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Carvin Basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gunstringer, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Gunstringer


    Mar 7, 2008
    I was wandering about carvin bass, how are they? what are the good side of it and what are the bad, you know... could someone give me an opinion
  2. g00eY


    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    The neck is pretty flippin fast. It's got a flatter profile and tighter string spacing (I want to say 16.5 mm, but I can't remember). The electronics leave something to be desired. They are kind of anemic and lack fullness. That being said, I have heard good things about the new Carvin 18V preamp and the soapbar pickups.
  3. Ive only played a few of them at Carvin and to me the problem with them is that they dont stand out enough.. The woods are pretty nice but the tone is just kinda 'meh', I mean, its not bad or anything, its almost like you just know exactly what its going to sound like just by looking at it. For the money I'd rather get something with a little more character (IMO) like a Musicman or Lakland or Fender or Specor... So I guess I just consider them so so.
  4. lowbass68


    Feb 3, 2008
    The few Carvins I have played (never owned) played good but the sound just lacking something. For the money there are better basses.
    I do have a Carvin bass combo amp that I am pleased with.
  5. Would you guess that carvins lack of zest comes from the pre-amp rather than the pickups? I talked to someone with an icon with the new soapbars and they apparently sound comparable to barts.
  6. lowbass68


    Feb 3, 2008
    Good question. I have played several early/mid 80's passive Carvins and a few recent active models. The newer Carvins played better but I liked the sound of the older ones better.
  7. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    There is going to be a few that say the pickups and electronics could be better, but I keep hearing that they have improved the pickups.

    Construction is top notch.

    I had one and it sounded bland plus I didn't like the 5 string profile so I got rid of it.
  8. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Don't stand out!! I'd put my Elite up against any of the basses you mentioned. Mine has a fat/punchy/full sound that cuts through anything. I've played Carvins for years and never had an issue with the sound or electronics. Once you get the setting tweaked on the bass and your amp, these basses are killer!

    Check out this recording I did 7 years ago or so using a Carvin B5 fretless (with the older preamp). Hold On

    This is my current Carvin, and as I said it sounding killer.....and looks good too!
  9. The fretless sounds great and that bass is killer looking (looks like a fedora), but the MM pickup with exposed poles and the jazz with non-exposed poles just makes the hole thing look cheap. Like the electronics were an after thought and they just tossed in whatever they had lying around. That thing would be killer with pickup covers to match the top wood.



    Aug 4, 2007
    :meh:I don't know WHY people are knocking Carvin's electronics....I have an old B4 passive....IT SOUNDS GREAT...I also have a 5-year old XB75PF...IT ALSO SOUNDS GREAT....Also I've delt with Carvin for about 10 years now...Their service dept. is second to none. I sent my B4 in to have it "set-up" because there isn't a decent shop here where I live...I paid freight from Utah to their California store...They set it up,and sent it back for no charge...(even shipping.) I've played MANY basses in the past 30 years...I'd put my Carvins up against ANY of them...ESPECIALLY FOR THE PRICE AND SERVICE....YES...I'M A CARVIN FAN...Give them a try.
  11. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    floppy necks

    Get a Mexican Fender and put a Warmoth neck on it. You'll have a better bass.
  12. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Was waiting for him to chime in. TB's resident Carvin basher!
  13. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I can tell you I really like my Carvins. I have 2 LB70s, one with single coils and one with humbuckers. I also have a semi hollow AC40 with a piezo pickup. They are all great players with very nice tone, IMO. I've never had a neck or truss rod problem with my Carvins.

    Since Carvin offers several pickup options, it's not easy to quickly run down the tone options. Why don't you go to the Carvin Museum web site and the Carvin BBS? You can get lots of info on these two sites. There's a link to the museum in my sig. When I was first considering a Carvin, the folks at these two webs sites were very helpful.

    Hey ClassicJazz, that was a nice clip and some great bass playing!


    Aug 4, 2007
    :spit:FLOPPY NECKS?!?:spit:
  15. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I have an Icon 6... Great bass, very versitile, can dial in any tone I like. If you worry about the neck, just go with the 5 piece neck option ( I did ), that won't go anywhere.
  16. I played some Carvins at the Carvin store, and though I had been wanting one for awhile, I found myself very disapointed when I actually played them.

    The basses LOOK beautiful, but the sound was just flat and definately lacking something.:meh: My impression of the pickups, was that they seemed like cheap imitations of better known brands. The feel of the basses did not feel solid. When I pick up my Sterling, that thing is SOLID. When I picked up the Carvin, i was worried I was going to break it.

    Just my .02
  17. SERPENT865


    Jan 1, 2007
    Wichita , KS
    I would put my LB70 up against any other so called highend bass .
  18. peterbright


    Jan 23, 2007
    On The Bayou
    Love my ICON 4P & have an ICON 4S coming soon.
  19. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Oh yeah resale is the worst part.

    You loose about 40- 60% of the value if you buy it new. So if you don't like that new Carvin down the road you take a bath on it.

    If you are even considering one, buy a used one for around $400- $600 that cost about $1200 + new.
  20. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    +1. I've had my XB-75 (with a MM humbucker and jazz pickup) for a bit over a year now. It plays like butter. I have never had to adjust the neck, the action is awesome and the tone is very versatile. It's a 9v preamp for the electronics that can be switched to passive. It sounds like a beast or a smooth cat if I play around with the controls enough. I have NO IDEA where people are getting this notion that they sound "anemic" or "missing something". I am willing to bet that these people have never owned a Carvin...just picked one up in a store and it had other issues (dead strings, some electronic problems, dead battery???). Having owned (and still own) many basses that everyone considers very good and played many, many more even nicer basses...I feel I can safely compare the Carvin that I own to a lot of high quality basses (in the $1000 ish range). It feels excellent, sounds great and makes me smile everytime I play it.

    The only issue that I don't like...and it's just something that I am used to, not a "problem"...the treble control is towards the back of the bass and the bass knob is towards the neck side. Just backwards from what I am used to, but does not affect anything.

    PS... Quilt maple top on Swamp Ash body. 5 piece Neck thru. Rosewood board. Hard case. about 1300 bucks IIRC and a 4 month wait.

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