Tools for the bassoholic by Kevin Sullivan


Peavey T-40 bass.  The First instrument I ever owned.  I got this when I was 11 years old.  Sometime in my early 20s I replaced the pickups, electronics and bridge, stained the body and turned it into a fretless bass.  I don't really play it just keep it for sentimental reasons.

Greatest Bass Ever

Emerald Dragon

Prestige Ibanez Sound Gear.  This was the bass that showed me the shape a 6 string bass needs to be.  34" from bridge to bolt with 24 frets creates the perfect spacing.  The ergonomic design of the neck makes this bass a great player.  It's a prestige so of course the tone is amazing.  The wood is very soft so I put my own pick guard on it to protect against my fingernails. 

Carvin Icon 6 string bass.  Proof that there is a God and that dreams do come true.  Also 34" scale at 24 frets, ergonomic design for the neck incredibly diverse in tone capability.  Great sounds with this puppy.  My favorite bass that I have ever played hands down.   Carvin lets you put a name on your bass on the truss rod cover.  The paint job here is called dragon burst and it's over a flamed maple top.  The paint is emerald green and sapphire blue.   For this reason, and because I am an incurable nerd, I have named this bass the Emerald Dragon. 

Built at the World Plant in Korea 2005, this generation of BTB still has the ultra thin neck but it is also neck through.  The best of both worlds.  Jazz soloist studio quality tone is what this puppy has. 

  My whole life I wanted to play a six string bass.  I had tried many of them out but was always very disappointed with the design.  The necks were just to big in one dimension or another. Or the strings were to close together like it was designed for a pick.   I was convinced that the builders of these kind of instruments just hadn't figured it out yet.  This was my attitude until 2009.  After I had finally completed my first bass instruction manual I decided it was time to find the 6 string bass that was designed right for the human hands.   While doing Qui Gong in the morning I had an epiphany.  I thought a high end thin necked BTB 6 string would be the right design.  Yeh go figure.  I checked ebay and found this beautiful zebra wood thin neck through prestige 6 string BTB.  The seller claimed it was built for a show and there were only 15 in the world like it.  True or not I have never seen another bass like it.  When it arrived I was amazed at how thin the neck was and the tone is just phenomenal.  I played that bass for a couple years and really liked it.  But I knew I still hadn't found the perfect six string design.  Then I discovered another Ibanez bass.   I never liked the Ibanez Sound Gear previously.  I thought they were crappy low end instruments.  Until one day I played a prestige 5 string in a guitar shop.  I was blown away by what I would later learn was an ergonomic design short scale 34" 24 fret bass.  I knew as I left the shop that the 6 string version would be bad ass.  I bought one and I was right.  The neck was thicker than I thought would be ergonomic, but this bass set me free.  At last someone had figured out how to build a 6 string bass guitar.  The short scale and ergonomic neck was the key.   Then my dream bass came to fruition.  I literally had a dream about a 6 string bass with this wild paint job.  While screwing around on the internet I found a picture of this beautiful bass.  I was shocked because it looked just like the bass in my dream.  I did some research and discovered it was a Carvin Icon 6 with a dragon burst over flamed maple.  I also discovered that the Icon is an ergonomic design short scale 34" 24 fret bass.  So I had Carvin Build my dream bass.  And well there are no words for how much I love that bass. 

Built in the World plant, Korea 2007  Great tone bad ass neck through instrument.

Built in the Fuji-gen Plant, Japan in 1999, the Geddy Upright tone!!!!  Fretless beauty!!!

Built in the Fuji-gen Plant, Japan in 1999 the golden age of BTB manufacturing. For years I referred to this bass as the grand piano.

  This page is here just for the fun of showing what my personal taste, preferences, and passions for style and quality have led me to in the basses I keep play and enjoy.   You undoubtedly have your own tastes that differ from mine.  The diversity of passions ads such flavor to life, lets celebrate.   When I was in my early twenties I started becoming obsessed with extended range basses.  Though I never found a six string bass, at that time of my life, that I thought was properly constructed I loved the 5 string bass.   After owning many 5 string basses, including a few Fender Jazz Deluxes, I discovered that my all time favorite 5 string design is the Ibanez BTB.  When I first started playing these basses all BTBs were high end, all had bolt on necks that were beautifully thin.  Great tone!  The first time I plugged one in I was amazed at how it sounded like a grand piano.  I left the shop with that bass and I still have it.  Several years later I decided I wanted a fretless BTB.  It took me a long time to find what I was looking for but when I did I was in love with the tone.  Somewhere between Geddy Lee and a nice upright bass.  Years after that I was looking around for another bass and discovered, what was at the time,  the latest and greatest BTB model.  This was right when Ibanez started making them neck through but before Ibanez started making the necks fatter, a big mistake in my opinion.  This prestige bass was selling for $1650.  I loved it but already having two high end BTBs I couldn't justify spending the cash.  Then while visiting my brother in Washington he found that exact make and model on craigslist for $450 factory new quality.   For that deal I had to get it.   Of the something like 20 high end 5 string basses that I have owned in my life the three survivors are all BTBs.  For the record I have no 4 string basses left either.  Except of course for my very first bass my Peavey T-40.  Even though it's a POS I keep it for the sentimental reasons.