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Hardware: All black appointments, including Hipshot Ultra-Lite tuners, Hipshot A-style bridge.
Fretboard contains 29 nickel medium-jumbo frets.
Electronics: A single passive Kent Armstrong Humbucker with a volume pot, tone pot, and a 3-way switch for single coil, humbucker, and kill switch.
Hardware: All black appointments, consisting of Hipshot Ultra-Lite tuners and ribbed plastic knobs.
Electronics: A single passive Kent Armstrong humbucker with one volume pot, one tone pot, and one 3-way switch wired for single coil, humbucker, and kill switch.
The 36″ scale bass has a body with a mahogany core, bloodwood and cocobolo top and back with bloodwood cat’s eyes. The neck is mahogany with bloodwood stripes and bocote fret markers. The electronics are a CT Special Passive Control System Kent Armstrong Musicman style pickup. Add to that a headstock of mahogany, bocote, cocobolo and bloodwood; a black walnut and bloodwood nameplate; bloodwood truss rod cover; ebony and bloodwood football; ebony, bocote and cocobolo bridge; and a bloodwood, ebony and brass tail piece
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“Now and then, I get the chance to work on a unique instrument from a well respected luthier. Carl Thompson’s bass designs always interested me, and this year I had an opportunity to restore a 4-string made in 2004.
The bass had spent years in humid Queensland, resulting in shrinking and slippage of the glue seams and joints. The customer also suspected truss rod issues, as they were having trouble with relief stability (thankfully, this wasn’t the case!).
This bass required a re-fret (as the original frets had been removed and replaced with hardwood veneer), restoration of shifting glue seams and laminates, and a full setup, including nut filing.”
Pictured: Allen Duncan, Carl Thompson, Bruno, John Montalbano, Mike Satzinger, Mike Browne, susan, Pam, Jeff.
Here is a letter from Mike:
Well this is it! After roughly two years and nine months I finally got down to Carl’s shop in Brooklyn to pick up my brandy-new bass. And let me tell you, it was worth every penny and every day spent. Owning a real work of art, one with months of time and years of experience put into it’s creation, is something that can’t be measured by time or money. I’m going to enjoy this instrument until the day I die or it breaks (hopefully the former will come first).
For my part, I would call Carl every few months to see how he (and my bass) was doing. Right from the start I understood that it would take a few years, what with all the other basses to be made before mine. And there were other setbacks like basses to be made for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, family illness or humidity. But through all that came my bass which I personally think is one of his best (of course!). So for all of you waiting out there all I can say is be patient with Carl. The man’s not an assembly line but the quality of his work is as good as it gets. The less time he spends fielding phone calls the faster he can work.
Anyways just wanted to say to everyone out there waiting hang in there because it’s so absolutely worth it!
Ted also owns 4-10-80.
Our good friend Jay Lajoie also took some absolutely incredible pictures of the completed bass. This thing is absolutely unreal and Jay did a great job of documenting all the detail.
When the bass was put up for sale here is what was listed:
Every Carl Thompson ever made is truly a one-of-a-kind creation. However, from time to time a bass will leave the shop that truly exemplifies that fact and goes on to become a part of music history. Les Claypool’s Rainbow Bass is just such an example, a bass by which Les himself has been defined and identified. The $10 Million Bass is another example, a bass that is truly unique and special.
The name started as a joke, as Carl initially referred to the bass as the $10,000 bass. In between the other projects and over a long period of time, Carl and the crew at his shop were building a very special instrument. This bass would incorporate the finest wood, the best craftsmanship, details never seen before and personal Carl details that hadn’t been since since the late 70’s. Everything about this bass was to be the best, a true work of art. As the bass progressed, the name slowly changed from $10,000 to $1 Million to $5 Million and ultimately to $10 Million. In Carl’s own words: “this is one of the most beautiful basses I have ever made.”
But the construction itself isn’t the only special thing about this instrument. This bass displays the serial # 7-31-02, the last day that Carl’s Boerum Pl. shop in Brooklyn was open. A few months earlier the building had been sold and Carl knew that he’d have to be out of the shop by this date. The guys worked extra hard to make sure this was the last bass completed in that shop and it thus bears this truly significant serial #. While Carl will continue to build his amazing instruments elsewhere, this is the last bass to leave his historic Brooklyn shop where countless musicians and friends have visited, playing the basses, guitars and worn piano in the corner.
Serial # 7-31-02
4-String Fretless, 37-inch scale
This one-of-a-kind fretless Ebony 4-string has some of the finest wood Carl has ever worked with and Carl himself has said that it is the most beautiful bass he has ever made. In addition to the unique and rare woods used, this is the first ever 37-inch scale Carl Thompson bass. The top is rare quilted Macassar Ebony with amazing Bocote details along the neck, Cat’s Eyes, Headstock and a very unique Bocote inlay on the back of the instrument. Carl was inspired to do the body inlay when a 1977 guitar he made came back to his shop for adjustments, featuring a Zebrawood body inlay he had forgotten doing! The bass also sports a Mahogany core and incredible bookmatched Cocobolo center stripes front and back. Even the neck shim on this one is a multi laminate work of art! The Bocote Cat’s Eyes are very unique, running along both sides of the body, the length of the neck and both sides of the headstock. Beautiful inlays straddle the Bocote accents and the extremely rare quartersawn Gaboon Ebony fingerboard from Africa, perfectly jet-black in color. Redheart accents are included in the nut, pickup cover, body and bridge. Beneath the gorgeous pickup cover is a single Kent Armstrong pickup with a volume and tone knob.
Matt Lucock now owns this bass, along with two other 4-string Carl Thompsons, 4-23-94 and 12-12-07.
Photos feature Kevin, Josh Werner, Sal and Bunnie. Marsha and Carl are also modeling the bass.
Neck: Maple with a rosewood fingerboard and cocabola side bindings. 24 frets, 36″ scale, and a rosewood-bloodwood nut. Not sure what woods are used in the truss rod cover. The headstock is zebrawood with mahogany and cocabola veneers.
Body: Burled maple front and back with a mahogany core. Bloodwood “Cat’s eyes.” The heelblock is a multitude of different woods. I am not ever sure what they all are. The control plate cover is Mahogany.
Electronics: EMG-40J (neck) and 40CS (bridge) pickups, volume, volume, and tone nobs, with a three-position switch. From left to right – normal, treble filter, and standby. Mexican Rosewood(?) pickup covers.
Hardware: Black chrome Sperzel tuners, custom rosewood and padauk bridge.