GAS: should I buy this Cort Curbow 4?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eli_Kyiv, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. Yes

    29 vote(s)
  2. No

    10 vote(s)
  3. Carrots

    7 vote(s)
  1. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    This guy from Odessa (300 miles from my city) is selling his Cort Curbow 4 for $130. Bartolini pickup, killswitch, and he says that everything is in working order. Should I buy it?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
    bassbrad likes this.
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Appears to be a decent price.

  3. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I can't view the pic but if it's got a wood body ...YES! I have their Retro J style, great bass.
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Reviewer: Bass Player Magazine
    I think all the production line Curbows were made of luthite, weren’t they?
    TinIndian, diegom, TolerancEJ and 3 others like this.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Many were made of wood especially in the later years.
    They are all really good instruments anyway, however the stock pickup is a bit weak.
    Curbow's designs were very ergonomic.
    Too bad he left us so early.
    Bass V, Eli_Kyiv and Vinny_G like this.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I know the Ibanez Ergodynes went that route but unaware that Cort did the same with this model.

  7. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    I had one, exactly the same as this. If I remember correctly, it's not a kill switch but a contour switch (slap tone). The body is luthite and the fingerboard is ebonol, so the only wood part is the neck. Indeed the following models had wooden bodies but the finishes were different, I'm pretty sure that the blue and red models are in luthite only.

    The neck, although having something like 26 or 27 frets, is very easy to play but I found this bass not so comfortable, due to the small size of its body. There was also a bit of neck dive. Two positive points anyway, it's super light and it has a hell of a look (literally). Girls loved it :laugh:

    The sound is very modern and synthetic, a bit bland for my taste, and it's almost impossible to get a vintage sound with this instrument.

    That said, for this price, it's definitely a good deal.
    gebass6, pcake and Eli_Kyiv like this.
  8. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    exactly why I'm glad I discovered the woodies and lucked into a Retro, more J than a J!
    Vinny_G likes this.
  9. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I had quite a few of these Curbow basses.
    The early ones were all luthite except the wood Retro version (with pickguard and two J pickups). They subsequently made a later version called the Cort Curbow 42 (4 string) and the Cort Curbow 52 (five string) which had bodies made of soft maple as opposed to the luthite, these latter versions also addressed another shortcoming of the earlier luthite version, they put two bartolini pickups on it. The luthite Curbow which is what you plan to look at, has a rather thin sound due to the single bartolini pickup. The switch is what they call the "slap" switch.
    That being said, the bass is still fun to play, I owned about 6 of them throughout the years.
    A few things to look for on these Curbow luthite basses if you plan to look at it.
    1) Make sure the body is flat - some have experienced a warped body, it will "taco" inwards if exposed to too much heat, out in the sun etc. I did not have this problem with any of mine.
    2) You can't get the string height low because of the curved front body of the Curbow. The bridge is mounted on that curved surface it's angled upwards so even if you lower the saddles, you still can't get it low enough. There is a solution to this and one I did on every one of my Curbow basses and was able to get the string height nice and low. Change the angle of the neck by putting a shim in it and make it arch back a little, it's too far forward, that plus the angled bridge is somewhat of a design flaw.

    The pro on this bass, it's a fun bass to play on, even though it's an extended scale bass 34" scale but 27 frets, it's shorter than your average bass and about two inches longer than an electric guitar. This is due to the very small body of the bass.
    Oh great, I have GAS for another Curbow. lol They are fun.

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  10. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    I'm a sucker for cheapo basses; I'd snap it up if it were local. Adding a tank+ of gas and a long day of driving would probably kill the deal for me though.
  11. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    mine was luthite, and it was really nice. i can't recall why i sold it - i think it was one of several i sold to finance another bass - but guitar center gave me more than $130, so i'd say that's a deal.


    it would kill the deal for me here in los angeles where there are like a zillion basses for sale every day.

    if i lived somewhere with few basses for sale and even less at that kind of price, i might make that long drive.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  12. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    If you're looking for people to talk you out of buying something, you're on the wrong website.
  13. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    No need for me to go there, we've got a lot of convenient postal services here in Ukraine. C.O.D. and everything.
    pcake likes this.
  14. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    cool, then it's just down to how much you trust the seller :thumbsup:
    pcake and Eli_Kyiv like this.
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Really good deal. Nice color too.
  16. I’ve always wanted one. But not 600 miles(round trip) of want.
  17. Clark W

    Clark W Just Say No To Tort! Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    I have one just like the one the op posted. And yes it's made from luthite, ebonal, and has a contour switch designed for slap. You can also flip it over and and there are two adjustment screws for that switch as well that adjusts the frequencies and where the switch will take effect. I don't have a manual so I'm not sure exactly how they work other than, I've never messed with it.

    Matter of fact I traded an old Peavey 1812 cab for mine cause I had it for sale and couldn't get any takers. The cab was the last piece of bass gear I owned and my intention was to sell it and not worry about bass. Then I ended up trading it for the Cort and well that was 4 years ago. Now have 3 rigs and 7 basses. So much for walking away, and all because of a Cort bass. But it was good enough to get me back into shape for gigging and I did a few gigs with it through FOH before getting another bass and a new rig.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
    Eli_Kyiv and Vinny_G like this.
  18. bobfarabaugh


    Jan 23, 2009
    I had one and it kind of smelled like kerosene. Nice player. I would probably buy another if it was that price.
    songwriter21 likes this.
  19. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    huh... mine didn't smell at all. go figure!
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    BUY BUY BUY!!! - it doesn't really matter what it is, that's what we'll tell you on here.
    Eli_Kyiv, mattj1stc and Clark W like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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