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Converting Carvins

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Basso Gruvitas, Jul 3, 2001.

  1. Basso Gruvitas

    Basso Gruvitas Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth TX
    I've read about other bassists converting Carvin basses and dropping in EMG's or Bartolinis. For those who SUCCESSFULLY did this, what models of pickups and preamps did you use? What obstacles did you run into? What was the end product (sound)? How does it compare to the stock Carvin pickups, either J pickups or MM?

    Thanks for your input.
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I did a full Bartolini upgrade on an LB75 Koa fretless. Had to do some very minor routing for the neck pickup (J style). Preamp install was easy. It was better than stock (for me) but not even close to what I really wanted.

    Here's my POV...buy a Carvin because you like it and the way it sounds. Fixing the sound to some other ideal can be expensive, time-consuming...and futile. YMMV
  3. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Heyya Brad, which Bart p'ups did you choose? I like the Carvin pre-amp, but I'm finding that for my fretless 5 I might like to experiment with quintuple-coils. I was also wondering about that "minor routing"; according to the numbers supplied Bart actually makes one in that neck-p'up size.

    <-- greenboy ---<<<<
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I had a set of 9J's (split coils) and the route area for the screws needed to be widened just a tad for the neck pickup. I actually did the routing with a hand drill and small bit and it came out great. I bought the 9J's as a set.

    I did a two band Bart preamp. The bass sounded fine, not bad at all. At that time I hadn't really anything significantly better as far as fretlesses go, except maybe an F bass. Then I found my Zon...

    My Carvin was an all Koa LB75F, back when they had locking Sperzel tuners and Wilkinson bridge. I liked it a lot more with the Barts but the Zon was a quantum leap. Now my Elrick goes beyond that for "mwah" but can't match the Zon for versatility.

    So I have both:)

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