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Unread 01-09-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
I'm a girl. And a Bassist
 
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Does Anyone Have a Carvin Bass?

Does anyone have a Carvin? I am seriously considering custom making a bass through Carvin, and I would like to seek advice and opinions from anyone who has a Carvin. This will be my first time owning my own bass - I've been playing the one that belongs to my Church, and I want to be sure that my first bass is a really really good one.

Any helpful tips and honest things to consider before I make my big purchase is great! Thanks.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork
is it sad that im almost more excited for mountian dew than skillet?

youre getting apocolypsed cuz you have too many guns.
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Unread 01-09-2010, 10:56 PM   #2
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I don't have one, but I have played a couple. They were all alright, but not great. I would probably put my money into something else, but thats just me.
Why do you want Carvin specifically?
All the Carvin basses I have played were bought by friends second hand, so I don't really know much about Carvins "custom" stuff - do they have a bunch of options you choose from or are you ordering their parts?

I have made myself (well, I decided the parts and had it put together for me) one custom Warmoth bass, then my next bass I had custom built for me to my exact specs by a custom builder, so I have done a decent amount of research into all this junk, so if you have questions I'm glad to share what I know and direct you to links and stuff, but I need to know what you mean by 'custom'

Some questions for you to answer (not necessarily for Carvin basses, just good things to know before you buy):

What's your price range?
Is it flexible or fairly set?
Do you have an amp?
If not, is your price range including an amp or are you going to worry about that later?
What kind of music do you listen to?
What kind of tone are you after?
Do you like wider or skinnier necks?
Do you know the shape of neck you like?
Flat fretboards or fairly round?
Do you prefer a heavy or light bass?
Do you know anything about wood selection?
If so, whats your preference?

Answer as much of this as you can - if you don't know that's fine. I really had no idea when I bought my first bass, just found one I kinda liked and bought it, and that was fine. But if you want to build a custom bass you need to think over every detail, or else you will be disappointed.
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Unread 01-10-2010, 09:23 PM   #3
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My goal for a price range (including a decent amp) is $1500 maximum. I'm in college and living on my own, working part time in retail, so my price range is not flexible.

Right now I'm playing bass as a worship leader for the contemporary services at my church, we're playing a lot of New Life Worship stuff right now, but we are taking in new music all the time, and returning to some older stuff too now and then. So I'm playing a lot of worship music now, but I want to expand to music with a harder sound, not being tied down to just worship music all the time. I like variety. I'd like to be able to play anything from Newsboys to Chris Tomiln, and Hillsong to Project 86 (yeah, that one is a jump). I want to easily switch from different styles.

I really want an extended neck, keep the strings tighter. Oh, and I need a 5 string, once you go 5, you never want to go back to 4.

I like my frets rounded.

Lighter bass is preferable - I never get to sit down when I play, and sometimes we play for up to an hour.

I have my heart set on quilted maple stained red, just because I love the way it looks. As far as what different wood types do for the bass itself, I have no idea.

The reason Carvin was reccommended to me is because they will let you customize every single aspect of the bass at a price that won't totally kill you. But besides getting my dream bass as far as appearances go, I want to buy something that will sound good and be a long term faithful friend.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork
is it sad that im almost more excited for mountian dew than skillet?

youre getting apocolypsed cuz you have too many guns.
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Unread 01-11-2010, 11:23 AM   #4
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Carvin doesn't customize every aspect of their basses. No matter what, you're stuck with their lackluster electronics. Really, you only get to choose woods and finishes, and you get a choice between a couple of neck options and body shapes. They're not a true custom shop in the most technical sense of the term, they just give you a few options.

For $1500, you've got a LOT of options. I would say look for a G&L L2500 if you want a five string. They are absolutely KILLER basses, with amazing electronics that can get pretty much any tone you could ever ask for. If you are willing to forego the red stained maple, you can look for a used L2500, which will save you a boatload of money. G&Ls are great instruments, but they have pretty poor resale value because they don't have "Fender" on their headstock.

PS: I went back to four string after I played five for a long time, and it improved my playing immensely. I was using the B-string as a crutch. Playing a four string forced me to move up an octave on a lot of stuff, and made me play more interesting parts. Now I play a six-string for church and a CGCF-tuned four-string in my band. Even with the six-string, I almost never venture outside of the normal four-string range, but I do take advantage of a few of the extra fingering options.
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Unread 01-11-2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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I looked at the G&L's online, and now I have a question. What is the difference between the G&L L2500 and the G&L Tribute L2500? (Other than price, I keep seeing the Tributes for 800 bucks and the other one for over a thousand).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork
is it sad that im almost more excited for mountian dew than skillet?

youre getting apocolypsed cuz you have too many guns.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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The Tribute line is sort of like the Squier to G&L's Fender, but MUCH MUCH MUCH higher quality. The Tributes use the same pickups and electronics as the US G&Ls, and the same bridge and hardware design (although it is manufactured overseas) as the US models as well as very high quality woods. I would easily put the Tribute G&Ls at the same level of quality as US-made Fenders. The only real difference between Tribute and US G&Ls is where they are made. They're both awesome values.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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So you mentioned the finish you are looking for, but what *kind* of bass are you looking at, pickup wise? P-bass, jazz bass, MM, some funky humbuckers in there or something - what? This is probably the most important aspect.

If you aren't set on 'custom' or that finish, you have a very, very wide range of options. Depending on what you spend on an amp, you have a lot of money to play with there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JesusFreakGirl View Post
I really want an extended neck, keep the strings tighter.
I'd say if you're going 5 string this is more important then on a four. On a four you can kind of throw what ever you want on there, then just get higher tension strings if you want them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JesusFreakGirl View Post
Oh, and I need a 5 string, once you go 5, you never want to go back to 4.
I'm going to disagree with you - I actually started with a 5 string, and when I sold it I have since bought three 4 strings and never looked back. The only time I ever wanted one really when I got asked to write some basslines and join this hip-hop guy live. So I bought a Warmoth body to make a new 5 string, then the gig fell through and I sold it to buy a new four.
I'm not a church going guy - I don't actually know any of the bands you listed besides Newsboys, so maybe a 5 is more suited to your needs then a 4, I'm not sure. But before you buy maybe think about it. A lot of people think the more strings the better, but I really found my playing to improve after going to the 4. When I used to play in a church band we did lots of hymns and it was really useful there, so that may be good for you.
I don't want to come off saying you're wrong - just saying think about it. Most people I know think they need a five when they don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassman1185 View Post
Carvin doesn't customize every aspect of their basses. No matter what, you're stuck with their lackluster electronics.
mk, that's what I was thinking.
If you really want a custom bass, you are going to have to either go through Warmoth or a similar company (which I do recommend, by the way - you can get lots for cheap), find a local builder who is maybe lesser known or up and coming so you can get something cheap that's good, or spend a hell of a lot of money on a bigger companies custom shop stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassman1185 View Post
For $1500, you've got a LOT of options.
$1500 PLUS amp. So she needs to look into that before she can settle on a bass.
What are your amp needs? Do you have one at the church to use and you just need one to practice with"?
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Unread 01-12-2010, 12:03 PM   #8
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The body from warmoth for a PBass like that would be $500.

Neck you can expect around $300, and a couple hundred on electronics.

Thats the rout I would take...
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Unread 01-12-2010, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
The body from warmoth for a PBass like that would be $500.

Neck you can expect around $300, and a couple hundred on electronics.

Thats the rout I would take...
+ shipping + bridge (32-90$) + tuning machines (about 60$) + somebody to put it together and set it up (about 100$) + tax
Even with 100$ on electronics (which is doable), you're looking at $1100, without shipping or tax. That doesn't really leave lots for an amp.

I'm thinking if she wants something decent she may have to ditch the stained top.
(Again, unless amp isn't really an issue)
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Unread 01-12-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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or go with a custom builder...
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Unread 01-12-2010, 12:49 PM   #11
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Ahh, I missed the amp part.

If you're just playing at home and at church, you may not really need an amp just yet. I know at my church, I just run a DI signal and go through the mains. If you have that option, I would go that route. The MXR M-80 is a solid direct box (I had one, sold it, and then recently re-bought it) and can be had for less than $100 used. The Radial JDI is also really good, but does not have any tone-shaping options, and it costs about $200.

If you do need an amp to be factored into the equation, I would say go with a Tribute G&L L2500, an Avatar 2x12 or 4x10 cab, a Tech21 VT Bass preamp and an inexpensive PA-style power amp (there are a ton of options there). That will probably put you right around the $1500 new, and considerably less if you can find the stuff used.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 02:44 PM   #12
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Ok...

I want a Pbass (or similar) and yes, I really am set on the five string - there are a few songs that I actually rely on the B string to get the deeper rumble, plus I already set the habit of using it as a thumb rest when I'm using the A and D strings. I also still really want an extended neck if possible. I guess I can forget my dream finish - it really shouldn't be about the looks anyways, the sound, playability, and quality is what really matters.

The amp is actually becoming pretty important. At church I'm covered, but the one I have at home is starting to crap out on me, plus I want a decent quality one for when I go play gigs at the air force base and around town because I have to bring all my own equipment, and frankly I'm getting tired of using low quality stuff and borrowed equipment.

I've only been playing around six months, and I've learned fast and am growing into a really good bassist, but I'm still new to all the terminology and what is important as far as the instrument goes and the different types and options.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork
is it sad that im almost more excited for mountian dew than skillet?

youre getting apocolypsed cuz you have too many guns.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 03:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesusFreakGirl View Post
Ok...

I want a Pbass (or similar) and yes, I really am set on the five string - there are a few songs that I actually rely on the B string to get the deeper rumble, plus I already set the habit of using it as a thumb rest when I'm using the A and D strings. I also still really want an extended neck if possible. I guess I can forget my dream finish - it really shouldn't be about the looks anyways, the sound, playability, and quality is what really matters.

The amp is actually becoming pretty important. At church I'm covered, but the one I have at home is starting to crap out on me, plus I want a decent quality one for when I go play gigs at the air force base and around town because I have to bring all my own equipment, and frankly I'm getting tired of using low quality stuff and borrowed equipment.

I've only been playing around six months, and I've learned fast and am growing into a really good bassist, but I'm still new to all the terminology and what is important as far as the instrument goes and the different types and options.
Im going to say this...

Don't give up on the finish you want. I think you could get it.

There are a few options yet. One of them is to do the finish yourself on a warmoth Quilted maple topped body.

How big of a venue are you needing to fill with a personal bass amp?
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Unread 01-12-2010, 05:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post

How big of a venue are you needing to fill with a personal bass amp?

The size of room we normally play in is like the size of one of those large hotel conference rooms, but we put our amps through a sound system and we have a sound technitian there. There is usally a monitor that I plug ear buds into so I can listen to what I want to hear.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork
is it sad that im almost more excited for mountian dew than skillet?

youre getting apocolypsed cuz you have too many guns.
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Unread 01-12-2010, 05:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesusFreakGirl View Post
The size of room we normally play in is like the size of one of those large hotel conference rooms, but we put our amps through a sound system and we have a sound technitian there. There is usally a monitor that I plug ear buds into so I can listen to what I want to hear.
This being the case, do you really need an amp? It sounds like a quality DI solution (like Sansamp) still might work for you.
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