Got My New Carvin!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by count_funkula, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. It arrived yesterday afternoon and it is sweet! Five string with a maple neck and koa body sides. I got the two J-style H50N stacked humbuckers.

    Workmanship is beautiful. Not a thing out of place, frets are nicely polished, control cavity is well shielded, perfect!

    I've only played it for about an hour. Sound seems good. I perfer the "soloed bridge J-stlye pickup sound" and the Carvin does it well.

    One complaint is the strings. I don't like them at all, so I plan on slapping a new set on today. They are too heavy for my taste and way too bright. I perfer a light gauge with a smoother top end.

    Also, I would have perfered a darker, more figured piece of koa but I guess that is the risk you take when buying sight unseen. It's still a beautiful bass and I'm am very proud to own it.

    I will send pictures as soon as I get a chance and report more on the sound and setup when I get some better strings.
  2. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Though I recently sold my LB70, Carvins are nicely designed and great playing instruments. The overall value is probably the best available when buying new. I would choose one over any Fender I've ever played. Congrats!
  3. Congrats man, it sounds sweet.
    My LB75F is walnut with the humbucker.

    I agree with you about the strings, I replaced them immediately.

  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Congrats, Count! It arrived when you expected.

    Nice choice on pickups. Probably the best you could have made from their choices.

    I guess they haven't changed to better strings yet. Those Labella's sold under the Carvin name are atrocious, IMO. They stayed on my bass 24 hrs., tops, after I received mine. And the only reason they stayed on that long was because there was so much snow and ice on the streets at the time.

    Koa just doesn't have much figure normally. Prettyy color, but the grain is typically very small. (The koa on my neck is a deep golden brown. Finding it with figuring is rare and gets sold to custom builders, IME. And the color is a crap shoot. Koa supplies are and will be very low because it has only been grown on private land in small quantity. That should change in the future, but for now, customers like Carvin have to take pretty much whatever colors they're offered.
    So, don't think yours is any less than someone else's.

    But, if you aren't 100% satisfied, you can return it.

    How's the setup/action? Did all the heat and humidity along the way knock it off very far?
  5. I'm a little concerned about the action on this bass. I usually play with the action set as low as possible without fretbuzz anywhere on the neck.

    Right now I have made several small truss rod adjustments and I think I've gone as far as I can. I lowered the bridge saddles and the G string saddle is down about as far as it will go.

    The action is still higher than I prefer.

    Do heavier gauge strings pull on the neck more? I haven't had a chance to put some new strings on it. I will do that sometime today.

    I usually go through a phase every time I buy a bass where I start freaking out because I can't get it setup like I like it. Then I get adjusted to it and it becomes the best bass I have ever played. Maybe thats the problem here.
  6. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Maybe you should contact Carvin right away and tell them you are having these issues, they guarantee that your action is supposed to be comparable or superior to anything else. Of course, a lot of this has to do with your personal setup, but it can't hurt to protect yourself here.

    Who knows, maybe you could even get a complete rebuild with a nicer wood selection. They move basses out of their outlets with no problem from what I understand, so don't take any flak from them if you aren't 100% happy. I had them rebuild my LB75 when I didn't like the first one. They were accomodating in that respect, no hassles.
  7. I think I figured it out. Dumb mistake on my part.

    I made another adjustment today and this time I helped out a little by gently pushing back on the neck while turning the rod. The truss rod turned easily 1/4 turn and it feels much better now. I am now going to raise the bridge back up to a reasonable level and make another adjustment tomorrow. That should get it about right.

    Cool! I was getting concerned there for a bit.
  8. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago

    My first Carvin was a fretless 6 (in '95) and I remember openiong the case for the first time -- TALK about sha-WEEET. All mahogany. And the setup was only a teeny bit higher than my taste, fixed it at the bridge saddles.

    The cool part about the deal was that, except for the chrome hardware (I wanted black), they had the EXACT bass I wanted already in stock! And for some reason, they had priced the bass without adding the $40 for mahogany. So not only did I get a deal, I got the sweetie in less than a week! The only delay was that they had it in the photo booth at the time I ordered it!

    I haven't heard the J99 pu's, but I too have heard that they don't sound quites as full as the H50Ns. So I, too, think you did EXACTLY the right thing.

    Have fun getting to know -- her? him? it? You named it yet? Mine was just plain "Babe" and yes, of COURSE she was a girl...
  9. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I bet the koa will grow on you. I bought a koa Carvin about 12 years ago, and it wasn't as pretty as I expected. It had good figuring, but the top wing and the bottom wing didn't match well. I kept it, despite not being perfectly satisfied, and now I love it.
  10. I played it tonight at rehersal. Man, that B string is awesome!

    We were playing some real slow stuff where I was just padding the chords and it was great. My guitar player was loving it.

    I highly, highly recommend Carvin.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    On the B - I herd det! Ever since I got the Carvin strings off, the B on my LB75 practically bullies the E. And I don't even have the H50N's, which I suspect, outperform my pups.

    I've learned to use it sparingly and leave some space between successive notes on the B, (except for nu metal). When you don't overuse it, that taut B makes a big impact when you do use it. Less is more.

    Time to update your Talkbass gear profile :D
  12. Pea-NUT


    Jul 1, 2001
    Jerseyville, IL
    eveyone trys to have their action low with out fretbuzz...forgetaboutit
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    On Carvins, and most higher end basses, it is very possible to have your action very low without fretbuzz.

    Carvin guarantees 3/32" at the 12th fret with no buzz, or something like that.
  14. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I was shocked at the improvement on my Carvins when I changed strings. Put rotos on the lb76, Warwick BL's on BB75. Wow! Talk about making a difference on the B string! Much better...

    I wasn't too crazy about the mahogany on my BB75 when I first got it, but I've noticed that it's darkened nicely over the past few years of playing it...


    I got my FBB custom 5 f'less from Matt Schmill today, I'll post a review if anyone is interested, after a few more days of getting intimate with her...

  15. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    How about a ~1.5 mm action?
    I have that on my Cort Curbow.
    Most of the buzzes are due to technique.

    I have played basses with even lower actions: Lakland.