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Emotionally attached to a bass I don't play...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Single Coil, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. Single Coil

    Single Coil Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    So here it is.

    I bought a Carvin B4 in 1998 when I returned to bass playing. This bass is outstanding in every way except low end. It is built as well as any other bass I've played, it has the fastest neck I have ever played, it is super punchy and has great harmonics. Also, it weighs only seven pounds; I can play it for hours. I have owned her for eight years and am very attached.

    However, this bass has no low end. Therefore, I never play it out.

    I guess the question is this:

    Do I keep it and try to improve the electronics or sell it to buy another Jazz?

    Any advice or opinions are welcome.

  2. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I have made a promise to myself not to keep any musical gear that doesn't get play time...

    Try swapping out the electronics, if that does not work, move her out.
  3. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I'd say keep it. It's much easier to swap out pickups than to find another bass that feels great playing, especially when it seems to mean a lot to you.

    Assuming you have H50N pickups in your B4, I'd contact Bill Lawrence and talk to him about using his J-45s, which I believe are the same size and pretty cheap. I've heard good things about those pickups, and Bill and Becky are really helpful. My advice would be to call, as emails generally go unanswered.

    Nevertheless, here's the website though it looks like they are in the process of updating it: Bill Lawrence

    Good luck
  4. When you have a bass that feels and plays good but you don't like the sound, it's worth it to change the electronics. It will improve the tone and then you'll have a bass that you love AND sounds great!

    If it wasn't a good player, then I'd say dump it.
  5. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    1997 Fender American Standard Precision, very rarely do I play it but it was my first good bass and I grew up with it, so I'd never sell it.

    Arbor P/J bass, action is about 1/2" at the 12th fret, it was the first bass I owned and I NEVER play it (it lives with my mom for sentimental purpose), there's absolutely no reason to sell it for the $20 it might fetch at a garage sale.
  6. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have an older LB-70 bass (with stereo outputs even!), that I always felt the same about- especially the neck! (so fast!).....I changed out the pickups for Dimarzio Model Js (you have to route out a little around the neck pickup screw ears), and the preamp for an Aguilar OBP-3- and I couldn't be happier.....if I still played jazz basses, this would be "the one."

  7. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Dude, I'd definitely swap out the pups.

    Maybe add a Audere Preamp and use Low-Z mode?
  8. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Try the electronics, esp pickups first.
    As I doubt you'll raise a lot of cash for it, why not keep it as a practice / bedroom/ office / travel bass especially if you're not desperate for the money.
  9. Single Coil

    Single Coil Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2006
    Okay, so last night I put new strings on my Carvin and played it for a while unplugged. It seems to have plenty of low end when played acoustically. It also confirmed for me how much I love this bass.

    Since I doubt I would get more than $300 for this bass, I'm going to try new pickups.

    For the record, it does have the stock H50N pickups, which I have never thought much of.

    As per my sig, you may notice I like single coils. I was wondering if the Carvin single coils would be okay if I bought a high quality pre amp like the Aguilar. This would prevent some possible extra routing, which I would prefer.

    Also, thanks to TheBigO for the suggestion regarding Bill Lawrence. I'll call him.

    Any opinions?

    Perhaps I should take this to the "Pickups & Electronics" forum.
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I had a similar situation with a Jazz bass I had custom built. It was magnificent in every way, truly equal to a Valenti or perhaps better. Top notch hardware, pickups, wood (from Lasido-Godin and Warmoth), a stunning Wilkins paint job on a goregeous quilt.

    It took me years to finally admit to myself that beautiful as it was, it just wasn't my style, and sell it (at a huge loss) to another TBLer.

    If the old Carvin's not your style, sell it. My personal philosophy is that musical instruments should be played, not collected. Not that there's anything wrong with collecting, I know some TBLers enjoy that facet of bassdom, it's just not my style.
  11. contakt321


    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    I wouldn't get new Carvin pickups - they are kind of known for being weak in the p/u and electronics department. You should grab some new J's (depending on your style pick the brand, but Nordstrands, Sadowsky, etc) and a new pre-amp (Aguilar, Sadowsky, etc) and I get you will get a killer sound from a bass that feels great. Let us know what you do - oh and before and after sound clips would be cool!
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I had a Carvin fretless 6 and loved everything except the electronics. I put in Bartolini pups and eq and made I really nice bass a great bass.

    I have the same issue with a BB414 my wife bought me. I like it, it plays great and sounds good, but I tend to use/need my 5 for my gigs. I play it at home, but it doesn't see gigs much anymore. My wife said I could sell it and get something I would use, but I wouldn't get that much if I sold it, and it was a gift from her.

    My current solution is to keep it for now - even if it just sees use at home.
  13. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Actually, you can generally buy any set of pickups so that you won't need to route anything. The problem is that Carvin uses 2 pickup routes/ pickups that are the same size, whereas traditional Jazz basses use a slightly smaller pickup in the neck position. You just need to make sure to get 2 bridge-sized pickups, which most stores can order for you- I just A. didn't want to wait, and B. found the different- sized pickups to be more practical (otherwise the neck pickup tends to be pretty overpowering). Also, you can often find single pickups on Ebay- I was originally going to not do the routing and found many single Model Js for sale!

  14. perfektspace6


    May 9, 2006
    I have a similar "problem" but the reverse of yours. I own a US Neck through Spector 6 and love the tone, punch and look. However it weights 13lbs and has a neck profile I am not crazy about. I can never sell it but needless to say I am in the market for what I consider more of a "player". Just goes to show price doesn't mean everything (although I didn't pay anything for it:) ).
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Have it defretted. I think you posted about wanting a fretless.:)
  16. Elionjamz

    Elionjamz Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Throw some Barts in there and you'll be good to go! The carvin basses have a great feel, however, they tend to have garbage electronics. The good news? This problom is easily solved with some good pups and a solid preamp.

    I'd keep it, man. Carvin necks feel great.
  17. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I always wonder how many people who write in this forum that Carvin electronics are bad have actually played a Carvin or even know all the pickup options Carvin has...

    Anyway, if the H50N pickups aren't doing it for you, and you like single coils, the Carvin J99s are a worthwhile option to look at. They have a good single coil sound, but I would say they are a little punchier and deeper sounding than a typical Fender Jazz. I don't really like the H50Ns myself, but I have an LB70 with J99s and it is my favorite bass because of the sound and great playability.

    The nice thing is that there are a ton of Jazz pickups out there to pick from. I really like the Fender "Original" Jazz pickups that are available as replacements. I think if you went with Lindy Fralins or Nordstrands, you'd be happy, too, if you like the classic single coil kind of sound.

    Anyway, keep the B4. Either that or sell it to me! :D

    Have fun with your project!
  18. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
  19. don't sell..talk to her and let her down gently and see if you can work things out with her.
  20. Bill G.

    Bill G.

    Dec 2, 2005
    Baton Rouge
    I'm sort of going through this myself. I very rarely pull my Jazz out of the closet, and I haven't played it for a whole gig in well over a year. My 2 Stingrays get almost all of my playing time. I've toyed with the idea of selling the Jazz, but I'm also a bit emotionally attached to it. I also have a very good feeling that if I do sell/trade it, I'll regret it a few months later. :confused:

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