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Carvin vs. Peavey, Who's making the better basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blackbird, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. Carvin

    78 vote(s)
  2. Peavey

    140 vote(s)
  3. Why are you doing this to me?

    36 vote(s)
  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    This should be an interesting thread.

    Both Carvin and Peavey have made great strides in terms of bass building, but if you had to pick between these two, which one would you choose and why?

    I abstain.:p
  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I'm gonna step out and say Peavy. They have the Cirrus, and the G-bass (the Graphite ones w/ Necks by modulus, right?) and they are easier to get into that Carvin. And, they have the power of underestimation. :D
  3. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    that is a really tough call. and i am incredibly biased. (being a proud and happy carvin player) BUT i must give respect to peavey for offering such a varied range of high quality instruments at affordable prices. a year ago i chose to order a new carvin fretless, and i did it because i had an absolutly orgasmic experience with a friends LB75. its perfect for what i want it to do (big round smooth tone, crystal clear) but if i had the change to burn on another bass i would in a second pick up a peavey G 5 stringer. this is because not only IMO does it look cool (not that thats the most important part) but they play very well, and are built ford tough. most importantly, i really like the sound of a composite neck when slapping. (plus ive been having problems with my ibanez ATK 5's neck, so i figure a composite neck would be a safer bet... and would allow me to put super heavey gauge strings on it. i like to go from about .05 to .135)

    to each his own. i chose carvin the first time around... and would replace the bass if it was stolen or lost. but if i could have another one... id get the peavey.

    PS anyone know where i might get a good replacement neck for my ATK affordably?
  4. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    More innovation with body style and better pickups and electronics. Qualitywise, both are neck and neck. Carvin should carve a little off. The Cirrus I have is real comfortable.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I honestly don't know.

    Both brands only play a very minor role in Germany (Europe?).

    Peavey is mainly known for their cheap practice combos here.
  6. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think that Peavey is a bit moe appealing to people because they can often times just go to the store and play one. Where as Carvins you have to order. I think that sets some buyers off, the whole play before you buy thing.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Carvin makes some nice eye candy, but the electronics aren't up to snuff. Peaveys, even though they use their own electronics, IMHO are on par with a lot of the aftermarket stuff. The VFL humbuckers and Millenium preamp in my Cirrus Custom are just as quiet, pleasant sounding and darned near as versatile as the Bart soapbars and the ZP-2D preamp on my Sonus Custom. And the pickups and pre sound much better than the Bart setup in my Rapture. The Millenium and G bass have killer electronics setup too, and Peavey is even putting their VFL humbuckers in the Korean Fury line. And the Cirrus, Millenium, G Bass and Fury qualify as eye candy too.

    When I wanted a high quality 6 string, I considered Carvin. But to get a Carvin that was as decked out as my Cirrus, it would have cost me about $1200 - $1300. And based on the few Carvins that I have played or heard, and comments of people that I respect online, to get the tones that I wanted, I would have then had to spend another $250 - $350 putting new electronics in it to try and get the tone that I wanted. And I remembered Brad J saying that he put the full Bart setup in his Carvin, and still not ever being 100% happy with it. So when I walked in Mr. E's that day in Bedford and saw that beautiful Cirrus Custom Tiger eye, and then plugged it in and instantly got 4 or 5 killer tones with only 5 minutes of messing with the preamp, I knew that I had a sure thing, where with the Carvin, who knows if I would have ever been happy?

    And I paid about what the Carvin would have cost with the electronics transplant, so for those of you who are going to say what a great value Carvin is, guess what? So is Peavey.:cool:

    :oops:Geez I'm long winded tonight!:D
  8. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Over the years Peavey has, once in a while, had a top-of-the-line bass that could compare to a Carvin. And I'll admit that after giving a close look/feel/listen to a few Cirrus's (Cirri?) because embellisher and a few others here said it was something I really needed to check out, the Cirrus is one of the best basses I've ever played. But, I have yet to find a bass that I like better than my Carvin LB70. When I get my new Carvin BB75P, my third Carvin bass, I intend to put it through a good A/B comparison with the Peavey Cirrus. I'll be sure to post what I think when that happens. I plan to take it and let embellisher play it as well because it never hurts to have a second opinion. I didn't like the Cirrus four-string, but that's mostly personal preference. There was really nothing wrong with the bass, I just didn't really like the shape/size of the neck. I am somewhat biased, having pretty much learned to play on Carvins that's just what I'm comfortable with.
  9. In stock condition, the Peavey Cirrus, Millenium and G basses are of higher quality sound than any stock Carvin bass.
  10. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Stock Carvin? Is there such a thing?
  11. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I bought my LB70 in 1989, and the only things I've changed on it are strings and batteries. I'd say it's stock. :cool: The H50N pickups came out right after I got this bass. Mine came with the older H13B stacked humbuckers. I thought about "upgrading" to the newer p'ups, but never did. Now I'm glad I kept the old ones. They sound great and I have heard at least a few people who didn't like the H50N's.

    My V440T I bought in 1987 and sold in about 1999. During that time, I removed the stock strap buttons and replaced them with Schaller straplocks. When I got the LB70, it came from Carvin with the optional Dunlop Straplocks. So I then replaced the Schallers on the V440T with Dunlops so I could use the same straps with either. That's as far from stock as I've taken one. :)
  12. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    What I meant was: Carvin offers so many options when buying a bass. You have the option of just about anything when you order a Carvin. I always think of stock as the common standard of that model the factory chooses for you. There really isnt in this case a standard is there?
  13. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    I see what you mean, and you may have a point in that respect. They have a lot of options, and it would be hard to find two just alike.

    I thought you were trying to say that there were no stock Carvins because people had to modify them to make them "right" or something.
  14. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I voted "Why are you doing this to me?" because I own one of each.

    The Peavey Patriot I bought new in '87 was more than I expected from a $200 US-made (!) bass. I still have it. Sure it's basic (1 single coil pickup) and it has some minor shortcomings, but it fits me like a 4-stringed glove, it has great tone, and it has held up well over the years.

    For a while I had a '90 Carvin LB75F that I never quite came to terms with. It had the older stacked humbuckers that I felt lacked bass response, which is the kiss of death for a 5-string. The preamp had a slight but noticeable hiss. And it had a long pointy headstock, which made for a stretch to the G string tuner. But for all my gripes, build quality was not an issue.

    My '99 Carvin LB75, OTOH, has become my primary player. The single-coil J-style pickups are much improved over the old stacked humbuckers, and the preamp is much quieter and has more usable tone control range. It is well made, it looks great, and it has a very solid low B string. I bought mine off the rack at a discount, so I didn't get to pick the options, but it was the one bass in the store that really resonated in my hands.

    I haven't got a clue what Peavey is offering these days, because the only local store that carries them is a Guitar Center - and I only go in there when I'm desperate. But I hear lots of good things about the Cirrus basses, and based on my past experience, I'm not very surprised.

    I think both Peavey and Carvin are underrated. Certainly neither has the cachet of a boutique luthier, but then they're not boutique priced either! Both build fine working-class instruments at a fair price.

    If you ask me, it should be Fender and Gibson and their foreign-made siblings getting the rap for poor value! (Though I did play a Mexi-Jazz 5 this summer that surprised me with its tone and playability.)
  15. Brasch


    Jan 26, 2002
    Carvin's standard is the one you choose without any options or if you buy a kit. I'd say it's a big advantage you can choose to have almost anything, but sometimes you need to know a little about basses first, like what this wood sounds like and that wood. It's the whole Carvin concept making costum basses (that's why it's a costum shop). They have some basic models and you'll get what you want besides that. I'd go for Carvin on this one.
  16. Well, the only "options" you have in pickup department is the Carvin J or Carvin humbucking pickups, not EMG, not Bartolini, not Seymour Duncan, Not Lane Poore etc. which are all much better quality pickups than the Carivn pickups which I consider stock. Also, the no optional standard Carvin preamp is also stock.
  17. Embellisher...I see you have changed your avatar. WHY MUST YOU TEASE ME? That Zon is oh so sweet.
  18. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    I own a Millennium Plus and a Cirrus. When I find the right deal, I'm going to get a G-5. All three of those are very nice basses IMO. Now Peavey has released the new Grind bass. Just from reading the descriptions of the American made verison, It sounds as if they might have another winner. Now if I could get one my local dealers to get one in stock for me to try, I would probably be thinking about getting one of those.
  19. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I went with Peavy. I think that Carvins are of VERY good quality, but every one that I've played just didn't do it for me. The Cirruses are the epitome of "budget boutique". Ain't nothing cheap, but the price. I'd love to come across an old B Quad. This pawn here has one, but apparently they think it worth 1600.00! :eek:
  20. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Although I'm a former Carvin LB owner, I can't make the poll an "either/or" choice.

    Offer a Cirrus to me, and I'll forget all about Carvin, (or probably a Millenium, too).

    But other than those two models, I'd opt for a Carvin LB or XB.

    The only hitch is that if I went with the Carvin, I'd have to leave money set aside for at least one new pickup.

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