CARVIN 5 string?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by count_funkula, Jun 17, 2001.

  1. My search for a new bass, like my previous search for a bass cab, has led me to Carvin. I have a question about their 5 strings. What would be the difference between getting a bolt-on neck and neck through? Also, how long does it generally take to get a bass delivered from them? And last but not least, what is the best pickup configuration for these basses.

    Send pictures of your Carvins!!!
  2. Greetings Count...
    I am more than happy with my LB75F- have had it about 1 1/2 years now. It is walnut, neck thru (walnut/maple strips) with the HB2 humbucker in the bridge position. With the coil splitter, this pickup gives much more tonal variation than the jazz pups do.

    As far as the bolt-on necks, they are not 24 frets. So if you want the double octave, go with the neck-thru. I love the neck on mine, nice and thin and easy to keep the action super close.

    It seems like it was about 5 weeks for it to get to me in Ohio. However long it took, it did get here a week or 10 days quicker than they said to expect. It's not the best bass I've ever played, but I expect it to be my main axe for a few years to come until I can get the jack for the Roscoe. But for the price, Carvin is darn hard to beat.

    Here's mine...
  3. jondiener

    jondiener Guy in the corner, looking at his phone on break. Supporting Member

    I'll agree with fretless5 on all counts. I have an LB75 (about 2 years old) neck-thru, active, stacked humbuckers (I think), ebony fretboard, gold hardware, crimson red finish. While I'm not crazy about the lack of low B fullness, I do love the variety of tones I can get with it. Pickups are quiet, it's fairly light, well-balanced, and the neck feels great. I think mine took about 5 or 6 weeks (also to Ohio) and although I was a bit hesitant paying $800 or so bucks for an axe I had never played, I don't regret it at all. In fact, I ended up buying a used Carvin fretless 6 on eBay about a year later (see attachment.) Overall, they're very good basses for the money!

    Good Luck with your decision!
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Mine is the LB75, not their bolt-on model, the B5.

    Cosmetics, shielding, neck, are flawless. Because of their buying power, I guess, the woods are first rate. My quilt top is all the quilt your eye can handle. The construction is almost flawless except that the G has developed a very raspy sound even after playing with the truss rod, saddles, and trying a new string. It's only 6 months old. A repair tech said the fret job seems fine, so he says to bring it in when I can to have the nut slot worked on.

    The Carvin neck is fantastic.

    The J99 is a good pickup, but not among the best. All glassy highs and clear deep lows, no mids. The HB MM style should never have been created, other than to add mids to the J pickup, IMO.

    Their factory strings stink but they are considering changing to Elixers, last I heard.

    The Carvin board is handy to bring up any issues or questions you have and the moderators are tech guys and are responsive.

    For the money, it's hard to do worse.
  5. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    The obligatory countervailing view (no offense, rick):

    I have two LB76s, both with maple necks and koa sides, one fretless and one fretful. The fretless has 2 H50Ns (the stack J size), and the other has a J99 with an HB6. I more or less agree with rick about the J99, but I like the HB6 significantly more than he likes the HB5. Perhaps wood combinations have something to do with it, or maybe it's just personal taste. I find I never use the J99 alone, but then I don't use neck PUs alone that often anyway. I tend to use either the HB6 or both PUs together.

    I'd say, for the money it's hard to do BETTER (or, for the money, you COULD DO worse). :)
  6. One of my friends uses one of those basses and he really likes it
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been extremely happy with my BB75F, it's my main instrument. Swamp ash, HB2 at the bridge, and other toys. Great tone, solid bass. I think it has a very tight and full B string. I have no complaints. Delivery took 5 weeks to NorCal.

  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Richard - No offense taken. You always defend the pro-Carvin MM camp, small as it is, with intellect instead of insults.

    Analogkid got me thinking - Analog said elsewhere that I should try the MM wired in series instead of the way it came from the factory, parallel. (Hell, I didn't know how they came. I assumed Carvin set it up to perform at its best).

    Anyway, analog said series is the way any respectable MM is wired. So, my LB75 goes into the shop this week for some nut slot work after embarassing the snot out of me tonight with people I had never played with before. I'm going to see about having the MM wired in series when it goes in for the nut slot work.

    Maybe yours is wired in series and sounds far better than mine. Two different runs of these pups could have been wired two different ways, you never know.

    But if that turns my Carvin MM into a good-sounding pup, I would miss our tug-of-war. ;)
  9. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Interesting, I never knew that. I haven't really been approaching the HB6 from the point of view of comparison with a real MM; I really just got it because I wanted something fatter than a J at the bridge, which it has given me. So the fact that so many feel it doesn't resemble an MM hasn't concerned me. But now you've got me intrigued with this series-parallel stuff. If throwing in a series-parallel switch would give me an extra usable tone or two, how could that be a bad thing? Let us know how your experiment turns out.
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    A couple of things series will do, (albeit, coming from a pickup tech nincompoop) - Series typically produces more midrange punch and the pups are "hotter" because they don't act as a load on each other as they do in parallel. So, one might think, why not wire in series at the factory? From what I've read, makers wire in parallel if the instrument doesn't provide series/parallel switching capability.

    Just a theoretical situation using the measurement for inductance, millihenries - Series wiring (one pup passing throught the other): one 10mh pup + one 10mh pup = 20mh inductance.

    Parallel wiring: one 10mh pup x one 10mh pup divided by one 10mh pup + one 10mh pup = 5mh inductance.

    So series produces, in this example 20mh inductance and parallel produces one fourth of that. So, what's the big whoop in sonic terms? Inductors impede high freq's while passing low freq's.

    However, I'll find out for sure when the rewiring is done. I'll let you know if Carvin should be equipping these things with series/parallel switching capability, IMO.
  11. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    With regard to the series-parallel thing, I've actually heard the exact opposite, at least for the humbuckers usually found on electric guitars. (Obviously I have no idea what Carvin or MM has been doing with the big PUs on their basses.) What I've heard is that on your basic two humbucker guitar--say, a Les Paul--the two coils of each humbucker are typically wired in series with each other, but the two *pickups* are wired in parallel with each other. That is,

    Neck coil A + neck coil B = series

    Neck PU + bridge PU = parallel

    I imagine you can easily change this if you like, but I'm pretty sure this is how it's usually done on guitars.

    Regardless, I look forward to your report on the rewire of the HB.
  12. This makes sense, as a 3 way selector on a Les Paul would operate like this:

    Neck pup/Both pups/Bridge pup





    With the switch selecting the neck signal, both signals, or the bridge signal, in that order.

    Hope that wasn't too elementary;)