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Review Of New To me Carvin LB75P (with pics)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Crabby, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    Well this is the first bass I have ever bought sight unseen and as I had never tried a Carvin bass before, I had no idea what to expect. The price was right on this one, so I jumped at it. Its a 2001 Carvin LB75P lefty. She arrived by UPS last week from her original owner in the US and I have been giving her a good workout ever since.

    I currently own a Stingray4, Ray5, USA Jazz, USA Precision and a MIM Jazz fretless so a 5 string fretless seemed like the next logical bass to try out. I didn't want to drop a lot of money on something I had no idea if I would like so this was a great opportunity to buy it and have the option of re selling if it doesn't work out.

    As you can see, the bass is in great condition. Only a few nicks here and there. The ebony fretboard has virtually no wear and after a good lemon oil treatment, looks fantastic. I put on a set of Ernie Ball Slinkys which is what I use on my fretless J bass and after a quick setup, have been very impressed.

    The Carvin doesn't have the same amount of Mwah as my Jazz but of course the pickup placement and fingerboard wood is different.

    I really like the big humbucking "Musicman" style humbucker. It sounds fantastic. The J99 single coil in the front is nice and woody sounding and the two blend well together. I vastly prefer the humbucker soloed but that's the tone I am used to from my Stingrays. The Carvin does a great job of getting that Stingray vibe with this pickup.

    The piezo is a mystery to me. Blending in the piezo seems to add a noisy buzz from the strings that is brittle and harsh. I don't like the tone at all as its so bright and harsh sounding. Not sure how people use the piezo option but it sure isn't working for me.

    The hardware seems decent on the bass. Mine has a Hipshot d-tuner on the low B string which seems hard to get tweaked properly but I haven't spent much time with it. The finish is quite nice but as you can see from the pics, the "burst" on the back of the neck is pretty ugly. I guess as its a neck thru instrument, this was the option they went with. I don't really mind the ugly neck as the front of the bass looks really nice.

    I love the passive option! By pulling up the volume control the bass goes passive and sounds fantastic. The three band eq is nicely voiced and when back in active mode, there are a ton of tonal options with this bass. The 18v pre amp is freakin loud. I have to turn the volume down when in active mode.

    For $400 shipped, I think I got a great fretless to branch out on from my Mexi jazz. This bass is light as a feather and plays like a dream. Once I nail the setup, I think I am going to be set for fretless instruments for awhile. They say that Carvin's are a good bass new and a steal on the used market. The original owner stated he paid $1300 US for this bass in 2001. I bought it for one third of that which is more then fair. the tweed case is gorgeous and is made by G&G Case company. Its identical to my 60th Anniversary P-bass case except for the color of course.

    So if anyone out there is considering a used Carvin, I don't think you can go wrong for the insanely low prices these bases sell for on the used market. :)









  2. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY

    VERY VERY nice!!!

    First time I've ever seen a sunburst NECK!

    Really cool, man. The 1 thing I would change would be the poly finish, but don't let me take away from your amazing bass.

    I can't get over it...that bass, sunburst with ebony...looks F A N T A S T I C
  3. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    Thanks, the finish is actually a lot nicer then I expected as the seller's photos somehow made the bass look different color wise. I love the look of the blank fingerboard despite how intimidating it is to play! haha
  4. If Carvin didn't put a buffer in there to match the impedance to the magnetic p'ups, you'll never get a satisfying tone out of it. I wonder if there's a buffer circuit out there that could help, like the Cafe Walter circuit. Maybe time to put a call in to Carvin?


    P.S.: Gorgeous bass, BTW. Shame it's backwards! ;-)
  5. Beautiful Bass
  6. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    Hmm, I wonder if there is something that can be tweaked inside the control cavity to change the sound of the piezo's. There is a trip pot for each string to adjust the piezo level. I'm not too worried as i will likely be using this bass with the bridge pickup soloed most of the time.
  7. Thats purdy! For some reason I'm feeling the need to reverse those pictures. It's playing with my brain. :)
  8. chesterDjester


    Jul 29, 2006
    Pretty cool shizzle crabby. Can't wait to hear it man! I can't believe you got that for 400bux. Good news that our loonie is nearly on par with the Buck again. VERY nice score.

  9. I have the same bass..............well..............a 4 string, right hand, Koa body wings, exact same 6 knobs, one switch controls. It's an awesome bass, very light, excellent MuWAH and very versatile. I really love the thick slab of ebony, it really has a great feel. I also paid $400, probably the best bang for the buck of any bass I own.
  10. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Don't mean to threadjack, we can get back to admiring that great bass, I just have a question:

    Does Carvin offer any finish other than poly? Thanks.
  11. My Koa bass just has an oil finish.
  12. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    You may need to lower the action a bit and/or remove some relief to get more mwah (doesn't take much).

    Also, piezos pick up a lot of higher frequencies, especially with rounds. Try soloing the piezo and dropping the treble while plucking at the end of the fingerboard
  13. Very true. When I first got mine the action was too high and it was strung with flats. I was disapointed at best. I bought a set of Elixir rounds and lowered the action...............MAGIC!! :bassist:
  14. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Oh my...Carvin just SERIOUSLY entered the mix as my next bass. In fact, if I don't win an auction for a ridiculously low priced Modulus, it's gonna be between Carvin and EBMM Stingray...I think Carvin will win that, too bad I can't actually play one though to decide.
  15. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    Before I got my bunny I watched the Bill Leigh review of the LB75P on bassplayertv. I also didn't like the way the piezo sounded and also didn't like not having the top load option on the bridge.

    Still, if you're like me you might end up with the carvin being your main bass and the others going into their cases. I'm one of those poor slobs who bought a carvin new for $1300 and now have a $400 (at best) bass but I couldn't care less (mine's a BB76F). I'd say the carvin is the best mass-produced bass you can get period, much less for only $1300 new and vastly less used like yours!

    As for mwaah, I'd suggest a set of rounds which might give you a little more. I strongly dislike mwaah myself so mine is strung with TI jazz flats.

    As for the blank fingerboard, you'll find yourself getting used to it without really thinking about it after a while. I personally prefer unlined because it forces me to really listen and not use visual cues other than the side dots. So I actually intonate better on the unlined.

    Very nice bass! I too love the huge slab of ebony.....

  16. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I am after a very "mwah" like tone so I will have to experiment with some neck and action adjustments to maximize the tone. Right now I have the action quite low and the neck looks almost completely straight but something isn't right as I dont have a lot of mwah and the strings are rattling on the fingerboard too much.

    I know I just need to experiment until i find the right setup.
  17. With mine, I adjusted the trussrod so when I played a note on the 12th fret, there's about 1/64" of space under the string halfway between the 12th fret location and the nut. After that, I adjusted my saddles until I got just the right amount of Mwah without any buzzing. I haven't had to touch it in months. The mwah is very even all over the neck.
  18. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I've never known of a Carvin without a top load bridge option. :confused:
  19. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    That was my understanding on the piezo bridge. You can only string through-body.
    But I may be wrong about that - I can't remember where I even heard that so I could very well be wrong....

    That (if it's true) and not being able to come up with a use for the sound is why I didn't order it on mine (I don't like a lot of treble)...

  20. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    For what it's worth, all 3 of my fretlesses have ebony fingerboards and have zero mwaah (which I like).
    My gibson tobias, tho, had a rosewood (or it could be wenge, not sure) fingerboard and it had a bunch of mwaah. When I put a coat of epoxy on it it got a SUPER pronounced mwaah, almost to the point of annoyance...

    I have a feeling that ebony boards just don't mwaah that much especially with flats....


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