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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Carvin basses

Laro

Please don't laugh.... but am I crazy to consider buying a Carvin bass?
September 28, 2007 @02:12am
Audioholic

Carvin makes great stuff
September 28, 2007 @02:19am
66 Jazz

I have two freinds that own Carvins...high end too. It is like ordering a meal when you put one of their basses together. They are killer. For what its worth, my brother bought one of their kit guitars (6 string) so he could have an active wanger guitar. He has a high end Jet Guitar ( off the charts custom job by Jeff Earlwood) and two Les Pauls...he loves the Carvin and plays it all the time.
October 4, 2007 @02:58am
fenderjbassbabe

I own a Carvin custom-built bass. It has got to be the prettiest thing out there, purple quilted maple with matching purple headstock, huge abalone block inlays, etc etc. I own nine (9) basses, and this one is probably my #2 favorite right up there with my '75 Blonde Fender Jazz. The Carvin sounds like a million bucks paired up with my Mesa Big Block 750 w/4x10 Mesa Powerhouse cab. I can't say enough great things about the bass. However......(and very often there is a "however,") I have some pretty horrible things to say about their customer service department, so I won't go into detail.
In short, expect a fabulous bass for what they're asking in price, but don't expect too much of anything from customer service. We had nothing but repeated screw-ups with that part of the equation, and that's kind of a big bummer. I will never understand the inequity between product quality and below-quality customer service. I even wrote a detailed explanation of my beef to the higher-ups at the corporate level and they didn't even have the decency to provide a reply at all, much less an apology or explanation of why we were treated so shabbily.
That said, you will love your bass. I love mine. The rest remains to be seen.
The best of luck...FJBB in Southeastern CT
October 6, 2007 @03:09am
freddy

I'm interested in fenderjbassbabe's reply. Could you compare the Carvin Icon5 with the Tobias Basic5? I'm in a quandry whether to spend the extra thousand for Tobias, or is it really true that by cutting out the middleman, Carvin brings you extra quality that you don't have to pay for at the music store?
December 21, 2007 @05:26am
RotorOnTop

I've been buying/using Carvin since 1988, and have seen a great change in the company over the years, first off all their gear ain't made in the USA anymore, so you have to watch it when you buy something, if you want American made. And recently on other forums Carvin is getting bad rappped for being right up there with Behringer, cost effective=cheap, makes you wonder if the customer service reflects their quality control. With all that, I own Carvin gear that is over 15 years old and still functioning perfectly with no repairs, and on the other hand have bought gear (ie 2-10 bass amp combo) that amp smoked in 2 months, but then I had no problem with getting it fixed/replaced and only paid shipping, and sold it to buy Ampeg. I never owned one of their guitars, but an ol' friend of mine swears by them, and just bought a new one (6 string) this year, and retired his 20 year old one, so....opinions differ on Carvin
December 21, 2007 @12:13pm
michaelhoddy

The PA gear is mostly junk, but the guitars/basses I've seen are decently good quality. I used to have a Carvin 6-string bass, and it was built well and sounded good.
I too have heard stories about poor customer support. Happily, the higher-end instruments are built well enough that hopefully you'll never have to use it much.
The big downside to Carvin is resale value, and name recognition, if that sort of thing is important to you. You won't get much of anything on a trade, and maybe 50 percent of value on resale at best. Any other ~$1000 bass by a better-known or better-respected maker will fetch a lot better than that.
December 21, 2007 @02:31pm
Tarktones

I'm interested in fenderjbassbabe's reply.

I'm interested in fenderjbassbabe's number.
December 21, 2007 @05:25pm
zvsmedia

The flipside to the poor resale value is that used Carvin gear is a bargain. I've been buying from them since 1986 (several guitars, basses, amps, cabs, etc.), and I'm only just now considering selling one of my old guitars.
Incidentally, a few years ago I found a year-end leftover closeout on a 6-string (bass) in one of their retail stores. It instantly became my number one bass: amazing tone (std. neck pickup, chunky humbucker at bridge, piezo, and great active eq of course). I'll take that one to my grave. The only problem with it (which is endemic to most 6 strings) is that when slapping and popping the close string spacing makes it a bit like walking on a tightrope. You can do it well, but I'd rather use my wider-spaced 5 string for that.
June 11, 2008 @12:40am
cdanddvdpublisher

Crazy for thinkin' about it? Absolutely not. Many have great sound and it's possible to get fantastic deals on them. If you like it, go for it.
June 17, 2008 @03:09am
lpdeluxe

I have owned many pieces of Carvin gear over the years (currently have a headphone amp and a stereo power amp in my rack) and in 2000 I ordered an LB20 bass to use for recording.
It was beautiful -- solid mahogany in natural finish with a matching peghead. Looked like a California hot rod. Sounded good, but sounded better after I swapped the pickups for DiMarzio Model Js (warning: the Carvin J99s are both the same size,while the bridge DM is longer than the neck pickup, and it required a small amount of judicious filing to get it to fit the Carvin cavity).
I got into a situation where I was playing bass full time in a gigging band, and I discovered that the ergonomics, which were fine when I played it sitting down, did not suit me at all when standing. When my right arm felt comfortable, my left hand was too far out there, and when my left hand was comfortable, my right hand was in the wrong place.
Otherwise it was a perfectly fine bass, but in the end it went out the door in favor of Fender Precisions (fretted and fretless) which, for all their old-school appearance, fit me much better.
July 19, 2008 @04:23pm
bottomender

I have a total of 6 basses, '08 Fender p-bass, '64 Custom Shop Fender Jazz Relic, '69 Gibson EB-3, '71 Gibson EB-3L, '97 Carvin LB-70 and a '03 Carvin AC-40F, so I love all brands.
All the basses have very different and distinct sounds.
I ordered my Carvin LB-70 after testing them out at their Hollywood store. I ordered it with Koa sides (thru neck) an ebony fretboard with no markings, black hardware and it is gorgeous. I experimented with pick-ups (humbucker at the bridge), strings (Rotosound SM66) and amps (Ampeg SVT-4Pro with a Tech21 RPM Pre-Amp) and now I absolutely love the sound I'm getting. But the two best characteristics of this bass are, 1. this bass has the fastest, most comfortable neck I've ever played and, 2. it only cost about $750. Incredible value!!!
I also have the AC-40F (fretless). This is a semi-hollow body with a piezo electric pickup. The best 'Mwaaa' sound outside of an upright. Same phenominal neck.
I will never sell any of my basses. I love them all and they all soumd different. But the Carvins are the best value and they are the fastest and most comfortable of all.
P.S. - In the 12 years of dealing with Carvin, I have never had better service from ANY company that I've ever dealt with so I can't understand some of the other people's experiences.
August 14, 2009 @03:53am
lrvv

i Carvin is very great!
September 4, 2009 @02:41pm