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NBD: Carvin Vanquish 5 Fretless (Trans White Ash)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by trainyourhuman, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000





    I received the bass about 2 weeks ago (it did not go to NAMM). Initial impressions:
    • Trans White is only white in certain lighting conditions: direct sunlight and extremely well lit rooms. Otherwise it has a sky blue/silver tint to it (which I happen to like). The pics above were taken in direct sunlight on a white background (my mattress pad - the only big white background I could find).
    • The Vanquish is a very well designed bass. Compact, but the body is large enough to not feel tiny if you are used to Fenders (or other larger bodied Carvins etc). It is probably 5-6 inches shorter that a Jazz overall, but still has 34" scale and 70s pickup locations. The reach to 1st position is comfortable and familiar.
    • Upper fret access is just ok. About the same as getting to the 20th or 21st fret on a Jazz.
    • I was worried about not enough mids on an Ash bodied fretless so I went with a mostly Walnut neck. Turns out the bass has plenty of mids. Nice burp and sits well in a 2 guitars/keys/drums mix. I mean, Gary Willis plays an ash bodied fretless so...
    • I specced the single coils and I'm glad I did - nice and tight with some sparkle, even with the flats. There is some hum - more than my Carvin SB with single coils. I'm definitely going to try some additional shielding.
    • With rounds this bass would be a mwah machine. I'm getting all the mwah I want with the flats though. I have not set up the bass yet - the factory setup is 90% there for me already.
    • Just under 9.5 lbs and balances very well. I'm extremely pleased with the weight/balance.
    • B sting is great (for a flatwound, fretless B string).
    • I chose V/V/T/BT. I don't care for blend knobs. The electronics work well and the pots are smooth. Rolling back on the tone a little and then boosting some treble on the bridge pickup can get you to Jaco town in a hurry.
    So far, so good. I haven't owned a fretless in years and I'm glad to have one back in the rotation - especially this one.
  2. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Oooooh that's purty!
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Beautiful bass. Simple elegance.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That's for the post. That bass is a looker! The single coil hum is expected, but more shielding from the factory would have been good.
  5. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    There must be a small problem somewhere. Double check the ground wire. Double check the soldering. And double check that all of the cavity shielding makes a continuous connection. To include the back of the cover.

    Right this moment, I have one of the same single coil pickups (a RAD-JV) in the neck position of my Icon and a RAD-HV (the newer humbucker) in the bridge. If it weren't for the fact that I can pan to a humbucker, I would say that the single coil by itself, is basically silent (in my bedroom).

    A couple of days ago, I had two of the older RAD-J in there. They are reverse wound, so both pickups together is humbucking. Again, each pickup on it's own was basically silent and it was only apparent that they actually weren't completely silent, if I had both pickups blended fully.

    All of Carvin's pickups are internally shielded. So you shouldn't have to add shielding to the pickup routes.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
    Arch58 and Dr. Cheese like this.
  6. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Thanks - I'll be sure to inspect thoroughly before I get crazy with the foil.
  7. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Just to double check:

    Is your main electronics cavity not completely swathed in copper foil?

    Here is my Icon's cavity. Notice how the foil comes up over the side lip a little bit, to contact the back of the cover. and see the second picture, with a ground wire soldered to the copper foil.
    WP_20150209_07_09_42_Pro.jpg WP_20150209_07_11_05_Pro.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  8. fuzzychaos


    Mar 17, 2008
  9. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Toptube, thanks for the photos! I double check.
  10. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Man, I priced out a Vanquish 6 string fretless last night, and got a $1900 price tag. Way too much for me to spend on one... for me. They look nice though!
  11. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    You can get them much cheaper than that. Sounds like you added a top and special finish?
  12. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Yeah, I added some options - ones that I would want. I know I could get a barebones one for way less, but I wouldn't be happy with it :)
  13. Sweet!
    I totally dig your choice with the walnut/maple neck....
  14. mfbolton

    mfbolton Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Very nice. Congrats.
  15. Hows the balance, any neckdive?
  16. Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Joshua Pickenpaugh

    Apr 16, 2001
    Great looking bass, congrats!
    Selta likes this.
  17. JaredBT


    Aug 7, 2012
    Another wonderful example of beauty and perfection. Wish I was loaded. With money I mean.
  18. MasterMonkeyMan

    MasterMonkeyMan Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    This is the first one of these I actually think looks good. Most are just a little over the top. Nice bass!!!
    Sweet Willie likes this.
  19. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  20. bssplr


    Nov 15, 2010
    Halifax, Canada
    That is one nice looking bass, I really love that finish in the pictures it looks like it's made of marble.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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