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Production neck-through or custom bolt on?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by malicous, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. malicous


    Apr 25, 2006
    Los Angeles
    I anticipate having around $2000 in the next month or two to spend on a 6 string bass. If I am unable to find a used Ken Smith or MTD for that price, I plan on getting a Carvin Icon 6 made, and having my local repair shop install an Aguilar OBP-1 preamp and Bartolini quad coil pickups in it. Or I will get a Bolt on Stambaugh with the pickups and preamp already installed for about the same price. My question is; are there significant differences in sustain and attack/punch between neck-through and bolt on basses? I have always played and liked the “attack” and “snap” of bolt-ons in the past (I couldn't afford neck-throughs anyway), but I have been playing theatre productions recently and have needed better sustain than what my current bolt-ons have. What do you guys think, should I sacrifice the neck-through feature in order to go for a custom?
  2. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    I'd go with the Stambaugh - change the electronics in a Carvin, you still have a Carvin when you want to sell it. With the Stambaugh, you don't have the baggage you do with a Carvin.

    IMHO, Carvins are seriously under-rated but the market still depreciates them a lot. The newer electronics are good, but still not up to the stuff the big boys use.

    Just my $0.0000002

    Dan K.
  3. A bolt on can have great sustain. My Dingwall Afterburner and my Warmoth 4 string are both bolt-ons with plenty of sustain.

    You may actually like the Icon electronics and not want to replace them. Here are some sound clips I recorded:http://www.putfile.com/bassviking

    What basses are you using now?
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Nothing a well-made bass and a high-mass brass bridge can't handle.

    BO is my choice, but I'm more of a funk player.
  5. malicous


    Apr 25, 2006
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for all the thoughtfull advice.
    I checked out those clips. It sounds quite nice. Somone who reviewed it on TB said the Icons sounds like a mix between a Sirrus and a Ken Smith, I think so too. I think maybe I will get one somewhere down the line, but for now It seems the majority opinion is that I should get the Stambaugh bolt on, specially if I can get better sustain than my current basses.
    Right now my main bass is a customized early 90's Nathan East style Yamaha five string. I also have an all Mahogany custom 4 by Tenyson Guitars and a 78 Fender Musicmaster. I also play a late 60's Kay upright if I am asked to.

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