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carvin questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jon Burnet, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i just did a search and didn't find the info i needed. i am looking at maybe aquiring a carvin 6 fretless. highly flamed top... spacing is good. what kinda luck have any of you other carvin owners had? there was somethin weird about the pick ups... there was this weird foam on top of them... didnt seem to affect the tone much. any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    Well, I just bought a Carvin LB75 on eBay for $500. Should be coming soon so I'll give you some input on that sometime then.
  3. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I had a Carvin 6 fretless custom made a couple of years ago. The workmanship was pretty good, but the tone was not. Just couldn't get a tone I could be happy with out of it, regardless of the strings I put on it.

    Before you spend the money, I'd suggest you at least try out a Zon or Pedula. The difference is not at all subtle. You can find them used in the same price range as a new high end Carvin.

    Of course, your results may be very different from mine.

  4. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I've got a pair of LB75s. The Carvin pickups are an acquired taste, being a little short of low end IMO. I replaced the single coil J99s in one of my basses with a pair that was said to be out of a Sadowsky. The new pickups are much fatter sounding.

    Carvin's construction is high quality, though not quite to boutique standards. The electronics are competent but not outstanding.

    Overall, I think Carvin is a great value in an American made bass. There are better made instruments out there, but they cost more. And I'd take Carvin over Fender or Gibson any day.
  5. Blux


    Feb 5, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    I have an LB75 from Ebay. $470. It is a beautiful bass has some nice sounds, but I am new to playing bass and may not be as critical as some. Even if you wanted to replace the pups, it is a well made instrument who's resale value is low. I have read on this and other bass forums about many player being satisfied with upgraded pups. Most more experienced bassist I have let play this bass say it is worth more than what I paid and like its tone.
    I will get some TBer's to review mine tomorrow (June 15th) at our TalkBass Philadelphia get-together. Maybe some will post here. I will incourage honest criticism. They can't hurt my feeling if they don't like it.
    If you got a used one and replaced pups it is much less costly than Zon or Pedula used. But I would never discourage someone from buying either of those.

  6. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Ditto on Jeff Rader's comments. I had a beautiful Koa body LB75 a few years ago. This model had the two jazz pickup configuration, and no mid control yet. The workmanship and finish was great. However, the tone was not what I was looking for.

    It was, and still is a decent value for the price though. I think I paid $700+ back in the mid '90s.

    As with any bass, you should really try it out before buying. If you're buying used / mail order, at least try out a model that is similar to the one you're buying. there's bound to be one in your town somewhere.
  7. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    i guess i should have clarified that it is mildly used. i have tried zon AND pedulla and loved them both but this happens to be at a store i have a house account with. its at a really good price. i am thinking about leaving the on board pre flat and running it through my fodera pre amp. the thing plays like butter though.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Exactly what G said... I had the same exact configuration during the same time period... and the same experience. The main issue was tone... I even swapped out the preamp and then pickups for Bartolini and while I liked it more than before, when I came across the Zon Legacy Standard fretless 5, no contest. Not even close.

    The other issue I had back then was that, with low action, the trussrod needed frequent attention. I'm on the East Coast so that's not exactly shocking with the wide swings in temperature and humidity we have.

    If you can find one for a decent price I see no reason not to get it. They're nice basses. The Zon I got went for more than triple what the LB75F was new (I got my Zon new for a ridiculous price though). If you played my Legacy, you might feel as I do... it's well worth it.
  9. To many TBers having a Carvin is like having a case of the clap. :p

    However, I own a 5 string fretless that has amazing playability AND killer tone. It is a neck-thru with piezo pickups so that may have something to do with it (the pre-amp is better tonal-wise with the piezo option). The neck is super stable and feels great... it's a 5 laminate koa/maple with an ebony board and it's tung oil finished. It sustains forever, and the TI jazz flats seem to bring out the best in it. The local studio has borrowed it from time to time because they can't get some of those tones anywhere else (the studio is upstairs from a music store so they have their choice of 15 or 20 basses). If I had to find a fault with it, it would be the resale value... Carvin's don't bring squat used... but then again, I didn't buy it to sell. This one's a keeper... maybe for life. :D

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