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Opinions on Carvin Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RevengeIseek, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. I recieved a carvin catalog a few days ago and their basses quickly jumped to the top of my list for the time being. I amintrested in spector,ibanez and now carvin. I am really wanting to know what others think about their basses seeing as how i probably wont have the oppurtunity to play one.

    Thanks Alot
  2. I've played several carvin basses, and been impressed with all. Their fretlesses seem really nice. The only hesitations I might have are that I'm not too sure about their pickups and electronics, and some of the translucent gloss finishes look a bit thick and cloudy. Other than that though they feel and play great, and there's no doubt they're a deal.
  3. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I was seriously considering getting one of their 6 strings. I want to get the build your own Carvin kit (and replace the E tuner with a drop D tuner and put on a tremelo bridge) but what i'm getting at is that their resale value sucks supposedly.
  4. Assumer


    Mar 26, 2003
    I have a B5. Plays great, low action, nice neck. My sterling cuts much better. I am hoping new pickups will cure this.
  5. what kind of pick ups would you suggest if i just upgraded. EMG's ?
  6. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Yeah you can't really go wrong with EMG's.

    I don't know if Carvin offers them, but I learned/figured out that Bartolinis have a rather fat sound (maybe just me though?).
  7. hunta


    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    I've got 2 carvin basses myself, one I got around 94 or 95 and it's one of the 6-string fretless models. The other I got around 99 or 2000 and it's a fretted 5-string Bunny Brunel model with the wider string spacing.

    I really liked the 6-string when I got it, played it heavily, thought it sounded great. When I got the 5-string it sounded so much better I shelved the 6-string and barely played it again. The 5-string had their newer electronics/pickups in it with the midrange control and the sound difference was like night and day. I recently tried to get EMG's retrofitted into the old 6-string, but it would require routing and the electronics cavity would have to be deepened most likely. I couldn't even get newer Carvin pickups put on it because the cavity isn't big enough. I don't believe it's a problem with their newer basses though.

    Let me just emphasize that I LOVE my Bunny Brunel bass. The sound is amazing, it's still my main bass. I've compared it to spectors with those really hot EMG pickups that take 2 9-volts and I prefer the sound of the Carvin. The only thing I've heard recently that I maybe liked more was a $3000 Warwick custom job a friend let me jam on. I really don't think you can top Carvin in the $1000 or less price range. AND, they FEEL great. The neck is so easy to play I really can't talk it up enough.
  8. Thanks alot guys ill check up on the thread again tommorow mourning.

  9. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I would have a problem with not bieng able to play a bass, or one quite like it, before buying it. I don't much care for the feel of the Carvin's I have played, but that is an issue of personal tast, not quality or value, both of which are good. IMO what keeps most Carvins from being great basses is they lack their own character. Hmm, what is that "Carvin" sound? It's not bad for sure, but theres no "signature" tone that defines a great bass, nothing to "hang your hat on" so to speak. I've played some neck-thru Carvin's that have a slight whiff of Smith but reeked of Ibanez/Yamaha and just seemed diluted and, well, flat. I would try hard to demo a similar model first before making an order.
    I am not trying to start anything here, an opinion was asked for and I am giving mine as honestly as I can. :bag:
  10. Also, do a search. This comes up a lot, and some folks who do have something to say won't necessarily feel like repeating themselves.
  11. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I can relate. Having lived in San Diego for years I stopped by Carvin a number of times and tested everything on thier wall. The new electronics package sound MUCH MUCH better that the earlier offerings which in my opinion lacked character. The new 3 band EQ set-up is something I could use, and the basses play fine. (I think the string spacing is too narrow for me at the nut.)
  12. They're amazing basses for the money...

    BUT... They don't hold their value and go for a fraction of their price on the secondary market and there isn't a collectors market for them.
  13. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    You should look around for a used bass ... a lot of good deals around for used Carvins ....

    I've played plenty of them, but kind of like lowphat said above, they just don't feel right, for me. Really try to play a few before making that committment, and remember that the resale value will nose dive the minute you own it ....
  14. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I played an all koa carvin at GC the other day. I found it to be quite impressive. The craftsmanship was nearly perfect. It had a real thick sound to it. I really want to try out a 5 string carvin with the P-series electronics.
  15. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I currently own 2 Carvins and their build quality is impressive. I used to own a fretless red quilt 6 but I traded it for a tobacco sunburst fretted 6 as I realized that my need for a 6 was really for a fretted 6. I also have an all koa 5 string fretless and this is a great bass with great sound (nylon tapewounds). What you have heard about resale is true though. Since you can specify so many different options, they are not worth much second-hand, as one can always buy a new one with the options they spec out themselves. They have fast necks which tend to be quite thin front to back and a pretty flat radius.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I like the build, look and feel of my fretless 6. I did put Bartolini pups and preamp in it.
  17. The build quality of Carvin's are great...some people love or hate the tone...I personally love it...the only problem is the neck moves around A LOT...I usually have to get my basses set up every four months or so
  18. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I have a Carvin LB20 I got in October of 00. It's natural gloss finish mahogany (body, neck, peghead) with the single coil JB style pickups. It's a beautiful bass, and I get comments everywhere I play. Its sound is on the generic side, but I play a variety of music and I need something that has some versatility. In contrast, another bass I have has a distinct tone to it, which sounds great by itself, but doesn't always fit into the musical genre. And, in any case, if it got to be an issue I'd change the pickups. Another thing is that my other solidbody does not have the easy neck that the Carvin does. Summing up: great action, great neck (1.625" nut, perfect for me), great looks. As with ALL basses, there are plenty of reasons to buy something else, but I love its feel, its lack of weight, and I can always nudge the bass or the amp into the sound I need at the moment. And it fits my idea of a good looking bass: all mahogany, with a minimum of knobs and protuberances, ebony fingerboard. For the price everyone ought to have one!
  19. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    I just won a BB75 on ebay, birdseye maple board and quilted body and headstock, stunning.. will post pics when it arrives!
  20. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    My bass teacher has 4 Carvins. They sound absolutely terrific. He used to play only Pedullas but sold them because he needed the money. He has absolutely no regrets about switching to Carvins. They sound terrific, and he says there the best value basses in their price range and beat most basses in the $3000+ catagory. I couldn't agree more.

    As for the pickups/electronics, they sound just as good as anything else.