Bass of the Week: Carbonetti Guitars Constantine
Mitch Friedman recently shared photos during the creation of his new bass by Carbonetti Guitars. Even in its rough forms, I knew it was going to be a monster. Now the bass, dubbed “Constantine,” is finished.
It all began when Friedman picked up a vintage instrument that had tons of mojo, but it was missing the right sound. “The concept around this bass began when I played an old Kay that looked and felt awesome but sounded like garbage,” he explains. “I asked [luthier James Carbonetti] if he could make me something like that, and he just happened to have this similarly shaped body cutout lying around.”
The Constantine features a hollow body design comprised of a mahogany back, roasted alder sides, a roasted ash heel block, and a quilted maple top. Its stunning roasted birdseye maple fingerboard has an eye-popping turquoise inlay, plus it continues down the body to also form the pickguard. Continuing the old school vibe, Carbonetti and Friedman agreed on a short scale but came up with a unique plan to extend the string length.
“The idea happened to float the strings through the body to get more string length on the 30” scale, and it worked! The rest just kinda developed organically as we went along, and it came out unbelievably good,” Friedman tells us.
For electronics, it’s fitted with three of Carbonetti’s mini-humbuckers with a five-way pickup selector. You can get an idea of its sound in this quick Instagram video of Friedman trying out the possibilities:
As if the bass isn’t cool enough, Friedman shared that session legend Willie Weeks came into Carbonetti’s shop and tried it out before ordering one for himself.
Carbonetti Constantine Bass Specs:
|Scale:||30″ scale (strings go through the body so regular length strings can be used)|
|Heel Block:||Roasted ash|
|Top:||Quilted maple top|
|Fingerboard/Pickguard:||Roasted Birdseye maple|
|Pickups:||3 Carbonetti mini humbuckers (10k, 11.5k, 12k)|
|Controls:||5-way switch pickup selector, Vol, tone,|
|Electronics:||‘59 Bumblebee capacitor|
|Strings:||La Bella FL .49-.109 deep talkin’ flats|