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Review and followup thread for Carvin XB75P

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by soulgroovn, Jan 9, 2003.


  1. soulgroovn

    soulgroovn

    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    Hi everyone,

    A while back I asked everyone what they thought of the XB75 and an interesting thread followed. So, I have received my XB75P bass and I've practiced, played and gigged it for a good month now. I figured that I would share my thoughts with the group.

    Here you go....

    Fit and finish - 9.5 out of 10: For the most part, the bass was sent in excellent condition. The frets are top notch, the back compartment is tidy, and the hardware is top notch. However, I'm a stickler for finishes and this is why I took the half a point off. The bass had a little bit of a burn mark near the 22nd fret and there are some watersanding marks near some crevices and edges of the bass. Also, some clearcoat seeped under the masking tape at the nut and remnants can be seen on the headstock. I ordered blueburst over quilted maple. However, they applied a little too much blackburst so the axe looks all black in a low lit room. But, if the stage lights hit you right the quilt does comes to the top. Also, I specifically asked for deep quilt and the quilt top on my bass is no way near as deep as what you see in the catalog.

    Playability - 6 out of 10: The bass is well balanced when strapped on and sits well on your lap. It's also really light. I initially had some problems with the action and the bass seems prone to buzzing. I've "settled" for a happy medium but it's still not low enough for me and part of the problem could be that the nut could have been cut just a little more. As far as the extended scale length, this does not feel like a 35 1/4" scale bass. The best way to describe it is that it feels like I'm tuning my 34" scale bass down a half step. Although it sounds tight through an amp, it's fairly sloppy feeling when you pluck and the strings seem to move more than they should for a 35 and 1/4"er. In all fairness to carvin, I am comparing this to a Q5 and a Smith BSR series but I expected the extra 1/4" to at least put it in the ballpark.

    Sound - 8.5 out of 10: I've played it through an 800RB, a trace rig, an R1000 and my own Ashdown EVO 500. Overall the bass is pretty punchy. It's tight sounding but it loses a little kick on the B string. Ironically, the only amp I plugged it into without turning knobs is the Carvin R1000. It sounded like a million bucks and I just left it. Go figure...

    All of the other amps sounded great after a little fiddling around. Mostly taking out some low to low-mids to get some mud out.

    Summary:

    It's a gorgeous bass to look at and you can't beat it for the price but this will probably end up being my backup bass and nothing more. If it felt just a little tighter I'd probably make it a first stringer for some gigs but the Q5 is still my number 1.

    Please let me know if you have any specific questions. I'd be happy to answer any!

    Mike

    My band
     
  2. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I, too, got an XB75P about a month ago!! So here is my overview of the instrument as well.

    I got the black finish w/ tung oiled neck. The finish is darn near perfect. There is a miniscule touch of paint over the edge of the headstock and another slight flaw underneath the strings that you would need a magnifying glass to see. Overall, thumbs up on the finish!

    The best part of this bass is the neck. I got the wider neck and with the tung oil finish. It is real smooth going up and down the neck. It is a 5 piece neck (maple/koa) and the exposed koa has the most beautiful golden color.

    The fretwork is perfect to my senses.

    I agree, wholeheartedly, that the action can't be lowered too much. I think that the nut could be filed some, but I haven't taken that step as of yet. If filing the nut doesn't work, the next step would be to have the frets shaved, but I'm not going there, the action is low enough.

    The 35.25" scale. I really like the extended scale, although it is taking some getting used to. I have to look at the fretboard more often or else I miss judge fretboard shifts. I find that the extended scale really does provide tighter strings, not a WHOLE lot, but a noticeable amount.

    Sound. I play using mostly the Humbucker with a little of the J99 and the piezos blended. This gives me the sound I'm after. I was disappointed with the piezo pickups. They do sound "tinny" as some have noted. If I were to get this bass again, I wouldn't get the P option. The good thing is though, you can turn off the piezos completely if you don't like them. In fact, it's easy to use any combination of the active pickups, or you can just play passive if you prefer.

    This bass has great acoustic qualities. It is loud unamped. I don't think it sounds sloppy unamped.

    I also like that you can adjust the volume of the individual strings. I was thinking of boosting the B a little relative to the other strings.

    Soulgrooven, are you using rounds or flats on yours. I have DR lowriders on it now and they sound great, but I was thinking of putting flats on my next string change.

    Summary: For about a grand, I am satisfied with this bass. It is comfortable to play and looks very cool. The only think that I might do differently if I were to go back would be to adjust my option choices a little (probably wouldn't get the piezos and maybe not the wider neck). For the price, this bass is hard to beat. However, I do like the Peavy Cirrus 5 as well. I want one of those next! (Nothing like a new purchase to start a case of GAS.):D