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Carvin Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Obsdian, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. Does anybody else find that the output from the B string on Carvin basses is considerably lower than the other strings? Is this because of the pu's/electronics or my pickup height?
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    As a former owner of a Carvin 6 string, my guess would be both electronics and pickup height. You can compensate for a lot with the pickup height adjustment, but the Carvin B's, at least on the 34" model that I had, had a different sonic character than the other strings.

    Other FORMER Carvin owners will tell you the same thing, but the current Carvin owners will tell you its not so. You be your own judge.
  3. I admit, I love my Carvin bass but the pickups an electronics in it are not up to par with the rest of the instrument. I'm considering upgrading the pups, any suggestions. For reference I have the LB76WF fretless 6, the scale length is 34".
  4. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    I have two B5's (fretted and fretless) and the output across the strings is the same. Never had any problem in that matter.....
  5. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Is it a 5 or a 6 string bass? The Carvin J style pickups don't adequately cover the outer strings on a 6, IME, but they work fine on a 5.

    And whose strings are you using? Is it a mixed set, by any chance?
  6. It's a 6 string, and is still equipped with the Carvin strings from when it was shipped. I'll be putting a new set of Daddario's on this weekend, but I doubt it will help.
  7. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    If it has a pair of J style pickups, get a pair of Bill Lawrence J-45L pickups to replace them. You won't believe the difference, and the price is very reasonable.

    Don't give up on that Carvin til you've tried those pickups!
  8. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hey Obsdian,

    The problem is the string pickup pattern / width on those J-style pickups is not wide enough for the 6 string, and the low-B string ends up vibrating partially outside of the pickup pattern.

    Chucko58 has had great results with the Bill Lawrence pickups, I myself, having many years of guitar repair and modification, and absolutely loving everything else about my 10 year old LB76 took a router to it and put in a pair of wide 6 string soapbar pickups (one EMG45-HZ and one Bartolini). Unless you're REALLY experienced with this type of modification, go with the Bill Lawrence pickups that Chucko58 recommends.

    Here is how it turned out.


    The overall sound and tone of the bass didn't change at all, Thankfully!, but the low-B string is SOLID now.

    Hope this helps...
  9. I like the idea of soapbars, but routing my precious Carvin doesn't sound too appealing to me. I'll definitely check out those Bill Lawrence pickups, how do they sound compared to Barts?
  10. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I haven't tried Barts yet, but the J-45s have a very "hi-fi", full range, open sound. Plenty of low end, plenty of mids, plenty of sparkle. They work nicely with the Carvin preamp. All this for around $105 shipped for the pair!

    The only two minor problems I've found with them are that it took the Lawrences 8 weeks to deliver mine, and I haven't yet managed to get rid of a slight buzz. The J-45 hooks up with two unshielded wires, as opposed to Carvin's shielded twisted pair. I think killing the buzz is going to require some shielding paint in the pickup cavities, and wrapping some shield braid around the pickup wires.

    In actual use, the buzz hasn't been noticeable. It might bother me if I was doing home recording with a computer, though.

    Be sure to order two of the J-45L (bridge length) pickups. The Carvin J cutouts are both the same size as the Fender Jazz bridge pickup, 3-3/4" long.

    The Bartolini catalog also lists a 69J model J-style split humbucker for 6-strings, but I don't know how hard it would be to get a pair.
  11. wardak


    Dec 3, 2001
    Honolulu HI
    I was curious about a BB75 at one point and was thinking that I'd automatically need to replace the pickups and electronics. I came across Aero pickups in my search and would probably go ahead and try them based on the reviews and some sound samples. Looked like they were flexible in packaging them--I took that to mean the outer casing could be had in a variety of styles and sizes--hopefully to match size and shape of the stock Carvin pickups. Probably worth a look.