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Help me evaluate my new Carvin!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Marley's Ghost, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Well, my LB75P is coming in about a week or so! :hyper: I then have 10 days to evaluate it and decide to keep or return. I am compiling a checklist to use to decide whether:

    1) It has any flaws that would make me throw it back
    2) It has the sound/feel that I want

    I don't want to miss anything that would make me regret keeping it.

  2. Carvin basses generally come already set up...with that said you should have no problems with fret buzz and you should also have a nice comfortable low action.

    Things like sound and feel, however, are really a more subjective thing and only you, the player, can really make that sort of diagnosis.
  3. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Construction should be flawless, but keep an eye peeled anyways. Tone and feel are up to you, but MAKE SURE you play it with the preamp bypassed to hear the true tone of the bass.

    I did a recording with mine yesterday, surprising amounts of greasy fusion fretless tone came from my incapable fingers. Stock pickups, bridge favored, passive.

    I like mine, but I'm gonna switch to a bolt on 5 fretless pretty soon. The top of the Carvin body isn't very supportive for my wrist either.
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Non-subjective non-aesthetic flaws that, IMO, warrant return:

    1) "Dead" areas in quilt/flame/figured top;
    2) Knots in top or back;
    3) Sharp fret ends;
    4) File marks on frets;
    5) Off-center dot markers (unless it's a BB);
    6) Off-center bridge
    7) Stripped screws;
    8) Noisy electronics (check the battery first);
    9) Cloudy finish;
    10) Orange-peeled finish;
    11) Noticeable edges in burst finish;
    12) Sloppily cut nut.

    Given Carvin's reputation for excellent fretwork and setup, you should send it back if you see any of these in the instrument out of the case.
  5. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    I always like to see a "tight" neck pocket.
  6. You know...my wishbass had NONE of these flaws... :D :D :D
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Play it in a room with flourescent lights, and neon signs, to test for noise.
  8. You can spend all the time you want in the "woodshed" playin' with the knobs and pups, but the bottom line . . Play it LIVE with your group. Get a jam going and really give it a workout. My LB75 doesn't just cut through the mix, it slices and dices through it ! :cool:
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Neck throughs are typically very tight.

  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Yep. The same thing is true when test driving a car. Don't just drive it around the block at 25mph... put it through it's paces, put it into as many real world (for you) situations as possible.
  11. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    i doubt seriously you will have any of these problems , but you should try to check it out in a full band setting .
    the only "problem" may be that the bass has a somewhat bland sound .
    not bad , just not a serious voice {as compared to Fender , G&L or other basses } ...
    that said , i love the playability of mine , great action , balance and build .
  12. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Yeah, basically playing through YOUR amp with YOUR band is going to be the decision maker.
  13. I've heard that criticism many times over the years about the bland sound and I don't believe thats really true. The amp you use plays a critical part in your overall sound.
    Then again I use an Ampeg and they're notorious for coloring your tone ! But in a good way ! :smug:
  14. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    maybe bland was not the correct term ...
    i'm not trying to slam Carvin , i think they build a beautiful bass ...but i still think the electronics { pickups in particular } are not on a par with EMG , Bartolini , BassLine , etc. ...

    BTW , i also use Ampeg , but compared to my other basses , the Carvin has a much less distinct voice ... jmo . :cool:
  15. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Waitin for da brown truck :hyper: Ship date 11/3! :cool:
  16. mgood


    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    They are set up very nicely before they leave the factory.

    But shipping an istrument throught the climate changes between Southern California and Delaware might cause a change in the neck relief. If the action is too low (causing fret buzz) or too high, give it a couple days for the neck to settle. Then adjust the truss rod if it needs it. Minor adjustments - make a quarter turn or so and let it settle for a day before going further. Once you're sure the neck is right, you may tweak the bridge adjustments to taste. Like I said, it's set up well before it leaves, but the tech who set it at the factory may or may not have the same opinions as you on how low the string action should be. (They generally come with very low action.)

    If it's a matter dealing with the neck, no one at Carvin is going to bust your chops about the ten-day thing. If you call and say, "I was waiting to see if the neck would settle, but I've decided it's just not to my liking, " on day 12, this is not a problem.

    Other than that, some people here have already given you some good pointers on things to inspect.

    If there's something actually wrong with it, give our customer service a chance to make it right.

    If there's nothing really wrong, but it's just not for you, return it. That's what the trial period is for. It's difficult to select an instrument without playing it first.

    Most likely, you'll love it.

  17. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I respectfully disagree. I have a Carvin B5 with stock J99 pickups and preamp, and it sounds as good as any of my 12 basses, and better than most. I have basses with Bart, EMG (which I hate, by the way), Nordstrand, Dimarzio and Fender pickups, among others, and I think the Carvin pickups are as good as any of them. YMMV.