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Chris Larkin Reacter 4 1991 (new pics)

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Hand-made in Ireland by the luthier better known on the continent than in the UK. Chris Larkin first took a stand at Frankfurt Music Fair in, I think, 1989, and never needed to do any marketing here.

This one was ordered by the Viennese store Klangfarbe, and I brought it back from Vienna in 2016.

I sought advice on value from Christoph Navratil, who owns the site chrislarkinowners.com, where one can learn about the luthiers work (he died a few years ago).

There are also some basses for sale via the site, and further examples on reverb, where prices rise to a giddy £3,500.

Those examples look like they've never been played. Mine has not been mothballed, oh no!

A lot of pics here, the apparent colour really does vary this much. The split in finish near the control chamber is not structural, probably caused by temperature expansion/contraction.


NECK: P width assymetric set neck

FRETBOARD: rosewood


PICKUPS: Kent Armstrong humbuckers

BRIDGE: Schaller width-adjustable

CONTROLS: Passive - volume, tone. Active - bass, midfreq (hi, lo) treble

WEIGHT: 3.75kg


I have an inexpensive  hardcase for this, in case it has to be posted.


I'm selling as my other half tells me we are leaving our spacious loft in Bristol and moving to a broom cupboard in London. I travel occasionally between Bristol and Northampton, and am in London from time to time.


Trade option: I'm looking for a decent electro-acoustic nylon string guitar.













Edited by Manwithvan
new pics
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Fabulous looking and very rare bass; you really don't see these for sale too often! 


I remember trying one out at the Bass Centre in Wapping years ago. Along with early Overwaters, Pangbournes, JDs, Mansons and Wals, these were part of a flourishing wave of boutique British built basses at the time. 


Anyway, I'll stop reminiscing now and just wish you the best of luck with your sale.

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23 hours ago, Chris2112 said:

Beautiful! If it were a five or six I dare say I could have been reaching for my wallet. If anyone out there has a Reacter five or six string that they might sell, PM me! 

Here you go Chris, https://reverb.com/uk/item/13926129-chris-larkin-reacter-5b-lacewood


It's in Spain though!

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I remember speaking to Chris Larkin back in I think 1987 or 88 at the British Music Fair and he was a real nice bloke. I remember being blown away playing a Reactor bass, it was light years ahead of anything I'd played before. The price tag was astronomical compared to other basses so I sadly never got to own one. If they're as good as I remember then someone is going to love this bass.


Sadly Chris died in 2018 so these aren't being made any more.

Chris Larkin Website

Edited by WHUFC BASS
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4 hours ago, BassBod said:

Any idea if the wood is stained, or if the colour is in the finish? 

I'm not knowledgable enough to give an answer, but my guess is, in the finish. How deep would the stain sink in?

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1 hour ago, Manwithvan said:

I'm not knowledgable enough to give an answer, but my guess is, in the finish. How deep would the stain sink in?

Yes, most likely…but not always.  If any chipped areas (on the back?) don’t show stain, then it’s probably in the finish, between clear coats. 

I’m obviously thinking about a less coloured re-finish 😜🤔


Seriously tempted….and in Bristol 😎

Edited by BassBod
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Will someone please hurry up and pay Manwithvan? Please! This site is chockablock with sad old sods like myself who are having major Bass Centre reminiscence trauma every time we see this gorgeous machine (and God knows we keep coming back to look). Serious psychological damage inflicted by this listing 😂. GLWTS ASAP Mr.VanMan.

  Christ alive I love this bass so much...

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I've had a few questions, including requests for more images. String height: at 12th fret, its is approx 2mm to top of frets. It's similar at the 24th and 7th frets, so there is some bend in the neck, but it looks pretty straight. In these pics I'm showing: saddle heights; original bridge (G string was too close to edge for me); asymmetric neck profile; control cavity; neck joint area; rear body wood finish; split in finish; single dent in fretboard; other end of fretboard which has some wear.

Considering the state of the cosmetics, it's quite striking how little wear there is to the fretboard or frets. It's either been redone, or hasn't been played much.

IMG_3901 copy.jpg









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  • Manwithvan changed the title to Chris Larkin Reacter 4 1991 (new pics)
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I have owned two Chris Larkin Basses a Bassix, now in Australia and a Reacter 4 which I still own and cherish. I met Chris Larkin in his workshop a few years ago in Kerry Ireland. He built truly amazing basses and guitars. The Reacters are excellent basses and my favourite of his designs.  This is very well priced. This bass has similar active circuit an amazing range of tones are available, they are well balanced and a joy to play. I paid 2500 Euro for my Reacter 4, albiet in pristine condition, If I was still in UK and did not face VAT and Custom charges adding 33% to this bass I would snap it up for this bargain price. Can't understand why its still here? GLWS  

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