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Carvin kit basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by therev, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. therev


    Apr 28, 2012
    I am considering purchasing a Carvin kit bass. I have always wanted one and thought it would be fun to build. I was going to get the Jazz style one.

    But before I get one. Are they worth the money? Do they sound good and play good. Does the neck feel nice?
    Please give me your input if they are good and worth it to put together.
  2. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I've never done a full kit from them, but I've used Carvin's neck-through blank on a build a few years ago. The neck was amazing. Fretwork was perfect, just a great neck.
  3. RSNG


    Sep 6, 2010
    Check out the Carvin forum. There's a lot of pics and info on Carvins built from kits.
  4. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I built a fretless one 5 or 6 years ago. It was pretty easy to put together. Just some minor soldering work to connect the pickups. I did a simple polyurethane coat on mine, though I think you can get the body and neck pre-finished if you want. The neck on it has been nice and stable. The only thing not "stock" about it are the pickups; I had some spare Bartolini J's laying around so I put those in instead.
  5. SwitchGear


    Mar 23, 2005
    Yes they are nice, everything about the kits is top-notch. The trickiest part imo is getting a good finish on the wood. Assembly and set-up is simple, providing you know how to solder. I did a B5 and later a B50 and with both I had to drill out the holes a bit for the string ferrules to fit into the body without excess force, after finishing the wood surface.
  6. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Carvin optionally offers having the body factory painted in either satin white or black for $60. This pretty much gets rid of the hardest part of dealing with the kit.

    Of course, you only get to choose between statin white or black.
  7. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I did one last year. I'm not adept at this sort of thing, and found myself in way over my head. I had a hard time getting an even tung oil finish, and ended up burning the insulation off of one of the pickup wires when trying to solder. I ended up giving a buddy of mine $50 to fix up the finish and do the soldering. Factor in a trip to the hardware store to buy supplies (tung oil, steel wool, brush, etc) and I'm pretty sure I spent almost as much on the kit as I would have buying the bass outright. Plus I would have had a much more pro looking finish and a 5-year warranty. On the plus side, it was a good learning experience, and I did end up with a bass that plays and sounds very sweet. I own two other Carvins, and it holds up well with them.
  8. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    In the past they have been willing to do other colors for a price. Not sure what the charge was, and not sure if they are still doing that. It's worth a call to Carvin to find out if that's of interest.
  9. bgartist

    bgartist Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Here's mine...
    I've got no complaints. Plus the pleasure (and a little pain) of learning how to build a guitar. Plus you save $400-$500.

  10. Gimme4


    Feb 27, 2011
    What's the price for a basic kit?

  11. Wow!!! I love that color. What color is that? Nice!!
  12. bgartist

    bgartist Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Stained black, sanded back then stained pearl grey.
  13. Really nice. Pearl gray, huh? Never heard of a trans pearl color. Where did you find that color? Got a link?
  14. yes, lovely...intrigued me enough to check their site to see what kinda cheese we are talking


    even the basic kits are too rich for my blood though (i prefer refinishing "ebay rescues" anyway), i was thinking it would be like warmoth for poor people...
  15. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Once you figure in the cost of a finish and a case, the kits aren't going to save you much over buying a used B40/B50.

    If your goal is to just save a few bucks, going with a kit probably isn't your best option.
  16. I agree. But, if tinkering with instruments and getting a little experience doing your own (save big $$$ in the long run) maintenance on a bass is on your agenda to learn, these can't be beat.
  17. therev


    Apr 28, 2012
    On second thought, I think I will concentrate on getting the pedals I want and building a pedal board instead. What I really want is individual pedals rather than multi effects.
  18. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
  19. bgartist

    bgartist Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL

    Lockwood water based dye. The color originally was a more neutral, cool gray. It shifted toward amber when I finished it with Tru-oil.
  20. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I bought a neck (thru) from Carvin, ordered it with no fret markers, and simply added body "wings" to it to make a custom bass for myself. It's pretty easy to make a bass body out of some cool wood, but not so easy making a neck, routing the trussrod, and getting a good level-planed fretboard and fretting it.... that takes skill and tools beyond my immediate grasp.

    BIG time saver if you want to build something special. Very high-quality neck, darn-near perfect fretwork!

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