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Carvin basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rockbassist1087, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    How are the Carvin LB70P basses? I'm looking at them, but I live in New York so I can't go anywhere to try them out. I'd like to know how well the playability is, the sound, and the electronics. I heard that the electronics arn't that great; anyone know if thats true or not? One more thing, how do they compare to EB stingrays?
  2. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've owned several Carvins (still have 1), and to be real honest, they aren't a very lively sounding bass, or real character...real 'mass produced' sounding.

    I would definitely say an EB would be a better choice over a Carvin. The necks on Stingrays are far more solid, and more stable in the winter over Carvins.
  3. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I suggest you do a search... there are a couple of very recent threads on Carvins.
  4. The higher end ones are NICE AND PHAT. :D
  5. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    I would have to disagree with Caca de Kick. I have two Carvin B5s (one fretted and one fretless) and they are both very punchy and lively sound. I have been using them more then my Alembic lately. My first Carvin was the B5F, fretless. When I got it I was blown away by the sound, feel, construction and quality. The grain on the walnut body was striking. I get great growl and punch from this bass and it records just as well. I loved so much I ordered 2 months later the B5, fretted. That too is a great bass and I love to slap on it. I would put up the sound of my two Carvins against any high end bass, including my own Alembic!

    And the price! Well that is a whole other story! :)
  6. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i disagree as well...

    i love my carvin. i would never trade it for anyting. ive played stingrays, cirrus', warwicks, fenders, pedullas, and my next bass will be another carvin.

    the neck on my bass is a fieve piece, which may have somethign to do with the stability... also in recent years they have added graphite reinforcement and better construction....

    either way i live in michigan and my bass doesnt even go out of tune when i take it outside in the bitter cold to go somewhere else. (and its 10 degrees out right now)

    top notch everything. worth every penny and then some.
  7. dooberheim


    May 17, 2002
    I have a 2002 model LB76P and it is a very tonally versatile bass. It will get you 80-90% to a biting, aggressive, larger than life Stingray sound, but if you want full out Stingray sound, you should probably get a 'Ray. However, I can get a lot of P-bass and J-bass sounds with the '76P that I couldn't with the 'Rays Ive played, so I consider it a good compromise.

    The standard two-piece maple neck on my 76P has been rock stable over the temperature change here in mid-Missouri. I do have the lacquered back of neck (not tung oil) and I keep the bass in the case religiously when it is not being played (which is as much as possible:) ). The playability is incredible. Thin, fast neck and perfect fretwork. It cost me $989 plus case and shipping -- this is a six-string!

    I think a lot of complaints with Carvin tone have to do with the older model preamp, and I think most people who change the electronics out have the older basses. The new ones are a lot better from what I hear. I may try changing the pickups sometime in the future, but I'm in no hurry, and it would be more as an experiment than a necessity.

    Hope that helps a bit...

  8. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Two-piece? I could swear the maple neck on my LB76 is one-piece. I believe the finish is polyurethane, BTW.

    I would agree with this. The current model Carvin preamp is a significant improvement from earlier versions, with better tone, less noise, and much longer battery life. I am eager to replace the preamp on my older LB75.
  9. dooberheim


    May 17, 2002
    You are quite right of course. The neck on my old SB60 is two piece and I wind up saying that about the new one too for some reason. Not the first time I've said that either...

    Senility is creeping up fast...

    BTW I'm Mark F. from the Carvin board. Howdy.

  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Their J99 does the single coil/Jazz thing really well but it is really "glassy", IMO. It doesn't have enough "meat" for me. As for "fat", forget it. But it is very powerful.
    The MM-style grabs that real "middy" sound, just as that design is supposed to. But to me. it's very weak and sounds like someone's coughing.

    From a wiring/construction point of view, they're impeccable. The shielding is textbook and the wiring is neat as a pin. If you want to adjust the preamp volume - no problem. I'm just not a fan of the preamp's sound.
    If you mean the body, too - you can't beat the construction and attention to detail for a bass in its class (and even a bit above its class).

    That can be a plus or a minus. A Ray makes you sound like every Joe Blow on the street. And that can be a good thing. You may want a very "commercial", familiar tone. Plus a Ray has one pup and that's the tone you're stuck with.
    The 2-pickup Carvin has more tones but they're definitely not what you hear everyday. It won't sound like the Ray or Fender that everyone and his brother is playing.

    FWIW, Carvin had to give me a refund for my pimped-out LB75 (it was a really weird problem and isn't reflective at all of Carvin's typically high quality). I got a Lakland Skyline 55-02 for practically the same money and it smokes my old LB75 like a hand-rolled cigarette. Cosmetically, though, the Carvin was easily the prettiest girl at the dance.
  11. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    just to show you how much personal opionion affects this... i disagree with everything rick said. nothin against rick.

    i love my ray5. my tone is versatile and big and fat but retains punchiness. i can get alot of tones out of my ray. i love my carvin for other reasons. i was a huge pedulla fan. also a big fender fan. it's like the 2 of them had a baby.

    i went form owning 4 basses down to 2. they do it all for me. FOR ME. i will prolly buy an essex at some point to have a fender style jazz lying around. fretted ray, fretless carvin 6. thats it.:bassist:

    also as much as i've tried i cant get into the laklands. maybe its a bad batch at the store here but i just dont love them.:bag:
  12. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    This may be something that changes with their mood. mjw posted pics that pretty well proved his walnut neck on his all-walnut LB75P is three pieces.

    As far as Carvins go -
    I had a 1987 V440T which I deeply regret that I sold a few years ago.
    I have a 1989.5 LB70 that has been my main bass since 1989, but has recently been replaced by -
    I just got a 2003 BB75P which I'm loving.
    I'm in the process of buying a slightly used 2002 BB70WP (which is the bass in the picture in my avatar).

    Those are all the electric basses I've ever owned. All Carvin. Nope, I don't like 'em a bit.

    Do a search.
  13. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Yep.... Mike's right. My LB75P definately has a three piece walnut neck.

    Here are a few old pics:


    BTW, I'm with Mike all the way. I have gear triple the cost, and my Carvin is the best "bang-for-the-buck" that I own. ....Wouldn't trade it for the world..."
  14. Fit, finish, and playability are top notch... you won't get many people to argue with that. The two reoccuring negative themes that you hear about Carvin are the pickups/electronics and neck stability.

    Carvin has addressed both these issues. The necks are now reinforced and you can get a 5 layer laminate neck too... mine is koa with walnut, finished in tung oil. It plays fast, is great to the touch (even on very hot high humidity days) and I only need to adjust the truss rod two times a year (once in the late winter and once in the late summer). The pickups are passive so if your battery dies you're still up and running and the preamp was reworked for the piezo models. It no longer sounds thin or overly bright. You can dial in anything from a very thick, laid back kind of tone to an aggressive in you face one.

    Opinion are like rear-ends, everyone has one. But, in my opinion, you won't go wrong with a Carvin... at least I didn't.

  15. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    Well said Jon R!

    FYI, I have two B5's ( one piece bolt-on necks ) which I have had for almost two years. In that time I have adjusted the necks on each one, once. And that was when I first got them. I would say that the necks are very stable!
  16. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    That's an interesting observation. I like Pedullas. An MVP-5 was one of the few non-Carvin basses I've truly lusted for. I've never gotten into Fenders at all. Zero, Nada, No interest in any Fender products. (Ok there was that one time I almost bought a Precision Light, but I got over it.)

    I've only tried them once. The store I was at had two. I really liked one of them and really disliked the other. Go figure. I couldn't tell you the models. It's possible that the one I disliked was a much cheaper model. Or it may have just been poorly set up.

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