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Rob Allen vs Carvin AC40

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by citizenchris099, Jun 4, 2012.


  1. Rob Allen

    62 vote(s)
    83.8%
  2. Carvin AC40

    12 vote(s)
    16.2%
  1. Ok so first off...why I'm interested in Rob Allen (Mouse) and or the Carvin AC40 in the first place. I've been studying electric bass with a focus on Jazz theory. As rad as my Jbass sounds with my little technique tricks to achieve a more "upright" sound (playing near/over the neck and plucking with a more upright like attack etc..) Its never going to completely get me the sound I'm wanting.
    Though I know that the RA or AC40 are not complete replacements for a real upright....the size/convenience of the electric bass suits my needs/lifestyle much better. So please no "just get an upright" comments please.

    So presumably the RA & AC40 offer very similar features though there is clearly a price disparity. My big question is where is the extra $$ that I would potentially be speeding on the RA really going? Is it that much better than the AC40 in terms of sound/playability ? Will I know where that extra grand and a half went? I'm all for saving extra for the RA...in fact its where I'm leaning anyways.

    Also as a sort of side question...where do you play a RA before you buy it. I mean unless I know a guy that has one?

    thanks for any and all help guys :D
     
  2. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I owned a Carvin AC40 years ago, it was my first fretless. I currently own three RAs (four total) and there's no comparison in craftsmanship, tone, playability, etc, etc, etc.
     
  3. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Montreal
    For this particular type of bass, Carvin is to Camry as Rob Allen is to Bentley. They're both good, but not comparable IMHO.
     
  4. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    They are both good instruments, but sort of like apples and oranges. I know Rob Allen Basses are in stock at Corner Music in Nashville, and I would imagine some of the larger Bass Specialty Shops (Atlanta Bass Gallery, Bass Northwest, The Low End, etc.) have them as well. Check his website or email him for a nearby dealer.
    The Carvin AC40F with Nylon Strings and fretless neck would get you close, IMO. The Rob Allen is great as well-a lot of my friends have them and love them.
     
  5. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Montreal
    I agree the Carvin will get you close....just a question of how much yoy wanna pay to get even closer. The Carvin I played also had neck dive, whereas the Rob Allens I've had have balanced perfectly. My only complaint with the Rob Allen design is the somewhat sharp upper body edge inherent to the design. They're pretty near perfect IMHO.



     
  6. sounds like saving a little extra for the Rob Allen Mouse will be worth it then :)
     
  7. asands

    asands

    Feb 1, 2011
    Troy Missouri
    The size of an EUB like the Spector seems pretty reasonable. Never tried one personally, but wonder how close the tone would get.
     
  8. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I have yet to play anything that has the "full package" that a RA has. Rob has perfected his "thing", and anything else is not a RA. The Carvin is a nice bass, but it isn't a RA.
     
  9. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    Ever try an Ashbory?
     
  10. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    They're interesting and not for everybody. John Cowan loaned me his back when Guild made them. Picture a fretless Kala UBass with really thick, gummy strings and a mandolin scale and you get close. They did get a very credible Charles Mingus type URB simulation.
    http://www.largesound.com/
     
  11. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Apr 9, 2009
    It wouldn’t be fair to compare an older Carvin to the Rob Allen because if you follow what Carvin does, you’ll know that they have upgraded the construction and parts all of their basses in the last few years. The neck treatments, the bridges, the pickups, all better.
    Since these basses are light, and therefore inexpensive to send back (for a full refund), you may want to buy one and try it out. The Rob Allen’s are great basses but the question is whether or not they are that much greater than the current Carvin. The Bentley to Camry comparison may be more Bentley to Lexus now.
     
  12. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I briefly owned a Kala, and have played Ashborys. Totally different thing and they are toys compared to a RA. Not to say you can't gig with them or that they aren't cool in their own right, but it isn't in the same league.
     
  13. I'm wanting something that fits a more traditional electric bass form factor. I considered the Ashbory and well as the Ubass.
    Ultimately the form factor of a traditional electric bass is more to my liking.

    prior to creating this thread I've considered many things. It really comes down to the RA Mouse or the AC40. And based on initial responses its looking like the Mouse
     
  14. I'm mostly concerned with sound. Will that Carvin get me the sound I want? Based on the demonstrations I'm hearing/seeing (youtube vides etc..) The answer so far is no. Every Mouse video sounds amazing and exactly like what I want.

    I don't want to have to drop $2400...hell no. Though if I can get the sound I so desperately want then thats actually a cheap price to pay.
     
  15. The Carvin and Godin are similar-ish to the MB2, but there's really nothing similar to the Mouse 30.
     
  16. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Apr 9, 2009
    I understand that. The RA's are exquisite! The Carvin would probably cost around 25 bucks to send back so it might be worth a try, is all I'm saying.
    ;)
     
  17. Neon Scribe

    Neon Scribe Supporting Member

    I haven't tried the Carvin, but I love my Rob Allen MB-2. I also have a Kala. It's fun to play around on and it has its own unique sound, but there's no comparison between it and the MB-2, either in playability or in closeness to upright sound. I love the MB-2 so much that I just bought a used Deep Five on eBay.

    Keep in mind that you won't get the results you're looking for if you amplify the Rob Allen in the usual bass guitar way. You need full-range acoustic reproduction, still with plenty of bass of course. Treat it like an upright bass with a piezo pickup, without the feedback issues. I use an Acoustic Image Coda with mine and it sounds fantastic.

    Similarly, you can't play it just like a bass guitar either. It will take some time to get into the right zone in style and tone.
     
  18. I run my basses through my MacBook Pro via a Roland Quad Capture. Process the sound in Ableton Live using 1K Amplitube and then out of the Quad Capture to a monitor and or P.A.
    This has suited my need so far as the need for a full fledged amp has not yet presented itself.
    Is their a distinct advantage to the bedroom performer like myself in running through a real amp head to my mac as apposed to the afore mentioned software method?
     
  19. Neon Scribe

    Neon Scribe Supporting Member

    No, you don't need an "amp" per se. You just need clean and full range reproduction.
     
  20. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I disagree a bit that you can't play an RA like a bass guitar. Granted, mine are custom but they sound every bit as much a P-Bass as, well a P-Bass. That goes for my MB-2 and D4.
     

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