Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

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Bass Viking
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Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Bass Viking » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:29 am

I love Talkbass but sometimes I see stuff that just makes me shake my head. Someone started a thread asking advice about Carvin versus Fender, which one to buy. Let me start by saying I have no problem with people not liking the sound, looks, or playability of Carvin, or any other brand for that matter, we all have our subjective preferences. But some of the comments were just born out of ignorance. For example:

One poster said he doesn't consider Carvin to be professional grade instruments, even though he's never actually played one or looked at them seriously. I mentioned that Carvin has several signature instruments and I've seen John McVie and Frank Gambale playing Carvins in concert.

Another poster, in reply to somebody's rant about absent/arrogant customer service and average instruments, said this is true and there's a reason most are sold to people who have never touched one. I have an even better reason: How about, because they aren't sold in stores?!! I pointed out to the guy that lots of people have multiple Carvins. The guy also said

I always felt like Carvins success back in the day was based on two things....
1. Lack of any/large internet forums with detailed user reviews
2. People have a knack for wildly defending things they dont like when the alternative is saying out loud that they made a bad choice.


When I said that Carvin must be doing something right since they've been around for 70 years he replied

Ok but to be fair Amway was founded in the 50's but to say they must be doing something right is grossly off base. Kiesel was basically a merger/name change for Carvin since they were mostly viewed as shoddy mail order guitars.

Here's the link if anyone want to check it out: https://www.talkbass.com/threads/fender-vs-carvin-kiesel.1333928/

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brento73
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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby brento73 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:05 am

Some folks you just can't reach...

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Greg Emm
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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Greg Emm » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:29 am

Thanks for the tip, Bass Viking. Despite the strong opinions expressed in this thread, it's nice to note that the tone remains mostly civil throughout.

The claim that Carvin/Kiesel instrument sales only represent 1% of all electric guitars and basses sold is interesting. I mean as an assertion without citation of evidence it's interesting. I think it was the same poster who suggested that Carvin/Kiesels were some of the most often resold guitars and basses. So the least sold brand is also one of the most sold brands. And those are reasons enough to pass over Carvins/Kiesels.

Seriously, though, it's interesting to read the grounds for disliking Kiesel. Some people have had negative experiences with personnel, others prefer the sound and feel of more ubiquitous instruments. Maybe the buy-direct business model raises customer expectations in ways that the retail model doesn't. People seem to expect to deal with certain stereotypes and trade-in pricing when they deal with GC, for example, while knowing the names of the Kiesel guys, knowing that there's such a person as a Kiesel guy, and you can call him, ask for him by name, promotes another level of investment to customers. In that context, I suppose it's easier to understand why it would feel so personal when a customer doesn't get what he thought he paid for, or doesn't receive a timely email response.

Even so, this thread offers more of the same in the sense that people who don't like Kiesel instruments dislike them for a number of reasons that seem to have little to do with the instruments themselves. To each his own. I appreciate the variety Kiesel offers and, as a long time Carvin player, believe the Kiesel instruments continue to improve upon a history of quality instrument making.

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby spudmunkey » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:20 pm

The whole "professional grade" thing is a mystery to me. GMC proudly proclaims "We are professional grade"...but they are just a Chevy with a facelift, and perhaps some dealer/fleet pricing incentives.

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby UnexplodedCow » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:45 pm

spudmunkey wrote:The whole "professional grade" thing is a mystery to me. GMC proudly proclaims "We are professional grade"...but they are just a Chevy with a facelift, and perhaps some dealer/fleet pricing incentives.


Technically the inverse is true, as GMC is GM's actual product, with Chevrolet being the more upscale version.

Guitar debates are very much like car debates; nobody is ultimately the winner, and at least one person is going to be sore over someone's view.

Personally, I've played only a couple Carvin basses, and they both played waaaay better than any Fender I've had, and I have owned a American Standard P-bass for 20 years, bought new. A Carvin of the same year plays better. I also have a neck-thru Ibanez that plays similarly to the Carvins I've tried, but not quite as good. Some people are probably so accustomed to a F or G brand that they can't see anything else. I'd say probably 95% of players I've met are F&G lovers (guitarist or bassist). They're popular brands, and probably always will be, and that is fine.

People can enjoy their opinions, too, as it will help keep used prices low for those of us who like Carvin/Kiesel. It also shows how utterly, and hopelessly programmed we are to marketing, especially after several generations of the near-harassment level of marketing we endure. That's another diatribe for another time.
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

Guitar theorem: G=X+1 where G= guitars one needs, and X = guitars one has.

Do or do not; there is no understand.

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Bass Viking » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:50 pm

Greg Emm wrote:The claim that Carvin/Kiesel instrument sales only represent 1% of all electric guitars and basses sold is interesting. I mean as an assertion without citation of evidence it's interesting.


Yeah, I noticed that too. I`m often skeptical of people who quote statistics. And even if 1% is correct, what does that have to do with product quality? I doubt Fodera, Sadowsky, Alembic, and many other high end builders have large market shares.

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Bass Viking » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:56 pm

spudmunkey wrote:Some people are probably so accustomed to a F or G brand that they can't see anything else. I'd say probably 95% of players I've met are F&G lovers (guitarist or bassist). They're popular brands, and probably always will be, and that is fine.

People can enjoy their opinions, too, as it will help keep used prices low for those of us who like Carvin/Kiesel. It also shows how utterly, and hopelessly programmed we are to marketing, especially after several generations of the near-harassment level of marketing we endure. That's another diatribe for another time.


I hear you! Fortunately, we have lots of choice in basses where I live. As long as it`s a Fender. :)

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Bass Viking » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:08 pm

brento73 wrote:Some folks you just can't reach...


Yup, sometimes you just have to walk away!

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby skully13a » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:27 pm

It seems to me that usually the guy talking the most has the least to say. :ninja:
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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby spudmunkey » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:11 pm

skully13a wrote:It seems to me that usually the guy talking the most has the least to say. :ninja:


And also, says it the loudest.

And also, CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR "COOL"!!

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Abdababda » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:30 am

Although I have no experiences with Carvin/Kiesel basses, I do have experience with Carvin/Kiesel guitars (a Bolt, a CS6, and a GH3) and Carvin amplifiers (a Vintage 16).

All are nicely crafted and are first rate. PRS just came out with the John Mayer Silver Sky guitar. I’m sure it is a fine instrument but is it really better than my Bolt or GH3? I’m not certain.

I would recommend to anyone who has not tried a Carvin/Kiesel product to try them before forming an opinion or bashing them. Here is proof (to me at least) how good a Carvin product can sound. It’s my Vintage 16 that I used for guitar parts on this song…
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11166941

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Doctor Doug » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:57 am

I think we can all agree that Carvin/Kiesel are not professional level instruments. There is NO way players like Alan Holdsworth or Greg Howe could recognize a decent instrument.

I mean. come ON people! :lol:

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby UnexplodedCow » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:03 am

Doctor Doug wrote:I think we can all agree that Carvin/Kiesel are not professional level instruments. There is NO way players like Alan Holdsworth or Greg Howe could recognize a decent instrument.

I mean. come ON people! :lol:


Or that guy from Climb the Summit, or Jason Becker, or his friend in Cacophony and..what was it...Megadirge or something? Oh, we can't forget Mr. Jefferson Starship..he's a real trooper when it comes to backing Carvin/Kiesel.

I'm hoping someone picked up the pun buried in the above rambling.
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

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Do or do not; there is no understand.

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Greg Emm » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:57 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote: Oh, we can't forget Mr. Jefferson Starship..he's a real trooper when it comes to backing Carvin/Kiesel.

I'm hoping someone picked up the pun buried in the above rambling.


You sly devil. :laughhard: Good one.

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Koshchei » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:05 pm

A lot of poo-pooers also work for places like Guitar Centre. Funnily enough, when you bring one in, they all drool over it.

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby gumbynotpokey » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:53 pm

added my two cents to that thread.

:)
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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby Bass Viking » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:03 am

Koshchei wrote:A lot of poo-pooers also work for places like Guitar Centre. Funnily enough, when you bring one in, they all drool over it.


One of the guys slagging Carvin says he worked at Guitar Center and said "Tons of them had sky high action and truss rod that simply would not behave." I thought sky high action was normal for Guitar Center. :)

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby gumbynotpokey » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:57 am

Bass Viking wrote:
Koshchei wrote:A lot of poo-pooers also work for places like Guitar Centre. Funnily enough, when you bring one in, they all drool over it.


One of the guys slagging Carvin says he worked at Guitar Center and said "Tons of them had sky high action and truss rod that simply would not behave." I thought sky high action was normal for Guitar Center. :)


LOL!

And funny that a GC guy wouldn't know that action is with regard to setup, not the build. Too much good here. I'm rolling. :)
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Youngest: C750, GK1, CT624M Deep Black Cherry on flame, V3MC Celestion,
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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby brento73 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:06 am

So, I don't hate GC... I shop there sometimes, especially if I need something small like a cable or some picks, since they have a store about 10 minutes from my house. I've even bought a few guitars there(a couple of entry level guitars and a used bass), which all turned out pretty decent.

That said, recently the quality/condition of the instruments there is HORRIFYING. Nothing it set up, at all, and some have bits falling off of them. I realize that a retail space invites some level of abuse to the guitars, but it's insane how bad everything is. A friend of mine has been tempted to ask if he can just bring in a few simple tools(allen wrenches, little screw drivers, etc.) and fix some of them.

Also, I have had them drool over my HF2s every time I bring it in.

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Re: Carvin Bashing on Talkbass

Postby dr. love » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:02 am

No one who has tried mine disliked them...that’s all I have to add.


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