Peter Andersen's BB75
Carvin BBS ID: Bass Viking

Check this one out!  One of the nicest BB75s on the site, this one has the right combination of woods to give it a great look.  Peter says:

"Here are some photos of a nice Carvin BB75. The body is swamp ash with a quilted maple top, done in clear gloss. The neck is 5 piece maple with walnut stringers, finished with tung oil. Fretboard is birdseye maple. The pickups are H50Ns. The bass is light, with good balance, and has one of the best necks I've played. The wider string spacing is just right for me. The axe was shipped in a nice vintage style case.

I already had put together a 5 string Carvin kit bass, but I was very curious about the quality of a Carvin-built instrument. I put pondered alot of different options and finally settled on the ones you see here. I took the ten day trial and decided that the sound wasn't exactly what I was looking for, so I returned it for a no hassle refund.

However, I now know that Carvin has excellent build quality and I may some day order another Bunny Brunel model with different wood/pickup combinations. I wanted to share this great looking bass with your viewers."

 


Lawrence Gambale's BB75F

Lawrence e-mailed me, trying to ascertain the year of this very minty BB75F (it's a '95 model).  Here's what he had to say about this beauty:

"I have a Carvin Fretless bass that I picked up for a good price here in Australia. A friend of mine is the importer here in Australia for Carvin, as they do not have any of their own shops here down under. Surprisingly, he is a little "lost" for details on this bass, as it was one that his father saw at the factory and said "ship me that one with all the others" after a Summer NAMM show a few years ago. 

The bass had been sitting on his display floor for a few years, so I managed to pick it up at about 65% off the asking price! Bargain. It plays beautifully and sounds superb - better than any other fretless I've played. It happens to be the first fretless bass I've owned, (and first Carvin) and I think I was very lucky to pick up this piece. Apparently there are not many here in Oz, as the Carvin name is not well know.

It is a Bunny Brunel model, 5 string fretless with fret markers. These markers are not just lines, but are like frets with the crowns cut off. It has Sperzel machine heads, with a drop tuner on the B string (low end rumble galore!). The neck feels/looks like ebony and has offset pearl dot markers. It features two j bass pups (not sure of the model) and a Wilkinson bridge. The preamp is active with vol/balance/treble/bass controls. It has a nice flame maple wood in what I assume is Vintage Yellow."


Tim's BB75
Carvin BBS ID:
Bass 'n 'Yo Face

I'm not sure where to begin on this one.  I got an e-mail from the owner asking some questions about his V440 (pictures coming soon), and we got to talking (via email) about his BB75.  So, I bugged him to send me photos, which he did.  There are some unusual things about this one, and as usual, my pals at Carvin have filled in the gaps.

First of all, here's what Tim has to say:  "BB75 with maple body and neck, clear gloss quilted maple top and gloss finish on back of neck.  Active electronics w/ J99 (probably) pickups, Sperzel locking tuning machines, Wilkinson bridge.  No fret markers (side dots only).  Installed GHS Bass Boomers long scale mediums in gauge .045, .065, .085, .105, .130.

That's it!  I need to have it setup, since I never did after installing the GHS's.  There's a couple real small nicks on the headstock (natch!  I probably put them there!!) and the top finish has a couple flaws on the upper horn and a couple small cracks in the finish around the input jack.  Purchased in Santa Clara, CA. at the Starving Musician about 5 yrs. ago for the princely sum of $900 + tax."

It turns out this is most likely a 1993 model BB - the first real year of production.  Evidently, the first and second year models had features that disappeared on later year BB's.  Most obviously, there is no "Bunny Brunel" siggy on the headstock.  This was the standard in '93 and '94, but the truss rod cover was engraved signifying the model.

Next, you'll notice that the input jack is on the front of the bass, versus on the side like all other Carvin basses.  The first two years of the BB series had a thinner body that their other basses - so thin that it wasn't practical to put the input jack on the side.  In '95, a mid-range control was added, so the jack had to move to the side, and a slightly thicker body was introduced to accommodate this. Finally, the lower cutaway is more sculpted than on later BB's, allowing better access to the higher frets.  This is another feature that came and went.


Andrew Douglas' BB75P

I love this one!  For one thing, you don't see too many BB75's, and I think the antique brown stain on flamed maple is just outstanding.  Andrew says:

"I immediately took off the roundwounds it came with (no point in chewing up the fingerboard) and installed a set of Tomastik-Infeld jazz flats on it, tweaking the truss rod in the process (those T-Is are pretty thin). Played with it for the first time last night. I'm going to have to give the truss rod another touch and maybe lower the saddles a bit, but it's pretty good.

Even though I've got small hands, the wide spacing of the BB neck is not a
problem. I really like it, actually.

Great tone, though the piezo by itself is very thin and weak. The big MM-type bridge pickup is KILLER. I wound up biasing the mix control towards the MM pickup, adding a bit of piezo and giving the EQ a bit of a scoop (boosting lows and highs and cutting mids). I've got a new cabinet on the way (Avatar B212) which should alter how I EQ things.

I also have a late-90s LB75, which has the 3-band EQ but no pull-up defeat switch. On that bass I bias the control towards the neck pickup, which is a clear indication of how great that MM-style pickup is when it comes to delivering real grunt.

The P-series controls have different placement than those on my other bass, (on the older bass the tone controls are bass-treble-mid, and the pickup blend control works in opposite direction from the P series), which means I have to pay attention to what I'm doing. No big deal... I tend to find a tone and leave it there anyway."


Brad Smith's BB75

This is a great example of a BB75, with the new (and very nice) umber stain with sunsetburst edges finish.  It also has a killer quilted top, with chrome hardware, ebony fingerboard with no inlays, and a 5-piece neck.  Brad says: 

"I purchased this beautiful BB75 almost a year ago from the Covina, CA Carvin store. I had seen this bass in the catalogs for years and never bothered to check it out. I have had a pair of Tobias "Killer B" bolt-ons since 1991 - one fretted and the other fretless. I was convinced the Toby's were the best until I played the new MTD basses, but who has $3,000 or $4,000 for one of those? I then purchased a Lakland Skyline 5 string - sold it within a few months - not happnin'. Then there was the Fender Deluxe 5 string - no good. Owned a couple G&L's too - necks are too narrow at the heel.  I've been checking out everything at NAMM shows for years too. Nothing. I don't know what got me to go check out the BB75. I had been looking at it in the catalog and digging all the options and the cool figured maple tops with all the nice color options. I think it's the upper horn that I didn't like at first, but it's actually just a little longer than the Tobias. Anyway, when I strapped one on, it sat just right and it's pretty lightweight too. It feels right. It feels like a high-end bass that would cost a few grand, but I think I paid around $1,100. The string spacing is right on. 3" at the heel is good. My Tobias is 2-7/8, which is a little tight. The Ken Smith 5's are too wide. Anyway, moving on to the sound - incredible. The MM and the J style is a good combo. I like the fact that I could order the bass without the dots on the face - I think it's a high-end look. The umber stain/sunset burst on quuilted maple is amazing.  The matching headstock is cool. The only thing I don't like is the arrangement of the 3-band eq controls. I'd rather have bass, middle, treble - from the bridge moving toward the neck. Here's the deal: I haven't even been playing my Tobias much since I got the BB75.  I bring both to gigs, but the Carvin sounds and plays better. And I thought Tobias was the sh#@. I'm even thinking about picking up another BB75 in a different finish and maybe another fretless one too - after I unload some other gear on ebay and get some bread together! Just thought I'd share this info."


Theo's BB75L
Carvin Museum Forums ID: Paradiddle
WWW: http://www.myspace.com/theo_strib

Here's a nice 1994 model BB75 was was a recent eBay score.  Although it's features are reasonably straightforward, you just don't see too many of these in a left-handed configuration.  The body is koa with a satin finish, and it has a matching koa headstock overlay on a 5-piece maple/walnut neck.  Other features include chrome hardware and abalone dot inlays.

Theo also has a nice left-handed LB75 see it right here.

 


 


Adrian's BB75P

This is a stunning 2006 model BB75P, with an incredible flamed koa top and headstock.  The body is also koa, and it has a 5-piece maple/koa neck.  Other features include a birdseye maple fingerboard with no inlays, stainless steel frets, and gold hardware.  This one also has the new 18V electronics, with stacked controls.  Nice!

 

In-Stock BB75

This bass was originally made for Bunny Brunel, but for whatever reason, he decided not to take it, so it wound up in Carvin's In Stock section and on eBay.  It's a 2005 model, and most obviously, has a custom blue swirl paint job.  Other features include chrome hardware, dual HB2 pickups, and block inlays.