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Should I just get my bass custom made?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by waytoodeep03, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Anyone have experience with custom made Carvin's? They look pretty affordable. It seems to be a better option of going the custom route than buying lets say a preowned Cirrus or something. That way I get the bass how I want it to look. I love maple on maple :)
  2. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    I have a mahogany B4 coming in a couple weeks. I'll be sure to post a review here. I played someone's claro walnut Carvin, and it felt/sounded wonderful.
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have heard good things about carvins stuff.
  4. L-1329


    Aug 8, 2004
    Carvin basses have very good fit and finish, and are all great playing basses. The one thing to watch out for though is that they also seem to have a tendency to have weak truss rods. I have read a number of reviews of snapped rods or stripped rud nuts, and sure enough my own did the same thing. A bolt on Carvin would be a much easier fix should that occur. Only something to think about...
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    You could ask them if their lifetime warranty covers trussrod problems, and if so, go for it. If not, maybe they can put in a good dual action rod...
  6. L-1329


    Aug 8, 2004
    Mine was out of warranty, and they do not alter their basic design, for anything. I have asked them to reposition the bridge on my rebuild so that I can use non tapered strings, and they wont even do that citing that everything is CNC controlled and they will not change any parameters. Now once it comes back I am going to have to have to redrill the bridge position. The only solution they will offer for a trussrod problem is to build a new bass, and use all of your existing hardware. Their customer service department is also very difficult to deal with to get things organized, and you have to double check EVERY step of the process with them to make sure you will be getting what you want back. I really do like the bass I had, and The rebuilt one should be just as nice I hope. If not for this issue this would be my foremost recommendation for a good quality bass for the money.
  7. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Hey, hows about this... Valenti...
  8. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I have a bit of an issue with people calling Carvins "custom basses". They're really not custom, you just have a list of factory options to choose from.

    The distinction can be made by going to Carvin with a sketch of a bass you want to do and specify that you want to use Seymour Duncan pickups and a U-Retro preamp (for the sake of argument). Carvin will tell you no, but a real custom shop will instruct you to get out your credit card.
  9. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    Keep in mind the resale value on a Carvin is awful. I know their options are appealing (I admired the new Claro Walnut model), but they are worth nothing once you've got it. If resale value isn't a biggy, I'd probably build a Warmoth first because you'd have many more custom options than just finish, top, etc. You'd have body style, neck, woods, finish, electronics, bridge, tuners, etc.
  10. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL

    Hence, Valenti. Nino-Brown is a fellow TB'er and a stuandup guy. For custom stuff, he's good.
  11. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Good choice for a custom made bass! Once you buy a Carvin, unless you want to loos most of what you paid, you will have it a life time. If you have that ability to commit to a bass, you should be good to go then!
  12. echo008

    echo008 Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    Long Island, NY

    Hi, I am expecting my first Carvin in a couple of weeks.
    I did not have alot to spend on a bass this time out, Carvin seemed to fit the bill very well (so far).
    I got what I wanted for just under 1K and from what I have heard about them I am expecting it to be well worth it.
    for the record:
    LB75 in Pearl white
    MOP block inlays
    Ebony Fingerboard
    J pup in the neck
    HB in the bridge (coil splitter)
    Piezo bridge as well
    the total came out to something like 985.00

    while I would not consider Carvin to be totally custom you do have a pretty nice selection of optios to choose from, and you should definitely go and post over in the Carvin forum if you have any questions (if you go the Carvin route that is).
    - Tom
  13. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Anyone know about their 6-strings? I'm looking into these options...

    Maybe Fretless
    Strap Locks
    What is wider asymetrical neck? :help:
    Stainless Steel Strings
    Replace J99 with Stacked Humbuckers
    Should I get Jumbo or Low-wide if I get a fretted? :help:
    Mother-of-Pearl Block Inlays
    Rosewood Fretboard
    :help: me with the 5 piece neck options please
    Tung Oil (? :help: ?)
    Walnut Headstock Overlay (probably)
    Engraved Truss Rod
    Color Options- I want a dark colored wood but I don't know squat about those sorts of things. :help:

    It comes to about $1074.49. I would be eternally grateful if you could help me with the subjects with the help indications on it. Also, would a fretless be a bad idea if I plan on doing lots of slapping (ie Les Claypool's Rainbow Bass.)
  14. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    I have been told by people in a position to know that Carvin six string basses do NOT have a wide neck option. That's a mistake on the website. Notice the option is coded "5W." It's only available on 5-strings.
  15. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I need to agree with Silky here ... these are not custom basses as much as they are "choose your options" basses. BTW, this is not meant as any kind of put down or slight to Carvins ... quite the contrary, I find the idea that you can pick and choose features very cool. The few Carvins I've had the chance to play seemed nice (not my personal cup-o-tea, but whatever ...).

    Hey, if you want to call them custom built/custom made, have a great time, it's no skin off my b*tt. Just be aware that you're only selecting options .......
  16. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    ^^^I couldn't agree more.
  17. Carvin resale isn't so awful if you think of it in absolute terms (i.e., how many $ did I lose) rather than relative terms (i.e., what percentage of my original cost did I lose). For me the important question is how much I'm out of pocket. Losing $800 hurts more than losing $500, even if that $800 was 40% of a $2000 bass and that $500 was 50% of a $1000 bass. I say this as someone who has bought and sold several Carvins.:)

    Re Warmoth, I've had one of those too, and they make good stuff. However, they only have more custom options in some areas, not all. You can't get a neck-thru if you want one, only bolt-on to Fender specs. You can only get 20 or 21 frets, not 24. You can't get a longer scale length. Still, the large variety of neck, body, and fingerboard woods is very cool, as is the ability to have the body routed for any PU.
  18. I kind of agree, and I'm a Carvin fan. Carvin shouldn't be thought of as a workshop full of elves who'll do anything you want. That's not their thing. They're a factory with a (to my knowledge) unparalleled amount of options that can be ordered without paying multiple thousands of dollars. They're the only factory I know of that does what they do to the level and degree of success that they do.

    But I do think they invite a degree of misunderstanding by calling it a custom shop when it's not *exactly* that.

    But then again, will Fender's Custom Shop make you a set-neck guitar in a Les Paul shape? Somehow I don't think so. Maybe we have to accept the idea that any custom shop attached to a manufacturer with an established identity in the marketplace is going to have to work under some restrictions that a "free-standing" elf-run custom shop won't. Does that make a factory-attached custom shop *not* a custom shop, or just a different variety of custom shop? I dunno.
  19. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Yeah, that's true ... I guess it's a matter of interpretation. If you ask the Fender CS to beat the snot out of a body to give it a real "vintage "look, they'll do it for you, Carvin won't (to the best of my knowledge). But you're right, it's just a questions of semantics here .... Fender isn't going to drastically mod the look of any of their body styles, either.
  20. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I think of Carvin in terms of ordering a pizza. Choose your crust, and then choose which toppings ya want. ;)

    I ordered a fretless bass kit from them last week. Can't wait to get it, though I understand the buildup time is something like 5 weeks.