What about Carvin basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FLEADOMBOUND, Nov 16, 2001.



    Nov 16, 2001
    Whittier, Ca
    YOu guys forget about Carvin equip.? I hear a lot about other kind of basses, nothing about Carvins though....I've played on them a bunch and I'm about to drop 2k on a full Carvin setup
  2. schmidtt


    Jan 9, 2001
    I have a Carvin LB76 and I love it. I've never played a better sounding or better playing bass. I have one small complaint. I think I would like tighter strings. However, now they make basses with a longer scale. If I wasn't still paying for my current bass I would buy one of longer scale basses tomorrow morning.

    As far as the amps, I don't have much experience there. I played through them at the showroom in San Diego, but I was so focused on the basses, I didn't get to experiment much. I recall the 4X10 with the 600W head sounded good. But the best sounding amp I've played through is a Hartke 4X10 cab with a Hartke 3500 head.
  3. Andy Webb

    Andy Webb

    Nov 16, 2001
    Rhode Island
    I, too, have a Carvin 5-string which I built from the available kit. There's nothing bad I can say about the playability or tone. Like all 5-strings, having a 35" scale does take some of the flabbiness out of the B-string, but my 34" scale still renders a fine low tone. I also have the 600-watt Carvin amp which I use to push a Hartke 4x10 cab plus a Peavy cab with a single 15" EV speaker. I've found that Carvin quality is right up there. Perhaps Pedulla, Warwick, etc. have the "Mercedes" prestige, but if you're not hung up on prestige or aren't subject to having your ears persuaded by brand rather than reality, I don't know how anyone can go wrong with Carvin stuff. And you may save quite a bit of cash.
  4. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    "What about Carvin basses"

    What about Carvin basses?!?! :D ;)

    Honestly, though, I've heard a lot of good things about Carvin basses. I think BP recently rated one, and gave it pretty good ratings. :)
  5. CEGroove


    Aug 7, 2001
    San Diego
    I love my Carvin (Bunny Brunel signature bass). After hours upon hours of comparisons, I'd liken it to an American Fender Jazz with active electronics.
  6. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i tpp have spent about 2k on a carvin setup. mine is a 2001 LB75PF with walnut body sides and a maple/walnut 5 piece neck through. shes my baby, and i have yet to play a bass that i like more. As for the rig i have an RC210 combo. i love the amp, dont really dig the speakers that much. I added an 18" woofer cab, it helped, but i think i may switch to a 412. either way i think carvin is great stuff, and easily beats anything it its price range. I paid just over $1000 for my bass new, and i have yet to find one of a similar price that has a lower action, more comfortable neck, or is built better. ive heard people dont like the pickups, personally they are fine for me. body wood could have somethign to do with it though. although everyone says the resale value on carvin stuff sucks (i agree) i dont care, because I never intend on selling any of it. id say go for it on the bass, and the amp, but for speakers, i would check your options out. best wishes!
  7. I've got the BB75! It's a great bass. What do you think of the asymetrical neck? I'm surprised it hasn't shown up on a lot more basses.
  8. CEGroove


    Aug 7, 2001
    San Diego
    Well, since mine is a 4 stringer, I don't have the benefit of the asymmetrical neck, although I ran into a BB75 player who was thinking of switching to a fender out of dissatisfaction with the asymmetry. Like most innovative concepts people either love them or hate them. I'm thinking of going for the low B this year. If I do I'm thinking of adding a BB75 - would you recommend it?

    As to the BB70, I'm very glad I have it. The extended horn (the part that holds the top of the strap) makes the angle of play much more like an upright, and the neck is like melted butter to my fingertips. Therefore I enjoy practicing and jamming for prolonged sessions without fatigue. (It's always fun to outlast the guitarist).
  9. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Popular subjects on TB go in waves... a while ago (this spring, I think?) there was in my eyes not a day without a new theead on Carvin gear. I guess people have said what they wanted to already...? ;) You really have to be here more than a couple of weeks to say "I hear (...) nothing about Carvins". Where's your patience? ;)

    I think I am one of the few here who never willingly would spend $1000 on a Carvin bass, the way they sound. But it's just my taste for tone - IMO Carvin basses are faceless and dull tone-wise: no energy, no grunt, no sparkle, no nothing. Again, just my opinion.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    That's something they borrowed from Mike Tobias. He's been doing that since the late 70's.
  11. Satisfied Carvin BB-75 user here!:)
  12. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I've got an all-mahogany BB75. I like the neck profile. It's wider than many 5's, but I like it. It's also thicker front-to-back. Not as beefy as a Warwick, but substantial nonetheless.
    The body style is great, it is extremely ergonomic. Very comfortable to play!
    I think the Carvin basses are pretty good quality-
    I'm trying to decide whether I'm going to sell my LB76 or not. Definitely keeping my passive fretless and BB75(I'm pretty sure). Tough decision.

    They're nice instruments, but I've tasted better lately, and I do believe you get what you pay for.
    P'ups & electronics are a strong link in the tone chain, & I think that's actually the weak link in the Carvins. They're decent, especially if you haven't tasted some of the high-end options out there, but when you have, they fall a little flat. I'd say they're definitely 'above average' construction and quality-wise. You can find better, and you can pay more too. Just my humble opinion, no offense to the proselytes...

    Used Carvins are worth looking into...
    they're all over ebay.
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    TalkBass "Reviews" has some input, (including mine).

    Long story short;

    Basses - Get a new pickup or two and you have a first-rate bass
    Amps - R heads = fabulous deal; speaker cabs = don't measure up to the R heads; performance deteriorates with lows; ohmages of some cabs don't let heads use max power
    Service - Iffy. Some people have miracle stories, some have horror stories. They're building a new LB75 for me at the moment to replace the defective one they couldn't fix. The defective one was 9 months old; replacement is no charge; wouldn't give refund, which is what I wanted.
  14. I have a full Carvin setup and really like it.

    LB-75 bass
    R600 Head
  15. Do the Gibson Tobias basses have an asymetrical neck? Or was that something that Mike Tobias did exclusively in the 70's? My old teacher had a great Tobias fiver but it had a straight forward neck (although it had 2 truss rods!) Either way, I like it. It's subtle but it seems to fit my hand well, making long stretches easier on the muscles. I'm sure some people won't like the feel of it. Everybody's hand is different.
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The asymmetrical neck can seem pretty subtle. Gibson bought Mike's design but I don't know if they utilized it one all of their Tobias basses. My 78 and 84 Tobiases are both asymmetrical.

    I know the Korean Toby Pro 6 from MusicYo is not asymmetrical, at least the one I tried wasn't.
  17. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    just out of curiosity, i know most people dont like the carvin electronics, but they recently came out the the "P series" option. it adds piezos, and an 18 v preamp. does anyone have any opinions on the 18 v carvin preamp? i love mine, just wanted to know any specefic opinions on the "P" option. thanks guys!
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The big knock on the "P" at the Carvin board is that it makes noisy, harsh, "clacks." However, this isn't something peculiar to Carvin's system evidently. Stewmac even sells a preamp system designed to get at the "quacks" (as they call them) of piezo systems.
  19. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    thanks rickbass, oddly enough i havent had too much problem with that clacking noise. its there, but its not so bad. i think the clacking is coming from the string hitting the frets as a note is fingered. mines fretless, so its less noticable. still there, but not so bad. anyone know how this stewmac preamp works?
  20. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Clanks and clacks are inherent to all inexpensive piezo systems, and are compounded by a combination of frets, low action and poor technique. Even the more expensive systems can sound clicky unless you clean up your technique.

    Carvin basses? Outstanding build quality, good wood options that are good values at Carvin's pricing and nice necks. The only problem I have with their basses is the electronics. If they would offer the option of Bartolinis, Basslines and/or EMGs, I would be very interested.

    Amp heads and power amps? Some of the best bang for the buck on the market. Also applies to their PA gear.

    Bass cabinets? OK for the price, but there are better sounding in the same price range, and for a little more you can get cabs that blow them away.

    All IMHO, of course. YMMV, AFAIK, IIRC, etc.;)

    Aluminumcatfish, at the price you paid for your Carvin, I'll bet that you are very happy with it.:)