My Carvin Icon 4 string arrived last Thursday, a week ahead of schedule! Mine is one of the first ones ordered and probably the first in Canada. The specs are: alder body, flame maple top, clear gloss finish, 5 piece maple walnut neck (with ebony fingerboard), chrome hardware, and the new soap bar pickups and electronics. As well as the body shape, another new feature is the Hipshot A-style bridge. Price was 1300 US$, which includes shipping to Canada and a case. Here are a few shots: The front [/IMG] The back [/IMG] The headstock [/IMG] Its beautifully made! I cant find any construction flaws at all. The gloss finish feels smooth and glassy and brings out the figuring of the flame maple. A tung oil finish is available if you want it and some prefer the faster feel, but I have no problem with the gloss on the back of the neck. Its light and well balanced on a strap. It also balances well on my knee, although the shorter lower horn makes it feel a bit like its going to slip off. The neck plays very nicely and notes sustain well. Nice fretwork. The strings are the Carvin nickel round wounds. They feel a bit stiffer than I like. Im going to fiddle with the setup/strings to get a spongier feel. Now for the sound: The new electronics are fantastic! As we all know, some folks dont care for Carvins electronics. I think Carvin has successfully addressed this issue with the soap bar pickups and mid sweep. The Icon has a clear, piano string type of ring and theres quite a bit of versatility with the mid sweep, bass and treble controls. So far Ive been able to dial in some nice beefy, ballsy and growly sounds. Nothing weak or thin sounding here. It sounds great plucked and slapped. I especially like hitting that open E string; it has a solid, satisfying tone. I have a 5 string Carvin kit bass with the older electronics, which sound good, but I think the Icon definitely has the sonic advantage. No pickup swap needed on this axe. My only reservation is whether I should have ordered it with a sunburst or umber finish, but Id probably have those second thoughts no matter what finish I chose.