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NBD: Carvin PB4

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CharlieC, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. With so many models and options available to bass players today, I will be completely honest in saying that if I did not play left-handed, chances are that I would have missed-out on finding my new favorite bass and some of the best instruments made in the USA.

    Right-handed players, please don't leave disinterested nor let the reversed photo below scare you away. The PB4 is the white bass in the middle. I simply want to share my experience and pay it forward to you.

    IMHO, Carvin has hit the ball out of the park with a P/J bass that takes the game to a new level.

    The fit and finish on the passive PB4 model I ordered are top-notch and the aesthetics are Carvin's closest yet to a traditional, classic bolt-on. The bass weighs approximately 8.5 pounds and was proudly made in the USA. Total price, including a case and shipping, was less than $900 USD.

    With the above preliminaries out of the way, I will now focus on what I believe makes this instrument so special:

    Carvin's new SCP P-Pickup is absolutely killer! The tonal profile takes the familiar "woody and thumpy" and then adds major, focused bark and bite, like a bull-dog. Others have described this nuance as "grit", but to me it is the difference between a solid punch to the gut and another made with a set brass knuckles. This pup knocks like no other I have played.

    Just as much of an unexpected surprise is Carvin's new JVA single-coil in bridge position. Prior to purchase, I was concerned about possible single-coil hum, lack of a humbucking design, and output level. Not only is the hum extremely minimal, but the JVA's output level and sweet, bell-like tone and clarity are off the hook. The JVA is able to keep up with the SCP without any problem and the combination of the two pickups is fantastic, allowing for globs of P/J flavored volume blending.

    The new, modern-twist on a familiar body shape is one of the most cushiony, comfortable and balanced rides ever hung from a strap. In person and in your hands, any aesthetic prejudice you may have should melt away instantly.

    To complete the experience, the tung-oiled, sexy, and snappy 20-fret SB4000 neck is back and better than ever on the PB4. Perfect fretwork, 14" radius, modern, precise tuning machines that practically grip the strings, and a string tree-less, angled-back SB-style headstock that arguably could be Carvin's best shape option to date. The bass has a very vibrant, snappy acoustic resonance to it, clearly heard when unplugged and felt under fingers when amplified.

    I am more than impressed with the PB4 and even more grateful that Carvin offers it to left-handed players like myself, leaving me cash left over to treat my ongoing GAS.

    Highly recommended!

  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I turned off everything and got doll eyes right after you said "Left handed" sorry couldn't resist it :) Congrats on a great bass I'm telling you I love these Carvins I finally had the chance to play one at Guitar Center and man was I blown away it has a boutique sound at a really great price point I will own one in the future.
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  4. Thanks!

    ... and I believe the other lefty player in your profile pic would also approve :D
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Their prices are crazy that direct marketing must really be a great business model I'm going to go price one now the model I looked at had the MM pup at the bridge.
  6. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

    So, that means.... you liked it?
  7. I would say so :D

    Here is how it looks to me in the mirror ...

  8. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005

    It looks normal now. ;)
  9. :bassist::bassist::bassist:

  10. Neener

    Neener Grumpy Old Dog

    Feb 25, 2007
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Very nice, I've always been a fan of white-white-maple. Have a P that color combination myself.

    Black hardware works well too, hmmmm.

    Carvin definitely is coming out with some really nice looking basses.
  11. Eggman

    Eggman Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    Got mine last Monday - had rehearsal that night and first gig with the PB4/J coming up tonight. CharlieC's review is spot-on. Great bass - great tone - incredibly affordable. The new lightweight soft case is great too.
  12. leadfingers

    leadfingers Two decades of lead guitar before finding my way. Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2009
    Greensburg, Indiana
    That is a real nice looking bass.

    I now have some serious gas. :D
  13. :bassist::bassist::bassist:
  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

    Oh man, I spotted that pic on their fb and it's now my desktop background. Holy crap that's gorgeous.
  15. Sweetness and great bass. Yeah, Carvin is some good stuff. Thanks so much for posting.

  16. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    Carvin's are wonderful instruments; I own one!

    The PBs look very appealing to me - maybe I'll have to git me one 'em!
  17. Thanks!
  18. raphaeld


    Sep 19, 2012
    Now that I see the Carvin in white color, I really really dig it!!
  19. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    This is the one.
  20. azzyrazzy


    Oct 18, 2005
    :) I don't know what you work with but some should hire you for marketing. It's "just" a PJ-bass, albeit a very good one, and _so_ many brands and luthiers have done their version of the P, J, and PJ in _so_ many ways. There is no game or new level for a PJ-bass, it's just yet another take on it. No offense intended, peace :)
  21. Thanks!

    No offense taken, my bass brother!

    Certainly we in the USA have a thing for baseball, but I humbly stand by my analogy as just another "take" on an opinion :D


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