Carvin Pickups?

USA Custom Shop Acoustic and Electric Bass Guitars

Moderators: Mike Jones, Bundy, RockCrue, soundchick, ChrisH, peb

User avatar
88persuader
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 354
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Hudson NH, USA
Links/Contact:

Carvin Pickups?

Postby 88persuader » Mon May 24, 2010 10:42 pm

I've noticed a lot of people swap out Carvin stock pickups for other brands. I'm sure this has largely to do with personal taste however someone wrote in a review (I think on Harmony Central) that Carvin is know for having poor electronics and pickups. For those in the know, is this true or just opinion? Or WAS it true at one time? Considering I have an LB70F on order with SP2 pickups I hope it isn't still true! :roll: I realize anything beyond simply not functioning correctly comes down to taste and opinion but after reading that review and seeing several used Carvin's with non-Carvin pickups for sale I thought I'd ask the forum about it.

User avatar
NCdan
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 389
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Palmdale

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby NCdan » Tue May 25, 2010 2:43 am

This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

8)

Now that that's out of the way... Carvin pickups are built just as solidly as everything else they make. There are no construction issues. I think that people swap Carvin pickups out because they tend to not fit in one of a few categories of tone that people are familiar with and are looking for. If someone is looking for "that" tone, there is at least a fair chance that the stock Carvin pickups won't have "that" sound the person has in their head. All of Carvin's pickups sound bright to me. If D*marzios have neutered treble and D*uncans have more treble response, Carivn pickups are even more treble and high mid heavy than D*uncans. Again, this is just my opinion. Ymmv.

User avatar
88persuader
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 354
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Hudson NH, USA
Links/Contact:

Re: re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby 88persuader » Tue May 25, 2010 2:48 am

NCdan wrote:This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.

8)

Now that that's out of the way... Carvin pickups are built just as solidly as everything else they make. There are no construction issues. I think that people swap Carvin pickups out because they tend to not fit in one of a few categories of tone that people are familiar with and are looking for. If someone is looking for "that" tone, there is at least a fair chance that the stock Carvin pickups won't have "that" sound the person has in their head. All of Carvin's pickups sound bright to me. If D*marzios have neutered treble and D*uncans have more treble response, Carivn pickups are even more treble and high mid heavy than D*uncans. Again, this is just my opinion. Ymmv.


Thanks you your opinion! I expected it was a matter of taste more than anything else but after reading about "poor electronics" in the other sites review (still just one player's opinion, not a "professional" review) I thought it would be a good topic to get some OPINIONS added too. 8)

User avatar
BassistWantsGigs
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby BassistWantsGigs » Tue May 25, 2010 7:02 am

88persuader wrote:I've noticed a lot of people swap out Carvin stock pickups for other brands. I'm sure this has largely to do with personal taste however someone wrote in a review (I think on Harmony Central) that Carvin is know for having poor electronics and pickups. For those in the know, is this true or just opinion? Or WAS it true at one time? Considering I have an LB70F on order with SP2 pickups I hope it isn't still true! :roll: I realize anything beyond simply not functioning correctly comes down to taste and opinion but after reading that review and seeing several used Carvin's with non-Carvin pickups for sale I thought I'd ask the forum about it.


I have seen several used Carvins with swapped pickups as well. I also agree it's because they don't get "that sound" from the bass and want to try a different configuration. I have owned at least one Carvin bass since 2003 and haven't noticed any electronics issues, on the contrary they have done better than my Fenders. I also think a big part of it is that Carvin is a mail-order only company (unless you live in SoCal), so you don't get to test the sound at a shop before you bring it home. I think having direct recorded audio samples of each bass on their website would go a long way in convincing people to buy a Carvin.

sdbracht
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 91
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: southern minnesota

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby sdbracht » Tue May 25, 2010 7:35 am

As we know , beauty is in the ear of the beholder so comments regarding sound are always extreme on every side , but i think that someone just threw out a quick comment when they made that comment about Carvin pickups . I personally have never had pickups that were more satisfying to my ears or seemed as high of quality as the j99a's in anything else i've had including bass's such as alembic , f-bass , sadowsky , dingwall , lakland , tobias , G&L , fender or yamaha among other less expensive bass's . It always grieves me just a little when i see that someone has taken out great pickups for something that i think is a down grade .

bvdrummer
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 381
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Irvine, CA

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby bvdrummer » Tue May 25, 2010 8:47 am

+1 to NCdan. Carvin pickups have their own sound. If you know you want a Duncan tone (for example), then you won't be happy with Carvin pickups, or EMG, or Dimarzio, or anything else. If you want a Duncan, go with a Duncan. But Carvin pickups sound great too, they just have their own sound.

Pickups swaps go the other way too...may I refer you to THIS thread.

User avatar
vinxbass
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 124
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby vinxbass » Tue May 25, 2010 11:01 am

I recently swapped out the stock pups in my Icon IC5 with Carvin J99A's. The stock Icon pups were just a little too nasally sounding for my tastes. I'm very satisfied with the new pups. They sound rich and full. :D
Carvin LB75AP Anniversary 2007
Carvin Icon V 2009
Carvin BRX10.4 and 10.2
Carvin Bel Air w/2-12 Ext. cab
Carvin Nomad
Carvin Acoustic guitar
My problem isn't stopping, it's I can't stop starting!!
http://www.myspace.com/theatomickings
www.theatomickings.com

User avatar
mariosangermano
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 249
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Nashville, Tn.

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby mariosangermano » Tue May 25, 2010 11:08 am

Just my 2 cents, but most reviews out of harmony central are biased against Carvin in the first place, so I wouldn't trust their reviews all that much. Second, I've used Carvin Basses and stock Carvin pickups and elecrtonics since 1992 and IMHO they continue to get better and better all the time. They have been making pickups since 1946 as long and longer than most other companies and they do a great job. The Basses sound great!! I've compared against many other brands of pickups and I'm sorry but those who say Carvin aren't as good sounding as Bartolini or EMC or DiMarzio's etc... are dead wrong. But if you want to waste money on more expensive pickups then go for it. I think for a lot of people there is that mentality that say's, '' If it's not a Fender it sucks''. Anyway my SB'S fretted and fretless Basses have their sound, but also get a great Fender Jazz and Fender P Bass tone as good as a Fender. Check out the J99A's. The SP Soap bars are also great sounding pickups. Remember also that how you play, and how you EQ your Bass and rig make a huge difference. And I heard some great Basses sound like crap because someone doesn't have an ear to know what sounds good. Just my 2 cents. :mrgreen:

User avatar
BobThump
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 225
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby BobThump » Tue May 25, 2010 1:50 pm

Keep this in mind:

Happy people don't whine and complain, do they? Many forums, be it music or politics or automobiles, are chuck full of people who are dissatisfied for one reason or another and forums (or other free media soapboxes) are their outlet. Most folks beleive that their individual gripe, moan, or complaint are the same complaints shared by everyone; when the opposite is more often the case.

So, when I read negative postings on forums I tend to take the presented information with a grain of salt the size of a bowling ball to offset the unknown information about the posters attitude, emotional investment, and; most importantly, their personal degree of experience in the are (or product) they are writing about.

If someone bad-mouths a bass or an amp on HC or TalkBass, and leaves out their illustrious 8-months of playing experience; at what face-value is their opinion really worth?

...Just Sayin'

User avatar
88persuader
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 354
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Hudson NH, USA
Links/Contact:

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby 88persuader » Tue May 25, 2010 2:25 pm

All great common sense opinions! I should point out that there were far more positive reviews on line than negative. And since I believe the statement that happy people don't whine and complain all the positive comments speaks volumes. But the swap outs that I've seen on basses for sale and that review statement prompted me to start the thread. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't a physical quality issue history.

Again thanks for the feedback!
Frets? We don't need no stinking frets!! Well OK sometimes! :-)

User avatar
PhillyBass
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 49
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: West Philadelphia USA

Re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby PhillyBass » Tue May 25, 2010 2:40 pm

88persuader wrote:Considering I have an LB70F on order with SP2 pickups I hope it isn't still true! .


I almost sent a bass back because I thought the soapbars were boring and weak. This was fixed with bartolini pickups for $300.

However, some people really like the soapbars and think they have a sweet tone. They are also very quiet (no noise) which is a good thing.

I however detest them :p

We all have our opinions.

User avatar
88persuader
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 354
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Hudson NH, USA
Links/Contact:

Re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby 88persuader » Tue May 25, 2010 3:29 pm

PhillyBass wrote:
88persuader wrote:Considering I have an LB70F on order with SP2 pickups I hope it isn't still true! .


I almost sent a bass back because I thought the soapbars were boring and weak. This was fixed with bartolini pickups for $300.

However, some people really like the soapbars and think they have a sweet tone. They are also very quiet (no noise) which is a good thing.

I however detest them :p

We all have our opinions.


If I'm not thrilled with them I'll call Carvin to see if I can swap them out with other Carvin pickups. I wouldn't buy a new bass then spend money on "after market" pickups. I'm not that much of a fan of any particular pickup brand to change them out for a particular brand. I'll let Carvin make it right if it comes to that.
Frets? We don't need no stinking frets!! Well OK sometimes! :-)

User avatar
bfc
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: St. Louis, MO

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby bfc » Tue May 25, 2010 6:40 pm

I think I can agree with everything said. Mostly, it's an opinion thing. Personally (and my 2cents are just for what they're worth), I'm the kind of person that likes to go against the grain when it comes to bass playing. I know no one (besides the people on this forum) that play or have barely even heard of Carvin basses and guitars. I love to be somewhat off the path of the most common bass players. Plus, my B5 can get just about any bass tone I could want or need.

rclere
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: seattle, WA

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby rclere » Tue May 25, 2010 9:12 pm

as for my 2 cents... Carvin's electronics are stellar. Having owned many high end instruments, I have sold them and I am playing Carvins because they sound great... All this changing of p/ups, pre-amps etc, in my opinion is just a bunch of wacking..."We change pups because we can." No doubt all of us has a "sound" in our heads, however, it has more to do with the hands and how we attack and articulate the note than it does with changing out electronics.

User avatar
88persuader
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 354
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Hudson NH, USA
Links/Contact:

Re: re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby 88persuader » Tue May 25, 2010 10:02 pm

rclere wrote:as for my 2 cents... Carvin's electronics are stellar. Having owned many high end instruments, I have sold them and I am playing Carvins because they sound great... All this changing of p/ups, pre-amps etc, in my opinion is just a bunch of wacking..."We change pups because we can." No doubt all of us has a "sound" in our heads, however, it has more to do with the hands and how we attack and articulate the note than it does with changing out electronics.


I agree with you ... and respectfully disagree. There ARE tone differences with pickups and electronics. Single coil don't sound like humbucking, passive don't sound like active. My Spector with EMGs (PJ pickup set up) doesn't sound like a Fender P or J bass, granted for more reasons than just the pickups. They have tone and gain differences even when being played with the same same fingers, same articulation, same player. So I respectfully disagree there are NO important differences with pickups and electronics. THAT SAID ... I TOTALLY agree some people change pickups and electronics because "they can" and I ALSO agree YOUR sound comes largly from YOU! I sound like ME regardless what bass I'm playing. Geddy Lee always sounds like G.L., Mark King (Lever 42) always sounds like Mark King, Chris Squire always sounds like Chris Squire. So yes, I agree and believe the PLAYER is the most important factor in how an instrument sounds. (then pickups, electronics, wood type, amplification, speaker condifuration, effects, size of the room, sound man, the phase of the moon, etc. etc. etc. 8) )

In regard to Carvin's electronics being "stellar" ... having a LB70F currently being made that's one opinion I LOVE to hear!!! :D

User avatar
BassistWantsGigs
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2010
Location: Minneapolis

Re: re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby BassistWantsGigs » Wed May 26, 2010 6:11 am

88persuader wrote:
rclere wrote:as for my 2 cents... Carvin's electronics are stellar. Having owned many high end instruments, I have sold them and I am playing Carvins because they sound great... All this changing of p/ups, pre-amps etc, in my opinion is just a bunch of wacking..."We change pups because we can." No doubt all of us has a "sound" in our heads, however, it has more to do with the hands and how we attack and articulate the note than it does with changing out electronics.


I agree with you ... and respectfully disagree. There ARE tone differences with pickups and electronics. Single coil don't sound like humbucking, passive don't sound like active. My Spector with EMGs (PJ pickup set up) doesn't sound like a Fender P or J bass, granted for more reasons than just the pickups. They have tone and gain differences even when being played with the same same fingers, same articulation, same player. So I respectfully disagree there are NO important differences with pickups and electronics. THAT SAID ... I TOTALLY agree some people change pickups and electronics because "they can" and I ALSO agree YOUR sound comes largly from YOU! I sound like ME regardless what bass I'm playing. Geddy Lee always sounds like G.L., Mark King (Lever 42) always sounds like Mark King, Chris Squire always sounds like Chris Squire. So yes, I agree and believe the PLAYER is the most important factor in how an instrument sounds. (then pickups, electronics, wood type, amplification, speaker condifuration, effects, size of the room, sound man, the phase of the moon, etc. etc. etc. 8) )

In regard to Carvin's electronics being "stellar" ... having a LB70F currently being made that's one opinion I LOVE to hear!!! :D


+1 for both kinda. I agree that changing pickups can make a major difference in the sound of any bass, I found a good feeling squire Jazz bass that I swapped out new "vintage style" fender electronics and Lindy Franlin Vintage Jazz pickups. Now the bass sounds and plays like a $900 bass. That being said, 80% of your tone comes from your fingers. You can have the baddest bass, the baddest amp, and the baddest tone shaping controls, but if your fingerings/technique suck, well... You can only polish a turd so much.

User avatar
bfc
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby bfc » Wed May 26, 2010 6:25 pm

[/quote] You can only polish a turd so much.[/quote]

Nice. :lol:

User avatar
gumbynotpokey
Elite Carvinite
Elite Carvinite
Posts: 7076
Joined: May 2010
Location: Western NC

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby gumbynotpokey » Wed May 26, 2010 6:32 pm

I once heard the great phrase, "If your momma raised you on manure, you'd develop a taste for it." In short, many in the industry (musicians, sound engineers, etc) have developed an ear for this sound or that (Fender, etc). Then, they hear a superior yet different tone, and reject it. Too bad for them. The Carvins in the collection in this house sound FANTASTIC. 8)

Kyle
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1374
Joined: Mar 2008

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby Kyle » Wed May 26, 2010 7:45 pm

I would sell my DC before I switched out my Carvin HB pickups :D

User avatar
Catman10
Gold Carvinite
Gold Carvinite
Posts: 1359
Joined: May 2010
Location: Houston, TX.

re: Carvin Pickups?

Postby Catman10 » Thu May 27, 2010 12:31 pm

88, I can't give a comparison between the older Carvin pickups and the newer ones since I'm new to Carvin gear. What I can tell you is that the new Carvin pickups and preamp are some of the best that I have played to date, and I have owned and played quite a few different pickup types and makes in the 27+ years I've been playing.


Return to Kiesel Basses / Carvin Basses

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests