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Carvin pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by electricdemon3, Aug 29, 2000.

  1. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I have finally decided to purchase a Carvin 6 string fretless. The only problem is that there is no way for me to try one out since you have to order them. I am curious about how they sound. There are a few different pickup options and I want to make sure I make the right choice before I get one. The first option is single coil jazz pickups. The second choice is stacked humbuckers that fit in a single coil jazz spacing in a jazz configuration. The third choice is a jazz pickup in the neck position and a big stingray style humbucker in the bridge position. I was wondering if anyone owns a Carvin and can explain the tonal characteristics of each configuration that they have tried. Do the stacked jazz humbuckers sound any different than the singles other than hum cancellation? To give you an idea of what sound I am looking for, I like to play aggressively with my fingers and pull hard at the strings to give the notes that percussive "slap" sound. I prefer flat wound strings on a fretless even though they produce a darker tone. To compensate, I like punchy, bright pickups. So if anyone can tell me which pickups would be most suitable for my style, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
  2. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Hey Electric-D!!! I own two Carvins, one fretted, the other fretless. I'll try and make this short and sweet!!

    My fretless has the two stacked humbucker configuration.
    It gives it a somewhat warmer sound than the single coils, which it originally had. I had it refitted recently. The single coils, while sounding good, had a little too much bite for my taste. After I installed the humbuckers, it had more of that " woody " tone to it. Also, no hum problems anymore, even with one pick-up off!!

    On my fretted, I have the stingray style p-up with a single coil at the neck position. I really like this set-up, as the stingray has a coil-splitter that allows me to switch to single-coil mode. The s-ray style in humbucker mode really has some kick to it, while the single coil at the neck is really thick and punchy. There are a lot of tonal variations that you can get with this set-up.

    I should have also mentioned that both of these basses have active electronics. I personally think that active is the way to go, as it opens a whole other vista of tone possibilities. But active is not for everyone, it's a matter of personal choice really.

    I hope that this will help. Good luck!!
  3. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I was thinking about getting the configuration with the stingray pickup in the bridge but a while back I played a Warwick with a similar setup and didn't like the sound of it. I normally love the sound of a stingray pickup but the one in the Warwick had way too much midrange which made an awful tone. ONYX, how close does the Carvin pickup come to a stingray tone with that configuration? Also, how does it sound when both the stingray style humbucker in the bridge and the single coil in the neck are on? is it as punchy as the middle position in a configuration with two single coil jazz pickups?

    By the way, I agree with you about active electronics. I was never a fan of active electronics on an electric guitar but I love the sonic possibilities they open up in an electric bass.
  4. soundofphysics


    Jul 17, 2000
    carvin has a really fair return policy, since they're not as easy to find in stores. They let you try it out and if u don't like it send it back, and all you pay is postage and handling. So if its not for you jsut send it back, or sell it to me:), lol.
  5. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Well, to be honest with you, I can't compare it to a Stingray. I've never owned one, and the last time that I played one was many moons ago. I can say that it has an awesome tone for slap style, being very strong in the mid-range area when soloed. The main reason that I like it is because it really cuts through the mix. I was never trying to obtain the Stingray sound. I wish that I could be more objective here, but I was always partial to the Jazz bass sound to begin with. The ray-style p-up was a departure for me anyway, I needed a bass that would give me more tonal possibilities.

    As to your other question: With the blend at the midway point and the stingray p-up in double coil mode, it is noticably punchier than a twin single coil configuration.
    This was actually the main reason that I went with this set-up. However, if you switch into single-coil mode at this point, there is a noticable loss of bottom end punch. This is kind of unfortunate, but I rarely, if ever play that way, so I can overlook it. But you should be aware of that little snag if you decide to go this way!
  6. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    hmmm. This is a tough decision. I guess the best thing for me to do is just try it out and take advantage of Carvin's return policy. Another factor added to this equation is that I love the sound of EMG pickups. If I bought the stingray style then I wouldn't be able to replace both the neck and bridge pickups since I don't think EMG makes a stingray replacement, and companies that do don't generally make a six string version since ernie ball doesn't have a six string model. EMG pickups leads me to another question. If I were planning to get a bass so I could replace the pickups with EMG's, should I replace the active preamp as well? should I even get a carvin with an active preamp if I were to do this? How different is the sound of active electronics when you have the same pickup but swap the preamp? I'm sorry about all the questions but I find it necessary to know all my options before I make this purchase.
  7. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Hmmmmmmmm.........Intersting question.

    I really can't say. I would imagine that there would be some difference in tone, but how much , I can't say. Perhaps one of the other TB'ers out here may have some experience with swapping pre-amps. Guys/Gals???

    What I can say is that the Carvins are easy to upgrade if you so choose. However, as far as the EMG pickups for the stingray style, I've never seen any, but I might be wrong!

    I'm hoping that one of the other "seasoned vets" might be reading this and decide to jump in and give us some other ideas. I've never changed pre-amps in any of my basses, so I'd hate to give ya bogus information!

  8. I too have a Carvin LB75. It is a five inline head stock.I'm Canadain and purchased mine from Mothers Music in Alberta over the phone. I had noisey pickups (active) Carvin were very helpfull and sent all new pre-amp with diagrams to install. I also asked for wiring dia. to use with samson wireless.I gave up on the wireless due to interferance.I love my Carvin. I like bartolini pickups myself.Has anyone tried them in LB75's? Good luck!
    JohnnyBass2420 likes this.
  9. Monkey


    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I have the stacked J-style humbuckers on my fretless, and I really like them. Some say they are kind of tame-sounding, but I love them. I hate hum. I took out the neck pickup from my Carvin fretless, and replaced with a huge DiMarzio humbucker for a deeper sound. I put the old Carvin pickup in the bridge position of a passive fretless I built, and it sounded great without the preamp. I tried the MM-style humbucker, but sent it back. I was expecting a MM-type low end, and it was too middy for me.
  10. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    My advise is.
    Go to http://www.carvin.com
    Bunny Brunel Section... and download the Mp3.
    He demonstrates the different sounds you can get out of the pickups. And he shows the different tones on the bridge dual coil humbucker. !!!
  11. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    thanks for the info. I checked out the sound clips on the carvin web sight and I decided that I will go with the single coil jazz pickups. The humbucker had too much mids for my taste but the singles sounded just right. The active pre amp should allow me to add the deep bass sound that I am looking for. It will also be a good choice if I want to upgrade to EMG's or Bartolini's. I'll post a message when I get the bass to let you guys know what I think.

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