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carvin p series?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CJY, May 7, 2001.


  1. CJY

    CJY

    Apr 30, 2001
    Singapore
    anyone tried the new carvin p series?how does it sound like?
     
  2. jcadmus

    jcadmus

    Apr 2, 2000
    A buddy of mine just bought one and says it's great. I'll ask him if he's interested in posting a review.
     
  3. dbradford

    dbradford

    May 7, 2001
    Cary, NC
    At jcadmus's prompting, I'll chime in with my observations.

    I ordered my LB-75P on January 23rd and it was delivered precisely on the promised date, March 20. I'd understood that Carvin typically delivered a bit ahead of schedule, but I gather that the P Series basses are a pretty hot item right now, and I had to wait (impatiently) the whole eight weeks.

    It was worth the wait. As with all Carvins I've seen, the craftsmanship on this one is extraordinary. It's beautifully joined and fitted.

    Mine's tung-oiled walnut with a five-piece neck, black hardware, no markers on the fretboard (ebony needs no decoration). Aesthetically, it's a wonderful piece of work.

    It's taken the bass a bit of time to settle down: it came out of the box (I thought Carvin's packaging was inadequate and I believe UPS gave the bass a rough ride) with the strings almost lying on the frets. Since then, I've been through three or four setup sessions, but I'm finally assured the the neck has the sort of stability I'd hoped for when I ordered a composite neck. (I'd previous ordered and returned an LB-70 that arrived with a warped neck. I didn't want a repeat of that experience, and thought the five-piece neck was the best insurance.) The action's low, the neck is true, the frets are level and well set. However, I can't imagine this being a success story if I weren't comfortable with doing my own setups. It was simply unplayable out of the box.

    The bass has wonderful acoustic sound (still my baseline for evaluating the real potential of an electric bass) with exceptional presence and projection from the B string.

    However, I must admit, I had a difficult time becoming accustomed to its amplified sound, especially when running the HB2. The sound is highly colored. In fact, I first described it to Mr. Cadmus (who reintroduced me to Carvins and encouraged me to take another chance with them) as sounding as if I had a tinge of chorus dialed in. I was a little more comfortable with the two single poles running or with the piezo, but even those configurations were more "live" than what I was accustomed to.

    I quickly become accustomed to the tone, though, and I've come to appreciate how it cuts through the mix of our band. In fact, after several weeks of working exclusively with the Carvin, I've reoriented my ear enough that my Alembic (!) sounds muddy when I run it at my usual settings.

    The incredible range of possibilities in selecting and mixing the pickup blend struck me at first as a bit gimmicky, but I'm still enjoying tweaking the electronics and testing the full range of possibilities.

    One last thing: the bass is heavy. Much of that comes from being unaccustomed to a five string, but I think the walnut might also be a contributing factor. On the other hand, I've put in a couple of four hour nights with it strapped on, and the shoulder seems to be holding out.

    Final judgement: I'm very happy with the bass. It's got the best B of any bass I've played this side of a Sadowsky, and it's simply unbeatable at the price. And even though I'm a Precision Bass sort of guy at heart, I love twiddling all those knobs.

    I love it and highly recommend it.
     
  4. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    Though I cannot comment on the p-series, I second what was said about the B string. The B on my LB75 is very tight and responsive, you simply couldn't make it floppy if you tried.

    It's a string through body, maybe that serves the B's tension better? I'm not sure...

    No doubt the Lo Riders I have on there do a great job though, as I believe they are slightly higher in tension than most standard roundwounds.
     
  5. jcadmus

    jcadmus

    Apr 2, 2000
    I'm led to understand that the tightness of the B has more to do with neck stiffness than anything else -- I'm assuming that's one of the benefits of the graphite reinforcement (and the multi-piece laminated neck, in Dave's case).

    Anyway, thanks to Dave for a superb review. He's a righteous dude, incidentally, and one of heck of a player. I've heard him lay down an R&B groove so fat you could trip over it.

    And because of his coaching, now I'M doing MY own setups!
     
  6. CJY

    CJY

    Apr 30, 2001
    Singapore
    Thanks for the review,dbradford!I now feel more at ease to order a BB75P from carvin.btw i think ur weight problem has to do with the walnut body.its okay as long as there is no neck dive , right?


    Anybody has anything else to say about the P series I'd love to hear it!
     
  7. dbradford

    dbradford

    May 7, 2001
    Cary, NC
    There's certainly no neck dive. In fact, I should have mentioned that this is a very nicely balanced bass.

    Re taking the chance on a Carvin: they are very gracious about returns. In the case I cited in my previous post when I had to return a four string bass that had with a "kick" at the twelfth fret, they even promptly reimbursed my return shipping expenses.

    One last thing: Walnut is a highly figured wood the figuring is very erratic. There are places on my bass where the irregularity of the grain looks like flaws in the finish. I write it off to "character," but I'm thinking that a straighter grained wood like koa might be a better bet for the very revealing tung-oil finish.

    But then, there's always the swamp ash tobacco sunburst . . .
     
  8. CJY

    CJY

    Apr 30, 2001
    Singapore
    but shouldn't sound be the deciding factor instead of visual enhancement?just my thought anyway.
     
  9. dbradford

    dbradford

    May 7, 2001
    Cary, NC
    There's no question that sound is the critical factor.

    But I've got a real wood fetish. I love the feel and look of fine woods.

    And let's face it, the craftsmanship and materials are part and parcel of the sound.