Carvin Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by count_funkula, Jul 26, 2001.

  1. count_funkula

    count_funkula Guest

    Dec 13, 1999
    Greenville, Tx
    My Carvin LB75 will be arriving either tomorrow or Monday! I ordered it with the H50 stacked humbuckers and was curious if anyone has any experience with these pickups. Do they sound good?

  2. All I know about them is that I've never seen them dissed anywhere, including the Carvin board. I can't say the same for their MM-style humbucker. There's a lot of disgust with it, including mine. So, I think you made a good choice that I wish I had originally made. Their J99 isn't bad for the money either, IMO. At least is has a lot of bass.

    Hopefully, the strings on it will be okay. Not long ago, the roundwounds that came on their basses were godawful, IMO. But I think they recently changed to better strings due to all the complaints.....or maybe, guilt?

    Word of advice - Don't make any adjustments to the action right off. Your bass will have been exposed to a lot of extremely hot, humid, weather if it had to go across the midwest. Let that neck- through-body get adjusted to your temperature indoors and then see if you want to change the factory setup.

    You may find it has a fret/action-related "clicking/clacking" sound, as many owners have. I minimized (not totally eliminated) it with action adjustments. But it's not noticeable in a band situation.
  3. I got mine lasxt month and it has the H50. I peronally like the sound, and my bass teacher has said it's one of the best sounding Carvin's he's heard.

    They did a great job on the finish too. The bass is awesome! I think you'll be happy with yours.

  4. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    rickbass1 -- as many people who talked about the MM-style humbucker liked it (including not-to-be-dismissed straight-up Ed Friedland). So maybe you should quit trying to say it's a piece of crap just because it didn't meet your needs or preconceptions. Same with the strings. These are both highly subjective taste issues, and vary from bass to bass (wood, etc) and rig to rig.

    It would be different if every qualified player agreed something was "bad": Then maybe it could be written off with a clear conscience. But that isn't even close to the case here, so perhaps you should take your lumps gracefully (repeated whining doesn't qualify) and buy an after-market p'up as has been previously suggested.

    On that note, I've been happy for several years with the wide response, flexibility and noise-free performance of the H50N pickups on my LB75 fretted and fretless. But recently, I decided to put the new DiMarzio Ultra Jazz 5 into the bridge slot. The Ultra 5 definitely has a little more going on where I want it in the frequency spectrum so my passive tone is right where I want it for the band I'm presently doing. I think I'll stick with the H50N at the neck for now; the two have about the same amount of bass (where, before the bridge was less bassy), and the Ultra Jazz 5 neck pickup spacing is about right for narrow string-spacing at the bridge but might place the pole pieces a little too wide at the neck.

    We'll see after I spend more time getting to know this quiet but high-output tone machine : }  More experiments and tweaking are in order right now...

    <-- greenboy ---<<<<   one man's fish, another's poisson
  5. I don't know where you came up with those stats. Although there are few review resources currently available on the Carvin HB MM, the few that don't either dis the pickup, or talk about replacing it (the most are at the Carvin board!), or have the J99's or the H50N's (what does that tell you?). One guy at the Carvin board even mentioned a Carvin rep told him that Basslines MM and the Carvin are similar. Apparently, he doesn't believe it because he says he's going to replace it anyway.

    Here's what one of the techs at Basslines emailed to me recently, "Carvin is notorious for making just about the worst pickups in the industry...." (Well, I wouldn't be that harsh, especially on the J99. but if you want proof, I'll give you the contact).

    Ed Friedland?!?! Carvin's lapdog? Who gets all the Carvin gear he wants for free and gets flown out to their factory? Gimme a big break! He knows which side his bread is buttered on.

    I'll tell you about something you said and what Ed Friedland had to say about the pickup. In reply to a question at the Carvin board about their MM HB wiring, you said, "They are SERIES! The default wiring for any HB is series...repeat SERIES...Sheesh" Well, Mr. Bartolini-wannabe, yjour "not-to-be-dismissed" Friedland said at the Bottom Line that it is wired parallel instead of series, unlike the true MM pickup. Repeat....PARALLEL....sheeesh (my words).

    You also say at that board you have the H50N's. So, tell me all about a pickup that you don't own and one that I do.

    Aside from the currently available, rare, reviews of their MM-style HB, I've seen that pickup trashed in posts that are no longer available at the Carvin board. Moreover, I've been using pickups 30+ years, have tried a slew of pups on the way, and that's how that pickup sounds to me.

    The really important issue is your attempt to act as self-appointed censor-in-chief and telling people to "stop whining" and telling them they "should quit trying to say." This is a discussion board. I'll disagree with people but I won't threaten their right to voice their opinion. Anyone here can disagree with you on this board anytime and has just as much right to express their opinion as you.

    If you want mainly "pro-Carvin" propaganda, I suggest you stay on the Carvin board where most people are raving about the greatness of Carvin, even though most of them bought their instruments based on looks. (Hell, your screen name is in reference to the stain on your Carvin). Many, if not most, never had an opportunity to play a better instrument, of which, there are many, as evidenced by the posts there. You willb be much more comfortable making your posts in threads there such as the current, "Why is Carvin the Best Bass There Is?" threads, which shows up in some form periodically.
  6. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    A tad touchy are we? -- better call a whaaaambulance ; }

    <-- greenboy ---<<<<    i'll tell Ed you said "hi!" too ; }
  7. Well, I'm with greenboy in liking the Carvin MM, and I've said so both here and at the Carvin forum. However, I can't really say that hearing that rick doesn't like that PU bothers me much. It's just different taste, for which there is, as is well known, no accounting.

    To be honest, neither what Ed Friedland says nor what some guy at Basslines says matters much to me either. Neither is exactly a disinterested source, and even if they both were, what they say about any PU still wouldn't matter to me as much as what I personally think about it.

    I don't think we ought to get too upset about different opinions. I admit, though, that I get ticked off when I see someone try to pass off opinions as fact. That just ain't right. But that doesn't seem to be what's happening here.
  8. Call it whatever you want. The fact remains, as evidenced by your posting history, is that you specialize in two things-

    1. treating others as if they were somehow inferior to yourself.
    2. speaking authoritatively on subjects you don't know squat about.

    The truth hurts, doesn't it? I noticed you couldn't disprove what I previously said. You haven't done your homework on what's been said elsewhere and in the past about the pickup.

    This reminds me of that post on the Carvin board, where you insulted the person who asked the MM wiring question. That person came back and asked you what you based your answer on: hands-on experience? or your imagination? Never did respond to that question, did you? :D

    I just don't sit still for someone who thinks they should tell people what they can and cannot post, especially someone, whom I find, cooks up info to satiate his starving ego so that he can undeservedly appear authoritative.

    Jeez, if you're going to pretend you were Seth Lover's mentor, at least give out factual info :rolleyes:

    I imagine your ear for pickups is about as "expert" as your knowledge of pickup wiring. No wonder the internet is sometimes considered a joke when it comes to reliability of the information passed.

    Take a look at some of the exchanges between Richard Lindsey and myself in past posts. We may totally disagree, but we always incorporate an appreciation for two elements you lack in your moral inventory;

    1. mutual respect
    2. truth and fact

    And for those reasons, I take Richard's input very seriously, even when it is just his opinion.

    You may be better off at another board before some of the real expertise on this one eats you for a light snack.
  9. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    All that just to tell someone you don't like them? Wow, and I am supposed to justify my reasoning or my responses to you too? Sorry, don't have time for that. Onward to music.

    <-- greenboy ---<<<<    lapdog lackey of the evil empire mwhahahahahh!
  10. count_funkula

    count_funkula Guest

    Dec 13, 1999
    Greenville, Tx
    Guys, every time I have posted a question about Carvin pickups it turns into a discussion about the MM-style humbucker. I didn't ask about that particular pickup, I asked about the H50N. This is the 3rd post that has gone off topic.

    Please stick to the original question. The pros and cons of the MM-style humbucker can be discussed somewhere else.

  11. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    count funkula,

    The H50N has an extended top-end (fairly low output, must have a high resonance peak as well) that is well-suited to solo bass with effects. You will never hear sludge with this p'up and it seems to get lots of smooth highs even with old pressure-wound strings. If you have a rig with a high, clear top end your effects will shimmer like never before with absolutely no noise introduced to the signal chain.

    As a passive rock-oriented bass I feel that adding a few dBs of wide-Q EQ between 180-250 Hz at the head/preamp brings out the beast the best. Using the Carvin preamp, the Mid knob seems to get this too. Very articulate, and digging in can vary the brightness of the attack widely. With distortions it seems to do best with some upper mids cut as well, or more lower mids added. Again, articulate, even with scads of high gain.

    For a stack, the repsonse is less compressed than most, I would assume due to being a mild wind in the first place. String response is very even. If using two and set up well, the 50/50 blend is well-scooped for slap. Soloed on the bridge it really can growl; either position's nuances with fingerstyle make varied expression controllable and likely.

    It seems to be a real chameleon, especially when pre-amped, but doesn't have an obvious signature sound, which can be a plus or a minus depending on what you are looking for. What woods/construction you have really affect its tone.
    I personally like it with alder or basswood body, maple or alder neck, and ebony fingerboard -- that seems to leverage it's flexibility -- but hey, that's me.

    Now that I've changed my bridge p'up to the DiMarzio Jazz Ultra 5 I probably won't be shopping around to change the neck position; I've got the balance/heights dialed in nicely now to get a good 50/50 scoop and still really like the strat-meets-P vibe the neck gives soloed. The fatter-yet-bright bridge replacement meets my rockin' needs without adding the EQ I preferred for that, though I do miss the wider, less-peaked frequency response for solo/effects use.

    Summarized, it isn't the best passive flat-EQ rock beast I've ever tried through some rigs (though the guys in the new band I'm in really love hearing some definition for a change -- the last bass player's had a duller sound). H50N is extremely flexible and seems to bring out all the nuances of your hand technique better than most.

    Decisions, decisions ; }

    <-- greenboy ---<<<<
  12. I wasn't focusing on the MM, count. I was exposing a person who deals in bogus info. when he took a swipe at me.
  13. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    I think that p'up sounds very bad for rock bass, I have heard them and played them and they seem really weak to me. For other styles it sounds ok at best, it seems to just really lacking in the low low's.
  14. Davidoc

    Davidoc Guest

    Sep 2, 2000
    Northern VA and JMU
    I'm so happy with that pickup; they sent one to me for free (accidently) with my order!
  15. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Naw, I think the H50N can rock just fine as a passive in most any style. Especially when it's at the neck. I know I've heard lots of compliments for my sound at real drivin' gigs.

    Getting that sound? Well, string choice, amp settings, pickup height, pretty much the standard stuff applies. I've never found low output to be a problem for a quiet pickup: that's why they put pregain knobs on heads ; }  High output pickups have their trade-offs...

    At the bridge, the H50N didn't seem to emphasize the growl as much as I like though (on MY bass anyway), and then I found myself using the onboard preamp and mid knob more.

    As far as lows, unless I am using the first few frets of the B string I often use it in passive mode. But a preamp with B-string compensation (or adding some bass) definitely helps when you are way down low on B.

    <-- greenboy ---<<<<
  16. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I was pretty happy with my J50s. I would characterize them as a very polite pickup. Good sound, but not outstanding. I like them a lot better with a preamp; without one, they have low output. I prefer a little hotter pickup. I put a huge DiMarzio humbucker (like the old EBO) in the neck position of my Carvin fretless for some serious booty.

    I tried one of the MM pickups, and sent it back.