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Carvin LB76F used price?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by juggahnaught, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I've been looking at grabbing a new bass (got gas) and I was going to pick up an SR750, but decided against it due to price and the number of strings. (Beautiful bass, but I'm not sure a four is right for me anymore.) I've also been thinking about getting a fretless bass.

    I've found a Carvin LB76F in my area for $550, but I can't establish whether or not that's a decent price for this type of instrument. I've been looking on Reverb and prices seem to vary pretty wildly - other than that, I'm not seeing a lot of them around.

    There seems to be a big discrepancy between a lot of these basses. Some seem to have 18 volt preamps, and some don't - and there might be other differences that I'm not aware of. I've seen prices from the high 400s to about $1000. It seems that these are becoming rarer.

    Does anyone know what the market is like for these? I'd welcome any information. (Although the bass is in my area, it's out of the way, so checking it out isn't easy. I'd also like to glean as much information as I can before thinking about moving forward.)
  2. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I picked up an LB76w a couple of years ago in the $400 range. I haven’t seen one anywhere near that price since, I just hit it exactly right on eBay. That being said, I’d gladly pay $500 - $600 for this bass again if anything happens to it, I absolutely love it. I have in the neighborhood of 20 basses and I pretty much play this exclusively. The advantage/problem with Carvins is that no two are the same; almost every one is essentially a custom build. Because of this, the resale value is relatively low. If you like this one and can swing it, I recommend you do so, there may not be another one like it out there for quite some time. $550 seems like a pretty good price for one, $700 is the average prices I’ve seen lately.
  3. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I bought mine from Reverb last March - it was in moderately rough physical condition but nothing some TLC and a good setup/cleaning/inspection wouldn't fix.

    It has a gorgeous unlined ebony fingerboard and a beautiful greenburst I worked hard to bring out, included OHSC. It had sustained some sort of neck/headstock damage but had been repaired (well according to the seller), but the cosmetics needed some slight attention.

    The seller originally wanted $900, but it had stayed on the market for months and eventually dropper it to $500 (I think). I contacted him to buy it and split the shipping, he said that the original knobs were missing in a recent move and he'd knock some more $ off teh bass. By the end of the deal I had it for about $450 shipped.

    I cleaned the crap out the thing, took it apart, checked everything, sanded and treated the fingerboard, replaced the knobs with Kiesel direct replacements, replaced a broken strap pin (I always used Dunlop 2 strap locks anyhow). Had my luthier set it up with some DR Black Beauties and wow.

    She's a beaut and sounds amazing.

  4. $550 for an LB76 in decent shape is a good deal. Assuming everything is working, that’s a lot of bass for the money.

    The discrepancies you mention are due to Carvin reinventing their onboard electronics every so many years. My opinion is that those changes were generally improvements, though even the most recent basses I’ve tried (late 2000s) quite didn’t wow me sonically.

    I would make sure the truss rod is functional before buying. They were problematic in certain eras of Carvin basses.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Pictures would help.
  6. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    The Craigslist ad is here, and the pictures aren't that detailed, unfortunately. Fretless, single route for one 9v battery it seems (bad lighting), no piezo pickups.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    It's the same era bass as the Greenburst one pictured above. It has the Hipshot bridge which is good. But it also has the wonky truss rod which is bad. I've got a BB70 right here from the same era with a broken truss rod, but luckily it's stuck at a good spot and is a fantastic bass. One of the best I've played. Just has the worst truss rod design ever conceived.
  8. Yep, looks to be early 2000s I'd say. At that time I believe only the piezo-equipped basses came with 18v electronics, and you wouldn't be missing much by not having them IMHO. That era of preamp is totally usable--just kind of sounds like a run-of-the mill active bass from the 2000s. I prefer to run mine in passive mode.

    I have a BB76F (same neck) from that time period and the playability is killer. The neck carve is very comfortable and the ebony board is very precisely machined. Assuming the bass in question has a functional truss rod and the fingerboard isn't chewed up, I doubt you'll find a better-playing fretless six anywhere near that price.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    That price is on the high side. I'd put the value in the $400-450 range.
  10. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars
    I paid $500 for a used LB76F over 20 years ago. In today's dollars, that feels cheap.
    By the way, that bass was worth way more than $500...it was really quite nice.
    Not "the one" for me, I guess, since I sold it...but it really was nicely made.
    The woodwork was careful, the material was of good quality, and the detail sanding etc.
    were all properly done. USA Sperzel tuners, quality hardshell case...all good stuff.

    The pickups were the weakest point, but even there they were quite serviceable.
    Knowing what I now know after almost 20 years in the guitarmaking industry, I continue
    to be impressed by the quality that Carvin brought to the market for such a reasonable price.
    My OEM cost on parts for a bass is over $500.

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