A new Carvin woohoo.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TK65, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. TK65


    Jan 16, 2003
    For you Carvin bass fans (both of you! :D), I finally got my latest creation from their Custom Shop. For those people who say Carvin isn't a "real" custom shop, here's proof to the contrary:


    It's a 35 1/2" scale XB75, mahogany body and neck (neck-thru), with vintage yellow quilted top and headstock, birdseye maple fingerboard with abalone dot inlays, and gold hardware. Of note, and most obviously, just one big-ol' HB pickup - no neck pickup, like on "standard" Carvin basses. As far as I know, this is the first single-pup bass Carvin has made (notwithstanding the old early 80's basses that were stock with one pup). The pan pot pans between each coil, making for a single front-coil/single rear-coil or blend-of-both configuration - very nice. Also notable, the V-shaped headstock. Carvin makes a V headstock for a 4-string, but not a fiver. They actually made this headstock by hand for me (not on the CNC). Very nice.

    The tone is just great. The single pickup configuration is very bright and trebly, but the mahogany deepens and warms the tone, which is exactly what I expected when I ordered it. As always, fit & finish are perfect, and it's super-playable. The neck is nice and fast, and the action is low with no dead spots. The extended scale is easy to get used to, although I don't notice any huge difference in string tension over a 34" scale model (I had read in various places that the tension was better on a longer scale model). Still, the B is nice and tight, without excessive "flop".

    The obviously question, that I've answered many times, is why not just buy a MusicMan, instead of having a Carvin made similar to a MM? Well, it really is only superficially similar to a MM. I wanted neck-thru, and I wanted mahogany and quilt. I've only played a MM once or twice, so I wasn't trying to replicate the tone - I just wanted a single pickup model with a good sound. And since I've had such great luck with Carvins (this makes number 10), it seemed like a natural idea. The fact that Carvin was willing to do this, plus make the custom headstock, and do it at a good price with a minimal wait sealed the deal.


    If you care, you can see the rest of 'em, plus hundereds of pages and thousands of pictures of Carvin basses at the Carvin Bass Museum.
  2. Deep Pockets

    Deep Pockets

    Oct 28, 2003
    I would be one of the Carvin fans of which you spoke. What a sweet axe!!
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    That's a great looking bass. I especially like the V-headstock. Congrats, man!
  4. Yeah, well I tried to order an XB75 with a traditional headstock (code TH), and was turned down.

    I think you have a little bit of clout there, Mr. TK65.

    In fact, you've done so much for Carvin, what with your unofficial Carvin museum website, that Carvin really ought to give you your bass free.

    Your bass looks lovely and hopefully all the positive feedback will pursuade Carvin to offer the V and TH headstocks with the BB, XB and LB 75 models.

    Thank you for posting.
  5. Hey, I wanna be Carvin fan #5 :D

    Very nice, I think I dig the V headstock...got a closeup? That vintage yellow is really nice as well; it never really struck me from the catelog, but it came out really well!
  6. TK65


    Jan 16, 2003
    Thanks all - it's just such a sweet bass. Probably the best Carvin I've played. I wish I hadn't waited so long to go with mahogany and bird's eye maple. Wood really does make a difference!

    And I got into a discussion with them about a 5-string traditional headstock - as I recall, they said they had tried to do one for someone once, and just couldn't make it "work". I had originally asked for a 5-inline headstock, like the older basses, and that wasn't do-able, either. There's a late 90's LB75 on eBay right now with a V headstock, so I guess part of the deal was that had done that type once or twice before.

    As for clout, I dunno about that. If I had clout, they'd be building me an 8-string. But anyone who thinks they should send me a freebie is on my "good guy" list - there's a Sunsetburst LB20 on their site I've got my eye on...
  7. TK65


    Jan 16, 2003
    Here's a top-down shot...

  8. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    I won't ask the price (although if you want to tell me, that's ok :)) But I am curious how long the wait was.

    Beautiful bass, by the way. Nicest Carvin I've seen!
  9. TK65


    Jan 16, 2003
    Build time was about 9 weeks, which used to be their normal build time. Now, a "standard" model takes about 4. Most of the build time was due to the headstock, and the custom electronics.

    Price was right in line with their standard pricing. There was an additional charge for the headstock, and an additional charge for the electronics, but that only added about $100 to the overall price. Plus, I ordered when they were having the free case offer, which evened out some of the upcharges. The XB's are more than the LB's, and of course the mahogany, quilt, birdseye and gold were additional - but still, it's a custom-made bass (just for me!) in the $1200 ball park, which is less than a lot of the basses hanging on the wall at the Local Music Store.
  10. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Hey TK,

    Did you think about getting the truss rod cover engraved? With a bass this customized it would be cool to have your "signature" on it, something like other signature models...

    I like your new bass...I know you will enjoy it!!
  11. TK65


    Jan 16, 2003
    I actually make my own exotic truss rod covers for my basses, so the plastic one will be gone as soon as I can find a small piece of birdseye. In fact, that's one of my few beefs with Carvin (and really every other bass) - you plunk down $1000 or more on a bass with great looking woods, then get a .50 cent plastic TRC.

    Here's a couple - an LB76A with a flamed koa TRC (looks great with the koa stripes in the neck), and an LB70 and BB76P, both with Macassar ebony TRCs. Those look real good with the ebony fingerboards.

  12. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    Hey ThunderKiss, that is one Sweet Bass.
  13. that bass has an amazing air of class to it.

    have you got a link to pics of the other 9 carvin basses?

  14. TK65


    Jan 16, 2003
    Thanks again - I have pics of all of them on my site, the Carvin Bass Museum (http://www.carvinbassmuseum.com). Go to Collections>ThunderKiss65.

    And if you're keeping score, here's what I have:

    The above XB75
    BB76P - black stain over quilt
    LB76A - flamed maple
    LB70 - Harlequin Prismatique
    AC40 - acoustic, blueburst over quilt
    V440 - old pointy style, with Kahler bass trem
    DN640 - doubleneck guitar/bass, koa
    DN640 - doubleneck guitar/bass with Floyd Rose & Kahler bass trem
    DN440 - doubleneck fretted/fretless bass
    DN612 - doubleneck 6/12 guitar

    And yeah, I play them all!