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Hmmmm, Does Anyone Here Have A Carl Thompson?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by freshmeat1989, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. Does anyone here have a CT? I was lookin at Les's and they're amazing. They're the wierdest basses I've ever seen, and SOME of them are sweet, but I'm sure they all sound/play amazing. If anyone here has one, show it, and tell me how you like it!

  2. user_name


    Jul 22, 2004
  3. nick g.

    nick g. Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    Chandler, Arizona

    I know you from Tooltabs... (Sturmgeist)

    Whatever happened to your Browne?
  4. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    im sure you were on ct forums too. thats a beautiful bass and i dont think i would forget it. Andrew rings a bell but that could be totally wronge. Sorry to hear about the let down too.
  5. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    I have had 2 Carl Thompson's.. a 1974 (2nd one made) and a 2003. I have since sold them both..............just didn't feel the quality equaled the dollar value.
  6. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    I got to babysit that bass for a couple days when Darrin Huff had it. Frankly I wasn't impressed: it hurt my hand to play it, the tone was :meh: and the workmanship was surprisingly shoddy in places. It's pretty but for playability I'll take my SX Jazz over that any day of the week.

    Caveat: it's also the only CT I've ever seen. I'm sure many are every bit as amazing as their reputation would suggest. This particular one, however, didn't do it for me.

    EDIT: D, ya beat me to it :D
  7. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    I had a '77 CT for a while. It was an almost total reclamation project, and it never quite worked out, but it was a very cool bass nonetheless.

  8. user_name


    Jul 22, 2004
    Random basser/Sturmgeist I totally remeber you, I still have the Browne. The Browne and Darrin's bass have definatly not let me down though.
  9. Im really surprised to hear that people have had bad experiences with CT's...I always thought they would be like fodera's where everyone seems to love them...but i guess its all relative
    (and Im sure their are people who don't like thier foderas either)
  10. Yeah, I definately thought they woul dbe on of those things everyone loves too. Then again, Les Claypool has been known to be a little eccentric... :D
  11. user_name


    Jul 22, 2004
    Well to be honest, Les' main 4 string is VERY different from most things that come out of Carl's shop. For the most part Carl makes 36"-38" scale basses, Les' is a 32".
    I'm sure Les has one he really doesn't care much for, remember when he retired the walnut 4 string, and got the ebony topped bass? Well after the antipop tour has the ebony bass seen the light of day?
  12. Erick Warner

    Erick Warner

    Jun 26, 2002
    I own two CTs, and I must say that they are the sweetest basses that Ive ever had the experience playing. I've played about 6 other CTs and all of them were an unique experience. Not every one is into them as you can see. But if you get your hands on one and it feels right it is a religious experience. The handful Ive seen all have beautiful wood working and great playability. Ive never received anything in life were I felt I had to meet the creator, then I got my first CT. It became a goal to meet Carl. That was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The thought and the process that goes into these basses is incredible. Sure, some people are sour on them - thats just the way it goes. But find out for yourself. Hes got a waiting list thats 2 years long at the minimum so he must be doing something right.
  13. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I've had a number of CT's and Carl's employees do some very nice wood working for the most part. Sound wise and playability is a little to be desired, but Beautiful wood working. Some of the necks felt nice, but the action for the most part wasn't that great and very tuff to setup with smooth low action.

    To say Carl is doing ok because his wait is 2 years is a little off sounding because a lot depends on how many basses a builder builds. Fodera builds about 100 to 125 a year last I heard (If JoelC can correct this please do) and their wait is 6 months to a year. Chris Benavente builds about 60 instruments a year and his back order is 4-6 months. Carl Thompson I believe only builds about 12 instruments a year and Charges more then Fodera. I think a lot of the mestique about Carl Thompson basses is because of Les Claypool, the Look and the lack of the ability to get your hands on one.

    But on the other hand, I would take one and place it on the wall...... not a bass to be played in my opinion all the time.

    But beautiful wood work!

    heres a few I've owned, lost Pictures of the others.
  14. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    im on tooltabs too. what a samll world.

    side note, i called carl once and asked him about his basses. he told me if i could get him a date with carmen electra hed build it for free.
  15. Erick Warner

    Erick Warner

    Jun 26, 2002
    Opinions vary, For me its beyond the looks. The playability is wonderful. Carl has had a successful career in the bass building world with many more pleased clients than displeased. Many more. And he has developed a crop of "copycat" designers.

    I've personally held around 9 of his basses. They were the best Ive played in weight, balance and tone.
  16. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have played only one... that is 'cause they are rare as heck in these parts...

    Colin from LOA (Live on Arrival) used to play with a drummer I gigged with a bunch and he stopped by the practice unit with his CT about a year ago.

    Here is a pic of his (from CT's site):


    The bass was rather large, but from what I gather, it sounds like they are all extra long scale. Colin's CT was OK, but when he mentioned the wait and the cost... it really didn't seem worth it to me (IMO) and I played around with his bass for a full hour.... it really didn't grow on me.

    I have to say that they are very beautiful and I have heard many accolades about Carl and his other basses.
  17. niomosy


    Nov 9, 2002
    When last I saw CT's pricing earlier this year, it wasn't that much different than Fodera's pricing (unless you're going pure stock with no options).

    As for the wait time, I'd probably estimate it at 9-12 mo. 6 months seems a rare exception more than the rule.
  18. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com

    Carl's prices are direct verse Fodera's are list.
  19. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I played a jazz bass with a CT neck once, unplugged.

    I happened to step into a bar on an open mic night when an old friend of Carl's was jamming. He sounded amzing and I notced that the headstock on his jazz was definetly not stock but very familiar so I aproached him about it when he stepped down and let another bassist have some fun.

    It felt great and was really something special IMO.

    At the same time though, Im not sure it was as special as the mystique, price, and wait times would suggest.
  20. Ilovepink

    Ilovepink Banned

    Nov 17, 2003
    IMHO Carl's basses are very special. Every one is unique and they all come from the mind of a true artist. Not something for everyone but I don't think that Carl really cares about "mass appeal." I will own one someday.