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My Carvin is going back

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LuoLi, Oct 8, 2001.


  1. LuoLi

    LuoLi

    Apr 2, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Some of you read the "...got bass?" thread. I have a 5 string fretless Carvin Bunny Brunel model with the "hard as nails" coating.

    The main reason for this is it doesn't have the "mwha" property. It has a good growl to it, it's a nice bass, but it doesn't have the sound I want in a fretless. The bad thing is that my Samick 4 string fretless (that I paid $200 for) has a much better "mwha" with bad strings on it. This isn't a pickup problem, it's something in the bass. That and the pickups are a little lame.

    I could change the pickups but if it can't "mwha" now, it won't do it with different pickups.

    So I'm a little disappointed right now.

    btw... do you spell it "mwha", "mwaa", or something else ?
     
  2. flipperwhite

    flipperwhite

    Jul 12, 2001
    usa
    what is "mwha"?:confused:
     
  3. it's mwah but you were close
     
  4. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    UHmm, sometimes things like that happen.

    Does it have any mwah Acoustically (Unplugged?)

    Have you tried lowering the action?
    My Cort Curbow Fretless 5 String didnt have any mwah when It came, only thump.
    So I did a setup and after all that the Mwah came in!

    YMMV
     
  5. nothing a little finger rolling wouldn't cure
     
  6. I believe the "mwah" is caused by the height of the strings. Did you try adjusting the action?

    As far as I'm concerned there is no such thing as a new bass that is "properly" setup. Every new bass needs to be tweaked before it will sound and feel like you want it too.

    I own a Carvin and the quality of my bass is very high. However, when I first got it the action was terrible. I had to lower it over a period of several days before it felt right.
     
  7. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Good point. The sound in my fretless is part bass, but also a large part my right-hand technique.
     
  8. flipperwhite

    flipperwhite

    Jul 12, 2001
    usa
    thanks so much for your wounderful help:rolleyes:
     
  9. LuoLi

    LuoLi

    Apr 2, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    The action was pretty low to begin with. I tried a few sets of strings, I tried many finger techniques (finger rolling), and I've tried for the last 4 days to get it, but it's not happening. My Samick has bad action, bad strings, bad pickups, yet it has the sound. It's thin, but it's there and noticable.

    Acoustically it doesn't have it either. You can't hear it very well not plugged in either. My Samick is louder when not plugged in.

    I wanted this to work, I've tried a bunch of stuff, it's not there. I hate to send it back because other than the "mwha" problem, it's really nice. The pickups would have to be replaced but I wanted to keep this.
     
  10. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks for your sarcasm. :rolleyes:

    "Mwah" is that certain special fretless sound, that you can't acheive with frets. It's an onomatopoeia. When you play the note, you hear that thick "mwah" hanging with the note. Listen to a good fretless recording versus a fretted, and you'll hear it.
     
  11. mgood

    mgood

    Sep 29, 2001
    Levelland, Texas
    Try putting your ear against the bass as you play a few notes, or at least rest your chin on it. That will help you hear what it sounds like acoustically. If the sound ain't there, it ain't there. And pickups are not the problem.

    Before you give up on Carvin, you might try getting another one with different woods.
     
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Maybe, as you found, the Carvins just don't have it, (I don't know, mine is fretted). In the "Mwah Fest 2000" article in Bass Player's last "Bass Gear" issue, they rated the Carvin LB-70F as high for sound as the Top Tone winner, the Yamaha BBV4F III, and higher than the other Top Tone winner, a taco Fender Jazz.

    BUT, their comments about the Carvin didn't say anything about "mwah", just that they liked its sounds.
     
  13. LuoLi

    LuoLi

    Apr 2, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I'm thinking it's the wood selection. I like everything else about the bass. Maybe except for the 34" scale length. You have to be a little careful with the B-string for a tight sound.

    It may be the fretboard coating, but it's obvious they wanted the "Pedulla effect" and I find it odd that that could be a problem.

    I might get another one. But I'll look around for a used Pedulla, Modulus, something like that.
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    A hard coating on the fretboard should make it easier to get.

    What kind of strings are you using?
    I get my best results with roundwounds and prefer Nickel over SS.

    Is the neck straight?
    My fretless necks are usually very close to being straight.

    Have you tried soloing the bridge pickup?
    Soloing the bridge pickup removes some of the mud that a neck pickup might add, which can obscure the sound.

    How high are the strings?
    Low action, parallel to the neck, helps.

    How high is the nut?
    If the nut is cut too high, this can make it harder to achieve.

    Technique?
    Jaco mwah can be accomplished by playing close to the bridge. Play near the neck with the pads of your plucking finger for a more expansive sound.

    You may want top consider these prior to sending it back. Could be something as simple as a fretted height nut on a fretless bass causing the problem.
    I've never come across a wood combination that would prohibit mwah. From Ash to Zebrawood... I've played lots of fretlesses and can't recall any that could not get it by addressing one of the above issues.
     
  15. jeffthebass

    jeffthebass

    Sep 17, 2001
    My Carvin LB-20 F mwahs, but is a 4 string.

    My Carvin LB-75 fretted stunk when I got it. I kept it, thinking I could make it work, but it still stinks. If after a reasonable amount of tinkering, you still don't like it, ship it back. A dog is a dog.

    The pedulla buzz is a real mwah-machine. I tried one, but got a 79 P fretless, because I wanted the string bass sound.
     
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    He has the Buzz-like coating on his neck. I'd bet money his mwah problem is fixable... but I wouldn't recommend keeping it past the trial period while trying to find it.
     
  17. flipperwhite

    flipperwhite

    Jul 12, 2001
    usa
    tanks jazzbo:D
     
  18. CJY

    CJY

    Apr 30, 2001
    Singapore
    Hi,

    Could it be the strings?When strung with new strings,my Yamaha BBN4F doesn't have much mwaa.
    As it gets older(1 mth+ at least),the mwaa gets more and more obvious.My Sansamp accoustic DI helps a lot,too.
     
  19. LuoLi

    LuoLi

    Apr 2, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I tried 3 different strings, Sainless roundwounds. One of them was the originals. The Fodera Diamond series sounded better but no mwah. The EBS strings sounded good to but no mwah.

    I do a bunch of rear pickup, pick near the bridge, boost the mids, strings are pretty low, no mwah.

    The thing is my trial period ends tomorrow ( I've alredy called them and told them I'm returning it.) so I don't have time to try out a bunch of stuff.

    I don't know about how hard the fingerboard coating is, but there are marks on it already and I've only played it for about 5 days (because I got Diablo II last week and was playing that way too much..:().

    The other thing is that this was an instrument I can put down after 10 minutes. It was growing on me a little toward the end, but when I plugged in my Samick and heard the mwah on that, then couldn't hear it on the carvin, then I need to look for another bass.

    I found out that if you want a Pedulla, don't buy a Carvin with that fingerboard coating thinking you'll get something close, spend the extra $1K.
     
  20. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Consider giving them a call and asking for an extension. They're very flexible with sincere people, IME. My 9 month old Carvin is in their repair shop as we speak, all at their expense.

    I'm convinced that the 10-day thing is to protect them from people who imagined their cosmetics would turn out differently than they actually did or people who ordered on impulse and later decided some other woods/options were better.