Review: Carvin PB5 Classic Bolt-Neck 5 String Bass

pb5-mainCarvin should be a household name. They make everything from Guitars, Basses, Guitar and Bass Amps, to Sound Systems, and they have just expanded their bass line to include the new PB4 and PB5 series basses. While these basses are new to their product design, Carvin is not new to producing guitars and basses with excellent workmanship and quality. There aren’t too many bass shops around anymore where you can get a custom made bass to your specs, right down to choice of woods for the body, neck and fretboard, to the headstock design and a multitude of pickup variations with a quick turn around time and definitely affordable.

The PB5 I received from Carvin is a P/J 5 string bass. The body is alder and the neck and fretboard are maple. From the onset, I noticed this bass really stood out from the instant playability and setup of the neck right down to the loud output of the P pickup. The bass arrived with the setup being perfect from the factory. The cutaway of the body allows access to all 22 frets across all strings with ease and weighing in at only 9 lbs the PB bass is as comfortable to play either standing or sitting. The bass is very well balanced and there is no presence of neck dive. The slight angle of the body on the top of the back of the bass makes playing more comfortable while resting your arm on the bass as well.

I already own a couple of the neck-through Carvin basses and the PB Bolt-On series basses perform just as well as them. I had to check to make sure the bass wasn’t equipped with active electronics, which it was not, but there are options for active electronics. The P pickup is Carvin’s new SCP split-coil Alnico V single-coil pickup and it provides a very crisp and punchy sound, very distinct that I don’t hear on many other basses and it really cuts through the mix. The J pickup located near the bridge is an Alnico Single Coil pickup and you also have the option of choosing a Humbucker pickup for the bridge. If you do go the P/J route, you have separate volume controls for each pickup and one overall tone control. If you were to choose just a P style bass, it will be equipped with one volume and one tone control.

Options, where to start. Like other Carvin Bass lines, you have options for choice of woods, colors, finishes, pickups, headstock design, right down to type of frets, strap lock, and string choices. Check out the new Carvin series PB4 and PB5 basses, you may not want just one!

Carvin Guitars

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