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Is Carvin Going Downhill?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tobiasaurusrex, Jan 17, 2012.

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  1. tobiasaurusrex


    Apr 14, 2011

    I've had three Carvin necked (home made body) basses for 13 years now. With this confidence, I just bought a new, hot off the CNC machine, Carvin XB76P.

    The neck is thin, and they only put one truss rod in it. (I know they don't use the graphite rods anymore.) The lone rod can not compensate for a proper set up. The novelty of having a tremolo built into the neck is fading quickly.

    Perhaps because of the flimsy neck, they sent it with a guitar (not bass guitar) action, which buzzed every string at every fret, and open.

    The intonation was off, despite the need to reset that entirely anyway.

    They sent two different string sets set up on it, some standard wound strings, and some taper-wound at the bridge. There was no compensation for the taper wounds, and the taper-wound low-B was just riding the frets.

    They didn't put coil taps, as promised, and when I asked why not, I was told that they were excluded, "[D]ue to the fact that the humbucking pickups sounded 'weak and whimpy.'" (Me quoting support tech, quoting custom shop tech.) Well now,... good to know how you feel about your own stuff, guys.

    Does anyone else have any advice on how to actually get help from Carvin, recent experiences, or other "Was Carvin bought out by Walmart, or what?!" tales?

    Be careful out there.


    [If Carvin keeps ignoring me, I'm thinking of sanding down the back of the neck, and layering fiberglass and/or a thin graphite strip, using an epoxy resin. Hoping this might give it some help.]
  2. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    None of this matches either my experience or extensive research before my purchase. None of it. Admittedly I have only talked bass and bought bass, yet my instinct is Carvin isn't consistently knocking balls out of the park and barely hitting .500 somewhere else.
  3. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Umm.... since when is a double-truss rod the holy grail? The only one of my basses with 2 trusses is my 6-string, with its super wide neck. Any of my others gets along just fine.

    So the neck relief changed in shipment? Have you tried, I dunno, ADJUSTING that one truss rod and doing all the other normal bass setup techniques? Those things that everyone else does when they buy a new bass?

    Sorry dude but this thing shipped in the mail, I've never seen a bass shipped and arrive with the same setup. Temperature changes, sitting at odd angles, this and that has an effect. Don't know what to tell you on the coil tap. But most of your arguments sound questionable at best.
  4. Bass_Thumper


    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    If you can't get it set up the way you like it, send it back. You have 10 days to decide.
  5. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Are you looking for help? Or are you looking to complain?

    It really depends on what kind of response you would like, and even more importantly, how you ask it.

    It appears you did not get what you feel you ordered. Come up with a list of items that might have possible fixes from carvin, or simply return it. If you did a few custom options that are non returnable, you might want to be less combative when talking to Carvin directly.
  6. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    my fave bass is the '94 LB70 I had made back in the day. it was perfect.

    just ordered an LB20 10/12 and when it arrived, it had leftover shiny stuff (glue) next to a fair number of frets and the 12-fret double-dot marker on side of neck were at different heights (not in a line, oops). it has faint lines going thru the neckboard between the frets as if something was pressed down on it in a number of places.

    it is still a beautiful intstrument to play and look at, but i felt it was a much sloppier build compared to my older one.
  7. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    I've got 3 Carvins.

    An Icon 4P, a BB70, and a B4. Outstanding quality for the money, no complaints from me.
  8. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    My Carvin SB5000's are the best I've owned, in fact they are outstanding!
  9. I guess I need to pictures of the bass and case, before I can add my 2 cents. With good angles and views of the brige and strings...
  10. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Seriously. Carvin is where, in San Diego? Where did the bass ship, Michigan? Saskatchewan? The bass could have gone through a 40deg temperature change, and the OP is complaining that it didn't arrive perfect and ready to play out of the box??
  11. Coupla things:

    Though I'm not sure what 'a guitar action' actually is, it is my experience that new basses have to be set up 99.9 percent of the time when you get them. I expect all new basses, regardless of manufacturer, to need intonation, neck adjustment and saddle height because it's not going to be set up for ME.

    When you say that "The lone rod can not compensate for a proper set up.", what do you mean? Is the truss rod maxed and the curvature still too much? Did the website/catalog say that this model of bass should have a dual truss rod? Is it supposed to have carbon rods? If any of the above is true, then you need to contact them and send it back. Factoring in that you might add a tremolo, did you order it with a one-piece neck or a 5 piece?

    Some Carvin string sets (like many other string sets) have 1 or 2 of the strings tapered in the set by design. It is not multiple sets of different strings. Just different wraps.

    When I ordered one of my B50's to have the wide HB in the back, I asked about adding a coil split and was told that they didn't sound great split. So I ordered it without. I appreciated being told about that up front so that I didn't waste time or money or risk disappointment. I wish other manufacturers were as honest.

    I would find it odd if Carvin was ignoring you. That has not been my experience at all. Have you contacted your sales rep by telephone?

    Carvin has made huge gains over the last few years and, IMHO, makes some of the the best basses avalable today, especially for the money.
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Something smells fishy about this whole thing. Why would Carvin exclude features that you ordered? Why don't you just send it back instead of complaining here?

    Something's not right...how about some pics of the bass? Post a scan of your invoice where it says they left the coil taps out.
  13. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    I bought my first Carvin in 94, and my second a little over a year ago. I did not see any drop off in quality.

    Previous replies have covered the setup issue so I won't pile on.

    Regardless if you're not happy with it, get in touch with them, they have a good customer service reputation.
  14. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    My Carvin LB-50 was made in '79, and it's fantastic in every way. I've never heard of Carvin having widespread quality problems.
  15. lfbassguy


    Jul 4, 2010
    west texas
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland
    I got one that had some QC issues. Really surprised they let it out. On that note I have seen some that was perfect. Just like any other company. Some good some Bad I guess.
  16. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    They certainly are no longer for the budget minded! Basses are over $1000 without anything special. That puts them in the MIA Fender range and I just can't see that. I know they had always been pretty good quality, but a fair to midland price.
  17. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I keep going back to my LP70P over my handmade Warwick Streamer (go figure). I'm very impressed with the sound and quality. I do quality control for a living and this makes me VERY picky about everything that I buy. You may just have got one that slipped through. Send it back if you don't like it.
  18. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    good luck with that. I'm sure it'll fix it
  19. Mook


    Jun 19, 2002
    Basses, guitars, bass amps, guitar amps, mics, headphones, PA gear, other goodies -- I've had 100% success and have been 100% satisfied over the past 20 years with Carvin gear.

    Some of the best in the biz, IMHO.

    That said, I have a bass on order.....must admit that I'm always a bit apprensive about ordering, but so far Carvin has a perfect track record with me......

  20. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    The B40 starts at $700, including a really nice hard case. I can't think of any other US made bass that comes anywhere near that price.

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