New Carvin Icon5W Electric Bass

Pictures of my new Carvin bass guitar:


  • That’s purdy.

    I notice the strings are strung through the bridge end rather than through the body (since Carvin offer’s both options). What are your thoughts on that?

  • Thanks! The design and bridge that Carvin uses allows the string to be strung either through the instrument or the end of the bridge. Stringing with just the bridge is quicker. However, some think that stringing through the body leads to more resonance. I can’t scientifically confirm that but I do think, if nothing else, stringing through the body changes the force of the strings on the body in a positive way – i.e. not pulling up on the bridge. I’ve had electrics with both styles and am not sure either is better. But, my Carvin (and this is the first neck-through instrument I’ve owned) has absolutely amazing sustain. The instrument feel substantial and ‘quality’. It plays and sounds better than anything within the price range. I also looked at Dingwall basses but all the sound samples I listened to, the Carvin had a richer sound.

  • I’m very happy with my Carvin fretless, which is similar to yours. I’ve always strung through the body, but I’ve seen arguments saying that it weakens the string with the sharper bend at the saddle.

    In any case, enjoy your new bass 🙂

  • That’s a good point. But string angles on the double bass can be extreme without any issues. It probably doesn’t matter either way but there’s something about stringing through the instrument that I like.

    Enjoy your Carvin! What did you get? Are you on the Carvin forums?

  • I bought mine used. It’s the standard shape, 5 string unlined fretless, walnut with maple neck, J style pups. The previous owner sold it because it didn’t sound nice. I spent 1/2 hour setting the relief on the neck and adjusting the intonation and it sounds beautiful.

    I’m not in the forums at the moment, but probably will be when/if I order another.

  • I currently play a six string Ken Smith base, but have been thinking about getting a five string fretless bass. I’m wondering if you have thoughts about how to get a five string bass with a high B instead of a low B?

  • Usually people who want a five string with a higher string tune it to C. This is fairly common. You may have to get a new nut carved if there is too much space with the lighter gauge strings. But I would just order a set from and string it up.

  • Thanks for the info. I agree, but when I got my six-string, I was taking lessons from a great guitarist (Warren Nunes) who convinced me to try the more guitar-like B tuning on the C-string. At this point, I don’t think I can go back…

  • You may still need to get a new nut but I would try the strings first. As far as the top B string, a slightly heavier C string seems it would work. Check out the Circle K brand of electric bass strings – they do a lot of different gauges. The whole process should be really easy – regular 5 string->possible new nut->correctly gauged strings->happy musician.

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