Carvin 6-string fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Brilliant Fool, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Pics of the bass.

    I just put $20 down on this bass, I'm going to be spending $400 total. I think it's an awesome deal, but I'd like to know what somebody who has owned one of these has to say.

    It plays well, and the neck is quite manageable... even for a guy of my size.

    Sweet! :D
  2. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I had a Carvin fretless years ago. It was ok, but sounded much better after I installed Bartolini pickups and preamp. In fact, the first time I played a gig with the new electronics installed, a fellow bass player asked me what I did to my bass because it sounded so much better than the last time he heard me play it.

  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I agree with jdombrow. The basic construction quality is excellent. The playability and feel is excellent. They're some of the most consistently built basses in the industry, all of them feel pretty much alike. Tolerances are very tight.

    However, the stock Carvin pickups and electronics don't have a very good sound, IMO. And this opinion seems to be shared by a lot of people. I would do what jdombrow did, which is to rip out the pickups and electronics, and replace them with something better. That way, you'll have the best of both worlds.
  4. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I had one for years. I used the stock PUs and got many compliments on my sound. That doesn't mean you couldn't swap in different PUs/electronics that might sound better, because in fact you probably could. chucko58 on this board put Bill Lawrence J-45s in his (fretted), and it sounds great. But IMO the stock Carvin electronics is far from instant suckage, as I sometimes see asserted around here. I've gotten pro results with it. But you could quite possibly get a better sound for your purposes with Barts or Aeros or whatever. $400 is still a very good deal for a bass built as well as those are.

    Lackey on this board bought my LB76F. If you try him he might be able to tell you how he likes it.
  5. I didn't notice the electronics to be... weak or anything.

    But I was thinking about installing some EMG's anyways.

    What do you think? EMG's or Barts?
  6. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I'd live with the bass a little while first before making any decisions about changing. :bassist: ;)

    But if you're already sure, I personally, between those two, would do Barts. Just like 'em better. YMMV.
  7. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL

    That's a beauty and you got a helluva deal. I don't have a Carvin fretless yet but would like to add one in the future. Congrats!!!! :bassist:
  8. I'm absolutely sure about this bass, I've played it quite a bit. Close to 9 hours in the store. ;)

    I'd prefer EMG's because they have more bite than Barts.
  9. Does anyone have any idea what model this is?

    I'm absolutely stumped. :confused:
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    No offense, but if you already knew which you preferred, what was the point of asking in the first place? :confused:

    But anyway, seriously, if you want to put EMGs in there, you probably won't be able to just drop them in with the existing pre. Unlike Carvins and Barts, the EMGs are active PUs, not passive PUs in an active circuit. I believe they require some weird pot values, for one thing. And if you want to replace the pre in the bass, you might encounter some issues with finding a new unit where the pot spacing fits the holes already drilled in the instrument. Also, you want to make sure that whatever new J style PU you get has a wide enough pickup pattern to grab the outer strings. Not all J style PUs can do that, since many if not most are designed for 4 or 5 strings. Howver, the Carvin is a narrowish 6, so you should have some options.
  11. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    It's an LB76F, with lines. It's at least 6 or 7 years old, because it has Sperzel bass tuners and a Wilkinson bridge, which they don't use any more. I'm pretty sure the body wood on the side is koa, because it doesn't look like mahogany and they weren't using walnut back then. Also, it has the older 2-band preamp (current ones are 3-band). Looks to be in pretty good shape, from what I can see.
  12. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I have owned both my Carvin 6-string Basses since 1994.
    one Fretted & one Fretless. I never wanted to change the
    p/u's or electronics. They sound great and I have recieved
    many complements on my tone. I did experiment with strings
    for the first couple years and after a talk with Ken Smith, put
    a set of Compressors together for me for the fretless.That made a huge difference. My Fretless is an Alder body and
    I have a saphire blue Flame maple top on the Fretted.That
    is a nice lookin Bass, make sure it has a fresh Battery & fresh
    set of strings and it will sound great. That is a great price
    does it come with OHSC ? Also check out
    message boards,you can talk to Carvin owners there also.
  13. I was asking for opinions of the two pups in this given bass; I knew I'd be putting EMG's in it.


    What would I need to do in order to put EMG's in it?
  14. Awesome basses!

    OHSC? :confused:
  15. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    Original Hard Shell Case, carvin has 2 type's the Black case is
    the standard one, kinda like a SKB case. they also offer a tweed case. They also have a gig bag wich I think is a Pro-tec. never mind my rambling, I just have this thing that I have
    to have a original style case with any of my Basses.There is
    some links at the Cavin site that can help you figure out what year it is by the serial number. I think the Sperzels were the best Tuners they ever offered, both mine have them and
    I ordered them in 1993 and got them in early 1994.I like that
    KOA body, I almost ordered one of those.
  16. I got it used, so I didn't get a case. :bawl:

    I am in love with the Sperzel's though!

    I'm not a huge fan of the Wilkinson bridge, though, it seems... off. You know what I mean?

    Next time I'm at guitar center I'll grab the serial.

    I just put another $50 on the bass, I only owe $330 now. :D
  17. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I don't understand the first part, but never mind ... :D

    I honestly don't know exactly what would be involved in putting EMGs in, and I don't want to steer you wrong. I'd suggest (1) asking around in the Pickups forum here and (2) calling up EMG tech support. I would still suggest not bothering with the EMGs and plugging in a set of good passives instead. Less hassle and probably better tone. But that's just my $0.02, YMMV. Besides EMG and Bart you could think about Aero, Bill Lawrence, and Villex. I don't think Dimarzio makes anything wide enough, but I could be wrong.
  18. I just realized how poorly worded that sentence was, I'll re-write it. ;)

    I knew that I was going to put EMG's in this bass. I wanted to know what other people thought about EMG's/Barts in this model.

    I hope that clears it up.

    I might go for passives.
  19. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I know what you mean on the Bridge. But it is built like a tank
    it is a "set it and forget it" Bridge. You can order a Custom
    truss rod cover from Carvin with your name on it. If I was as
    good a photagrapher as I am a Bass Player you could see that
    in the pic.
  20. Just set it and forget it!

    :shivers: Ugh, horrible memories of that infomercial just came flooding to my memory.

    Have you had issues with the saddles going too far to the side?