Overall, I don't have many complaints besides the control locations and the lack of richness in the sound. It would make a solid axe for anyone looking for a boutique-style bass at a production price. I looked up the features in my Carvin catalog and found this bass could sell new for approximately $989.00. I suppose the asking price was reasonable at $650.00.
Where Obtained: Center Stage Music; Tyler, TX
This, course is Carvin's passive, neck-through, four-string bass. The body was swamp ash with a AAAA flame maple top. The neck was five-piece maple/walnut with a birds eye maple fretboard (no dots). The abscence of fret markers gave it a very clean look on the fretboard. The finish was clear and the woodgrain was unique because the flame pattern was disrupted between the pickups by a washed out looking area in the grain.
This gave the bass character.
The controls were simple; one volume, one blend, and one tone control. My only complaint about the controls were that they seemed rather low on the body.
It had two HS 50 stacked humbuckers which appear as songle coils and all the hardware was gold.
The finish was flawless and superglossy and the neck was tung oiled.
In addition, it has a Hipshot lever on the e-string for instant drop-D tuning.
This bass was remarkably light compared to the Alembic that was in the store that day. It was comfortable in my lap as I tried it out through a small Ampeg rig. The action was already where I liked it so it almost played itself. The neck was comfortable and felt natural to me. It was well balanced and ideally suited for sit-down playing.
Overall, it was flawless and I could tell that the previous owner had taken good care of it.
Not a bad sound at all. It was a little thin sounding, but still had a good, bassy quality. It would make a good bass for just about any style I've played. The best sound I could coax out of it was with both pick-ups blended equally. In this mode, it produced good slap tones and decent fingerstyle sounds.
Like I said before; I think the light weight would be ideal for playing long sets. It seemed like a very comfortable bass.
I needed (okay, wanted) a fretless for my collection. I was looking at Warwicks (love the sound, too pricey) Fenders (ok sound, but didn't like the fret lines) and Stingrays (felt funny, and didnt like fret lines). So I was about to call Carvin and custom order a bass, when I saw basically the exact same thing I wanted on eBay for a third of the price with a few hours to go. No regrets at all- I've had it for a week and I love it! It's an awesome value, sounds like a dream, feels right, looks great... it is the
bass for me! This will NEVER be lost or stolen, but if I ever get enough money I do plan on buying a new one, custom built to my specs. The only way I could improve on this bass is if they rounded the sides a bit more, but thats just my personal preference. If you are thinking of an LB20, go for it- you won't regret it. Carvin is a great company and you will get your money's worth. And if you don't like it, just send it back within 10 days and get a full refund!
Model Year: 1990
Where Obtained: eBay
I'm just going to go through the list here...
Made in USA. Maple neck-through-body with poplar body wings. It also has a grade a flamed maple cap, which is a $200 upgrade. Fretless, unlined ebony neck. One vol, one tone, one three way p/u toggle. 2 stacked Carvin humbuckers. Passive elecs. Sapphire blue finish for $40 i think. Smaller body size. 22:1 Carvin tuners.
Very playable. The neck needs a little adjustment, which must be made with a weird allen wrench. Other than that, it's beautiful, largely in part to the diamond precision cutting that carvin does on their ebony fretboards.
I play through a Carvin compressor, a Gallien Krueger 800 RB and Avatar 1x15 and 2x10. It needs a little volume boost, but it sounds absolutely beautiful. Its the closest to an upright that I've ever heard, lots of growl. I love it! Elecs are very quiet when it comes to hum, but like I said, they are also not very loud. Not a prob for me though, I've got enough wattage to go around!
In the one gig I used it, it held up fine. The bass is 14 years old, so it can stand up to climate changes pretty well. The whole thing seems really well built. You can't go wrong with a Carvin, they build some very solid gear.
I picked this bass because of what I got for the price (U.S. made, great tone, name recognition). If this bass were stolen, I would probably get another carvin. In fact, I would like to get a five-string or active model anyways. Whenever I use this bass, I get complimented for both sound and look. A great buy.
Model Year: 1991
Price: $900.00 CDN
Where Obtained: Mother's Music (Winnipeg, MB)
This bass has the standard Carvin LB-20 features from the 91 model year. Sealed Carvin tuners, neck-thru construction, passive j-style pick-ups, and Wilkinson bridge. The fretboard is ebony, with standard dot inlays. All hardware is chrome.
I had some neck problem's with this bass just after I bought it. However, I doubt this is a problem with most Carvins. Things have been fixed nicely, and the bass is quite nice to play. The neck could be a bit faster, as my hand tends to stick a bit. It is moderately light, and really feels like a quality instrument when you pick it up. You can play all night on this one.
This bass sounds great, especially with some sort of pick-up boost as it is a bit on the quiet side. I mostly play it through an early 90's Peavey Basic 60, and it sounds pretty tight. Great bass rock, jazz, blues, and country, but I would recommend something beefier for punk, metal, etc. The pick-ups may be a bit quiet, but they are noisless. I love this bass...it's a great sounding alternative to my U.S. Washburn XB900.
The bass itself is built like a brick $hithouse. Only problem is with the Wilkinson bridge, which tends to move a bit. It's been really solid lately, with only moderate adjusting, so take that as you will. I adjust my truss rod about once every 1-2 months, so the neck is pretty solid. The tuners stay in tune forever, and overall the hardware is the cat's meow. Living in Winnipeg, I experience my fair share of climate change, and so far so good!
This bass is the 5th Carvin I purchased. I manted a simple bass that was'nt loaded with options. It's also my first "left-handed" 4-string. I got my first Carvin in 95, an LB-76 6 string, which was my main axe untill I got my 4 string.
Price: $850.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Carvin
Made in the U.S.A 5 piece neck thru swamp-ash body 24 frets 4 string 2 volume 1 tone 2 single coils blue-burst string thru boby
Action could be better getting a little fret buzz
I use a Hartke 1155 combo 350 watt head 1 15 1 5 and 2 10 in speaker's
I play about 4 shows a month, and this bass handles it with no problem.
Overall, I am sure there are better basses out in exsistence, but if I were to lose her I would want another one just like her. Ofcourse, there are some bad things but love is about seeing the best in somthing (one). I am lucky to have her and all bassists should feel the same about theirs.
Price: $0.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Factory direct, Baby!
No Afganny dope here, this lady was made right here in the good ol' USA. 4 strings with 24 frets keeps a man (woman) climbing all night. Neck through body, a D-tuner and best of all she's passive like me.
I am afraid of heights, so naturally the action needs to be set accordingly. Besides if your going down, better to start off low. She played smooth as silk right out of the box and sounds magnificant to this day. All frets are reachable, and so comfortable a person could strap it on and go for hours.
Combine with Hartke amps, the sound is sound is so crisp you can almost eat it like a cracker. Replace Hartke with Carvin and it's unbeatable. Not alot of electronics so not alot of twisting, but this lady is well suited for many a' style. Quiet night at the Jazz lounge, or live and loud rock n' roll, she is ready for anything.
The LB20 is a very loving gal. You don't have to worry about whether she likes the club or not, she is there to perform. Not very moody so no guess work involved, and she is durable enough to put up with me. Sometimes I can be a real jerk.