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Any Curbow owners?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by berklee46, Feb 22, 2002.


  1. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    MA
    I'm thinking of ordering a Curbow M-Series 4-string. I'd appreciate any comments those of you who own, or have played, a real Curbow could pass along. Sound/feel/stability of the rockwood, etc.

    Thanks for any info!
     
  2. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    They sound nice.

    neptoon here owns a Curbow 6'er(I think it's a 6).
     
  3. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    yep, it's a 6'er. man, how do i begin? there's so much i could say. it sounds great; you can dial up nearly any tone from hi-fi to pretty round and fat. it's very articulate and strong. great fundamental, and awesome sustain. heck, even the control cavity is eye candy. the elex on the m-series is a little different, but you still get the barts, which are curbow voiced, so they compliment the actual tone of the bass really well. and as far as stability goes, rockwood is phenolic impregnated birch-they used to make airplane struts out of this stuff. then just for good measure, i have dual trussrods and graphite reinforcement. and it's pretty dense, too. my curbow is heavier than a six string thumb bass. i used to own a four string thumb neck through but i fell in love with my curbow. it was built in '95 and i got it used, so...also, bassmonkeee has a _few_ curbows...one four string fretless that was built in like '88. and it is sweet! he also has a fiver and an acoustic fretless...and another on the way. dave siff is having a custom curbow jazz bass made as well. jason (bassmonkeee) even does work for greg, so he can tell you a lot more than i can. i have nothing but good things to say about them. in my opinion, you can't go wrong. i haven't played any m-series basses, though. i hope i helped. if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. ;)


    [​IMG]
     
  4. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    oh yeah, a little bit more stuff about the neck. it has a neck profile not unlike that of an ibanez, except maybe a little flatter...and it's wide-20mm string spacing at the bridge. perfect for me, but a little wide for most. i was surprised at how easily i was able to adjust to it. and the fingerboard has a really swirly figure to it...it's hard to capture in a picture, but it's really cool. bassmonkeee's fretless acoustic looks like fish scales, i think. rockwood is really cool stuff. i think you'll enjoy a usa curbow. i just can't stop talking about this thing :D that's the way your bass should be, though...hee hee
     
  5. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    i sure do love my curbow.....ok, i'm being ridiculous... :rolleyes:


    :D
     
  6. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    It's ok, I love your Curbow too. :)
     
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Yeah, I can never say enough good things about Curbow and his basses. I currently have two Curbows (I was just borrowing the 5 string fretless Acoustic for the bass gettogether)--a 4 string fretless from 1989 (one piece mahogany body with a brazilian rosewood neck and fretboard), and a 5 string Int'l Petite 5 string from 1995 (purpleheart back, lacewood top, rockwood neck/fretboard), and I love both of them to death.

    I also have two more on the way--my Peavey Palaedium is currently having an 8 string fretless neck made for it, and having the neck heel recut, and the body refinished. I also have a 6 string fretless in the works with him.

    I've probably played about 30-35 Curbows over the years, and they are all great. I've only played a couple of the M series, though. Most people seem to be getting the XT-33, the Int'l Petite, or complete custom.

    As for the neck profile, you can get anything you want. So, don't think you have to get wide and flat. That is his standard profile, but they are all custom made by hand, so what you want is what you get.

    The rockwood has a very organic feel, but is smoother than pretty much any wooden neck I have played. I know you have the Ripley being worked on currently, and I think once you get that back, you will be a convert.

    All the properties of graphite, but the feel, and look of wood. I know I've said all of this before, and I sound like a corporate shill, but I'm really not. It's just nice when you find the "perfect" bass for yourself. I have a bunch of photos of Curbows that I had hosted at photopoint, and I haven't gotten around to finding a new website for them, yet. I'll see if I can find some pics of the M style, and email them to you if you want.

    If you are really interested in getting one made by him, send me a PM, and I'll give you my phone number, and I'll answer any questions that I can. I have to send Curbow a couple of bridges in the next week, and I will probably drive up to his shop in the next week, or two, too.

    Hopefully, he'll have pics of the double neck he just finished.
     
  8. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I have admit that I've yet to find anything that growls like that Rockwood! His custom basses are very underrated. I like his Retros myself.
     
  9. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Yeah, I didn't even think about the growl. The rockwood makes a great fretboard for a fretless. Just ask Roscoe and Zon--they both got the idea to use Rockwood for fretboards after Curbow had been using it for years. Granted, they call it Phenowood, and Dymondwood, but it is the exact same stuff.
     
  10. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I've been thinking about getting a Curbow a little later on, but the price. :eek:

    Oh, and this too, is it just me or is the neck on the International Exotic Petite much longer than normal?
     
  11. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Nope, the body is just smaller. It's still 34" scale.

    And, yeah, Curbows aren't cheap. But, you get what you pay for.

    One other thing popped into my head, too, about the weight. If Curbows have one down side, it is that they can be heavy for their size. Rockwood is not light, not by a long shot. The basses balance just fine, though.

    Neptoon mention his bass was heavy which is not surprising. Solid Rockwood. Curbow also adds one pound of brass (the tone block) sandwiched between the bridge and body top. It helps with balance, and it really makes them sustain like crazy. I think it probably has the same effect that the 2TEK bridges have.

    Okay, I've run on long enough. You guys are probably sick of me yammering about Curbows. I'm definitely willing to answer any questions that I can. Curbow can be tough to get a hold of on the phone, or by email, recently, but I talk to him fairly regularly if you have any questions, I can probably get you a response quickly.

    Neptoon-- I forgot to ask him about your preamp, but I'll call him on Monday.
     
  12. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    i was wondering about that...;) thanks, jason
     
  13. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    MA
    Thanks for all the info, I appreciate it.
    I'm curious about the Bartolini's though - I've had several basses with Barts and really hated the tone. They were a little too polite, and I'm looking for a more agressive tone. Maybe the EMG's would cure that, I'm not sure.

    Also, has anyone had any trouble with a weak D and G string? I've heard a couple comments about that as well.

    I think if I go for an M-Series, it will be with the dual pickup configuration, or I'll just look into the Petite series basses.
     
  14. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1515450367

    I can't wait for it to show up.

    If you are having him make something for you, you can use whatever pickups you want. He has recently started talking to Lindy Fralin about pickups.

    I had my Bart preamp switched out with the EMG 18V preamp in April, and I love the sounds I get from it. From what I've seen, Curbow got a bad batch of pres from Bartolini in 1995 because I've heard of a couple of Curbows with preamp issues, and they are all Bartolini preamps, and they were all made around the same time. In fact, Neptoon's Curbow suffers from this very problem, too, from what info he's given me.

    As for a weak D and G string, I can tell you that I play a lot of solos, and I've never had any problems with a weak D or G string. That could possibly be an issue with the wood choices on those basses.

    I've seen quite a few Curbow 5s on www.gbase.com for a steal recently.
     
  15. neptoon

    neptoon

    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    you know, i had heard the same rumor about thin sounding upper strings due to the placement of the pickups...i've found this not to be true. and if you're planning on getting an m-series, i wouldn't even worry about it. the pickup on that bass sits even. also, the emg would probably yield a more aggressive tone, or maybe even a seymour duncan setup. i'm looking to upgrade my preamp to an 18v system. i haven't decided between the emg or the sd...or if i want to change the pups as well.
     
  16. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    MA
    Jason, you've got mail.
     
  17. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    You, too.
     
  18. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Plus, you can get any pickup config you want. It doesn't have to be the one you see at the website.