Carvin opinions!! (A "Show your bass!!!!" thread too!!!)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Skerik1, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. Skerik1


    Sep 21, 2002
    Saint Paul, MN
    I'll need a bass to replace my Darrin Huff after she sells, and I'm quite interested in getting a Carvin bass. I really like the full customization they offer. It'll be a four-string, birdseye maple fingerboard, ash or maple body.

    My big question is what's the difference between the LB20 and the LB70? In the "standard features", the only difference I can tell is the LB70 has active electronics. Is the LB70 just a more solid bass?

    BTW----SHOW YOUR CARVIN BASSES!! I've got this huge jones for one, and I wanna see what you all play!

  2. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Yeah, the LB70 has active electronics. That's the only difference.
  3. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I'm pretty sure the LB-20 is a bolt on with passive electronics and the LB-70 is neck through with active electronics.

    I used to have an LB-75 and can recommend that you find a used one. Carvins are good basses but don't hold resale value very well. Let someone else take the hit and pick up a used one for a song.

  4. Here's one of them...this is my LB-75 50th anniversary model

    Attached Files:

  5. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    While their amps are so-so, thier basses are really good! I have a walnut LB6 six string, and it smokes. I guess what I like the best about it is the hi-fi sound, the extremely low action and stable neck (it's a neck thru) and the ebony fingerboard. The tuners and bridge are top quality! I got mine for 600, because I bought it at one of the Carvin stores and it had been hanging on the wall for a few years without being sold. Had a few belt buckle scratches on the back.

    I would suggest you get the active package, and then if you are less then thrilled with the pickups, replace them (you want a four string, so this would be easy) with better pickups later.

    The most important thing is to replace the factory strings immediately! Put some strings that match the hi-fi modern sound like Foderas or Ken Smiths.
  6. NV43345


    Apr 1, 2003
    I started using Carvin's in 1994 after a trip to L.A. I was able to play them and I really liked the string spacing it was perfect for my hands.I custom ordered a LB76 Saphire Blue
    with Flame Maple top and Gold Hardware.The first time I played it I could not get over the sweet tone. I liked it so much I bought a fretless also.
  7. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Nope; as others have stated, the LB-20 and LB-70 are both neck-through with the only difference being active electronics on the 70's. Carvin's bolt-on line is designated as the "B-series" (i.e. B4, B5, B4F, etc.)

    I've played a few used Carvins and have been generally impressed with the quality of the workmanship as well as the woods they use (some of their flamed and quilted tops rival PRS's "10 tops" and then some). It is true about the resale value being less, but that's the price you pay for the initial sale price being comparatively low as well as a benefit if you want to purchase on the used market. For "lifers" (players such as myself that don't plan on "buy to sell") I think Carvin's are a great deal.
  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Just to be accurate, they don't offer FULL customization, they just have a large list of options to choose from. You can't order a paint finish that isn't on their list. You can't request other brands of pickups, bridges or tuners, or different routing for your own choice of pickup placement. You can't order a different fretboard wood other than their stock choices.

    If the available options suit your preferences, then yes, they are fine basses (I used to own one myself). But they are far from "custom".
  9. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    While I do agree with the fact that Carvin isn't a "true" custom shop, they do have a large amount of "unprinted options" that are available if you know of them (Checking out their BBS is the best way to get info on them). For instance, they added both their dual MM-style humbucker and rosewood fretboard options as a result of several "special orders" that displayed a market for them, which shows that they listen and respond to customer requests. They're also willing to vary shades of dyed finishes (lighter or darker depending on the customer's request) as well as some truly... "interesting" combinations. A TB member wanted a Seafoam Green bursting into black edges, and Carvin accommodated him on his unusual request. The only negative to these are that they negate their "10 day no-questions asked return" policy, as it would be extremely difficult to resell a custom of that nature to the general.

    So, Carvin = full-fledged "custom shop"? No. Are they more than willing to work with the customer within their ability? Absolutely.
  10. Skerik1


    Sep 21, 2002
    Saint Paul, MN

    Thanks for all the great replies!

    You mentioned the "unprinted options"---Do they offer black neck binding and/or black block inlays? Also, they list "gloss" finishes on their maple tops--can I get the flamed maple top without the gloss? I'd prefur to have the whole bass have a tung oil finish.

  11. Skerik1


    Sep 21, 2002
    Saint Paul, MN
    LB20 (fretted):

    Ash Body
    Flamed Maple Top
    Maple neck
    Birdseye maple Fingerboard
    Flamed maple headstock
    Rounded Body sides
    Strap Locks
    Black Block inlays (if possible)
    Black neck binding (if possible)
    EMG-JV pickups (I'll put them in later)
    Passive tone knob (no active EQ)
    Chrome hardware
  12. Jaye


    Jan 30, 2004
    Portland, OR
    It is possible to get the whole body tung oiled as far as I know, as for the neck binding they do not offer it in any color, and the block inlays are something I have never asked about but I would bet they would do them if asked nicely seeing as how they don't have to alter any of their templates to do so, they would possibly request you supplying the inlay material.
  13. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I have a 4-year-old LB20, and, yes, it's a set-neck. This one is mahogany neck & body with a natural mahogany peghead and it's a real California hotrod. I just got a Hartke 410XL cab (for now I'm using a MusicMan 130HD head with it) and it sounds great.

    The reason I got the mahogany was weight. It's a very light bass, almost like a Gibson SG. Having played ash JBs and a Les Paul bass over the years (more than I want to admit) I was looking for something that didn't leave a groove in my shoulder from the strap.

    Very well made, everybody who plays it loves it, I record with it all the time. I've got GHS brite flats on it, by the way. A Carvin's a bargain! I'll post a pic soon.
  14. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    One more thing about Carvin..I wish they would just stop the silly mail-order routine and enter the market in the normal way, the way everyone else does! Thier products can compete with anything out there!

    I have my 6 strung E to E, like a guitar. I can get the same tones as the Braxton Brothers. It is a great, clean sounding bass..but definitly not vintage sounding, but then, you use a P-bass with flats for that, right?
  15. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    That's ME :hyper: Love that bass! I just had a difficult salesman, my colour combination was nothing unusual according to the catalog. And in the end It all worked out, got the colour, got the 10-day trial and didn't even need it. Carvin seems to be very hit or miss tone wise. You either love it or hate it but electronics are fairly easy to replace if you really feel the need. construction is insane, one of the best constructed basses I've ever played. flawless! My only complaint is the B is kinda s**ty.. it flops a little but it rarely use it so it doesn't bother me much.

    EDIT: why are you degrading from a DHuff to Carvin if you don't mind me asking? not to take anything away from Carvin but from what I heard (and price tag wise) they aren't at all in the same league as Darrin.
  16. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Ok, my Carvin B5 fretless with swamp ash body...
  17. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I can never figure out how to post a picture, but go to my website and you can see my Claro Walnut LB76 Fretless. I really like the way it feels an dplays. I think it looks pretty sweet, too.

    The one thing I didn't like after a while were the electronics. I guess my taste changed over the years. I replaced the Carvin stuff with Bartolini pups and preamp and have fallen in love again. I love the tone I get now.

    I also have Barts in my 5 string fretted Yamaha. I really like the Bart sound. :)
  18. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    1986 V440T (with Kahler bass trem)
    1989.5 LB70
    2002 BB70WP
    2003 BB75P
    2003 B4F (fretless with inlaid lines)
    2003 BOLT (six-string piccolo bass ;) )
  19. alembicfive


    Jan 17, 2003
    Got them both! :cool:

    Attached Files:

  20. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    GOOD GAWD!!! What kind of wood is that second bass made from? It looks amazing.
    I've had nothing but positive experiences with Carvin. Great people, nice selection, a good ol' AMERICAN value!