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Any Information On Carvin 5/6 strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ayepicsa, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. ayepicsa


    Sep 21, 2005
    Oxnard, CA
    Whats up.
    I was looking for anyone who has played or owns a Carvin 5/6 string, and if so, how do they sound tone-wise. Also, how is the string spacing and the sustain? Lastly, would they be a good choice for slapping styles? Thanks
  2. I have not played a Carvin(more than fiddling w/one at a music store here & there)but I wouldn't be comfy slapping their 5 or 6 stringers; the string spacing, though I'm not sure of the actual measurement, is tighter than the Fender-typical 3/4" at the bridge. Their build quality & playability is very nice but their older electronics seem to have a bad reputation(for tone, I think- not neccesarily reliability).
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I owned a Carvin LB76 six string as my main bass for almost a year, about 8 or 9 years ago. Frankly, the string spacing was a bit too tight, and that's why I sold it. You COULD slap on it, but it was a chore because of the tight spacing, and you had to be very careful while doing it.

    Carvin quality is excellent. However, I'd research the actual string spacing dimensions, find another bass locally that has those same spacing dimensions, try it, and see how you feel about it. It just wasn't for me.
  4. w. edgar evans

    w. edgar evans

    Jan 21, 2004
    I just got a carvin lb76p with a tung oiled walnut body about a month ago. The tone is excellent for finger style, and very versatile (lots of knobs and whatnot to adjust). Through a full-range sound system in the front of the house the tone is clear and cutting in a mid-rangey sense with clear, but not harsh, highs. I actually prefer the sound of this bass through a full-range system than a bass cabinet because it is very nuanced in the mid ranges.

    The string spacing is ~16.5 mm, the same as a Warwick 5 or 6, slightly tighter than a Fender 5 or Stingray (17mm), or Modulus, etc. For slapping, the string spacing is wonderful (for me at least), as I learned to slap on an ibanez soundgear 5 (16mm string spacing). It does seem a bit cramped compared to full Fender (19mm) spacing, but for the amount of slap I usually do (not that much) I don't mind. There are plenty of players out there who slap warwicks (p-nut from 311 comes to mind), so at least it is plausible with this configuration.

    For a 5 stringed instrument, you can get the wider neck option on the lb75, or get a bb75 which has full Fender (19mm) spacing. I'd advise getting at least a bridge position humbucker for a good slap tone (or finger style, for that matter). The humbuckers give massive amounts of low-end alone--I don't even have to change eq for a fat bottom on my thumb slap sound. The bridge position pickup tends to be a little further away from the bridge than other basses I've seen, giving it a slightly rounder and less nasal sound when soloed. A neck postion humbucker will give an even stonger, boomier bottom to the tone, and I like to have this tonal option available for certain situations (where the audience absolutely needs to FEEL the bass), although I usually set the coil tap so it is only running on one coil.

    My bass has two humbuckers and two coil tap switches (they CAN put two coil taps on there, it's an additional $10, even if the sales rep gives you grief about it like mine did.:) ) The increased tonal options are worth the extra $65 or so for the pickup upgrades, IMO.

    The 3-band eq is nice, but I rarely use it except to roll of the treble when more of a vintage sound is called for. The piezos, if you get them, are also nice for a little bit of acoustic complexity to the tone. Again, I usually turn them off if I'm going for more of a vintage sound.

    I'm not a paid endorser, btw. :) Although it would be nice....

    Hope the ramblings help.

  5. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    I have a Carvin 5 string (which you can sorta see in my avatar). Great playability and workmanship. Very nice bass. The original electronics were okay, but not quite my cup of tea...so I replaced them with Bartolini pickups and an Aguilar preamp. This totally transformed the bass, and I like it a lot better now. "Tone monster" says it pretty well. I can make things walk off shelves with it now if I'm so inclined.

    Good basses, overall.

    I am in fact going to be selling this bass soon...I've bought a Bongo, and the sad fact of financial and marital life is that I can only have three basses total: One main fretted bass, one fretless, and a beater bass I keep in the closet at home for practice, since my main instruments live at the rehearsal studio.

    If I didn't have to sell it to make room for the Bongo, I'd definitely keep it...it's served me very well for several years.
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    My Carvin BB75 walnut in action:


    If you want a 5-string bass with a string spacing similar to a regular four's, the BB75 is what you need. Besides, access to the 24th fret is incredibly easy (maybe that's common to most neck-thrus, but among the neck-throughs I've played, the Carvin is by far the best in this area). I still have it and worked with it during almost five years until I got my Bongo, which is a true beast, but it doesn't mean that the Carvin isn't a good instrument to me. The active electronics are great, very versatile tonewise (the MM type bridge humbucker has a coil splitter, which is a nice touch). I think the BB75P (with piezos) is even better. I've seen many folks here saying that the Carvin tone is "bland". I don't think so. Maybe it's kinda bland to me after playing the Bongo, but I don't feel it's an electronics' fault. To me, a bolt-on bass is much punchier than a neck-through, but a neck-through has a bigger sustain. I remember that the first tune I played with my rock band on this bass was Rush's "Tom Sawyer" and after hitting the first E, I couldn't believe my ears how long it lasted. So it's a matter of preference (but it's hard to approximate a Geddy Lee-type tone with a neck through bass, based on my experience).

    Another thing I like is the ebony fingerboard. I like it more than rosewood because its slicker feel and nicer looks. In fact, I still ask myself how the guys at Carvin can offer an instrument packed with expensive options (ebony fingerboard, active electronics and neck through body construction) at such comparatively low prices. I think no other bass beats that price/quality relationship. Overall a great bass to me. Not as great as the Bongo (except for the last fret access), but still great anyway.
  7. adouglas,

    I have an LB75 which I would like to beef the tone up in with the same electronics you chose. Could you give me an idea of what the bass sounded like before & after? Also, what woods are your bass made up of & which pickup config?

  8. ayepicsa


    Sep 21, 2005
    Oxnard, CA
    Thanks for all ur guys' info! It is really useful. The Guitar Center by where I live NEVER has any Carvins in stock, and I've always wanted to try 'em out because I've seen some good reviews on them and I love the way they look. I'm probably gonna drive down to Carvin's Hollywood store and check 'em out there.

    Thanks for the info!!!
  9. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    That's because Carvin does not sell through dealers. Direct or in one of the factory stores....that's it.
  10. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    I'll PM you with that info...
  11. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I have a fretless 5 string and a fretted 6 (I used to have a fretless 6 but I traded it for the fretted). On the five, I use tapewounds, and while you can slap these, they definitely produce a very different slap sound than regula roundwounds. The tone of this bass is excellent - if anything, I take off some bass. My 6 is a bit too tight for slapping (by me, anyway) but I'm not a regular slapper. I have the six more for chordal and extended range stuff - I mainly use my Pedulla MVP 4 string (fretted) and my Carvin fretless 5. The build quality of the Carvins is excellent as is the fit and finish. I also have no problems with their tone.
  12. Fo' Shizzle

    Fo' Shizzle

    Aug 28, 2003
    And leave the rest of us out??? :meh:

    I'm kinda curious myself. I own two Carvin 5's and I'm gigging with my 55-01 now for this reason.
  13. Inquiring minds would like to know. I have the lb75 with the wide neck and MM style bridge p'up and the jazz style humbucker at the neck position. Which p'ups did you replace yours with and was it a drop in mod or did you have to make some physical mods to the bass.
  14. Check out Ed Friedland's website. He's a big Carvin user and you can listen to sound clips of him slapping the Bunny Brunel model.

    I tried out a BB75 with a swamp ash body, a maple fingerboard, and 2 H50N pickups. I love the assymetrical neck (also available as an option on the LB75) and this wood combo made it a good choice for slapping. I look for sustain too, I think ebony might add more sustain than the maple.

    I own a Carvin 5 string kit bass but I find the spacing too narrow for me. The workmanship on the BB75 was excellent. Here's a photo:

  15. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Sorry, guys...I didn't want to break forum rules. As noted above, I have to sell the Carvin to make room for my new Bongo, and I wanted to provide the poster with some details in case he's interested (mine's a very nice Anniversary series, loaded). No ads allowed here, so PM me for details if you're interested...it could be worthwhile even if you do already own a Carvin.

    Anyway, no, no mods. The pups are Bartolini 59js. The tone was okay before...well you know what a Carvin sounds like since you've got one. The electronics and pickup change made it FAR more dynamic. I used to boost the bass and mids, now I don't touch the bass at all. Overall tone is better to my ear, and the EQ is far more effective. (I can make things walk off shelves now...the original electronics and pickups could not do that.)
  16. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    LB75PF w/two HB & separate taps. Consider the wider assemetric neck for lots of slapping. Huge sound w/both HB on.