1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Carvin vs Yamaha?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SlapBass1440, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. SlapBass1440


    Jun 21, 2012
    I played a yamaha TRBX504 and it sounded absolutely killer! But is a does it compare to a Carvin quality wise. I am looking for a very consistent and stable instrument. I have heard of Carvin necks having a lot of movement in them. Even their 5 piece necks! My question is, should I really pay the $1900 for a carvin? When I could spend $500 for that yamaha?

  2. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    Why would you limit yourself to 2 types of basses? And the fact that you are comparing a $1900 bass to a $500 bass makes it seem that you haven't researched other possible alternatives
  3. SlapBass1440


    Jun 21, 2012
    I have been looking for about a year now, and I have a very distinct sound that I am looking for. I have played Carvins in stores but I have never actually had one to where I can judge how road worthy it is. The same goes for yamaha. As of now I am playing an old Kramer ds-2 and it just doesn't have that sound. I hear good and bad things about carvin. I also don't want to go ahead and spend $500 and up on a piece of **** bass that only sounds good for one second then you use it for a few months and the imperfections of the quality start to become more apparent. I know that both these basses won't be perfect. But as is quality control between the 2 companies, that is what I am mostly looking at. Cause i couldn't care less that one is $500 and one is $1900. The fact of the matter is if they sound good then they sound good.
  4. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    Well what is it about the Carvin's and Yamaha's that made you decide those two brands were the ones you were focused on?
  5. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    $1,900 for a 4-string Carvin?? Is is made of solid platinum?

    Carvins generally run close to half that price.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I paid around $1800 for my Carvin LB76. It really depends what you do to it.
  7. SlapBass1440


    Jun 21, 2012
    The carvin bass I am looking at is the new Vanquish series. specs I would be getting, A walnut body with a flame maple top, 5 piece walnut and maple neck, and ebony board. The only thing making me hesitant on buying it is the mixed reviews I hear all the time about the quality of the wood. Especially the neck, I hear they warp all the time. The yamaha (even though it sounds good) still has that over shadow of cheapness. Like the bridge and tuners. I dont want to pay $500 up front and then later down the road have to spill out another $500 for hardware and ect.. at that point the bass wasn't really worth it. When I could of avoided it and spent that $1000 dollars on a quality instrument.
  8. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    LOL. Where have you heard that Carvin uses anything other than very high quality wood? "Warp all the time" is pretty crazy, as well. No need to worry.

    "Shadow of cheapness" in a Yamaha? Really? I've always considered Yamahas as having great quality.

    I believe you are over-thinking this. You seem to be looking for problems where there are none. Relax, pick the bass that best meets your needs and desires, and have fun once you get it. :)
    puremusic likes this.
  9. 4Aaron GE

    4Aaron GE

    Mar 14, 2014
    Koriyama, Japan
    I don't know a whole lot about Carvin gear, but Yamaha is pretty rock solid. There's a reason why they're used institutionally around the world. It's not just because they're relatively inexpensive, but because they're incredibly reliable and precise. The variation in quality between units is tiny. They're basically the Toyota of the instrument world. A lot of their offerings are pretty nondescript and unexciting, but you can abuse them and they'll keep up just fine.
    OldDirtyBassist likes this.
  10. UncleDomino


    Apr 19, 2011
    Las Vegas
    I haven't had any issues with my Carvin Icon. I've had it for around 9 months, and I haven't needed to adjust the neck since my initial setup. My only wish is that the Vanquish series was out when I ordered. Those look so nice.
  11. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    Strange to tell: I was also intrigued by Carvin (yeah, more expensive than Yamaha, but it wasn't the point back then) and got advised of a somewhat "unknown" factor around Carvin necks, considered more or less hit or miss

    Yamaha has among the most solid necks out there, if nothin' else, and this is the same with brand new Trbx.

    Pay attention to the 500 series: on/off switch apart, the output is weak if compared to the cheaper 300 series. These latter can count on some formerly unversatile Rbx passive ceramic humbucker, now equipped with a suitable switch to drive'em thru flat, pick, slap, finger and solo, to taylor the requested amount of midscoop/midrange and attack/decay.

  12. slombovia


    Jul 15, 2003
    I am a determined follower of Jesus Christ and am a Mormon.
    Yamaha can't touch Carvin overall. $500 vs. $1900??? $1900 would be a top of the line LOADED Carvin vs. $500 being a CHEAP Yamaha. For a Yamaha to touch a Carvin it would have to be top of the line ($thousands) as well. Then it would be a close call and your judgement. I've owned 2 Yamahas and 3 Carvins. I wouldn't bother with a Yamaha under $2K whereas $1K can get a nice Carvin. IMO.
  13. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    Yeah, that's about as fancy a carvin as you can order - it will add up. You take that same bass and go less crazy with the parts, and it's much closer to $1000.

    I've had a few Carvins, and there is no issue with the necks that I saw; Long ago (I mean *long* ago - 30+ years) they had a reputation for using poor wood for the necks, but that has long since been corrected.

    The only thing I would concern myself with about Carvin is resale... But Yamaha's don't have the greatest resale either.
  14. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    I think we need to distill what we are looking at here:

    1. Carvin's Vanquish, a bass made by real, skilled workers and quality machines. Lots of hand finishing and TLC. Premium woods which are better than ever. Yes, Carvin has had some issues in the past. I challenge you to find any consistent issues with Carvin's basses, within the last 5 years.
    You can get all of that, a few personal options like fret size and whatnot, for not much more than the bone standard price. In the case of the new Vanquish bass, one of their most expensive basses, you are looking at about $1100---$1200.

    about $1300, if you want a 5 piece neck.

    Anything more than that is candy. Flamed tops, fancy finishes, etc. None of that really improves the bass as far as playability, durability, etc. But there are a lot of great options for customization. That's one of the amazing things about Carvin, they offer a lot, for very competitive pricing. If you have the money for the extra options, wood choices, etc---great! You will get an amazing bass for half what it would cost from almost anyone else.

    2. Low cost, mass produced Yamaha made mostly on machines and finished on assembly lines by workers whom probably are not highly trained instrument builders. That doesn't mean they can't/don't do a good job at their job. But it does mean the overall instrument probably isn't going to get the same amount of TLC as a Carvin or Yamaha's own hand made in Japan basses, which are well over $2,000.

    As far as mass produced basses go, Yamahas are some of the best. As mentioned, they are very consistent and often feel like they cost more than they do. I have owned a couple.

    Assuming you get one with good fretwork (you probably will. yamaha is particularly good at this on their mass produced stuff), and a solid bridge, it will probably play about as well as a Carvin. I mean really, Yamahas usually setup quite nice.

    Who knows what the wood is like and how many it might take to get a good one, that resonates with you. It is a 5 piece neck, so it has a better chance of being stable. But I would still worry about any production bass more than a 5 piece Carvin.

    Actually, the part that historically has given me the most problems on production basses, are the bridges. I had a lot of buzzing saddles and phantom noises on cheap basses.

    I'd be really surprised if the pre-amps in the TRBX series are better than just ok. They seem to talk up the pre-amps in these a lot. Maybe they found a way to cut costs without sacrificing some usable quality. I don't know. But I do know that I have never played a low cost bass (less than $800) which had active electronics that were pleasing to me.

    I'm sure the pickups are fine. Particularly the ones in the TRBX 504/505. Yamaha is quite good at making pickups and the TRBX 500 has a passive option. So you can skip the pre-amp if it sucks.
  15. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    That's complete nonsense. When did the Vanquish series come out? The day before yesterday?? There's nothing wrong with the quality of Carvin necks.
  16. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I've found Carvin necks to be very stable.
  17. golower


    Nov 29, 2009
    Fargo ND
    I wrestled a bear once.
    If paying the difference between 500 and 1900 doesn't matter to you maybe you should consider my Zon for 3300.
    Most stable neck in the industry.Joe Zon is the master Luthier.
  18. golower


    Nov 29, 2009
    Fargo ND
    I wrestled a bear once.
    My preference would be the Yamaha I like their sound.You could probably pick up a Nathan East model for 1900? unless your in a hurry.
  19. slombovia


    Jul 15, 2003
    I am a determined follower of Jesus Christ and am a Mormon.
    Trust me: Nathan is NOT playing the $1900 model.

  20. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    clear case of sour grapes. whichever one you buy, you will always wonder...should i have bought the other? that still, small voice in the back of your mind will always be there, prompting, pushing...

    better buy both.

    that said, i've owned 3 carvins previously, and never had any issues with neck stability. ime.