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Carvin XB75. Anyone tried one?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by baddarryl, Mar 15, 2013.


  1. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
  2. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Yepper, the XB's are basically the LB's with the bridge moved back about an inch with the pickups and frets scaled to suit.

    They must be the most unpopular Carvins ever made, tho, because I've never heard from anyone who has one lol. There's only one sound clip that I could find on the carvin channel also and it's the XB76:

    http://www.carvinchannel.com/play_audio.php?audio=99

    This basically sounds identical to my Bunny 6, though I don't hear the B played much if at all here.

    So it's possible there's not actually any discernable audible difference over the 34" scale, at least comparing this to my Bunny.

    Still, I'd love to try one too and see how it is...

    LS
     
  3. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    All I know about Carvin's is I had a DC200 Stereo guitar in the mid 80's that was one of the best guitars I have ever played. Sadly I hesitate to buy new because the resale value sucks so much for reasons I have never understood.
     
  4. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    I had an unlined fretless XB76, and while it played and sounded great I couldn't personally play it in tune LOL. Honestly I like the B on the 34" Carvins but wasn't overly thrilled with the C on the 35.25" XB. Again, me personally, I would stick with their 34" models unless you yourself can hear and feel a difference that you prefer with the longer scale.
     
  5. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Well the key there is to get the most plain-jane model so you don't spend a lot to begin with. Below is a pic of my 2 Bunnies, with the only options being a 5 piece neck and no frets. Absolutely everything else is just standard features, but still just look at them. They're almost boutique basses even in the blandest possible configuration - the 4 string was like $1100 and the 6 just under $1300.

    They're both worth matchsticks now, but for what I paid for em, who cares? The quality level is as good as others costing 3x as much. And if I were still gigging, I could play my entire career on these and never have to get another bass again.

    The basic rule of thumb is don't get Carvin anything to resell. Only buy to play and use. :)

    But in truth the resale value is so horrible because a) they don't cost a lot new to begin with and b) they're so customizable. Used ones aren't very prized because you can order a new one with those one or two extras that you wish the used one had, but for not much more money.

    LS
     

    Attached Files:

  6. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Never stopped me lol....
    To be honest, if I had my Bunny 6 to do over again, the only change I'd make is the radiused humbuckers. Even with a 14" radius on the fingerboard, the MM humbucker suffers a little bit from the loud-B string problem because of its flat face. So I just use compression/limiting all the time to even it out, but I kind of wish I didn't have to do that.
    I also use the bridge PU as a ramp and the flat face is a little inconsistent for that also.

    The radiused PU's weren't available at the time I ordered mine tho.

    The C on my Bunny is a little whiney, but that's mostly because I have an almost flat fingerboard (my hands are not very strong). Otherwise it has a georgeous hi-fi tone....

    LS
     
  7. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    I don't have the radiused soaps on my Bunny either, but I have the soapbar humbuckers so I have the option I suppose. I amy look into them if I start playing out again.

    Your 2 Bunnys look great, and that's great advice for someone buying a new Carvin. I'd love a Bunny 6 myself and am always on the lookout in ebay for one I can afford!
     
  8. The best sounding Carvin bass I ever played was actually an XB75 with two MM humbuckers, walnut neck and body, and tung oil finish. I was at the Carvin store in Sacramento for some strings and cords and I went ahead and played a few basses while I was there. The electronics in their BBs and LBs usually sounded pretty bland to me but this thing had serious balls! It was a very clear, open, and punchy-sounding bass. I'm not a huge "tonewood" guy but the walnut-necked basses at that store consistently sounded better to me than the maple-necked ones... it's also possible that the oil finish on this one gave it some extra resonance. Seriously, it was monstrous, even with the oft-maligned pre-Icon era preamp.

    At only $800 I would have been tempted to buy it but it was left-handed and I am not. I briefly considered moving the strap button and stringing it in reverse. It was that good.

    I know what you're describing here. I think part of the problem is that tension-wise, most bass string sets aren't very balanced across the neck. I have a hard time finding sets that don't make the C on my 35" Cirrus sound overly bright and tinny. Then a set that does work on my Cirrus will have a B that is a little too weak and floppy on my BB76. And unuseably so on my Fender. ;)

    Even sets that work overall on my BB76 are still uneven enough that they bug me. On a fretted bass they would probably be fine, but since my Bunny is fretless the tension discrepancy makes a big difference in how the strings respond to vibrato and in the amount of possible "mwah" available from each string. The tightness of the C gives it a brighter, quicker response with narrower vibrato, and the B is loose enough that it has less growl and definition.

    I'm going to try a balanced set from Circle K next time I change strings. I think the A and D strings currently have the best response, so I'm going to figure out the tension on those strings and get a set based on that.

    To the OP: I think you can make either scale sound good with the right choice of strings. I've been able to get a tight, clear low B on any of my basses, regardless of scale, provided I could get a thick enough string. 35" scale just means more sets will sound good in the lower register, IME.
     
  9. A balanced-tension string set might help here too. Looser tension on lower strings = more excursion = unbalanced volume. Originally this helped compensate for low-end rolloff in amplifiers, but with today's technology balanced string tension is probably better in most cases. It might make your C less whiny too!

    I'm sure it's only part of the problem but it might be worth a shot...
     
  10. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Yeah I'm sure the strings are contributing to it, so that's an option to play with. Also not running the pickup too close to the strings helps, which I used to do to get more of a ramp effect.

    One thing that did help on the B was to put back on the B from my TI Jazz flat set I had on it for a while. E through C are the Daddario rounds and the B is big fat flatwound. It actually works surprisingly well for the time being....

    LS
     
  11. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I have an XB75 and two LB75s (as well as an Icon 5). There is definitely a discernable difference with the XB's B string. It will rattle the fillings out of your teeth, but it still has resonance, tightness, and definition. That's not to say that the LBs and Icon don't have great B strings, because they do. There's just a little something "extra" that you'll find if you play an XB. You'll especially notice it if you play it through a nice rig with some horsepower under the hood. My XB and Mesa 400+ are quite a match.

    With that said, if you're in the market for a new bass and considering between an XB and an LB, play both if you have the chance and choose on comfort. The 35" scale is a noticable change from a 34" scale bass. You may or may not like it. Additionally, my XB has the wider string-spacing like a BB model, so that adds a huge difference in the feel of the bass.
     
  12. krovx

    krovx Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    Michigan, USA
    I am correct in that although the bridge is moved back to make the scale 35.25 instead of 34, the fret positions would widen, thus losing two frets. So in other words, the distance between the first fret and the second, is longer on the XB than the LB. Is this correct?
     
  13. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    The XB75 is a 22-fret bass, the LBs are 24. It's not so much a matter of the scale length as of the body design and neck joint. A typical Fender P or J bass, or Carvin's SB4000, has 20. But yes, the frets will be slightly farther apart on the longer scale length. The 12th fret has to be exactly half the length of the vibrating string, so it will be 17.625 inches from the nut instead of 17, and that extra .625 inch will be distributed across all the other frets. Really, it's an insignificant difference; I go back and forth between 34" and 35" scales and hardly notice, unless I'm playing a song that really makes me sit on first position for an extended time.
     

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