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Ever buy a bass you've never played?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tspallone, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. tspallone


    Oct 13, 2011
    Nanuet, NY
    I'm somewhat intrigued with Carvin's catalog (been for years) and the SB4000's looks is scratching me right where I itch. But, never played it, never heard it.
    Am I crazy to even consider placing an order?

    With the options that I want, I'm looking at about $1,500 w/o a case. Surely I could do better ANYWHERE else but.....

    Anyone buy a bass on looks alone? And are happy with the outcome?

    For $200 or $300 I guess it might be worth the risk but, this is pretty good money here.
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I did it twice and got burned both times. Never again.
  3. temmrich

    temmrich Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio
    I bought a carvin sb4000 without seeing it almost two years ago. It's my go-to jazz bass (my main player being a precision). Sometimes you just have to trust it. And carvin's return policy helped. :)
  4. Thrash3r


    Aug 5, 2013
    I bought my B-1005 without playing it, bought it more based on the specs rather than looks, extremely happy with it.
  5. woodyng


    Dec 19, 2007
    Oregon coast
    I've bought MOST of my basses that way! ( all 3 of my Ricks were internet purchases.) One of the few basses i actually got to play before buying was a Carvin. I have to say whenever i get the chance to play one,i really seem to like the way Carvins feel and play.
  6. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Las Vegas
    I've purchased most all of the basses I've owned (over 20? I lost count over the years.) that way and never had a stinker yet.
  7. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I played on Carvin and liked the bass but I didn't enjoy the feel.

    Specs can't tell you how it will feel.

    And a yard and a half is serious coin.
  8. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    I've had the opposite experience, for the most part. I was pleasantly surprised with the Carvin B40 I received without ever having played/held one. Many of my basses have been bought sight unseen. I've been very fortunate that just about all have been great.
  9. radioface


    May 2, 2013
    I bought a Schecter once and after some modifications, it turned out to be a great bass though, it was very heavy.
  10. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    Many, including Rickenbacker 4001 & 4003, G&L L-2000, and EBMM Bongo. I did research beforehand, listened to songs using those instruments, and bought 'em. Never got burned except the L-2000- it was damaged, but Musiciansfriend replaced it no problem. It was a great bass, as were the others.

    Where I live, there's not a lot of basses to try outside of Fenders, Spectors, some EBMM's, and the ever-present low end basses. For better or worse, the online warehouses like MF have a lot of variety and very good return policies. I still buy from my local mom and pop store whenever I can, but they don't, and can't, carry a lot of brands.
  11. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Both of my current basses I bought on-line without ever playing them first. No problems with either of them.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Many times, one of them being an LB76. It worked out for me, but due to Carvin's new shipping policies I won't order another. I cancelled all my subscriptions to their newsletters earlier this week. I have been severely disappointed with basses bought online on numerous occasions, including TB. With Carvin I was less worried than other times as they offer a 10 day return policy.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I've bought most of mine without playing them and I haven't been burned yet. I do my homework on them.
  14. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Several months ago, I bought a Carvin LB76PF here on TB without ever playing a Carvin before in my life to the best of my memory. At least for the meantime, it's been my go-to electric.
  15. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY

    New shipping policies? Can you elaborate?
  16. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Carvin used to charge you a flat fee for shipping, even though they shipped UPS you didn't get a pile of mystery charges like you normally would with UPS (or any courier), now you pay the same charge and UPS tacks on their usual mystery charges. I was told this was at UPS insistence but I honestly do not know. I was informed of this news by another Canuck TBer.
  17. pmad_bass


    Oct 24, 2004
    Bought a Dingwall SJ5...having never played Fanned frets. Love it. Ordered a SP5...due in summer. :)
  18. Luke S Mouse

    Luke S Mouse

    Jun 5, 2009
    My SX. A solid P bass.
  19. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Never buy a bass on looks alone especially a Carvin. Carvins kinda suck if u ask me. I bought a $1500 Carvin about a year and half ago- worse bass I ever owned...no soul, sounded like crap, played like crap. Sold it for less than half what I bought it for, only 6 months later. If you were to lets say buy an Fbass, Fodera, Xotic, etc...without playing it, I would say- "yeah go for it", but Carvin no. Do you have any Carvin stores near you? Theres one in Hollywood and the main factory is in North San Diego. Sorry just not a fan of Carvin.

    With all that said, I've bought 2 basses without playing them, A new GWB-1 straight from Gary Willis- when he lived in the states, and another GWB-1 from ebay...both played great. One thing to consider, I had played another one before I bought the one from Gary, and we talked extensively about it. I live down the street from the Carvin store in Hollywood, if its there I can stop by and play it for you, give u my feedback. -d
  20. afellini

    afellini Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    New Canaan, CT
    Never had a problem personally. If you're looking on the higher-end, it's hard to find these basses in stores (Guitar Center, etc). If it doesn't "scratch the itch", so to speak, I just sell them. May not be the cheapest way to go about things, but you get to try out some nice basses on your own time. I look at the loss (which it usually results in) as a rental fee.