Price paid: $ 1100
Purchased from: www.carvin.com
Features: I own a 1998 Carvin LB75F, the fretless version of Carvin's 5-string bass. It has a 24-fret(less) ebony fingerboard, an alder body, and 5 piece maple/walnut neck. Mine has a translucent "greenburst" topic beautiful enough to bring tears to my eyes. It features Active/Passive (you can Switch between these modes) electronics with controls for Volume, Pick-up Blend, Bass, Mid, and Treble.
The number of options available when ordering from Carvin is too huge for me to list out all of the details here. Suffice it to say that since you custom order it, it will be exactly what you're looking for. All Carvin guitars ship with a hard case. // 10
Sound: Being the fretless version, the LB75F has a fairly distinctive sound which may not suit some styles (like metal). But it has a really sweet, singing resonance which is great for rock, blues, jazz, or folk (and everything in between). The pick-up blend knob offers and awesome array of different sounds.
Noise is my only real complaint with this bass. The included single-coils have a definite hum (I've replaced them with humbuckers since purchasing the instrument). The active electronics make this worse; in particular the treble knob adds some noise. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: Came awesomely setup from the factory. I had no complaints at all. This is a BEAUTIFUL instrument. The finish (including matching headstock) is perfect. The tung-oiled neck is both beautiful and smooth feeling.
The only real flaw is that ferrule for the low-B is a bit small and you really have to work to get a new string through the body. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I've had it for 12 years and have only needed a new output jack, so I'd say it stands up to abuse pretty well. The hardware seems very solid. I'm not crazy about the bridge saddles as they have some play side to side, but they are highly adjustable which is a big plus. I got the optional straplocks and have had no problems with them. The finish is fantstic and after 12 years looks almost like new. // 8
Overall Impression: I play mostly rock (but also some jazz) and would say this is a pretty good match for my style. If anything it's better for jazz, in particular because it's fretless and has that acoustic-like tone.
If it was lost or stolen, I would certainly buy it again, but with humbuckers and probably with frets (or better yet, one of each!). // 9