View Full Version : Carvin B4A bass kit

timbuktoo kangaroo
04-02-2005, 09:07 PM
Brand: Carvin
Model: B4A ("A" meaning active as well as passive)
Price: ~500 w/ shipping

I purchased this bass as a kit because it's cheaper than buying it pre-built and I had the help of my father to finish the wood and wire the pickups. Carvin sent everything as requested and the package arrived with no dents, dings, or scratches in the body/neck. The standard kit is an alder body, maple/ebony neck, and 2 single coil j99 pickups (passive). The upgrades I ordered include the active/passive module, black hardware (knobs/tuners), swamp ash body, and a bridge humbucker w/ coil tap + neck j99 PU. These were all included as ordered as well as detailed information as to how the pickups needed to be wired. We sanded/finished the swamp ash body/neck with danish oil and I must say I love the outcome of both. The only problem we had during the build was the holes for the bridge; they were not large enough, which required a small amount of extra drilling as to not risk splitting the wood. Other than that the build itself was simple and took 3-4 hours max.

I must say this bass plays like a dream. For $500 I got a $700-$800 quality bass. The range of tones is amazing and it has a very nice slap tone. I purchased a Behringer V-amp to direct connect to my PC and the Carvin sounds great through it. The neck is very fast and it feels so easy to play in general. We adjusted the action to the recommended specs and it's perfect. My conclusion: as long as you don't mind soldering wires and finishing wood, I highly recommend this bass. You simply cannot buy another (new) bass at this price and get the same quality. I've played Fender J/P basses and they do not compare as far as tone/quality. Here's a pic of the finished product. :thumb:


04-04-2005, 04:23 PM
bass kit you say? so you had to assemble it yourself?

timbuktoo kangaroo
04-04-2005, 04:33 PM
Yes. Had to put everything together and solder the pickups/finish the wood etc. Well worth the money though.:thumb:

04-04-2005, 04:41 PM
awsome was it fun to do? i fancy making my own bass summer time...what help did you have with the kit?

timbuktoo kangaroo
04-05-2005, 12:41 AM
I had my father to help me finish the wood and solder the pickups.

04-07-2005, 05:37 PM
i was thinnking about doing the same thing and i was wondering if the swamp neck was worth it and also if the active passive was worth the extra and the humbucker pickups, i have a friend who got the kit and he is very happy with it he go the swamp neck but his case he got is fur lined and it realy smells, please post any imput you have

timbuktoo kangaroo
04-09-2005, 02:13 PM
I don't know about the swamp neck..I have a maple/ebony neck and I love it..The active/passive was definitely worth it but just passive would do just fine. I like the humbucker pickup because it gives more tones but I've spoken with people who own passive Carvins with 2 j99 pickups and they say they love it so...Just preference. If you're short on cash then the basic model is still well worth it.

04-25-2005, 01:43 PM
I have always been curious about Carvin basses. Because they are quality I have yet to play one used. I am a subscriber to the Carvin catalog. The bass looks great. I am curious how the humbucking pick up sounds compared to a Music Man humbucker. I have a slight buzz somewhere in the electronics of my MM fretless and I think it may be the pick up. I have been vascilating about ordering a new one from Carvin.

04-30-2005, 07:04 PM
Thats good to hear that its easy to put together(just ordered mine today) and thats its a good qulatiy bass. the more i read about this the more i want it here now. Good reveiw too.