Carvin basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grace30, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. grace30

    grace30 Guest

    Dec 8, 2008
    I would like everybodys opinions on carvin basses i am considering this to be ny next bass. I just want a passive 4 string .So what are the positive and negatives about them thanks
  2. You might have more luck searching for Carvin threads. There are many that discuss peoples opinions of Carvin basses.
  3. Bass-only


    Oct 9, 2001
    Over the last 20 years, I've probably owned 5-6 Carvin basses from an Anniversary 5 to a 6 to several 4's. I currently have a Carvin B4, that I picked up here maybe 2 weeks ago.

    As usual, the neck is incredible. If feels comfortable, impeccable fret work, incredibly straight neck (action is LOW with no buzzing).

    It did come with a BTB Bartolini preamp (but is using the Carvin pickups).

    My feeling on Carvins is that the bass build quality is incredible. The preamps have always been an issue to me. They seem (in my experience) to be noisy and lack strong bottom end - and tend to sound almost too scooped (when everything is flat). I had one that died on me also. If they went to a Bart, Aggie, or another premium preamp, I'd probably sell all my basses and have all Carvins.

    I think their pickups are decent, but no way near the best.

    I've never had a "passive" Carvin, so I can't speak on that option.

    Consider adding a Bart BTB preamp, if you're not overly impressed with the passive Carvin. There's plenty of room for a battery in that (well shielded) cavity! :)
  4. I own an AC40 Fretless ABG and two Bolt 5 strings (fretted and fretless).

    I like them. Others have issues with the preamps, but I usually pull the switch and use them passive anyway. Superb fit and finish.
  5. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I think they are really good basses. I played many last week at the Carvin store in Hollywood though the only pickups I liked were the humcancelling J's.

    Great necks, excellent fit and that off with the affordability factor and you have a great bass.
  6. grace30

    grace30 Guest

    Dec 8, 2008
    For a special order bass price wise you cannot beat it. I just purchased a sbx10 half stack and if there basses are is good as there amps they should be great
  7. I'm gonna be bluntly honest with you, I bought a LB75AP Anniversary in Feb '08', sounded great in the store, but took me all of 4 mths to get it to sound good live. It drove me nuts, got tired of f***n around with it and went out and bought an '08' MIA Fender Jazz V - the Jazz blows it away, IMHO. The Carvin actually sounds better in passive than in active, but not like the passive Jazz. It's a beautiful bass and the workmanship is top notch, but the pups and electronics are ho-hum. It just doesn't move air like the Jazz Bass does. Also, IMHO their amps and cabs are better than their basses.
  8. grace30

    grace30 Guest

    Dec 8, 2008
    Hey vinx you were one of the reason I bought My Sbx10 so thanks for the great half stack. Which bass do you run throush your rig?
  9. 2008 MIA Fender Jazz V
  10. baalroo

    baalroo Guest

    Mar 24, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    the general consensus (and I'll agree from personal experience) is:

    build quality is fantastic, electronics are "meh."
  11. realbadgroove

    realbadgroove Guest

    Apr 12, 2008
    I have a carvin 6 string fretless with a white body and gold hardware my drummer calls it the prince bass. It plays really nice but the electronics suck, the preamp is a real peice of crap but that aside its a nice bass. I am still working on finding the pickups I want.
  12. grace30

    grace30 Guest

    Dec 8, 2008
    I guess it is hard to justify spending that kind of money on a bass and then spending more to replace pups etc etc
  13. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I have three Carvins, all with the original electronics, and they are all, IMO, fantastic playing and sounding basses. I find nothing bland about the pickups or preamps, and I especially love the tone of the J99 pickups.

    Also, unless you add options like crazy, Carvins are less money than comparable production basses. A B4 can be had for $400 or so less than a Fender MIA Jazz. It has better hardware, too. IMO build quality is much higher than most anything you can find in the price range.

    There are some fairly vocal folks here on TB who don't care for Carvins, and that's cool. Everyone has their own preferences. When I play out and talk to other musicians, I seldom hear negative words about Carvin.

    Anyway, good luck in your search for a new bass. The search is half the fun!
  14. SwitchGear


    Mar 23, 2005
    Sunny Beach
    I once built a B5 that played incredible and had a funky "modern" tone with the single coil/Humbucker combination.

    The things I considered negetives about it where the close string spacing at the bridge and a mild (quiet) sounding B string. The neck moved alot with temp changes.
  15. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member


    Also, if you buy one, buy used for god's sake. A mint used Carvin sells for way less than 1/2 of the new price. They have terrible resale.
  16. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    My experience with Carvin, along with that of my cousin, has been negative. 2 amps, one in the 60s and one 5 years ago, were both crap. Ended up trashing them both. Build was OK and electronics were poor. The bass was exactly the same. Played great when I "test drove it", but once home, started having set-up issues and electronic issues. I ended up selling the bass just a few months after I got it. Granted, there are tons that love Carvin, just not me nor my cousin. :cool:
  17. Bardley


    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    The '98 LB75 I owned for years was a very nice bass. I didn't care for the electronics though. It sounded much nicer when I put a Bartolini pre in. But if you want passive this wouldn't be an issue.

    I would try to go used if you can. You'll get a MUCH better price.
  18. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I bought an LB76 back in '94 and had it for about 11 years. Wasn't a bad bass, except that the preamp they used back then wasn't the best (and it eventually died on me and I just ended up wiring the bass passive) and the neck tended to move around a lot.

    I have a BK4 now (the kit version of the 4-string bolt on bass) and it's great. I put that bass together some 3 or 4 years ago and the neck hasn't moved enough in any direction to warrant a truss rod tweak yet (haha, I think I make this same post about once a year and always mention how strong that neck is... well, here's knocking on wood again in the hopes I haven't jinxed myself!)
  19. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Nice basses just buy used they can be had for around $400 for a mint one.
  20. ZiggyDude


    Jun 8, 2005
    I just picked up a used one, 75P. Before doing so did a lot of research on the brand. A lot of folks on "The Bottom Line" use them and replied also. What you have heard so far is pretty on.

    Resale is worst in the business - buy used.

    From the wood and build - best bang for the buck.

    Build quality is all but perfection. Electrics are not up to snuff. I have a 2003 with the 18 volt system - that is better than the old 9 volt.

    You can defeat the actives by pulling up on the volume knob. Buy what you like and don't worry if it has actives.

    I use active basses. I like an aggressive Rock n Roll sound with lots of bottom. The key is in the mid range control and setting the variable sweep, boost cut. It will take a while.

    String spacing a little close for me. If I ordered I would have gotten wider.

    The thing is purty! It was a crowd pleaser. One person snapped a picture for her blog.

    Plays nice, you adjust the neck a tweak at a time and wait a day or so though.

    I will keep mine for now - but may sell after I get my Moser in. I already have an Alembic and Spector 5 so this was more an impulse purchase as it was so nice looking.

    The people that swear by these are mostly blues players, orchestra players, folks that like a more traditional sound. You don't see these with the metal or funk guys.

    My 2 cents,

    - Ziggy -