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Carvin bass kits?


Flash Bazbo

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Has anyone built or played (or both) one of the Carvin bass kits? Is it a worthy bass once it's together? Is it something a normal person can assemble in their spare time? Worth the money or not?

 

I can see winter starting to sink in and I'm looking for something to do with my hands when I'm not practicing.

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i've seen those kits, and they do all the hard stuff for ya. i would assume that with a minimum of effort you will earn yourself a helluva bass. from all accounts, carvin is a nice instrument. i think their components are a tad overpriced, but if the kit is cheaper than the assembled instrument, go for it. plus, if they'll send you one with a blank headstock, you can shape it yourself and tell everyone you made it from scratch (i won't tell ;) )
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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I bet if I were to read the catalog or website description I'd find that they are made of exactly the same high-quality components that Bolt Basses are made of and require only simple assembly and minimum finish work. Indeed, one may bolt the doohicky to the frazzlefrier after adding the widget assembly - and then maybe apply a little tung oil and you are good to go.

 

I've heard the Bolt Basses are very nice - essentially Bolt-on versions with the same wood and component quality of which I am so enamored in the LB series instruments, and I often plan to get one myself as a backup ; }

 

I'd imagine they look as good as you paint - or your friend who does Harley gas-tanks. The sky is indeed the limit!

.
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Flash,

 

The guy I work with at the music store bought himself one for a pet project. His turned out really well, it's got a great neck and decent all around tone (heavily modified and Dremeled). I will honestly say it's the only Carvin bass that I've played and liked the feel of. So I'd give it the ol' :thu:

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I've heard sound clips and I've felt Carvin's bass bolt on necks. They feel great and the sound clips sounded really good too. Check out the B4 samples in Carvin's Jamroom page. They (from all accounts I've heard) are very easy to assemble and play, feel and sound great. Plus, if you get the active preamp, they're versatile as you could ask for. Add in the HB2 option for a bridge Music Man style humbucker and it's even MORE versatile. Finishing them can be a pain depending on what you do. Tung oil is easy but if you decide to stain or paint and then put on a laquer finish, it's a bit time consuming. But anyway, yes, good basses, well worth the cash.
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Flash,

 

I have built one, and I'm working on my second (fretted and fret-free). Greenboy has pretty much got it right, but you want to put on the tung oil BEFORE you bolt the doohicky to the frazzlefrier-- much less messy that way. Actually, I did a tung oil finish on the first one, and it came out pretty nice. I'm doing the second with stained wood and nitrocellulose lacquer, and it is a lot more work. I just hope it comes out looking as good as the first one!

 

But they do turn out to be really nice instruments. I've gotten a lot of compliments on it.

 

If you look at the Carvin web site, and look at the "Manuals" link, the instruction sheet is there. And the Bass Discussion Board has lots of posts on the subject, as well.

 

Bruiser

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Well, it's always been a desire of mine as well. I know there are also kits available at Stewart MacDonald, and they are some cheaper.

 

I would suspect, as in all projects, it's really a lot harder than you expect it to be.

 

Theres a review on BGRA about one guy who did it...with options his was $530...not really cheap enough to make it worthwhile (and only had a one piece neck, which I don't really like)

 

Here's the link: http://www.bgra.net/reviews/carvin-b4-bass-bolt-on-neck-kit-1-rvw.html

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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dbb,

 

It's cheap enough to be worthwhile if you like doing this kind of easy project. And you save money. The guy seems a little clueless, so though he likes the bass I wouldn't take his word on much else. Cake analogies? Wow, I'm feeling a little nauseous just thinking about sticky sweet stuff where a bass belongs ; }

 

Ferinstance, one would have to do more soldering for a passive setup than you do for Carvin's preamp. It also is obvious he got his color-coded pickup wiring reversed on one of the pickups (which is tough to do given they have the circuit board connections silkscreened for those colors), as he says the blended position is real weak.

 

The neck thing? God knows where he got that. In corresponding with Sheldon Dingwall I definitely got the impression he feels multi-lam necks are no better than a good one-piece for four or five strings. And as I began to question it myself I read what other luthiers had to say. It seems to be a question that cannot be answered with total authority one way or another. Maybe I'll get the Quija board out and talk to Leo...

 

I suspect that multi-lams are good marketing if nothing else ; }  I think Sheldon said they can be big problems down the road if the woods don't have similar expansion/contraction characteristics. He also said that improperly cured wood was a problem - for either type of neck, but often a good one-piece would settle down after a brief period of moisture stabilizing.

 

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    rememebered it all because it made sense

.
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I have had this urge lately as well. I know a guy who has had really good luck just buying parts on eBay or Bass Classifieds and putting together really cool basses that play great and sound sweet, too. You don't necessarily have to use a kit. I've thought about going at it that way.

 

My problem is I don't know what kind of bass to build. I have a Fender Jazz (with nice modifications) and a Yamaha BBN5A that cover basically all my gigs. I'm not sure what to build as I don't really need another bass.

 

Any suggestions?????

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not that i'd turn away the business... but i never ynderstod why people buy body BLANKS. it is a BLOCK OF WOOD. go to the lumberyard if you want a blank. shit, if you really want to get creative, i'm sure there are trees in oyur back yard. cut down one that isn't coniferous and go nuts.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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Originally posted by greenboy:

dbb,

 

The guy seems a little clueless, so though he likes the bass I wouldn't take his word on much else.

 

Ferinstance, one would have to do more soldering for a passive setup than you do for Carvin's preamp. It also is obvious he got his color-coded pickup wiring reversed on one of the pickups (which is tough to do given they have the circuit board connections silkscreened for those colors), as he says the blended position is real weak.

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    

Greenboy, I'm wondering if this is the same guy who was asking kit-related questions on the Carvin bass board a few months ago-- all the symptoms sound the same. It sounded like he was swapping wires at random, and settled on that combination.

 

The odd thing is, you can't following the silkscreened markings on the circuit boards because they are wrong. The printed instructions are correct. That question comes up from time to time.

 

Bruiser

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There are a couple of completed Carvin bass kits on the Carvin Bass Museum - one (the "Rebel Bass") has a very detailed construction description by the builder.

 

And any of you that have completed kits (or other Carvin basses), by all means, send photos my way. I'll be glad to post 'em, as well as links to your sites, and so on...

Some guys only need 4 strings to get their point across.

 

http://www.thunderkiss65.com/carvinbassmuseum/images/carvinlinkbanner2.jpg

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Follow up: I followed my urge and ordered a Carvin kit, but it's a Bolt instead of a bass. (Too many basses around the house and church. I can almost, maybe justify putting together a guitar since I sold my Les Paul and don't yet have a replacement.) The Bolt kit looks easy enough, so this should be good training -- especially on finishing and set-up. The rest looks pretty easy.

 

Besides, if/when I put together a bass, I'm tempted by Bastid's suggestion of doing something truly creative with a blank piece of wood. My only fear there is getting the neck right. (Maybe a neck-thru is the answer.)

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Originally posted by davebrownbass:

Well, it's always been a desire of mine as well. I know there are also kits available at Stewart MacDonald, and they are some cheaper.

 

I would suspect, as in all projects, it's really a lot harder than you expect it to be.

 

Theres a review on BGRA about one guy who did it...with options his was $530...not really cheap enough to make it worthwhile (and only had a one piece neck, which I don't really like)

 

Here's the link: http://www.bgra.net/reviews/carvin-b4-bass-bolt-on-neck-kit-1-rvw.html

This was ordered before the half price options promotion, which was a long time ago since this promotion has been going on for a couple of years... if you ordered the same kit with the same options, it wouldn't be that much, plus I believe the string feed is now standard. The same instrument today would be as follows:

 

BK4A$399.99

ASH $30.00

G $20.00

HB2 $30.00

------------

S&H $7.99

------------

$487.98 Total

 

This is a low price for a mid grade instrument. I've never played a bolt bass, myself, but I really like the neck-thru instruments. I've heard several people who don't like Carvin instruments, and several people who do... it's really a matter of preference and you can always take advantage of their money back guarantee if you don't like it. They're really good about that.

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Originally posted by FlashBazbo:

Besides, if/when I put together a bass, I'm tempted by Bastid's suggestion of doing something truly creative with a blank piece of wood. My only fear there is getting the neck right. (Maybe a neck-thru is the answer.)

neck through is always the answer.

 

some advise. find a local woodshop that'll let you come in for a nd let you play with the bandsaws for a few minutes. most likely they'll want a few bucks, but even in nyc i only pay $50 per day pro-rated.

 

here is the order in which things are done. trust me on this as i learned the hard way that while it is possible to work in a different order, it ain't easy. first mill your blank to the right size and make sure all surfaces and sides are flat and dead square. next mark off all your layout- headstock, the nut seat, truss rod channel, secondary support channels (if used),and basic profile. then rout your truss rod channels BEFORE you do any cutting. then you bring the sucker over to the bandsaw. mae your headstock cuts first and then the three angled cuts that will basically shape the neck. then pay the nice carpenters and take your parts home.

 

at this point you've cleaned off the kitchen table and you're going to need a few things. a bastard cut rasp, a spokeshave, some long clamps, some manner of vise, and patience. you can substitute patience for sledgehammer and some old hollow-core doors you salvaged from a construction site. then glue your bass together and start shaping your neck. make sure that absolutely EVERYTHING than can be done to the neck without the fingerboard actually on it is done before you install the truss rod (again, trust me on this). once you've gotten this far you will have learned everything else you need to know from building your guitar grasshopper.

Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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And if you want a neck-thru fast, Carvin sells neck-thru necks. You can shape the body wings however you want. Talk to Bastid E about what happens from there (I never made on e myself).

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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