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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WarwickFan, Sep 14, 2005.
Anyone here ever built one? How did it turn out?
Best to ask that on the Carvin forum, I have read about plenty of people there that built them......most with good results.
Carvin Bass Forum
I built one, a Bolt 4 with the J99 pickups about a year ago. It's a great bass and well worth the money even though I paid a premium living in Canada. The main work is putting on a finish. I did multiple coats of varnish over a stain and hand rubbed to a gloss, but if you opt for an oiled finish it's a piece of cake.
Everything fit together perfectly and the neck joint is tight as a drum. Set up was simple and once i put on a set of Thomastics it played like a dream. Sounds every bit as good as a Fender Jazz but the neck is much better, quality is better all round and the bass is light and balances perfectly.
I ordered the alder body and asked for the lightest one they could find. Mine weighs about 7 lbs total. It's my favourite bass for playing a long night with 4 sets. The neck is really wonderful.
I don't think you can go wrong with one of these.
I built one earlier this year. The hardest part for me was waiting for the coats of finish to dry. The one I put together is pretty plain-jane with a clear satin poly finish (alder body, maple neck, fretless ebony board, passive electronics), but it plays and sounds great (my only deviation from stock is that I installed some Bartolini J pickups that I had lying around instead of the supplied Carvin ones.) And the neck's been very stable, I haven't had to adjust the truss rod at all yet. The parts all fit together perfectly (including the neck/body pocket which was solidly and reassuringly snug.)
It's a great deal if you want a light-duty J-bass DIY project to play with.
Yes, the neck stability. I forgot to mention that. Wonderful. Once adjusted for the Thomastics I haven't had to touch it. And the fret work is perfect. No high or low spots, no buzzes or rattles. I paln on ordering another one and routing it out for a P pickup in the neck position and covering the routs with a small pickguard. Unfortunately Carvin doesn't offer that option. Carvin sure shipped mine fast-I had it delivered within a week of placing the order.
I didn't save much money building from the kit but for me the fun was in doing it myself and winding up with a bass every bit as good as what I'd find in a music store.