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Carvin strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Jon Chewning, Jul 26, 2001.

  1. Apologies if this has been covered before, but I'm ordering some stuff thru Carvin and noticed they have some 6-string sets, nickel plated, gauged: .029, .040, .060, .080, .100, .128
    for only $14.99. Anyone recommend these or should I save my money?
  2. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I tried them at one time and found them to be pretty decent. Nickel is not my preference, but I was more impressed with them than most other nickels I had tried. I also found them a tiny bit more coarse than most nickels, but they felt good.

    I believe Carvin's 5 and 6 string rounds are Labella Super Steps. Try comparing gauges from the Carvin sets to the Super Step fives and sixes on Labella's site, perfect match.
  3. Well I did notice that Carvin sells LaBellas on their website, so I guess it follows that the Carvins might be repackaged LaBellas. I've never used nickels before but I wanted to try a few sets on my fretless to try and minimize the wear on the fretboard. If they work out tonewise, great. If not I'll revert back to stainless and just deal with a fretboard replaning down the line.
  4. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    What kind of stainless strings are you using? Only reason I ask is because I use DR Lo Riders and find they have exceptional feel for a stainless string. They are far less abrasive than my other favorite string, Roto 66's, which has got to be the coarsest string I've ever played.

    Still, I'll always keep some 66's around. They have such a wonderfully raw rock sound, albeit, a little bright out of the box.

    I gotta admit, the Carvin strings are a steal for that price. If you find you like them, those 2 set packages could really save you some dough. :)
  5. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    I've used Carvin strings with good results. They have a very tight piano like tone, with high definition. Ultimately, however, the decision will be made by you.
  6. I was using DR's exclusively for my 5-string when I was playing that, but I'm having a hard time getting the 6 string sets locally. I know I can order them thru juststrings.com etc. but since I just got my fretless back in Feb. I wanted to try some different brands anyway. Plus I wanted to try some nickel plated sets to compare tonewise to stainless. Right now I've got a set of SR2000's on my fretless that real happy with, but they are stainless and with the possibility of the fretboard getting eaten up quicker, I wanted to check out some nickels. I figured for $15, it'd make my cheap ass happy if they worked out.
  7. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I didn't particularly like the Carvin nickel sets I've tried. Like Seamus, I found them to be noticeably coarser than the DRs I usually use, and they lose their brilliance quickly. On the plus side, though, they're cheap as dirt.
  8. I have to admit, I use the Carvin 6 sets all the time, but it's mainly because they're *cheap*. Less than half of what I'd have to pay to get DRs in the gauges I'd want. I've got two hungry 6-strings that need to be kept in strings. And it's hard to find the gauges I like (why is it so hard to find anything between 40 and 45, or 60 and 65, or 80 and 85, or 100 and 105?).

    They certainly don't strike me as *bad* strings, but I really haven't put in the comparison work to make a definitive judgment.

    BTW, yes, they are definitely made by La Bella.
  9. Well I figger I'm gonna grab a set and try it out. I've got a 'Free shipping' coupon from Carvin til the end of the month and I was gonna get a few other things so I might as well put as much on the till as possible to take advantage of the coupon. I'll relay my thoughts after I get 'em on.
  10. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Yeah, it's sad that strings cost so much. I was looking up in the closet the other day to grab a set of Lo Rider 5's, and it was my last one! Nooooo!! :D

    It's funny, I have 2 packs of the Carvins (Labellas) sitting up there on reserve too. Truth be told, I have no qualms about the Labellas, but the tension on those LR's keeps me coming back every time. I guess I'll have to order more now, it's sad I'm such a sucker for those strings. We need some cheap knockoffs that play just like them in the market so the price will come down!! :eek:


    As far as the Carvins keeping your cheap a$$ happy (lol), I would say go for it. You never know, you might like em. They're good strings, just oddly coarse for a nickel. It's not uncomfortable really, just that the outer wraps sort of rubbed me the wrong way or something. It's like the outer wraps are slick, but really thick. I don't know why, but I still feel more at home playing RS66's over the Labellas. This is odd because the 66's have about as refined a feel as barbed wire. :rolleyes:

    I have yet to see where you can score a decent set of 5's for $12.50 though, so I give a thumbs up.
  11. I agree with you on the DR's. I was (am) very happy with the feel and tone I get with 'em, but with the factors of availability (and cost) of the 6 string sets and issues of fretboard maintenance, I started down the path of DR heresy. Your review of the Carvins is interesting concerning the coarseness of those strings. Does that mean it's more difficult to do slides and whatnot?
  12. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    It's been awhile since I used them Jon, but from what I can recall, maybe I can put it another way. I did not find them difficult to play so much as I found the outer wraps distracting. I could still navigate fine, but the appearance of the thick outer wrap was telling me that I didn't like the feel. It's not a bad feel to the touch, just when moving quickly up and down the string.

    I think that because I was looking down at the B, the wraps looked 3D and huge to me. I was letting it make me mental! It's kind of like the guy that goes to the doctor and says "Doc, it hurts when I laugh" and the Doc says "Well, don't laugh."

    You'll notice it most of course on the big 'ol B, I think the look caused me to make a cognitive association with roughness. I honestly did not give them a long enough evaluation period, as I had some new strings I wanted to try at the time. I also believe that anyone who still uses stainless Roto 66's should be the last person to call another string 'coarse', so I'm just cooky! :)

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