4-String Basses 1990-1999

Collage of 4-string bass guitars

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4 string fretless set-neck bass made for Tony Tunis of Scranton, Pa. Carl delivered this to Tony himself. Tony later had it fretted for more fun while playing out. The body is walnut and the neck is maple. Also note the gold Sperzel tuners, and the Carl Thompson signature which is burned directly into the headstock. The serial # is 6-20-99.

Jordan’s 4 String fretted bass, serial number 4-20-99.

1999 Les Claypool
Les Claypool’s Antimatter bass.


Joe Trapasso and his 38″ scale 4-string, serial number 9-22-98. In the background of the middle picture on the left is a guitar made by Carl’s dad in 1934. The guitar on the right is Carl’s first guitar which he made in 1974.

Shun sent in pictures of his 4-string fretless, serial #72498. This beauty has a maple neck with an ipee fingerboard, walnut with AAA curly maple body, ebony with ipee and satin wood veneer bridge, and an ebony nut.

Serial 4-1-98 has a maple top, maple fingerboard and walnut neck. The bass originally had a single EMG pickup but Carl has since installed Aguilar Super Doubles in it.

Serial number 1-1-98 is owned by Steven Rickwood and features flamed maple wings, walnut center and rear tone plate. The neck neck fret board rock maple, neck wood is also walnut with front and rear maple-veneered headstock. The tuners are Sperzel black locking. Nut appears to be made from rosewood. Truss rod cover is rosewood also. The Scale is 36″ and has 24 frets. The bridge is wood. The neck is bolt on. The Electronics are 9V Active EMG 45.

Steven has since added a second pickup.


Carl Thompson 4 string, Walnut set-neck bass with a bicote top. Note the wood pickup cover and the wood bridge. 36″ scale length, serial Number: 103197 (Halloween). This bass sold on the page to Lance Runngren.

Serial number 7-4-97, 38″ scale fretless recently restored by Carl. Photos courtesy of The Bass Collection, www.e-basscollection.com

Serial number 4-11-97, 36″ scale with multi laminants through out the body and neck block. Wood bridge and EMG pickup. Photos courtesy of The Low End, www.thelowend.net

Serial number 1-30-97, owned by Magnus. Photos courtesy of The Bass Collection www.e-basscollection.com

Also pictured is Felix Pastorius.


Bruno Grife is the second owner of this flamed maple CT.

4 String fretted CT. All walnut (Three pieces) with a thin Green (Poplar?) band behind the top. Maple neck with same green band on the top and back of the headstock, serial # 10-17-96. 2 active EMGs, 36″ scale.

36″ scale fretted CT that was sold on the page. It has a walnut body with an 1/8″ piece of AAA grade flamed maple over the top. The neck is maple with a padauk fingerboard including side-neck dot inlays. The headstock is sandwiched between two pieces of walnut. It also has a Kahler tremelo system. The serial # is 10896.

8-8-96 is owned by Andrew Vannoy.

Fretless 4-string, serial number 4-23-96, owned by Matt Lucock.

Serial number 3-3-96. Body is Walnut with red maple accent laminations along the body. Neck is a single piece maple, 36″ scale.

Also pictured, #6-24-94 (8-string) and 7-13-04 (4-string).



Jason Park’s 36″ scale serial number 10-15-95.

Trip Irish sent us these pictures of his beautiful striped CT, Serial 7-24-95. Trip picked this bass up at Guitar Villa and it is comprised of Walnut, Flamed Maple, Padauk and Rosewood. The bass has gone through a few changes including a Schaller bridge, a custom 7th fret inlay Trip did a few years back (an Ebony ring with a single Maple birds eye in the center) and a 45-DC pickup. At some point the bass ended up in Japan. Note that the rear control plate cover has been repurposed for a front cover on the bass. Photos courtesy of The Bass Collection www.e-basscollection.com

4 String fretted, serial number 7-23-95. This bass is now owned by Magnus.

Dave Muntner’s fretless CT, serial number 7-4-95. Note the wood pickups covers and wood bridge. This is the same bass that was featured in a 1996 article with Carl Thompson in Bass Player magazine. The top is mexican rosewood (the same as the pickup covers on 5-17-00) and the core is rosewood. It is also has a Satinwood layer underneath the top. The back is padouk.

Joe’s 1995 4-string, serial number 6-6-95.

Terry’s other 4-string, a 1995 (serial 5-22-95). Les Claypool signed his headstock.

Dan Einheuser’s striped bass, serial number 4-20-95.

4 string fretless, serial # 4-7-95.

Erick Warner’s 36″ fretless 4 string, serial number 2-8-95. Erick was an integral part of Carl’s outfit and is responsible for the Jazz Cat logo, T-shirts and CD design.

This wonderful bass is owned by a fella named Roger Fitzwater with the following story. “I was 23 and playing in a metal band at the time I bought my bass. Carl was originally going to custom build a bass for me but when he showed me this one I had to have it. This was originally a 34″ scale bass without an additional tailpiece. I’m not sure when he actually built it but I assume it was a couple years old before I got it. I found some pictures of it online on another Carl Thompson website when it was featured in a German bass magazine. I don’t think it was completely finished at the time of the photo shoots. As an experiment or prototype Carl added an extended tailpiece and turned it into a 36″ scale bass.” The boy in the pictures is Roger’s lucky son Julian. The bass has the serial number 2-5-95, which is Carl’s Birthday.






Serial number 9-5-93.

Vincent Giordano’s lefty CT. He purchased it back in 1996 from LA Bass Exchange. The serial # is 81093.

Brian Mooney playing a 34″ scale 4-string fretted walnut bass, serial 5-20-93.

This 4-string is serial # 4-30-93. The neck is a Carl Thompson however the body was made by someone else.

According to the owner, Rani Sharone the specs are:
Neck: Hardrock maple with ebony fingerboard, trimmed with padauk and walnut
Body: walnut core, cherry back and padauk top. with cherry center block
Bridge: Red heart
Electronics: (2) EMG L-5 with ebony and padauk covers
2 volume, seperate bass and treble controls, all EMG
Sperzel tuning machines


Serial number 12-25-92. The body is Mahogany. The neck is Maple with laminated accents. Walnut, Ebony, and either Bubinga or Purpleheart. The front fingerboard is Ebony with same laminates. It’s equipped with Bartolini soapbar pickups and electronics with Vol, treble, mid, bass and blend. The bridge is laminated walnut and maple. Stringing the bass goes thru the body, on to a brass anchor block in bottom of bass.

Serial number 11-9-92, fretless.


Serial number 10-14-91 in Japan.

Serial number 6-20-91. Russo Music had the following to say:

“It features a mahogany body with prominent striping and tight grain, The back and sides of the instrument boast three distinct Ebony stripes, showcasing the use of premium materials.

For the fingerboard, Carl Thompson opted for an exceptionally dark and tight grained ebony. The headstock features a Rosewood veneer on both sides, characterized by rich and dark figure patterns. One of the non-original features of this bass is the addition of a pine thumb rest above the P Bass pickup, a modification made at some point in its history to enhance the player’s comfort and performance experience. The EMG pickups installed have a high output while retaining low end. Each pickup cover is made of both Mahogany and Ebony.”

1990s uncategorized

90s No Serial
Lars sent in these pics of his 4-string, which he bought from a Danish instrument store called Musikhuset Aage Jensen in June 1995. The bass used to belong to a Danish male model by the name Oliver Bjerrehus. This bass has no serial number.

90s Unknown Serial Number 1
An early 90’s 4 string that was made for a client in Japan. Notice the “cat eyes” on the upper horn and body. This is one of Carl’s favorites.

90s Unknown Serial Number 2
Steve with Carl. Steve owns a walnut 4 string with Epee fingerboard and a maple 5.

90s Unknown Serial Number 3
A ’93 or ’94 4 string fretted. It has a mahogany core, zebra and purple heart center section with padauk top and back. Note the EMG single coil pickup.

Photos courtesy of Darrin Huff.

90s Unknown Serial Number 4

90s Unknown Serial Number 5

90s Unknown Serial Number 6