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View Full Version : Carvin Pickup comparison chart


dspellman
07-04-2010, 11:23 AM
The Conventional Internet Forum Wisdom regarding Carvin pickups, even among those who've never touched a Carvin guitar or heard one in person, is usually that the pickups are "sterile" or "without personality." Those of us who own the guitars are often going, "Say Whaaaa?" Given the extremely wide range of pickups, guitars and woods available for Carvin guitars, it seems a bit difficult to imagine that kind of blanket being thrown over every pickup that Carvin makes. Seems you'd expect it would be difficult to typify even one of the pickups given the vast number of very different kinds of guitars in which it could appear. But that's the Internet for you.

Carvin has a newish pickup comparison chart up that lists the specs and characteristics of the 20 or so guitar pickups and the 15 bass pickups that Carvin makes. http://www.carvinguitars.com/pickups/

Carvin's been winding pickups for around 60 years now. Chances are good that they know something about it. Their problem is that their prices are reasonable and they don't have a resident Garage Guru to tell you that he's wound that $3.50 worth of wire and magnets *just for your guitar* while he giggles all the way to the bank.

[SNARKCYNICISM MODE=OFF]

w00dsy
07-05-2010, 02:01 AM
i don't have an issue with their sound, it's all the poles that make it look odd to my eyes.

HoboMan
07-05-2010, 02:35 AM
I've owned several Carvins in the past and never felt the need to change any of their PUs.

torquil
07-05-2010, 02:58 AM
I'm happy with the pickups in my two old Carvin bass guitars. They are single-coil sized stacked humbuckers (i.e. with a noise-cancelling secondary winding).

Btw, links to the www.carvinguitars.com (http://www.carvinguitars.com) never seem to work for me. When I click on them, I'm forwarded to www.carvinworld.com (http://www.carvinworld.com), asked to choose my country, and then end up at www.carvinworld.com/home.php (http://www.carvinworld.com/home.php)

When I try the link again (after setting the "country cookie"), I'm still redirected to that other page, so I had to hunt down that pickup comparison diagram myself. Perhaps it is like this for all non-USA users?

Here is an alternative link that works for me:
http://www.carvinworld.com/customshop/comparepickups.php

My bass pickups are the H50N, but unfortunately they are not on the figure.

Their problem is that their prices are reasonable and they don't have a resident Garage Guru to tell you that he's wound that $3.50 worth of wire and magnets *just for your guitar* while he giggles all the way to the bank.

LOL

dspellman
07-05-2010, 10:17 AM
i don't have an issue with their sound, it's all the poles that make it look odd to my eyes.

They've traditionally had 22-pole (rather than 12) pickups. The idea advanced back when was similar to that of blade pickups (which they also make); there's no dropoff when you bend strings. It also allows more fine-toothed adjustment of string volume. I honestly have no clue if it makes any difference, but it's definitely visually distinctive.

It might be worth discussing in some other thread what looks "odd" to current guitar players. There's a lot of things that (in particular) younger players have grown up with and become used to seeing, and which is then a basis of comparison for everything else, for better or worse. For example, a Les Paul body shape seems odd to people as soon as some detail of it is modified slightly (the stubby horn of an Agile, for example, or the "dent" of a PRS SC), even if it's an improvement of the old design.

dspellman
07-05-2010, 10:22 AM
I'm happy with the pickups in my two old Carvin bass guitars. They are single-coil sized stacked humbuckers (i.e. with a noise-cancelling secondary winding).

Btw, links to the www.carvinguitars.com (http://www.carvinguitars.com) never seem to work for me. When I click on them, I'm forwarded to www.carvinworld.com (http://www.carvinworld.com), asked to choose my country, and then end up at www.carvinworld.com/home.php (http://www.carvinworld.com/home.php)
My bass pickups are the H50N, but unfortunately they are not on the figure.

There are some older, no-longer-available pickups that don't show up on this figure, but you can get *some* information on them by digging into the Carvin Museum (www.carvinmuseum.com). Out-of-Towners get automagically shifted over to the carvinworld site. Not sure what the rationale is on that these days, but at one time there was going to be a euro distributor, I guess.