All was quiet in the bass
department in the early part of 2005. Although the guitar
department was making Carved Top models as fast as they could, and the
Tony MacAlpine TMAC models began generating buzz of their own, bassists
had nothing new to get excited about as the year began. Still,
there were more basses with more options offered at this time than at
any point in Carvin's history. However, by the end of the year,
bassists had several new items to add to their wish lists, including the
long-requested Cobalt bass, and the exotic Elite Series.
each picture for a larger version.
Near the end of
2005, bassists were treated to Carvin's most exotic bass ever,
the Elite Series. Like the Anniversary Series, this
was a souped-up LB model, available on an LB70, LB75 or LB76.
This bass has a 5-piece maple/walnut neck, walnut body, and a
5-piece body made from a 5A quilted front and back, walnut
center, and black phenolic layers. The headstock also had
a quilted front and back with the black phenolic layers and
matching quilted truss rod cover and gold Carvin logo. A
5-piece maple/walnut neck was standard, as was gold hardware,
18V P Series electronics with an HB series pickup and an H50N in
the neck position. The LB70EP sold for $2299; the LB75EP
was $2369; and the LB76EP was $2449. These were also
available on the XB series (XB75EP, XB76EP) for an additional
Carvin's bolt-neck basses, the B4 and the B5, were the
same as the 2004 models. Like the guitars, they increased in
price by $50.00, but with the $50.00 off sale, they actually
remained the same in price as 2004.
left to right, the winter catalog showed a B4 in Umber Stain/Sunsetburst on
flamed maple with matching headstock, abalone dot inlays, HB2 pickup
and gold hardware; a B4F in Greenburst; a B5 in Jet Black with
matching headstock and HB2 pickup; and a B5 in Ruby Red Stain on
quilted maple with matching headstock and black chrome hardware.
On the right, the
newly-redesigned summer catalog showed the same Umber Stain with
Sunsetburst edgesB4 and the same black B5 as the winter edition;
also shown was a B4 in clear gloss on swamp ash and a B5 in
blueburst with a birdseye maple fingerboard.
LB70 turned 20 in 2005, more-or-less, having been
produced in 1976 & 1977, and then again from 1988-2005.
However, it and other Carvins based on it, the LB20 and
TBS4, were unchanged. With the $50.00 off special, the
prices were the same on all three models s in 2004.
catalog showed an LB70P in walnut with 5-piece neck and black
hardware; an LB70 in Pearl White with black chrome hardware and HB
pickup; an LB20 in Classic Sunburst with matching headstock and
black chrome hardware, and a TBS4 in Cherry Sunburst on flamed maple
with matching headstock and gold hardware.
Although not widely
publicized, a bass version of the CT headstock was made available in
2005. It's shown on the right on an LB70AP.
LB75 and XB75 5-string basses were unchanged for early
2005. The catalog showed, from left to right, an LB75P with
flamed koa top, swamp ash body, 5-piece maple/koa neck and black
chrome hardware; an LB75 in Classic Sunburst on swamp ash with
matching headstock and HB2 pickup; an XB75P with Claro walnut top
and headstock, no-show neck, Birdseye maple fingerboard and gold
hardware; and an XB75P in Translucent Green on swamp ash with chrome
2005 catalog showed an unusual all-maple LB75 (right). In addition to
the maple body and neck, this one has a maple fingerboard and black chrome
hardware. Also shown was an LB75P in Pearl Blue with a rosewood
fingerboard and chrome hardware; an XB75P in trans Emerald Green on swamp
ash; and an XB75P with dual HB pickups and a satin-finished flamed koa top
and matching headstock.
the other basses, the LB76 and XB76 were unchanged for
2005. The catalog showed an LB76P in black stain on quilt with
matching headstock, 5-piece maple/walnut neck, abalone block inlays
and black chrome hardware; an LB76PF in koa with gold hardware; an
LB76 in clear gloss with blackburst edges on quilted maple with
matching headstock and gold hardware; and an XB76P in Blueburst on
flamed maple with matching headstock and abalone dot inlays.
2005 catalog showed several other styles of LB76 and XB76. First up,
and LB76P in figured walnut with blackburst edges, chrome hardware and no
inlays. The black stain LB76P was the same one as in the catalog shown
above. Next, a pair of XB76Ps; the first in greenburst on flamed maple
with dual HB pickups, and the second in Sunsetburst on walnut with dual HB
The Bunny Brunel Signature Series basses were unchanged, as
well. The catalog showed a BB70 in Umber Stain on quilted
maple with Birdseye maple fingerboard, Birdseye maple headstock, HB
series bridge pickup and gold hardware; a BB70F in Sapphire Blue on
flamed maple with matching headstock, Hipshot detuner, HB pickup and
black hardware; a BB75F in Umber Stain on flamed maple with matching
headstock, HB pickup and gold hardware; and a BB76PF in Jet Black.
As with other models,
the BB series had a new design in the summer '05 catalog (right).
Shown were a BB70F in Sapphire Blue on flamed maple, a BB70P in
Umber Stain with cherry sunburst edges on flame, a BB75F in Umber
Stain on flame, and a BB76P in Ruby Red Stain on quilted maple.
Claro Walnut and Anniversary Series basses had some new photography
in the catalog, as well as some new models. For the first
time, XB model basses were official available as an Anniversary or
Claro Walnut model. In the past, an XB bass could be ordered
with the features of an A or W series bass, but it wasn't an
catalog showed an LB75AP in clear gloss on quilted maple, and an
XB75WP in figured walnut.
Also, the reference to
an XB70W was a misprint - there was no extended-scale 4-string model
AC40 and AC50 acoustic/electric basses were the same
as the 2004 models.
From left to right, the
catalog showed the AC50 in satin finished koa with matching
headstock, body binding and gold hardware; an AC50F with flamed koa
top and matching headstock with chrome hardware;
an AC40 in Traditional Sunburst on flamed maple with matching
headstock and body binding, and an AC40 in clear gloss on flamed
maple with matching headstock and body binding.
In addition to the
Elite Series, bassists had something else to be excited about at
the end of 2005 - the introduction of Carvin's first true
acoustic bass, the Cobalt C450T. This was a
jumbo-bodied bass, with AA spruce top and mahogany back and
sides. Gloss finish was standard with a satin neck, and a
satin finish was optional on the body. It has chrome
hardware, and abalone soundhole purfling. Electronics
consisted of a Fishman Matrix pickup with a Fishman Prefix
Plus-T module with a built-in tuner.