Carvin Icon Vs. LB

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cynical-rabbit, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. cynical-rabbit


    May 19, 2009
    I was considering getting a Carvin bass, and I've heard nothing but great things about them; all the reviews have been positive. I've obsessively gone to the website and looked at their models, but I can't decide between the Icon IC5 or the LB75, and I wondered what made a better bass. I prefer the shape of the icon, but it's also more expensive, so right now they're about equal. I'm getting it fretless if that makes a difference. If anyone could recommend a difference bass in the price range or Carvin model, go ahead.

    In short: Carvin Icon or LB. Thanks!

    Also, are their fretlesses at all slap friendly?
  2. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I think the B-string on both feel really floppy. I'd opt for the XB for the 35" scale.

    The Icon is such a sexy body shape though.
  3. ^^ What he said!
  4. ishouldbeking


    Feb 5, 2007
    not a carvin owner, only picked up a few in used sections (for the record, i like em, seem like really nice basses... someday i'd like to get one).... seems like the most constant complaint i see about carvins (besides resale, or complete lack thereof) are the pickups and electronics. i'm curious why those people didn't like the electronics though...
  5. K.Ross


    May 19, 2008
    I have an XB75PF and the B string is NOT FLOPPY IN THE LEAST...And it has a great sound.(I don't know WHY people keep saying they're floppy...either they haven"t played one or mine is EXTRAORDINARY.) Any other Carvin 5ers or 6ers out there that want to add testimony...The B strings ARE NOT floppy!!
    Markent17 and bass4worship like this.
  6. FunkMetal was referring to floppy B-strings on the Icon and the LB (both 34" scale basses), not the XB which is 35 1/4" scale.

    I've been eyeballing Carvin basses for a long time but never took the plunge... a floppy B-string is something that's worried me, too. Like Cynical, I like the Icon body style much better than the others. If they offered a 35" scale Icon, I'd probably pull the trigger immediately! :bassist: That said, Carvin basses are built with a string-thru-body option, which (IMO) makes all the difference on my USA Jazz V, so maybe it's the same for Carvins. I've still got an Icon on my G.A.S. list, but for now it's on the "maybe someday" list, not the "I gotta have one NOW" list. :D

  7. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    I've not yet played a 5 or more string bass that had a 'floppy' B string, so don't expect the Carvin would have this problem either.

    As for me, I ordered a Bunny (BB76F) last week. I went with the Bunny because I need the balance (I play standing up with the bass nearly vertical like BB does for anatomical reasons). That's the only reason I didn't go for the other models.

    The Icon is only available with soap bars which is why I ruled it out pretty much right away (I want the humbucker in the bridge position). I couldn't tell if the LB was as balanced as the Bunny or not, so just went with it as it wasn't that much more expensive.

    I figure mine will get here in early Sept. Guess I'll see how it is then....

  8. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    I owned both the XB75 and a Icon5w. The B on the XB sound good and tight as so does the Icon5 and this is because I change my strings to strings that has more tension to them like Dr's.
  9. bfc


    Feb 15, 2008
    Fenton, MO
    The price difference is not very much when you compare the LB series with the Icon S series (no figured walnut or flamed maple top). It's only like $100-150 difference.

    I have a B5 with an HB series bridge humbucker. My low B is very tight and sits well in the mix with a full rock band. I also think the Icon is very amazing looking, but you can't get the
    H50S neck humbucker/HB bridge humbucker pickup configuration on the Icon. The decision with Carvin is always a humdinger because there are so many stinkin' options!! I think no matter what, though, you will be very pleased with whatever you decide on. Don't forget the Sekou Bunch series of Carvin basses!!:hyper:
  10. cynical-rabbit


    May 19, 2009
    Thanks guys, now I'm leaning toward XB75, but the Icon is just so sexy....

    Bassophilia FTW!
    bass4worship likes this.
  11. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    LB. Period.
    orange joe likes this.
  12. cynical-rabbit


    May 19, 2009
  13. I own a 2007 Carvin LB75AP Anniversary with the H50A stacked humbucker and the HB5 Alnico bass humbucker. I also, just this last month, bought a brand new Carvin Icon 5'er that I just love.

    My love affair with the Anniversary has been up and down at best to describe. When I first got the bass, it took me all of 4 mths to get a sound that I liked to use for live purposes. It literally drove me nuts, I even brought the bass back to Carvin and said I didn't want it anymore, but by that time the 10 day trial period was over and they wouldn't take back the bass so I kept it. A little more work with the tone finally yeilded me a usuable tone. The trick was the 18v electronics are very touchy and I wasn't going at it the proper way. I swore I'd never buy another Carvin again, so I bought a 08' MIA Fender Jazz V and was a happy camper from day one with that bass.

    A year goes by and during that time I got to play an Icon at the NAMM 09 in Anaheim, CA and just loved the way the Icon felt and sounded. I wanted a bass with soapbar pups that would give me a tone similar to that of my Jazz bass and the Icon has done that. So last month I went to the Carvin Sacramento store and purchased a brand new IC5 and I'm a very happy camper with this bass.

    Carvin basses are made top notch, there is no denying that and with the new electronics (18 volt) you can't go wrong with the tonal output of these new basses.

    The choice is yours when you get down to it, I favor the Icon 5'er over the LB, in sound and the body shape.
  14. basshog


    Nov 29, 2008
    I have a Carvin fretless LB75 from '99. Completely made of Koa, black hardware, no fret lines. Beautiful bass. Low B isn't floppy at all.
  15. K.Ross


    May 19, 2008
    Either bass would be nice...Carvin is strictly QUALITY,and their service department is great too.
    LOL in your choice.
  16. cynical-rabbit


    May 19, 2009
    Gyah! I still can't decide... too much contradiction.
  17. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thought I'd bump this to give my opinion. I own an LB75 and an Icon 5. I will soon have an XB75 in my posession when I get to the UPS Shipping Center.

    Granted, woods have a lot to do with things. The LB75 is more pianoesque and is overall most polite sounding. It's loaded with J99s, for the record. It's a very balanced bass and is quite utilitarian. It doesn't have a tone that sticks out at you like a Stingray or a Ric, but it sounds immaculate in a mix. It's one of the most "balanced" sounding basses I've ever owned. I've had friends sit in, and I'm consistently knocked out with how good it sounds through the FOH. The lows are tight. The mids cut. The highs give a great presence.

    The Icon 5 is not polite. It's very Warwick-like. It sounds huge, especially through my Mesa 400+. This bass will punch your guts out and rip your head off, especially with the right strings (the stock Carvin strings it came with sounded incredibly aggressive). The neck is overall less fussy than the LB. I have to tweak the LBs neck every couple of months when the climate changes here in the North East. The figured Walnut top is incredibly. I got a satin matte finish. The XB I'm going to pick up has a claro Walnut in gloss. I've always loved the sound and look of Walnut, so I'm looking forward to having two Carvins with the Walnut.

    As far as B strings go, the Icon clearly has the better B, but the LB isn't bad. You can't ham fist it, but you shouldn't ham fist anyways. I'll be interested to see what the XB's B is like.
  18. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The LB and the Icon both have 34" scale lengths. Both B strings should exactly the same tension if you put the same set of strings on them.

    Of course, they certainly can sound different. Maybe the different pickups in the Icon make for a better sounding B?
  19. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Played LB's owned an Icon. Always wanted to try a Bunny Brunnel. I have to say I do regret getting rid of my Icon 5. Just wasn't ready for a fiver yet. Just is a much more refined sounding and playing bass to me. I love other Carvin's but the sound was always blah to me. The Icon was awesome...

  20. lefty007


    Jan 19, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I recently got a used B5 with a the J99 and the HB2. The B-string is about the best I've had at any price, not floppy in either feel or sound. It blend beautifully with the other 4 strings, and it's define and clear, with no excessive overtones. This is with 1-year old stock Carvin strings.

    For reference, some of my previous basses are MTD 535, Sadowsy 5-24, F-Bass, Smith BSR, Yamaha TRBII, EBMM SR5s, and Mike Lull MV5. Of all this bunch, maybe the MTD had the best B, but I think the Carvin B5 has a B-string almost as good as the MTD, and certainly better than the Smith, and the StingRay 5 (to my ears).

    This is my opinion with my bass, an ash body, maple neck, ebony board Carvin B5 with stock strings.