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NBD: Carvin PB5 fretless taken in trade

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lia_G, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Well, I've been in the process of selling off a lot of basses, and just recently acquired an Ibanez GWB35 that I really like. But I got a trade offer for this mint Carvin PB5 fretless for some non-music stuff I was selling, and couldn't pass it up. I'm a sucker for a good fretless, and this one is gorgeous. Got it tonight, and it plays and sounds as good as it looks. I'll have to play it for a while to decide if I want to keep it, as I've been liking the narrow string spacing on the Ibanez, and this one has the 19mm spacing, but it really is a stellar instrument. Needs no setup ... the action is very low and fast, but with no buzzing. Just about perfect. The tone of this new Carvin P pickup is really great, nice rich singing mids that really compliment a fretless. Not that it's weak on the top or bottom. It's definitely a full-range pickup, but those mids just really sing.

    I've got a gig with the Brian James Band tomorrow night (funky blues and soul) and will take it and the GWB35 and switch back and forth to see what feels and sounds the best.

    No pics, no bass, so ...

    Carvin PB5 Fretless by wwgtsc, on Flickr

    Carvin PB5 Fretless by wwgtsc, on Flickr

    Carvin PB5 Fretless by wwgtsc, on Flickr

    walldaja likes this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    If it sounds as good as it looks it is a winner for sure. Sweet looking bass!
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Beautiful! Heck, I my have to order a fretless P/J myself since they are pretty cheap. It would be way the hell cheaper than a Fender Tony Franklin bass, and it could be a five string too!:bassist:
  4. Raylo


    Jan 28, 2013
    Carvin basses are underrated. They are awesome sounding and their quality is impeccable. Nice purchase. Enjoy!!!
  5. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Yeah, the guy included the original invoice with this one, and it was $997 including the hardshell case and shipping. It's really basic. The only extra cost options on it are the matching headstock and the gold hardware. Yet, it's a beautiful bass.

    The pickup is very hot. It's hotter than the active Ibanez GWB35 I have, and hotter than both my 4 string P's. I'm thinking of lowering the pickup a bit. Carvin made a special version of their J pickup wound hotter to match the output when you order a P/J. Bet it sounds tasty!

  6. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    STEAL at that price!!
  7. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Even more of a steal for what I traded for it. ;)

  8. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Okay, got back from the debut gig for the PB5 an hour ago or so, and here are my thoughts. It was perfect. It played very easily and sounded great in the mix. I was playing an all-Carvin rig tonight: the PB5, my BX500 head, and 2 x 112AG stack. For part of the night I used a Sansamp VT Bass pedal on a really mild setting (bass, mid and character at noon, drive and treble at 9:00).

    This was with the Brian James Band, with Tim Gonzalez on harp. He plays with Los Lonely Boys, and has played and recorded with many top artists around town. We're lucky to have him. Drummer was Rick Brothers, who toured with Gretchen Wilson, among others.

    The tone was thick and punchy, and sounded great. After a few songs, the soundman asked me to cut a little at 400hz to clear things up a bit (I wasn't in the PA, so he couldn't do it), so I dialed that frequency up on my lower para mid on the BX500 and cut to about 10:00, and that seemed to satisfy him. I had been using that control to boost at around 125hz, and found I needed to boost overall volume a little after switching to the 400hz cut.

    Here's a pic of the rig after the gig:

    Carvin rig by wwgtsc, on Flickr

    Here's an iPhone video of one of Tim's tunes, Straight From the Heart. You'll see what an amazing harp player he is. I just got the mp3 for this one after work today, and just had a chance to listen a couple of times before the gig, so it wasn't my best or most creative playing. Not sure how much of the PB5 tone will come through in the video over the cameraphone mic. Tim was very pleased though, as was the audience, which is all that really matters.

  9. FiveStringer1


    Oct 28, 2013
    Wow... nice looking bass ya got there~
  10. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  11. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
  12. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005

    It's a little bittersweet, as I haven't played this bass in months. I really prefer playing fretless, and thought it gave our band a distinctive touch, but the others unanimously decided they wanted frets. Oh well, I love my fretted bass also. Just miss the freedom and expressiveness of fretless.

  13. loved it! i'm considering to get one for myself... my only concern is the weigh... i've heard carvin js and ps are heavy... care to comment about the weight on yours?

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