Carvin Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jeff Moote, Oct 14, 2001.

  1. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Hello all, I'm kinda new here. In fact this is my first post. Funkycarnivore, if he is around, will recognise me from tabcrawler. You guys seem to be much more mature...

    Anyway... to the point:
    What do you all think of Carvin basses for their price (as compared to MiA Fenders, etc...)? How about their new 35 1/4" scale, especially on a fiver?
  2. I have a Carvin LB75 (5 string) bass, and I like it much more than a Fender, it sounds and looks awesome! I dont know about their new long scale basses, I got mine used. Hope this helps a little.
  3. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    yes, that does help. Which pickups do you have? Do you like the preamp, I've heard mixex opinions on it?

    Does anyone else have one?
  4. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    I think Carvin basses are great!! I owned a LB20 Fretless at one point and I thought the construction was great! I would definately get the neck tung oiled (If you like oil finished necks). Pickups are a little weak, so I would definately switch those out. otehr than that, you have a great bass!
  5. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    mine plays great,I have a neck thru 5 with the wider neck, but i have the HB2 humbucking pickup and i really don't like it... i don't suggest getting one.... the pickup i mean... otherwise its a nice bass... my frets have worn down and now they have grooves in em, and i've only had it for a year.. its probably because of the way i play and not due to the quality of the frets, but i thought i'd throw that in too.
  6. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    thanks, I probably will get that wider neck and tung oiled when and if I get one. Whay dob't you like the HB2 pup? I guess I could swap it out, but I kinda want the wide pole humbucker and J combo. I can't really afford a Warwick Corvette FNA Jazzman either, not within a couple years at least.
  7. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    the hb2 is very "honky" too many mids i suppose... sounds nothing like a mm pickup, which i expected it to. Its very hard to get it to cut through a mix without sounding harsh and annoying. all subjective words i know but i don't know how else to explain, i just don't like it...
  8. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I would not get the big HB. I would get the stacked HB or the jazzes. I would also get the longer scale for a better B string sound, although the regular Carvins aren't too shabby. The bass is incomparable with the American Jazz IMO. If you feel strong feelings for the jazz, get one. Then you can compare everything else you get after that to it.
  9. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I have a Carvin LB-70 and it originally had the HB4 pickup (Carvin brand music man style pickup at the bridge). I changed it out with a Basslines ceramic music man pickup (I also changed the coil tap switch from parallel/split to series/split/parallel). The Basslines pickup sounds great!!!! You can get it for about $85 from warmoth or maybe other places as well. The Carvin HB4 pickup is OK, but not super. I kept the J99 neck pickup and the Carvin electronics and I realy like the sound now. I will say that it is fairly modern sounding (but that is the style I like), so if you are going for more of that vintage sound, you may want to go with the Fender. The LB70 is a great bass with excellent craftsmanship. It is very comfortable to play (I highly recommend the tung oiled neck option!!!! as it makes the neck very fast). I've played my Carvin for 2.5 years as my main bass in my band and I really like it. It is no $5000 custom Fodera, but it is well worth the money you would spend on it. Just be prepared to wait 8 to 12 weeks for it after you order it, if you decide to get one.
    Let me know if you have any other questions.

  10. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I have 2 Carvin basses, a 5 string lined fretless and a 6 string unlined fretless. I feel that these are well made, good looking basses. I've used the 5 string on a lot of jazz, rock, and blues gigs and with the tapewounds, I get a nice deep mellow tone. I have Carvin flatwounds on my 6 string and I've only used this bass in a rock setting. I'm not that comfortable with a 6 string fretless yet, so I do not use this bass as much (my main axe is a Pedulla MVP fretted 4 string).
  11. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Ed Friedland swears by his Carvins. And, he has sound files up at his website of his basses.

    I have played 4, or 5 Carvins, but only 2 that were set up worth a damn. One I really liked, one I didn't. The one I liked was a 4 string fretless with the HB2, and it sounded great. It is a newer one, and has a Claro Walnut body, I think. It was beautiful, and sounded like a champ.

    But, some people just don't like the way they feel. That's what makes their return policy so great. If you don't like it, you have a week to return it--no questions asked. I say, go for it, and if you don't like it, you are only out shipping. So, not too shabby of a deal.

    I'm glad I took a chance on my Carvin 2x10 combo. I sold my SWR when I got it, and I have never regretted the decision.
  12. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Hi Monty,

    Welcome to TB! I'm awaiting my first Carvin as we speak. It's an LB75P with a Walnut (asymetrical) neck & body, and stacked HB pup. Carvin say's it'll be shipped this Friday, so I should soon be able to tell you more.
  13. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I'm waiting for my third Carvin bass which is being built now.

    You can find lots of discussion about wood choices, pickup combinations, etc. at
  14. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Thanks MG. I there almost daily.:)
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I have owned two LB75s. I found both have a decent sound and be very comfortable to play. My only advise is this. IMHO, the lamenated neck is NOT AN OPTION. It is a must. The first bass that I owned was a one-piece neck. The LB75s have a very slim neck profile and when coupled with the tension of the five strings, it makes for a very unstable neck. At least it did on my bass. I spent more time setting it up than I did playing it. It really soured me on Carvin. But I otherwise liked the bass.

    After a while, I got another one with the 5 piece neck, it was much more sable and functioned as it should. I got rid of it because I wanted a G&L L2500 which I really like.

  16. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Chasarms, was the one you had with the one-piece neck made before they started using the graphite reinforcement in the necks? I'm not sure what year they started using the graphite, but my LB70 doesn't have it, nor did the V440T that I used to have. That was my biggest complaint. I had to frequently adjust the truss rod to keep the ultra-low string action. But when it's properly adjusted, the string action is unbeleiveable.
  17. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Just curious, what was the neck of your first LB75 made out of?
  18. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    The thing about Carvins they're always changing something, so it's hard to say. I have a '94 fretless six, with the koa body and maple neck. It's when they were putting two steel bars in the neck. The neck has been incredibly stable - with that and the locking tuners, I never really had to tune it when I was playing it more often. It is light weight due to the koa. But it sounds only so-so. I can get a really barky bridge sound, or a very mellow neck sound, or with both pickups something completely devoid of character. Lots of treble from the pickups. The EQ wasn't too useful either.

    Later, I got a '99 fretted 5 with the HB2/J99 pickups. This had the graphite reinforced neck, and I got a 5-piece maple/walnut. I've heard people complain about the old wilkinson bridges, but I don't like the new Hipshots. Anyway, i could never get the action at a decent level with this one. Ended up with it at medium height, but buzzing. Maybe I just needed a professional's help? The HB2 pickup was, indeed, honky as heck. I kind of liked that though, but I never had to record with it. The biggest suprise for me was the difference between active and passive modes. HUGE. Why? If the electronics are adding that much character of their own, I'd be worried (and I think they were).

    I've come to think that with the newer Peavey, Ibanez, imported MTDs, and even cheaper customs like Kinal, Carvins are not the deal they used to be. Then again, you can't get a neck-through from most of those.
  19. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i honestly dont think you can go wrong with carvin, as long as you know what you want. I have a 2001 LB75PFW thats the 34" scale neck through five string fretless with a walnut body and maple/walnut/maple/walnut/maple five piece neck. its great. In my opinion it is the best bass for the money. i paid about 1100 for mine with a hardshell case, new from carvin. The technical support is good too. I had a preamp fail, and had a new one in my hands within 2 days. MY bass also has the P series option, and I would highly reccoment it. I know people have said negative things about the HB2 pickup (thats the big MM style humbucker) but I honestly love it. i usually keep that one soloed. The P series also includes one single coil J style in the neck position, and piezo pickups in the bridge saddles. with the fretless and the piezos blended in I can get a sound that is very close to an upright bass (ive played upright for 7 years too, i was skeptical at first, but now im well satisfied) I really dislike fenders, as I find them overpriced for how common they are, as well as their overall lacking of features. But then again, I wanted a humbucker, and a single, and active electroncs and a neck through with a natural finish. If fenders are your thing go with a fender but i believe carvin to be the best bass for the money in this price range. you can find more information at somewhere on that site there is an ultimate 5 string shootout. and you will see that a few of the testers chose the carvin as their favorite 5 under 1000, and that was without a lot of options. I dont believe anyone chose the fender 5. Despite popular opinion also, even the 34" scale carvins (like mine) have good string tension, and sweet action. this and the neck of the bass is what makes it for carvin basses. I have not seen or played any of their nex extended scale basses, though i have heard that they simply moved the bridge south, and compensated with the fret ploacement. hence why there is only 22 frets. In my opinion that would be the only downside, as i love having 24 frets (or lines for that matter) but im willing to bet that the 35.25" (?) scale length would be nothign but an improvement. I wouldnt worry about the neck warping either, mines rock solid. the newer ones have graphite reinforcement rods, and the laminated necks are even stronger. I havent had to adjust the truss rod once, and the bass was sent from warm california... to freezing cold michigan. Ok im done with my rave, i hop that helps you out.
  20. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Well, I sure hope mine turns out to be as solid as yours. When I ordered it, I was going to get the laminated neck since it's a fiver, and was worried about warpage or breakage. I wanted the NWAL body and Carvin assured me that walnut was a hard enough wood to be used for the neck too, at least with their neck-through configuration.

    So, mine's an NWAL LB75P with one-piece walnut neck. If it's unstable, I hope I can tell within the first 10 days so I can get them to make another with a 5-piece neck.