1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Modding my Carvin

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Oysterman, Jun 5, 2002.

  1. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I like the way my 6-string Carvin fretless plays, but I feel it's not all it can be in terms of tone. Since everyone says they use good materials (and I have no reason to doubt it... heck, I even think the Wilkinson bridge is OK :D), the pickups & electronics surely must be the weak link. In it now is the old H50 humbuckers (I think) and a truly god-awful two-band EQ (which I always set flat because of it's horrible tone). I want to do something about that. I know Bartolini make 6-string pickups in Jazz shape, which supposedly would do good on a fretless. (Do I have any other non-custom options here, BTW?)

    So I was thinking the other day...

    Since I only use the bridge pickup, I thought that replacing that alone would be enough, and simply disconnect the neck pup. Also, instead of buying a multi-$ preamp which I wouldn't have much use for anyway, I thought that I in one way or another could wire the pickup straight to the output jack. Would such an operation be as straight-forward as I think it is or is it anything that I'm missing?
  2. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Sounds like a plan to me. Straight to the jack and don't look back! It really is as simple as you think.

    The Carvin J-style pickups are all the same length as a standard Fender J-bass bridge pickup. So you shouldn't have any trouble finding a replacement.
  3. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    i just recently switched pickups and electronics in my Carvin, I used Bartolini, and $400 later it sounds amazing... If you want a more cost-effective method, go for your idea... may i suggest installing a volume potientiometer though.
  4. There are two things that concern me. Having just one single coil pickup will buzz a whole lot. Yours doen't buzz right now because it's a stacked humbucker.

    The other concern is that carvin pickups are quite odd. They use the same jazz pickups for 4 5 and 6 strings. i've tried a carvin pickup (sent it to me accidently in a small parts order) and it wouldn't fit in a friend's squire p bass special.

    Make sure you get the right sized bartolini. Maybe a 4, 5, or 6.
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I don't think the 60-cycle hum (which is 50 here, BTW) would disturb me that much if it was a single-coil pickup I chose to go with... having soloed my MIM Jazz's bridge pickup a number of times with pleasing results makes me think doing so with the Carvin would serve me well too. However, I'd love to have a humbucking but "single-coily-sounding" pickup, such as e.g. DiMarzio Ultra Jazzes are said to be. Do Bartolini have anything like that? Their website is an utter horror to navigate - I simply don't understand how they can live with that chaotic website - so I'm not learning very much from it.

    I think my pickup is around 95 mm wide.
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I think a simple on off switch is a good idea.

  7. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Don't want to drill any holes. As a matter of fact, I'd rather do as little surgery as possible with this... why? Because I suck at it!
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    You dont need to.

    All you have to do is remove the nut thats holding one of the unused pots in place, and push it down into the bass' control cavity.

    Then assuming you got a switch ofthe right size you can just slip the switch into its place, and wire it in between the pickup and jack.

    If you get one thats too small, just find some washers that will keep it in place.

  9. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Alright, good stuff... now I only have to decide on what to buy and find a place to buy it. This will be an adventure as I have very little knowledge in this stuff. I got a friend who's pretty good with a soldering iron, though. :D
  10. AAA

    AAA Guest

    Jun 4, 2002
    Yo Oysterman -

    I am thinking quite seriously about buying a Carvin.
    I am trying to decide whether to go passive or active (humbucker). I don't think I really know enough about active mode for it to be of use to me so I'm wondering how their J99 single coils sound as well.

    Did you have two humbuckers? What didn'y you like about the tone?

    - AAA
  11. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    The problem is this: their 6s use the same Fender-J-bridge-sized pickups that all their basses use (as was already pointed out).

    When I was thinking about replacing the pickups on my LB76, I looked at the "maximum string width" specs for Bartolini pickups and their standard "4-string" J-bass pickups wouldn't cut it. They of course make 5- and 6-string J pups but those are longer than the Carvins.

    You could always *try* a Bart 4-string J in there (as long as it's not a 9wJ quad-coil :) ), and hope that the B and C strings aren't weak. . .