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2014 carvin ICON 6 review

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Coiltap, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Coiltap


    Jan 30, 2014
    HI All,
    my first post- having read quite a few threads about Carvin in general I thought I would add my opinion-

    in my 35 yrs of playing bass I have purchased many basses- mostly very high end builds once I reached the $7k mark for a bass - it was time to put on the brakes and focus on getting a bass that is well built with boutique feel , sounds & looks good and is under 2k- the Carvin 6 Icon fit that bill.

    stats. fig Claro walnut top, single coils pups, abalone inlay, 5 p neck and sunset burst edges ,satin neck black hardware. 18v preamp.

    my one concern when ordering the Claro walnut bass was if the wood top would be of the same quality as shown on Carvins Web site. What I revieved was good with some flame figuring but not exceptional- for a 100 fee they would track down a piece of wood that meets your criteria but the bass would no longer have the 10 day money back deal-

    finish was very good ..as good as any boutique instrument on the market today.

    I went with the RADj single coild pups.. which do not disapoint - articulate and focused like a J pup should be.. nothing like the medicore J's used in their 1990's basses
    the standard S's on the Icon to me sound like Carvin was trying to get a Bartolini type tone - did nothing for me

    pre amp.. is ok. nothing great..I think it is the weak point on the bass - the mid sweep does give some odd tones.
    I would have prefered the SB 5000 pre amp with two volumes - Carvin couldn't do it. SB preamp won't fit in the ICON. . so much for the statement that there is a zillon ways a Carvin bass could be built.

    the set up was ok.. moved a bit in transit- g string was set oddly - a good set up should remedy that

    Fret work is quite good--
    Hardware is also good.** not a fan of the Gotohs- prefer Hipshot or Schaller-Gotohs look generic bridge is excellent

    Neck Carve and string spacing..
    Neck carve IMO is good for a 6 string bass- not overly thin like Ibanez-many years ago Carvin had a thin neck carve on the 6- then it changed and became a bit chunky- the 2014 ICON has a nice feel to it
    .. mind you it is not a MTD or F bass slim carve but still very good for a production instrument.. having been cursed LOL with small hands and fingers- Carvins tight string spacing and carve- is perfect for fast finger style prog rock , chords and tapping . I had a little difficulty slapping - this is where the string spacing can be an issue.. generally I stick to a P or J for slap

    overall all I am please with the purchase- had to beat Carvin
    in quality vs price point.. MY advise is just don't go crazy on the options-

  2. Neener

    Neener Grumpy Old Dog

    Feb 25, 2007
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Good review. Post up some pictures, I'm sure it's a good looking bass.
  3. DrumsAndBass

    DrumsAndBass Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for the review.
    I've spoken with them about an Icon 5 but with no pickup routing, no battery routing and no drilling for pots and switches. The Icons (all versions) are really great. It's a perfectly good platform (super high quality build) to make the changes I'd want outside of Carvin's offerings. The employee said that I'd void the 10 day with such requests but that "yes" they would meet those requests. They met similar requests for me back in 1998 on a LB76. I took it back to the SD headquarters and they liked my mods. So, I'm saving up :bassist:
  4. Yes - we all love pics!
  5. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Thanks for the review. I hope you enjoy the new bass. A couple of notes:

    If someone at Carvin told you that, I believe it is in error. Carvin will not take back custom options that make the bass hard or impossible to sell to someone else once they take it back. Picking a certain piece of top wood would certainly not meet that criteria.

    Okay, so there are only a HALF a zillion ways. ;)

    Carvin does have an incredible number of options, but they do want models to be somewhat unique in certain features, and it's inevitable that "problems" will come up like a preamp built to fit a classic Jazz style bass won't fit in a modern styled neck through.

    Anyway, your review was well written and thought out. Thanks! Also, how about a couple of pictures?
  6. Eggman


    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado

    I too put the Rad Single Coils in my Icon 4 (claro walnut). Makes a huge difference. Love it. A wonderfully made piece of wood and tone!
  7. fourtet102


    Jun 20, 2012
    Phoenix, AZ
    I hate heaters!
    I've had Carvin LB76A and loved this bass more than any other boutique instrument I had privilege to play. The only caveat was string spacing. Now, I've been gasing for Icon 5 or 6 Walnut and been searching net for any updated reviews, so I wanted to say THANK YOU to OP for great review.
  8. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    You know, Coiltap, your review might be the kick in the seat of my pants I need to try the Rad single coils in my Icon. :)
  9. Yeah I'm starting to get ideas too.
  10. Coiltap


    Jan 30, 2014
    my thanks to all who commented on my Carvin Review
    Pix are on the way.

    BTW has anyone seen the thread on the new 2014 carvin bass.. one of them IMO looks like the studied the Brubaker bass. a little of the Lexa and the newer double cut model rolled into one.
  11. fourtet102


    Jun 20, 2012
    Phoenix, AZ
    I hate heaters!
    Sound clips?