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    I'm fond of rosewood fretboard and like their subtle dampening of stray frequencies lending to a sweeter tone to my ear but I sure do like the look of the dark ebony boards.
  14. tsunami1052

    tsunami1052 What the Funk? Supporting Member

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    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Wyoming
  15. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Have you heard the stories on the 'new' stuff from the last 5 years or so? SB4000's PB4s, B24s etc...? Maybe read up a little? Carvin is making killer stuff these days...

    Why 'obviously'?
  16. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    LOL

    I don't even know how to respond to such a crazy statement. Wood quality on both Carvin and G&L is great.
  17. bassplayer1960

    bassplayer1960

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    my PB4 has a 5 piece maple neck with a Birdseye board. Seafoam green including the neck and headstock, mother of toilet seat pickguard as well. I will post pics soon. Gotta say it kinda surf cool and just what I needed to endure this tough New England winter!
  18. Tunaman

    Tunaman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    WHERE ARE YOU! I WANT TO TRY YOURS! I'm thinking of getting the same thing!

    Good luck in the snow today!

    Oh... and I wanna see your bass SO bad & feel your neck...

    :bag:

    Sorry, too far
  19. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    Since you're in the Dallas area I need to catch you playing it live and hear it through a rig.
  20. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    North Texas
    I've been going through the sound samples in detail. I definitely like the passive tone of the PB, not sure that active would be useful for me on this bass. It isn't in my roundup but in comparison I think the SB sounds better active. The Premier Guitar review of the LB100 is helpful but I wish there were more sound samples. With what I have to work with the Carvin just sounds better so it looks like a Carvin PB4 in a PJ config is what I will go with.
  21. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    It would be impolite to say on here.

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