Carvin find, what should I do??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassman474, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Bassman474


    Sep 1, 2010
    So I can across this old Carvin 6 string bass, I believe it's the icon series? But unfortunately the truss rod nut
    is broken right off. I paid 40$ for it to save it from being thrown away, and now am wondering what the best course of action is. I know it's possible to replace a truss rod but on a neck through with no stripe it would have to involve removing the finger board. Anyone have experience with the cost of such a procedure? Or would I be better off selling it as is to someone handy or who wants the hardware/electronics. I will say the pickups and preamp are all intaxct and working, and it has locking spertzel tuners on it . Thoughts?

    Attached Files:

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  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Worth getting fixed, probably not cheap, no clue how much, but likely still way less than even buying a used working one.
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  3. + 1.

    If you have a good luthier AND you get lucky the fingerboard may not have to come completely off. But I doubt that anyone could tell you with a 1000% certainty which way it's going to go. I've owned a '78 Gibson LP Pro Deluxe which had a very similar problem and my luthier at the time - may he RIP - ended up fixing it without swapping the board.

    Good luck.
  4. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Not an Icon. Looks like an LB76.
    You will probably have to remove the fretboard to replace the truss rod. Doable but is more an experienced luthiers job,
    Dan Earlewine did a video showing his repair of a similar issue on a Gibson guitar:
  5. Bassman474


    Sep 1, 2010
    Thank for the input I'm taking it to a local luthier to get an estimate
  6. JeroB666


    Dec 22, 2012
    For 40 bucks the possibilities are endless on this project. Hopefully you get it ready to rock.

    You say the nut is broken but is the bass playable as it is (with strings of course...) or is the action intolerable?

    I have seen basses with busted rods that still played like butter, just sucks you can't adjust.
  7. Bassman474


    Sep 1, 2010
    The neck was already very bowed with only 5 nasty old strings on it


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Just wondering here,but what if you drilled and tapped the existing rod to take a piece of threaded rod? Maybe it could be JB welded in place, add a nut and washer and Bobs yer' uncle.
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  9. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
  10. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    You might contact Keisel / Carvin. You may be able to get a replacement neck.
  11. CTBassGuy

    CTBassGuy Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2018
    Danbury, CT
    +1 on contacting Keisel. It is a neck-through, however, so a replacement neck is not an option.

    That said, though, if your local luthier cannot address it, I’d bet Keisel can. Worth a call to them to discuss.

    IMHO, if shipping and the work is less than $500, it’s totally worth it. I bought, traded and sold to get an ‘88 LB90 in Koa wood for about $135 and I’m putting about $225 in it to refinish and bring up to snuff. I’m thrilled to have it at that price. YMMV of course...

    Good luck!
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  12. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Its way before the Icon ever existed. LB76 with Sperzel tuners, 4 knob pre, and Wilkinson bridge was really early 90's. I had the same exact LB76 bought new in 1991.

    But still call Keisel and ask if the rod has to come out by board removal, or if it will unscrew.
  13. CTBassGuy

    CTBassGuy Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2018
    Danbury, CT
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  14. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    I have an LB76F with a broken truss rod nut as well. You may be in luck, mine broke off in a decently playable position. With hex core strings of a moderate gauge and some bridge adjustment I can still get pretty good action. Get a set of strings on there and see what happens.

    Kiesel quoted me $400 to replace it last I inquired. Not really worth it to me, even though I’ve had the bass for 22 years. Great playing bass but the repair will cost more than the value of the repaired instrument.
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  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    This is correct. LB76, early 90's/late 80's. They changed to Hipshot hardware in the early 90's...this has Wilkinson bridge and Sperzel (not SPERTzel) tuners. These basses from this era are notorious for having crappy truss rods. Guess how I know?

    I bought an LB76 brand new very similar to this in the early 90's, but mine was fretless.

    Worst case, you can double your money by selling the tuners, pickups, and bridge.

    If you contact Kiesel, PLEASE follow up here with what they say. I'd like to have the truss rod replaced on my BB70, although it's permanently stuck in the perfect spot right now.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    i would really consider buying the Stew MAc "rescue tools' And doing the repair as per basshappi's video. For a $40 bass this "quick fix" makes sense to try (or have someone handy with tools do it for you.) As you can see these tools are NOT cheap and the critical part is finding out if they have them in a size to fit the Carvin rod. But still much cheaper than a complete redo which involves taking the fingerboard off and a refin. VERY expensive (which is why the bass was headed for trash). Best of all worlds would be if you could find a luthier or tech who actually already owns the rescue tools so you don''t have to buy them. Anyway, that's how I would tackle it. Good luck!

    StewMac Truss Rod Rescue Tools |
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    There was a few of us here a couple of years ago that were discussing buying one of these and splitting it between whoever wanted to use it and we would just pass it around when we got done with it. Nothing ever came of it though, be hard to do if you're not in direct contact with everybody :)

    I thought about getting one then selling it when I got done. It would be worth selling it at a loss of $100 if it fixed my problem.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  18. dBChad


    Aug 17, 2018
    Tavares, FL
    If you trust your own hand work, heated vinegar and a steam iron with some razor blades and a putty knife can take the fingerboard off. Won't cost much money to do it yourself, but don't underestimate the sweat equity: good option if you have little money and a lot of free time (and copious patience).
  19. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    For $40 you made a killing even if you just part it out. It’s an expensive pro job, but not rocket science. Any interest in doing it yourself? If you take your time, the board may come off in one piece.
  20. Koshchei


    Mar 17, 2019
    Peterborough, ON
    Take it to a luthier - they can steam off the fingerboard and replace the rod. That's a '90s LB76 with Koa wings. It should sound gorgeous when it's back in action! Fantastic basses!