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Questions about 2 basses.....Warwick Thumb 6 and Carvin 6. Please weigh in.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ty McNeely, Aug 31, 2008.


  1. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    These are two basses I know virtually nothing about. Both are for sale in the Classifieds, but I want to get a broad scope of opinions on these two basses.

    The first one is found here: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=464106

    It's listed as a Warwick "Broadneck" 6 string, and the seller clarified that it's a Thumb Broadneck 6. Apparently has the MEC pickups and pre. Thoughts on this one? What can I expect, and is $750 a good price for it?

    The second one is found here.
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=465747
    Listing doesn't note it, but it appears to be an Icon 6-string, and he has it listed for $700+shipping.

    Carvin's are a bass I've heard of, but never seen, played, or even heard played to my knowledge. What is the quality, how is the active system in it, what's the overall feel of the bass, and what are your thoughts?


    Thanks in advance for everyone's help.
     
  2. I haven't played those particular models but I am familiar with both companies so I'll tell you what I know:

    Those are great prices on both basses. That Carvin is not an Icon, it's an LB76 with some pricey upgrades (figured top, piezos, 5 piece neck). Carvin makes high quality instruments with low resale values. Some people consider the electronics the weak link, others have no issue with them. I have yet to play a 6 string Carvin but their 4 and 5 string necks are very comfortable.

    Warwicks are another high quality bass, made in Germany, that are famous for their "growl". The Thumb models are notorious for neck dive. Some find their necks too thick. You should probably have large hands if you're getting the broad neck. Warwicks also require regular waxing. I don't like the look of that crack in the headstock. However, if it's a bolt on (which it appears to be) your worst case scenario would be neck replacement.
     
  3. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX

    First of all, you're my hero.


    I appreciate the insight on the Carvin. I like the sound of what you said, now I just need to figure a way to get my hands on a Carvin to see what I think.

    As far as the Warwick, I do have large hands, and I'm used to playing 6's so I don't think it will be a problem. I admit to being a little worried about the neckdive though, especially with the fact that it's an overly heavy neck.

    I guess with the Warwick, it just seems like it's a little cheap. As you said, though, if the crack in the headstock is that bad, it could require some costly fixes.

    Again, appreciate your insight.

    Thoughts from anyone else?
     
  4. (blushes)

    That price does seem very low. The seller says the crack isn't causing any problems now but who knows what might happen down the road. Warwicks are usually solid instruments. I thought I heard somewhere that insufficient waxing can lead to laminations separating (not sure if that's what is happening here), maybe someone more knowlegeable can shed some light.

    FWIW, I like Warwicks and may well purchase one someday.
     
  5. doctorjazz

    doctorjazz

    Oct 22, 2006
    Wilmington, NC
    And therein lies the rub. To get your hands on a Carvin if you live anywhere other than California where you can visit one of their stores, you have two options. The first is to find someone that has a Carvin and try theirs. While this is good, Carvin offers such a huge list of options that there's only a small chance that their bass will be very similar to the one you're looking at.

    The other way is to buy one and decide whether or not to keep it during the money-back trial period they give you. This is, of course, rather expensive and inconvenient, and if you go for an "Option 50", which is an unlisted option that Carvin is willing to do for those who specially request it (single pickup instruments, different headstocks, finishes not usually offered, etc.), they may void the trial period because of the decreased likelihood that they'll be able to sell the instrument through a store if you don't want it.

    I am, however, extremely pleased with my Carvin 6 string. The neck is very stable, only requiring adjustments once in a long while. Fit and finish are superb, the bass plays like a dream. The electronics are extremely versatile, and though the sound can seem kind of generic to some people, it really shines in a mix.

    For proof:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE733HBisfA&feature=related

    Sadly I'm not the one playing, I lent it to a friend who's much better than I am, but it is my bass.
     
  6. Anthbass

    Anthbass

    Jul 24, 2006
    Canada
    For the OP:
    I think the Lado is the buy of the bunch. Great electronics, woods, and build quality. The Studio 6 would cost you over $3000 new and it sounds to me like the seller is willing to deal, so you might encounter a very nice buy. Just food for thought.
     
  7. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
     
  8. The Warwick is pretty sweet deal. BNs tend to resell for less than non-BNs for whatever reason though. I may have owned that one at one point actually. The sound was great but i just couldn't handle it. Between the width of the neck and its chunky profile it was too much, and here i was thinking i hand huge hands or something. The spacing on Warwick BN basses is 20mm typically, but can be adjusted. At worst it would need a setup to sound as awesome ass it can (if there are no major issues, on mine the action was original too low and the russ rod had to be adjusted, easy fixes).
    The Carvin, a Carvin LB-76P, (I have a LB-76WP, W for walnut, P for Piezo) is another pretty sweet deal. The versatility on Carvin's is A-freakin-mazing. That may have something to do with the Piezo pickups and mess of knobs on there. Having so many knobs in my opinion is a plus because there are so many tonal options o be considered. The issue i had with my carvin is, though it may have versatility and tweakability it didn't have the attack i was looking for. I would be so close to finding my ideal sound (somewhere between Victor Wooten and Jaco) and it just couldn't make it there; it didn't have the growl i was looking for in a bass. That may be perfect for you, it may not be, but that's up to you. I am almost positive that with a pickup swap Carvins would seriously own. Mine had a J99 stacked jazz style pup and a MM style humbucker so being that yours has 2 J99s it may produce a tone with more growl than mine. Besides all that stuff Carvins have some of the best necks around especially for 6 strings; wide enough to accommodate a comfortable string spacing for any style but shallow enough to make the neck easily navigable by even the smallest of hands.

    Either way your getting a great deal at those prices. Personally, I'd go with the Carvin because i already know i can't handle the neck of the Warwick. It's far easier to fix a tonal problem than a structural one. Both have great sounds so you really can't go wrong. If you do decide to go with the Carvin and want to swap out the pups Bartolini has replacements here: http://www.bestbassgear.com/bartolini-6-string-j-pickups.htm
     
  9. I seriously considered Carvin, and the LB as a variant. They are made pretty much to the standards of a boutique bass whereas their resale price is very low. They do openly offer options you'd have to look for or pay too much to get them. They look cool too. Their amplification and speakers are also a steal for the money.
    However, after a web search and a personal experience I believe that Carvin is a hit or miss. It seems like the quality is not consistent, it may be flawless or not (well on the other hand it happens with Fender all the time). E.g., the truss rod on LBs sometimes brakes or the truss rod nut cuts the thread. Or Carvin strings from one package may sound different.

    Then, Warwick is pretty much innovative in wood options and everything. There are issues too. It's the matter of 'do you like the sound' - it is specific, definitely has the groul for all kinds of rock and more, but I personally don't like how they sound if you want it 'calm and quiet'. The sound to some ears may seem straight and shallow. The standard MEC pre and PUPS taken together are quite a 'love it or leave it' thing.
    I can't play most Warwick necks, especially after the 12th fret - my wrist starts to ache, and I should mention I have large hands and long fingers. It just feels like a log in your hands
    Then again, there is a LARGE difference between the legendary Thumb NT and the much less expensive Thumb BO (like the one in the thread). I only played a BO (and wasn't impressed) so here I depend on the opinion of those who had both.

    My advice would be take the Carvin. Take it and if it is right, keep it.

    P.S. Just noticed that the saddles of the Carvin are strangely, or, not usually, arranged. And they are too close to the end of the bridge, and at the end of the adjustment screws. This could mean nothing - or intonation issues.
     
  10. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    bump-age.


    Any input from anyone else?
     
  11. kazamamaster

    kazamamaster Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    I have an LB76 Carvin as my main bass. I love it.

    It's a great bass, especially for jazz. It's a Walnut neckthough, 1 piece maple/ebony fretboard with humbuckers. It sounds good fingerstyle and when I solo on top, it's very similar to the tone Patitucci gets. It gets tons of compliments on sound. I'm not always the happiest about it's slap tone however. I prefer the Fender Jazz slap tone more, because it's meatier, that's where the Carvin is kinda lacking.

    The Warwick thumb 6 isn't my cup of tea at all. Too big, Too heavy, too clunky. The Carvin is more a fit for me...
     
  12. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    I'd go with the Carvin. I have a Thumb BO five string non-broad neck and its at (or slightly above) the upper limit of what I consider usable as far as comfort and weight. Its neck wants to stay perpendicular to the ground and its FREAKING heavy...I mean really heavy. I can't even imagine what a broad-neck six string would be like.

    Don't get me wrong, I like mine. I'm not selling it anytime soon. Its just got "that" sound, and after I got used to the neck thickness it turned out to be one of the more comfortable basses I've played (as far as neck shape). However if I was going for a six string there's no way I'd buy a Thumb.

    The Carvin's a really solid, well playing bass. It sounds alright, and if you end up not liking what it sounds like you can always change the pups/pre and it will sound amazing.
     
  13. ZonGuy

    ZonGuy

    Sep 2, 2007
    My review of the Thumb 5 BO posted yesterday

    I bought my Thumb 5 BO (regular width neck) used in 2004 and am still loving it 4 years later. What a real bass should sound like, esp. through a LMII. Great clear lows with BASS tone, clear top. 24 fret, easy access. Very comfortable to play sitting down. I use a wide strap so neck dive and weight are not an issue playing standing up and hopping around. My primary gigging bass for blues,rock, country gigs and sometimes jazz. Distinctive tone that cuts through mix. Very crisp B. Other musicians always compliment the tone and appearance of this bass. My wife loves it as well. I might add that - IMHO - the bolt-on sounds better to me than the neck-through (not as dark,more clarity) and the Thumb has a different sound than other Warwick products like the Streamer. Solid construction. Easy open battery compartment ( a real plus on gigs!!). No mechanical problems or setup issues in 4 years except 1/4 cable jack (located on edge of instrument) became noisy after 4 years and was repaired. Probably due to putting instrument down with straight cable which bent the input jack. Cons: I would not think of the following as negatives, but as full disclosure on issues that I have noticed after playing a used instrument for 4 years. Playability. Adapting to the Warwick neck design and higher frets will take some getting used to, especially if going form a Fender 4 string. On the other hand, so did my 35" scale and six strings. I use high action. After two weeks, it will be business as usual. Weight & Balance. A common complaint. My weighs in at 12 lbs, the same as my Fender Jazz, so I am not complaining. I don't think the neck dive is noticeable as I use a wide padded strap. Finish. Gotta wax the thing, especially after sweating on it. A small price to pay. Warwick makes the special wax. Versatility. You get one great tone which suits me just fine. I use the bass and treble boosts to add growl or kaching as required. Reliability: No problems. No excessive battery drainage, battery is easy to change out. On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is a Sadowsky or Zon, I give it a nine. I would replace this bass quickly if stolen. I think people that like this bass will also like the Stingray/MM/Bongos.

    Rating: 9
     

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