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Carvin Basses..Pros Cons?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fburke, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. fburke


    Nov 25, 2009
    Beverly Ma
    Any input on Carvin Basses? Years ago I played a friends Carvin Guitar and Amp set up and it was awesome!! . Never played their basses…I have always been a Ibanez Soundgrear guy my current bass is a SR1000 made in aprox 1991…looking to buy a new bass…I like the looks and sound of the Carvins from what I have seen on YouTube but since there is no local store to actually play one I’m a little skeptable Just wondering if anyone has any input on here.

    looking at the LB20 passive

    One thing in I like a thin neck where I have small hands so I really like a thin neck…

    ***EDIT***on another note i like simple...i donl't want a bunch of knobs...you spend more time playing with them which is why i am lookin at passive...just give me a volume and a tone knob...the rest i have on my amp....

  2. bhunt1

    bhunt1 Vintage Lefty Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Older than dirt ;)
    I've owned 2 Carvin basses and really like em. I too live in the east so I can't visit one of their stores. If you buy a new one and don't like it they have a 10 day return policy. Used they are cheap. They sound great and are really well made imo. I have an LB70, which is same neck profile as the LB20 it's nice and thin. Get tung oil finish on back of neck if you can, it's really nice.
  3. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Do yourself a favor and check out the Brian Bromberg and also the SB4000 before you check out the LB.
    All carvin basses are great. In fact, better then great, INMHO. But these two new models are even better then that!
  4. Garmonbozia


    Jul 21, 2011

    My carvin Fretless is the best bass I've ever owned.

    I do understand your love of the Ibanez, since I like them a lot as well, but I can guarantee you, you will not be disappointed with a Carvin.
  5. Vintage Guy

    Vintage Guy Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Just bought a SB 5000. Parked all my other 5 strings. They may need to go to new homes!
  6. +1

    The Bromberg basses look awesome, and Carvin produces many wood/finish choices.
  7. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    I have an XB75. It feels good, sounds good, and looks good. Only had it a short time but I am very satisfied with the purchase.
  8. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    carvins are great until you want to trade one in for a fender or a gibson, which is lame, because they are very nice
  9. kickboxr


    Nov 16, 2011
    carvin sb4000 awesome bass, get the active because you can always go passive with it too. very versatile bass. i find myself playing it passive 75% of the time. Carvin having a hell of a sale right now, you can buy an sb4000 or sb5000 for 100.00 cheaper now than I did mine 6 mos ago..........
  10. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Their necks are weak imo. Id only concider the 5peice necks if I ever got one again. The one I had like several revieews mentioned back then, had truss rod problems due to weak neck. I also think that anymore they are overpriced compared to the competitions mid to upper end imports. Once upon a time they where a great deal price wise. But I think that ended in the late 90's for the most part.
  11. Definitely

    Definitely Banned

    Well, I have the cheapest Carvin bass you can buy, the B40. But if it sounds this good I can only IMAGINE what the more expensive ones sound like. (FWIW the B and SB basses have the same electronics) I love the neck, not sure about the LB necks but the B40 is a jazz sized neck with a flatter back. I could ramble on all day about how amazing my bass is, but I'll leave it at that and just say that you would be extremely happy going with Carvin.
  12. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    I love my Carvin LB-70. Neck is rock solid and action is low and fast. This bass never goes out of tune. If I put it away for a year, when I pull it out, it's in tune. You could calibrate tuners with this thing. Tone is like the bottom third of a piano.

    Buy used. Only real down side to Carvin is resale. So take advantage of that.
  13. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    I have a 20 year old LB-75 and I love it! The construction is spot on and it looks and feels great! I would not hesitate to order from them again.

    A lot of people will say the active electronics are very bland and I'd say thats fairly accurate. But you're going passive so that wont matter to you.

    They are not the cheapest game in town but when you consider all the options they offer, you can customize the bass to a large extent and still keep the overall price manageable.
  14. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I don't think they get enough respect. They are fine, beautiful instruments.
  15. the mojo hobo

    the mojo hobo

    Nov 13, 2005
    I've got three of them, a B4, a TBS4 and an LB20. Obviously I love quilted maple tops. I bought the B4 because we play a lot of small stage crowded bars and I didn't want to damage the TBS, but it has become my favorite. I think the oil finished neck ans it's light weight has a lot to do with it.

  16. I can't say enough great things about my Carvins. I play only 5 strings and for a while had only 35" Lakland's (US and SKylines and they are awesome basses!). I bought an SB5000 on a whim. Within a couple of months, all my other basses were gone except for the SB5000 and a Bromberg B25P (both with 1 piece necks with no issues whatsoever).

    I bought a Sadowsky Metro (great bass!) and ended up selling it off and ordering 2 B50's. The Metro is a great bass, but for me it's not twice as good to justify being twice the price (in all honesty, it really didn't feel or play any better than either Carvin...).

    As a plus, I was able to order those B50s e-x-a-c-t-l-y as I wanted them. Color, wood, inlays, fingerboard, frets, everything. I even ordered one unrouted so I can make it a 'P-bass'. No other company does that for a US made bass at that price. Some companies don't do it at any price. Certainly the imports don't offer that flexibility.

    There was a time when Carvin got a bad rap for one reason or another. Whatever that was, it's gone now IMHO. The BB75's were always sleeper favorites for a lot of folks but the SB and B2 basses have really helped Carvin re-establish itself in the market over the last few years. The workmanship is every bit as good as any other bass I've ever owned, even the ones that cost 2-3 times as much, and they play just as nice.

    The only con I've seen is the resale price.

    All the above is based on my opinions from my travels. Other people may have different experiences.
  17. tri33


    Sep 20, 2011
    Well I ordered a SB4000 a while back and just love it. The necks are fairly thin. I love the type of profile on my SB. I did encounter some issues with the gold plating on my hardware, but after a few emails to Carvin they remedied the situation. So I would definitely recommend their basses. With the price and amount of customization you really can't go wrong.

    Attached Files:

  18. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have two, a B5 (it now has a fretted neck on it):


    And my main and favorite bass, an Icon 6:


    It has J99A pickups with TI flats. Sounds like Heaven.
  19. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I've been using them since 1992 (I still have my first fretless LB76 from that year and it plays and sounds great!) Highly recommended. They're good folks and they really care about improving their instruments. I am primarily using a Walnut Icon 6 fretted and a Claro Walnut LB76F fretless 6 for my main basses along with my SB5000 Sekou Bunch for Commercial Work and Sessions. Great instruments at a great value!
  20. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL

    Solid bass, great setups and construction. Great value for what you get.

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