since search is off, im gonna ask about the carvin basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by slick519, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. slick519


    Aug 11, 2001
    Salem, Or
    a couple of days ago, my eyes were opened to carvin stuff (basses, amps, etc.) im particulaly interested in there basses. why are they soo cheap? adn why do they look so cool? (except for that stupid headstock, that sucks) are these basses any good? are there better buys for the price that soem of there lower p models cost?

    mucho thnkk,
  2. lazybassass


    Jan 23, 2002
    my friend has a carvin (forget what kind i'll tell ya wheni ask).but its beautiful.good solid crisp tone.i love it.
  3. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Some people love their Carvins. I wouldn't buy one based solely on how they sound in recordings I've heard - bland, faceless. Not my kind of sound.
  4. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    They're so cheap online because they are sold direct from the factory, no middle man to deal with.
  5. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    As an owner I would say great neck, nice balance, electronics could be better. But that is just MO.
  6. int


    Jan 21, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have an older LB70 that I love for some things. I also got a B4 a little over a year ago. They are both beautiful instruments in sound, quality, and looks. I'd stay away from the H50 humbuckers though, and go with the J99s. For some reason they worked on my LB70, but the B4 doesn't sound the same. It's not horrible sounding, just not my style. The new humbucking option looks pretty sweet, but I've read mixed reviews about it.

    I just ordered a fretless neck for my B4 that should go out today. After that I'm going to replace the pickups on it. The swap ash is really light but still has good tone, I can't wait to hear what will come out of it.

    An LB75P-series is $869 plus shipping. 50% off options and case right now. You can get a pretty sweet "custom" instrument for about a grand (depending on options, my dream Carvin is $1150).
  7. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    carvins basses are really well built, play beutifully, and i for one like the sound my LB75PF gets. it was my dream bass for about 3 years after playing a friends... saved up... shes still my baby. her name is jade. i relaly like the understated look she has. action is incredibly low (shes fretless, w/lines) and its built like a tank. people say that carvins are cheaper because the electronics are of poor quality. it is quite teh opposite. they are cheaper because of the factory direct scheme. the electronics are very well made, ive examined those inside my bass many times. theyre very well made and durable. people just dont like the sound. it defenity does not sound like bart or EMGs or SD's. but i like it. youre lookin at one VERY happy customer.


    heh. every chance i get:cool:
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I have owned two LB75s. Both were very well made and wonderful to look at. Carvin does excellent finish work. I also found the general construction of each to be better than average and the hardware to be very average.

    The electronics were certainly only so, so and the general acoustic tone of either of the two was nothing to write home about. Very Average.

    The one-piece neck that I had was unstable. VERY unstable. The five-piece lamenated one was fine.

    Both had a decent punch and usuable B string. (The five piece neck had a noticably better B)

    I would call Carvins stuff good but no great value. Their list prices are a joke. The factory direct prices are fairly close, as I think they compare reasonably well to other basses that have similar street prices.

    Every neck through Carvin I have played has a very smooth, round tone to it. They are by no means edgy. Great for a lot of styles, but I wouldn't include edgy rock among those. Perhaps other electronics and wood combinations than I have played would be better for rock.

    Lastly, if you custom order one, don't plan on selling anytime soon. You'll lose your shirt. I see tons of Carvins on ebay selling for about half of what they would cost to have built. Both of my Carvins would have been more than $1100 to have built and I paid $475 for one and $550 for the other.

  9. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    If you really want a good deal and want a Carvin get one used. You will pay a fraction of the new price. Make sure you have the option to return it if you don't like it. I picked up my LB 70 in like new condition for $400 + shipping.
  10. I have two Carvins. One is an older LB70 I bought used recently. The other is a brand new B5. I like both, but I need to learn to set up my basses better. The action just feels a bit high. Anyway, here are pics of my Carvins.

    Swamp Ash body and Birdseye Maple fingerboard.

    Poplar body?, Wilkinson bridge, Sperzel tuners, H50 pickups?
  11. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again??

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I received my BB75 this week and fell in love with it immediately!!! Everything about this bass is great! I have no complaints whatsoever..
  12. If you are looking at Carvin upgrades/options that will put you in the $1k+ territory, I seriously suggest you look at used basses.

    I've seen used Spectors, Zons, and Pedullas for a little over $1k that will eat a Carvin up in terms of sound. Carvins look great and are well built but they slack off on the pickups, IMO and that of luthiers and people in the pickup business.

    Yes, I owned an LB75 which for which I got a refund because it had a defect their repair shop couldn't nail down. I don't think it was representative of a typical Carvin because it was built so well otherwise. I guess it was a freak.

    But the string spacing was too narrow for good slap n' pop. Plus, the high profile, "clacky-sounding", fat, fretwire, and the pups just didn't measure up to what is available in the used $1k+ territory.

    If you must have a factory-new bass, Carvins are very hard to beat. They're good but don't be surprised if you're looking for replacement pickups like many Carvin owners.
  13. Changing the stock pickups (as well as the preamp) alone won't make the Carvin bass sound like the Spectors, Zons or the Pedullas of the world. However, it will narrow the gap as far as tone quality goes.
    If you're going to buy a Carvin, I'd suggest you buy one with an additional wood top such as quilted maple for example because these wood tops are denser than the standard poplar body and will add more depth to the tone besides beauty.
    Then I would swap out the pickips for EMG, Bartolini (whatever suits you). Then I'd swap out the preamp for an EMG, Aguilar,etc.
    Even though the Carvin is a decent deal for the $$, remember, you still get what you pay for in the long run and the electronics are where Carvin basses really cut their corners.
  14. Yeah, I didn't say the change would not did I mean to infer it would, in case that's how anyone read it. Hell, if that's all it took, those other makes would be in a world of trouble!

    Thanks for clarifying, Mr. Dead.
  15. Anytime Rick!

    BTW, did you ever get around to trying out the Spector???
  16. The standard wood is alder, not poplar.

    As for the eletronics, i find them to be very hi-fi and versatile, expecialy with the added piezo option.
    and you gotta love the finish quality. it's all rand made.
    only the basic body shape is machine done
  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Uhhhh...dude, that's six things.
  18. They used to use poplar wood. Perhaps they use alder nowadays. Anyway, I went to the San Diego factory 3 years ago and they weren't handmade at all from what I saw. It was definitely 100% assembly line type construction. Perhaps that has changed as well but I doubt that or the cost fro these basses would be way up!
  19. Well ,
    I couldn't find the exact quote, but i clearly remember a mod at the carvin discussion board saying that most of the work is still pretty manual. Maybe not "Alembic" manual, but you get the point...:D
    Heck, they only put out 400 basses a month from what i am told.
    But the finish quality is top noch, in both the neck-thru and bolt-on lines.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    That's probably why the one Carvin bass I heard with the MM pickup sounded so good... it had a quilted Maple top. Thanks... mystery solved.
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