Well, I received my five-string back from Carvin last night.
Same problem with the bridge -- bridge saddles hanging off the front of the adjustment screws, some barely hanging on by a thread. They did manage to correct the intonation though.
I called for Marco in customer service -- one of the folks I've been dealing with on this -- was told he was out. Asked to speak with his supervisor. Was told Marco was as high as I could go -- apparently Marco is president of the company now.
It gets real fun after that -- they've now opted for the "we meant to do that" defense.
The customer service rep proceeded to tell me the bridge is supposed to be adjusted like that. When I asked why it wasn't like that when I bought my Carvin seven years ago, he said the manufacturer of the bridge (Hipshot) had changed the spec.
To be fair, I checked a bunch of pictures of their basses, and the saddles do appear to be adjusted pretty far forward on most of them. But in more than 25 years of playing, I've never seen a bass bridge set up to this extreme -- leaves absolutely no room for adjustment if any of the strings are flat at the 12th fret.
Their latest response leaves some open questions too. Like, why didn't they tell me this before I shipped it back to them more than a month ago? And why did it take them a month to fix it?
Frankly I'm dubious of the answer. I think they're just making things up to get rid of me at this point.
NBD. Life goes on. I'll use the bass for now, but I'll eventually dump it and get one from a manufacturer that actually cares about its products and customers.
Reputations are so hard earned and so easily lost.
Carvin? They're dead to me.