Carvin basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cliff is god., Apr 28, 2003.

  1. cliff is god.

    cliff is god.

    Apr 28, 2003
    Hi, im new to this forum, but im seeking advice. Do any of you own or have owned a Carvin bass??? Im looking on reviews. I have only gotten one and it was good, but I wanna make sure im spending my money on something that has alot of support. Than you for your time
  2. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    I can't say enough good things about Carvin basses. I don't think there is a US manufacturer that can match their quality and features for the price. I ordered my first Carvin about two years ago. I was a little weary about buying a "mail order" bass. But I figured if I did not like it, I could get a full refund. So I ordered a Walnut B5F (Bolt-on fretless 5 string).

    I was floored by this bass. It is the best sounding and playing fretless I have ever played. The workmanship and the choice of woods was first rate. As a Alembic owner, I was very impressed. So much so I ordered a B5 fretted with a Quilted maple top a month later!

    Again I was floored by the quality and sound and feel. I just got my third Carvin, a 50th Anniversary Series LB76A (6 string) with a beautiful Flamed maple top.

    You will hear people posting about the electronics of Carvin not being up to par. Personally I have no idea what they are talking about. I have stock PU's and all my Carvin's sound great through my SWR system. I would take a walk over to the Carvin web site and check out their forum. There is a lot of good info there.

    I say go for it!
  3. I own 3 6-strings, an AC-40, and I built a Carvin kit fretless 4-string. I dig 'em....Order one today!!!!
  4. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I think the main advantage with carvins is that you can choose the options you want. Just be careful you make smart choices!

    I like mine as well (XB75P). The tung oiled neck option is a beautiful thing. You should consider that. I can't stand gloss necks now.

    Like alembic5, I think the electronics are fine.

    One thing I would do differently is get the lower frets option-mine are the standard and they are a little beefy. Also, I don't think the P option (piezos) is worth the extra cost. Others may disagree.

    If I were you, I'd get one with double J99 pickups so if you don't like the pu's you can swap them out easily with Barts, SD Basslines, or Bill Lawrence.

    If you want to save money and don't care about options, watch ebay and get a used one.

    At some point I'd like to get a BB model fretless...
  5. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Uh, try a search... this pops up a lot.

    My take: Construction quality is top notch (especially for the price!), the materials and hardware are also first rate, and I've found customer support to be very responsive.

    On the down side, some of the electrical components are kind of cheap (but I feel the current preamp is actually pretty good), the J-style pickups are OK for a 4- or 5-string but aren't adequate for a 6-string, and there are some things about the design of the LB series that I'd like to see changed.

    But overall I'd give them a thumbs-up. The pickups and electrical parts are cheap and easy to upgrade if you're so inclined, and you'd still spend less than any other comparable US-made bass.

    I'm a satisfied customer, not a shill; I spent my own money on 4 of them.
  6. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN

    yeah pretty much
  7. cliff is god.

    cliff is god.

    Apr 28, 2003
    thanx, yeah I did a search and couldnt find it
  8. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I've owned a couple, and it's a good bass especially for the price they get for them. They sound fine,and the build quality is there. You can't go wrong.
  9. Thumpin4


    Nov 6, 2002
    From past experience there customer service is very bad.
  10. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I just returned a Carvin fretless 5-string.
    Pro's-The bass was well made. and played well.
    Con's- Finger-spaceing to close
    Pickups not up to quality of rest of bass.
    Did not like sound of pickup at all.
  11. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    There's a review here at TB, I think by Rickbass - he had some major quality and customer service issues. This was in 2000, maybe things have changed or his experience was atypical.
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  13. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    They're good basses and great value IMO. I've used them for years. I'm now moving on to hand-made basses, but that's not a knock on Carvin, merely a move from good to better.

    All my customer service experiences with them have been at least good, and some have been excellent.
  14. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
  15. bunkaroo


    Apr 25, 2003
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Iv'e got 3, including a recently acquired 6 string fretless. I love them all. The fretless sounds great with the j99/HB6 pickups and the piezo tone blended in. My other Carvin 5 and 6 strings were made in the mid-90's, and while I thought they sounded pretty damn good as is, I wound up having EMG extended bass pickups put in the 6 string(required routing on the body), and EMG J pickups in the 5 (no routing required). I can tell you both basses sound even better now. Hell, my only non-Carvin bass is my StingRay 5, which I got simply because it's an awesome bass. I'd say give it a try and send it back if you really don't like it.
  16. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    That's pretty much what I'm doing too.
    No complaints, just found something I like better.
  17. ilfretless

    ilfretless Guest

    Mar 16, 2001
    Milan, Italy
    I currently own and play a 5 string neck through carvin and I really like it. I bought it used without even knowing that carvin existed.
    There are two ways: you love carvin or you hate it, no way to be in the middle.
    My suggestion is to try one well before buying it, but if you feel good with it just go!
  18. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    Well, I kinda thought that's where I was, in the middle...

    The tryout factor is probably the biggest setback with Carvins; you can't try them out. Well, you can buy it and try it out and send it back if you don't want it, but that's what puts a lot of folks off.
    There are no dealers out there where you can check them out.
  19. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I had two. I sold one but still have the other. It's a great bass, but all my time is spent on my Conklins now. Still, I'll always have a good thing to say about Carvin gear.
  20. cliff is god.

    cliff is god.

    Apr 28, 2003
    It seems I need to pick the right electroics so what should I do

    AC - active electronics $70.00
    H50 - Replace J99 single coils with H50N stacked humbuckers $20.00
    HB2 - J99 neck pickup with HB series bridge humbucker and coil splitter $60.00

    please tell me what I should go with