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Carl Thompson playing one of his fretless basses...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bench, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. bench


    Dec 28, 2007

    around the 3:30 mark the man himself plays a fretless which looks like 38 inch or something... ...fantastic tone and great playing
  2. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    So cool; thanks

  3. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
  4. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    That was great...thanks for posting
  5. Thank You !
  6. bench


    Dec 28, 2007
    looks like a kent armstrong soapbar... ...does anybody have any info about the specs, especially scale length??
  7. Carl does favor Kent Armstrong soap bars in the passive basses he builds, and I remember reading an interview in which he said "any scale length less than 36" is useless" or something to that effect. He said that the extra scale length may diminish ease of playability, but its well worth the trade up in sound quality and fuller fundamental. I own a 5 string built by his protégé, Pete Hilton, with the passive circuit and 36" scale. Its the most "musical" of all the musical instruments I've ever played. Pete is in this video at the 5:15 mark.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Very cool vid! Thanks!
  9. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    Yeah this was cool to see, thanks for posting this, probably wouldn't have came across it.
  10. michele


    Apr 2, 2004
    That's Carl personal bass.
    Neck is 38" scale. If I remember correctly, the body is some old Fender which he did some carving and put a Kent Armstrong pickup in.
  11. Here is a pic from about 5 or so years ago. He lent me his car so I could drive from his shop to my hotel, so rather than leave the bass in the trunk, I brought it up to play on it for a while.

    It's a 38" fretless scale. Top is poplar, and has a kent armstrong soapbar pickup. There is a rout for what used to be a lightwave pickup. I think the body wood and neck were mahogany, but I could be mistaken. For such a long scale, it was surprising comfortable to play. It has some serious play wear - Carl is a monster musician. I think he told me a couple of years ago, he was planning on building a replacement...I just don't know if this has happened yet.

  12. I love this video! Carl is a very talented musician... I had the pleasure of whatching his band play when I went down to pick my bass up from him.

    He showed me the neck for his new bass and I believe there's a video where he shows it as well on dave oconnor's YouTube channel. Its got a flamed maple neck, but thats all I can remember... He's had it sitting in his shop for probably 6+ years but hasn't had time to finish his own bass.

    38" scale is correct, and the nut sits in the same place as a 34" fender when seated, as a result of the neck angle and balance. Its weight I would estimate is between 6 and 7 pounds. Really genius instruments!
  13. bench


    Dec 28, 2007

    Thx a lot. The string tension must be pretty high at 38"...

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