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Carvin?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sideman1, Jan 13, 2002.


  1. sideman1

    sideman1

    May 7, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    I've been looking at the new Carvin XB-75P. Has anyone tried one? What do you think of them? I've been wanting to try a Carvin for a few years, but the closest I ever come to one is the occasional beat-up resale-shop version. Any input would be appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. ldiezman

    ldiezman

    Jul 11, 2001
    Nashville
    I have never owned a carvin. I have played a few though. I really think that you can get a really decent bass for a decent price. My only beef is really the electronics. I think Carvin's electronics are kinda poor quality.. but you can always upgrade if you don't like them. IMO
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If you use the Talkbass "Search" function for "carvin" in "basses" you'll find a lot of info,

    As a recent but former LB75 owner, you can expect the best woods, decent playability, and pickups that just don't do justice to the rest of the instrument.

    The XB is just an LB with the bridge moved back towards the butt of the bass. The neck is the same.

    Also, from what I've seen at Carvin's discussion board, the piezo's are "clacky" and noisy. Most of the thread replies say they don't even use the piezo for this reason.

    Bottomline - if you are willing to replace the pickups, you have a nice bass. Not great, but nice.
     
  4. I currently own an LB75 and love it. There are a lot of negative opinions about the electronics. I personnally don't have a problem with them. They may not be as great as the high dollar stuff like Bartolini or EMG but they are certainly quite capable of producing some very nice tones. I think their electronics get a bad rap. They are as good or better than the stuff Fender uses but Fender doesn't get hammered.

    I think since Carvin lets you choose how you want your instrument made people try to put them in the same category as Sadowsky, Mike Kinal and other custom bass makers. In that sense they are mediocre. However when compared to other basses in the same price range Carvin blows away all of the competition.

    I have not had a chance to play the XB series. I'm thinking Rickbass1 may be mistaken when he said the neck is the same as the LB57. The XB series neck is a 22 fret job instead of 24. But, I could be the one whos is wrong.

    You could always buy one and send it back if you don't like it.
     
  5. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    I've been to their showrooms a couple of times recently and was impressed with the woodmanship. Talking to other customers in the store they do seem to complain about the electronics. That is the most obvious place to cut corners.
     
  6. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i havent played an XB75, but ive had an LB75 for a year or so now. the two are very similar. the only difference is the spacing of the frets, pickups, and bridge. the neck is the same, but because of the larger scale, they could only fit 22 frets on it. The bridge has been moved back, and the pickups have also been repositioned into the correct "sweet spots".

    Id say that carvin is not the best bass out there. theres no question about that. But the best bass for the MONEY... thats a different story. i cant compare my carvin to a fodera or a kinal... they cost three times as much. But before i ordered my carvin, i played everything else in my price range i could find. if i remember correctly i played some warwicks, USA fenders, and many others. i settled on the carvin after playing a friends LB75, and a bandmates DC127 (gu*tar).

    the quality of the woods and craftmanship is first rate on a carvin. I found it far superior to the USA fenders, and better than the low range warwicks that were in my price range. i did feel though, that the high end yamahas were about equal. but they were a little too much money for me. one thing i love about my carvin fretless is the neck, and the action. great comfortable neck, not too thick, but substantial enough. not spindly either. and the action is the lowest ive ever played on a fretless.

    that being said... the negative is defenitly the electronics. however, IMO its not a very big negative. when compared to the electronics it similarly priced basses, i like the carvins electronics better. i feel that their new 18v system is a big improvement over the 9v system as well (my friend has the 9v, ive got the 18v) i really like the sound i get for blues and rock when i blend the J and the HB about 70%-30%, and then fade towars the piezos about 35%. i dont have a problem with clackiness, but i think that may be due to the lacking of frets. i think any piezo system on any fretted bass is going to be clacky. its in the physics on the design and theres no way around it.

    plusses:
    *neck through
    *ebony fretboard
    *made in USA
    *construction
    *woods
    *finish
    *playability
    *relatively low weight
    *comfort
    *trial period

    negatives:
    *electronics are not as good as bart, SD or EMG
    *gotta wait to have it built
    *not a "boutique" bass (you might not look as cool as the guy with the fodera)
    *trial period


    objective stuff:
    *overall appearance (kinda uderstated, very classy)
    *crystal clear, singing tone. (not a growly MM or warwick.)

    as you can probably tell i am a strong advocate for carvins stuff (except bass cabs)
     
  7. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    No, then the frets would be too close to the nut. The frets are proportionally farther apart, just like any 35" scale bass. It's true that the neck isn't any longer, due to the bridge trick and only 21 frets (pretty tricky). Think about it, if the frets were the same there'd still be 24 of them. Sorry if you knew this and I just misunderstood. :)
     
  8. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Oops, 22 frets. And I'm not the first to notice that, sorry. :)

    One thing from my experience, is that although the electronics in Carvins are much-maligned (I never liked them, blah sounding and the EQ was all wrong), they are very high quality! The new HB pickups might tarnish this rep a bit, mine was noisy. But the wiring and shielding and board manufacture has always been lauded as excellent.

    My Lb76 fretless was awesome for the price when I bought it in '94. Now, it's got stiff competition from Peavey and some of the boutique imports (MTD, Lakland, ...). I wasn't as happy with the LB75 I got in '99 - couldn't get good action, didn't like the new bridges, HB pickup was noisy. Sold it after buying a bass that was three times as much - which of course blew it out of the water.
     
  9. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    yeah, the electronics.... and well everythgin is very well made on carvins basses. one other thing... they stand behind their products very well. i had a problem where my bass took a hard knock (in its case thankfully) and then the electronics didnt work right. turns out something was knocked loose. i called carvin... and had not one but two replacements within 2 days free of charge. they werent sure which electronics package i had and so they just sent them both. they offered to pay to have my bass shipped back and they would install the new parts for me, but i was impatient, so they were cool with just sending me the parts.
     
  10. rickreyn

    rickreyn

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    The LB75 with two stacked humbuckers had a smooth warm sound. I chose everthing on it and it was (sold it) a nice bass for five years. I owned a LB75P briefly and liked the collection of woods, but the pickup configuration (single coil and MM-style pickup with piezos) was too much for me. I now own a Cirrus with 35 inch scale. I think if you picked your woods right with two single coils or two humbuckers and the extended scale you might be well satisfied. Carvin builds a heck of bass for the money. Regarding the piezos, unless you are very effective at muting, they can be a nuisance.
     
  11. sideman1

    sideman1

    May 7, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Thank you all for your information. Carvin does have a ten day trial period, so I may give it a shot.

    Thanks!