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NBD - 38" Scale 6 string (Carl Thompson Content)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zentner, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Zentner

    Zentner Supporting Member

    2 years, 7 months, 8 days after placing my order- I received my dream bass- An instrument built specifically for me in every way imaginable. Every detail of this bass is meticulously crafted to meet Carl's standards, as well as incorporate the ideas and components I requested to make something truly perfect for me. This is not a bass for everyone, but I assure you all it's exactly what I was wanting out of this whole process. This was my first custom build, and I can confidently say I'll be looking for a fretless of the same caliber. Being that I've sold instruments professionally for 6 years, and now help manage a music store- I've seen my fair share of nice gear. I own over 10 basses currently, and this instrument is in a league of it's own. In terms of build quality, the only bass that's close was my Wal (which was sold to fund this build). The weight and playability of this Carl Thompson FAR surpasses that of the Wal, as well as any bass I've ever had the pleasure of playing. It was truly built for my hands.

    I flew down to NY to visit Carl this past weekend, watch him play, check out the shop, and pick up my bass. Carl's a real deal musician, and his band was phenomenal. His musicianship shows in everything- from the way he sits in the mix, to his practise routines, to the way he builds his instruments- it's ALL about the music. His shop is clean, organized, and tiny. Joe was in the shop when I visited to help Carl finish the bass and do the final setup.


    Carl Thompson Custom Bass
    38" Scale
    17mm spacing at the bridge
    Standard 6 Strings tuned C to B
    Carl Thompson 30, 45, 65, 85, 105, 130 custom extra super long scale set
    Linspeed Oil finish
    Two Seymour Duncan 99.9% Silver wound pickups under one cover
    Custom passive circuit with Duelund, AudioNote, Alessandro Capacitors, Alessandro Pots
    Woods knobs, Strap buttons, Switch tips by THG knobs

    Top: Bocote, Gaboon Ebony
    Back: Gaboon Ebony, Bolivian Rosewood, Green-dyed Poplar
    Cats eyes: Gaboon Ebony, Cocobolo, Pink Ivory
    Body: Mahogany
    Nameplate: Mahogany, Green-dyed Poplar, Gaboon Ebony
    Neck: Port Orford Cedar, Gaboon Ebony, Bolivian Rosewood, MOP side dots
    Fretboard: Bloodwood
    Bridge: Bloodwood, Pink Ivory, Snakewood, Ebony, Mahogany, Brass, MOP inlay
    Nut: Gaboon Ebony, Bocote, Pink Ivory
    Headstock:Bocote, Flame Maple, Mahogany, Bolivian rosewood
    Heel Block: Bolivian Rosewood
    Strap Button Stripe: Gaboon Ebony, Pink Ivory
    Truss Rod Cover: Gaboon Ebony, Bolivian rosewood, Bocote, Pink Ivory
    Pickup Cover: Bocote, Rosewood, Mahogany
    Knobs: Gaboon Ebony, Pink Ivory, Cocobolo
    Switch tips: Gaboon Ebony, Cocobolo
    Strap buttons: Gaboon Ebony, Pink Ivory
    Football: Bocote
    Control Cover: Bolivian Rosewood, Pink Ivory

    And finally, for your viewing pleasure...








    I'll take some real pictures of the back when I get it home from work. :hyper: I need to weigh it as well, but I can't see it being more than 9 pounds. It's extremely lightweight and comfortable to play, despite the huge scale and large body.

    reverendrally and SkulliesBass like this.
  2. Dave Hill

    Dave Hill Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Big Congrats.
  3. WOW, INDEED!!! brother, that thing is a beauty! love it. good for you, man. sound clips!!!!
  4. Very nice ,not my style but I can tell u are very happy so congrats! Don't let it out of your sight!
  5. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I just messed my pants.
  6. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Wow is right, that's amazing! Congratulations!
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    38" scale....how's the reach to first position?
    I've clearly never played anything like that....

    Nice bass, congrats!
  8. Zentner

    Zentner Supporting Member

    Surprisingly comfortable. With the bass on my knee, the first fret is closer than on my jazz bass. The combination of the heel block (angles the neck slightly backwards) and the weight distribution (the bass sits slightly further towards my right hand) puts the first fret in a very comfortable position. I don't feel like I'm reaching out towards the fret like on other basses- the bass sits further back, with the bridge to my right and the nut to my left. The balance is incredible, and there's no need to hold the neck of the bass up because it sits right where it should. You just play it.
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Makes sense, I can see how that would work like that, thanks!
  10. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
  11. I'd been said, but all I can say is wow!
  12. j.kernodle

    j.kernodle Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    that's super cool and congrats on your patience. I had a hard enough time waiting 3 months for a mike lull build. I can't imagine 2+ years! I woulda changed my mind ten times and Carl probably woulda told me to pound sand three weeks in. lol
  13. nickbass79


    Nov 11, 2009
    North Carolina
    Congrats, man!!!
    I LOVE mine, but it's only a 36" fretless 6. It is SO balanced weather sitting or standing. Enjoy it, it will be a serious collectors item.
  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Truly a spectacular instrument!
  15. nagarjuna


    Dec 10, 2006
    The Gunks, NY
    Just.... WOW!!!! :hyper::bassist::p
  16. Zentner

    Zentner Supporting Member

    Thanks for the kind words guys....

    The controls are similar to a jazz - Volume, Volume, Tone with a 3 way switch for Series/Mute/Parallel, and a 3 way switch for different tone caps. The volume knobs BOTH function in series and parallel settings for blending either pickup with the other. It's virtually noiseless in all positions, and it uses only hifi audiophile grade components.

    I'm pretty excited about it... it's like nothing I've ever played, and I really feel like it's a representation of me.
  17. not my cup of tea, but absolute respect for what evidently is a wonderful labor of love and engineering at the same time!!!

    Unique, my friend!!! Congrats... big time...!!!

    Now, anybody tell me that playing 35" scale basses cramps their left hand...

    p.s.: would you tell us something more about the bridge? Saddles are fixed or you have some degree of freedom for the setup, beside intonation (height/spacing)? Are they brass or wood? From the pics it is hard to tell (edit: just read "brass" in the bridge description....)

    p.p.s.: ok, ok, we must know!!! Why you decided for 38"? Did you try a 36" first and wanted more... what?
  18. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I didn't know that Junior Soprano made basses!


    JK, that's an awesome bass!
  19. Nice!! I bet that low B is T-H-U-N-D-E-R-O-U-S!! How does the G & C strings sound/feel with the extra scale length?
  20. Very nice!

    I would look to see closeup pics of the bridge, it looks pretty interesting!

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