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Need advice on choosing new bass (Carvin?)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by c0bra_, Jun 13, 2005.


  1. c0bra_

    c0bra_

    Jun 9, 2005
    Hey guys,

    I hope this doesn't turn out to be one of those "I'm a newbie, tell me what to do!" posts but with my complete lack of bass knowledge, that's probably what's going to happen.

    I currently have a Fender P-bass (recent Mexican made). I dropped some Quarter Pounders in it and it's been serving me well for about three years. Lately, however, as I'm starting to play different kinds of music I'm having trouble getting the sound I want out of it. There are a couple dead spots, intonation keeps going out, etc.

    I recently came into some money so now I'm looking at spending around $1300-$1500 absolute max. I initially went and looked at Carvins because I was reading about them on this site and I became obsessed with all the different options they offer. I could get a bass that looks exactly how I want it to, basically.

    THEN I read some more threads and I see that some people are unsatisfied with Carvins tone-wise, especially in the Stingray vs. Carvin thread where everyone seemed to prefer the Stingray for sound quality.

    I play mostly blues/blues rock but often end up playing mellow stuff with acoustic guitar or worship music. I don't do much slap, but I'd like the option of having a bass that is capable. What I need to know is, since I cannot just go out and try a Carvin (haven't been able to find one used in the area), would it be in my better interests to go for a Stingray/Sterling (I'm going to go try out a couple today), or perhaps some other brand?

    Thanks, I love this site so far.
     
  2. Welcome!

    I personally really like the stingray better than any carvin I've seen, but then again it is my main GAS.
     
  3. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    I personaly prefer Carvin over Stingray. More comfortable to play.
     
  4. c0bra_

    c0bra_

    Jun 9, 2005
    Because they can be lighter? How would you compare the sound quality?
     
  5. I would go with a Carvin personally (I have 2 and love em. And I'm always looking for an excuse to show pictures, so go ahead, ask.)

    On a side note, if you do order a Carvin, do it over the telephone through with the catalogue (they'll send you one for free off of the site.) The website has lots of options, and its where I ordered my B4 from. But then later, I found there are lots of options not listed on the site that are available through the catalogue. I still have a fantastic bass, but I really wish I would have known about the other options (Different headstocks, for example)
     
  6. Get a second hand stingray, and you'll have some spare money left.
    You'll have a great tone, great playability, and a bass that can absolutely cover any tone
     
  7. Sorry but, a stingray is NOT going to cover every tone. Not a chance
     
  8. Well, I can get every tone I want out of my Stingray, from rock 'n roll to jazz, heavy metal, progressive,...
    A lot people say that the Stingray is a one-trick-poney, because there is only one PU. But this thing covers everything. You want a more agressive sound, play above the pu, a bit more melllow, play further to the neck.
    Just try it out (what you should with any bass)
     
  9. well personally i go with neither. i don't like carvins tone and stingray still feels too one diminsional to me. UNLESS! i did once play a stingray with a piezo and that might have been my favorite bass i've ever played unfortunately i was broke at the time. if the P-bass sound is working for you you might wanna go with something that's a P-J combination. if you can find a fender Aerodyne jazz bass then you can pick that up pretty cheap. another option is the fender deluxe american precison with a P and a Humbucker. those things are sweet. now that's what i call versatility
     
  10. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    the way i see it personally for me;

    feel: Carvin > Sterling > Stingray
    tone: Sterling = Stingray > Carvin....

    So i guess the answer is Bongo.... (used?)
     
  11. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Get out and play some basses, you might try a Lakeland, pretty flexible. Also, whether or not you are planning to keep the P-bass should be a factor in your decision, the P-bass being good for the Rock/Blues you may not need your second bass to excell in that area.
    My biggest knock on Carvins is their lack of tonal character. Sound wise they have the personality of a $300 Yamaha and a $280 Ibanez combined, some flexability for sure, but nothing that puts a smile on my face. This has been my experience playing a handfull of Carvins, but some people LOVE them and use them exclusively and I have to respect them and their basses as alot of people out there would find my gear, which I dearly love, worthless for their needs as well.
    Oh yea, try a Warwick, it blends well with acoustic instruments and still holds a nice, sharp edge when slapped!
     
  12. c0bra_

    c0bra_

    Jun 9, 2005
    Does anyone have an opinion on the P-series Carvins? It seems like that might make up for some of the tone problems (what with the piezo and and other gadgets).
     
  13. Panda Licker

    I think I am in love with your screen name!
     
  14. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3

    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    P model Carvins, with piezos, a big ol' humbucker with coil tap at the bridge and a jazz pickup at the neck can give you a zillion different tones. Carvins are very playable and extremely well made. I've never understood the knock on Carvins tone, I think they sound great. I have an LB70 that is my main bass, and B5 that is supposed to be delivered tomorrow. :D Carvin will let you send the bass backwithin 10 days for full credit if you don't like it.

    All that said, you've got to find the bass that is right for you. It may or not be a Carvin. I've played some expensive basses that are very highly regarded by many here at Talk Bass that did nothing for me. :meh: I've played a couple that people generally knock, and thought they were great basses. :hyper:

    I never would have ordered a Carvin except that I had the chance to play a couple of used ones first. Keep looking and maybe you can find one to check out in your area.

    Good luck, and in the mean time have fun with your trusty ol' P bass! :bassist:
     
  15. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    As far as tone is concerned, my Carvin sounds great & is very versatile. I ordered 2.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I liked the basses so much I ordered the B1500 & BRX12
    [​IMG]

    I was able to upgrade everything that is bass for the price some manufacturers charge for 1 bass.
     
  16. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    Carvin - Music Man
    =
    Apples-n-oranges

    I owned for several years a very sweet custom ordered Carvin BB75. I replaced the pups/pots & pre with a Bart harness. I always wanted a 'Ray and eventually sold her to get one. Although I miss it, one does NOT replace the other. Each has it's own personality.
    If I were you, I would try...
    a)Lakland Skyline
    b)MTD Kingston
    c)Cort Artisan
    d)Fender Roscoe Beck
    e)G&L
    As nice as Carvin is, there are better bang-for-buck instruments for you(coming from a P).
     
  17. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    I'm glad I didn't listen to Carvin nay sayers. I remember telling some people I got a Carvin on order. Some would say, "I wouldn't go w/ a Carvin". My next question was always, "Have you ever played one?". Not one said yes!
     
  18. Well since he got to show his, I get to show mine

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Guitar Center seems to be having a blow out on Music Man basses and guitar. If that's the way you want to go, you may be able to find a bargain.
     
  20. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    ;) :)