Carvin questions

pedersenkirk

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
432
Reaction score
164
Hey all - I asked a question earlier this week about PRS SEs but I'm now leaning towards getting a Carvin instead.

My wishlist has changed in recent weeks and I'm now looking at an American made, double-cut guitar with a carved top and can't afford a nice USA made PRS like a Custom 22.

I've seen a few Carvins come up in the local craigslist for sale and the ones I've seen are nothing short of gorgeous with prices bordering on downright reasonable, although the ones I've seen on their website tend to skew a bit upward. Still can't seem to hit that $1000 sweet spot and still get everything I want.

But.. I'm not sure about a couple things. First, are they mostly heavy metal/shred guitars? I can't really handle a thin neck for long periods of time. Something larger, Stratesque is what I'm used to playing, but I'd like to treat myself to a carved top this time around.

So basically what I'd like to know is if there's a big enough neck, how the pickups sound and if there's enough sustain on their bodies. Any help would be appreciated. :slash:
 

Thumpalumpacus

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
76,197
Reaction score
187,628
They have plenty of sustain. The Carvins I've played have somewhat slender necks, but I'm pretty sure they're offered with a variety of neck profiles, so my experience isn't complete.

As far as the pickups go, they struck me as having a pretty even response ... no frequencies accentuated or notched. I believe the ones in the Carvin I heard most (belonging to a bud, a DC127) were their M22s, designed for high-gain rock tones.

The quality is phenomenal. Quite a few players don't care for them tonally, but they're good all-around guitars, and represent great values.
 

Dr.Distortion

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
5,283
Reaction score
5,752
I lived in San Diego County most of my life... Now in Seattle. Carvin is from Escondido, northern SD County. I've had quite a few Carvins in my hands and have never owned one...
Why? The ones I've played were about as resonant as a brick... Just dead…
Go play one. See if you like it. They tend to have good action...
 

Bigneil

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
696
Reaction score
613
I used to own a carvin, (it's the blue shredding machine in my sig'). It was a beautifully built guitar, it sounded really good. one of the cool things about the carvin crew is that they are really accommodating at helping you build the perfect guitar offering loads of options on different woods finishes hardware options, creating guitars suited to every player in every genre. The majority of their guitars have a through neck construction, some are set neck like the "California carved top" range which are getting into LP territory then they also do their "bolt" range which are essentially Carvins take on classic Fender style guitars with bolt on necks and 25.5" scale length.

I used to spend a little bit of time in the Carvin forums and there really is a plethora of custom shop style options you can have on many of their guitars.

My particular one was a custom build DC135 with 16" fretboard radius, 24.75" scale length,stainless steel frets, and an uber thin neck profile...essentially designed to shred, I swapped it for an old Laney tube amp in the end, because I realized that after almost 20 years of owning it....that I'm just not a shredder:doh:

If I had a little more money I'd be looking to get a DC6, custom built double cut California carve top.

CarvinWorld.com International : DC6 DOUBLE-CUT CALIFORNIA CARVED TOP GUITAR
 

dangerdog

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2008
Messages
2,496
Reaction score
1,717
They are not "metal" really at all.....they make all kinds of models. Best thing about Carvins is they are SEVERELY underrated so you can pick one up used for super cheap. In my opinion, they can stand up with the best at any price and bang for the buck are almost impossible to beat...especially used. Also,look at Hamer for underrated USA made guitars....again go used. A few of the nicest guitars I have owned have been Hamers.

Get that PRS SE out of your head.
 

C Squared

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
6,818
Reaction score
3,734
I lived in San Diego County most of my life... Now in Seattle. Carvin is from Escondido, northern SD County. I've had quite a few Carvins in my hands and have never owned one...
Why? The ones I've played were about as resonant as a brick... Just dead…
Go play one. See if you like it. They tend to have good action...
The one I owned was very well built, great frets, very low action ( I had to raise mine a bit) but it just didn't sing. I've heard several others echo similar sentiments and from what I've garnered if you want a Carvin guitar then go with the tung oil satin finish. Not laid on as thick as their other finishes giving the wood a chance to resonate a bit.
 

zslane

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
2,807
Reaction score
1,155
The closest model to a PRS Custom is the Carvin CT. A plaintop CT4 is going to be the most affordable, but the higher-end CT6 is the guitar that most resembles all those PRS guitars with the beautiful "10 tops". Naturally, it is a bit more expensive.

I have a CT6, a CT624 (the 24-fret version of the CT6), and a PRS Custom 24. I prefer the Carvins. The necks are basically all the same, which means thin like a modern Gibson but not thin like an Ibanez shredder. There is nothing inherently "metal" about a Carvin, though you can certainly hot rod one to make it so (which I have done). My Carvin CT6s are two of the most comfortable and playable guitars in my collection. The necks are a pure joy.

A PRS is going to have superior resale value, but I buy my guitars under the assumption that I will be keeping them, so I don't let resale value influence my buying decisions.
 

pedersenkirk

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
432
Reaction score
164
The only issue with finding a used one is I'm in Canada and some manufacturers are a bit harder to get up here because they aren't sold in stores. Plenty of Gibson, Fender, Ibanez, etc available, but if I find a Carvin (like this one), it's been built by someone else and is a bit overpriced.

The guy said he may be willing to do $850 on that one, but I still think it's a bit steep given it's from a custom shop and was designed for him rather than me. I really love that single pickup neckthrough design they've got but I'm struggling to keep the price down.
 

pedersenkirk

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
432
Reaction score
164
OK, anyone know of a good online resource to find used Carvins, or even a Carvin discussion forum? I found a few via Google, but there may be one I'm missing. Any hints?
 

hbucker

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
3,885
Reaction score
1,556
The model you're looking at is less "Shredder" than a lot of their neck-through offerings. Their necks are less "Shredder" in recent years too, in that they offer rounder radii on the fretboard than they once did.

Frankly, it all depends on how they were ordered as to whether or not you'll find the neck carve o.k. I think their carved top guitars are the real deal though. I've been impressed with the ones I've played.

My issue with Carvin is their pickups. But those are easy enough to change that it shouldn't hold you back.
 

pedersenkirk

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
432
Reaction score
164
The more I look at their guitars, the more I like the DC125. Just a simple, one-pickup design is pretty well all I need. I've noticed with my current guitars that all I ever use is the bridge pickup anyway.

One problem I've been having though is when I start to option the guitar out, the price balloons to ~$1,300 - far beyond my range for any guitar at this point so I'm starting to look more at a used one, but I can't seem to locate any active Carvin forum for buying/selling used guitars. Anyone got an idea?
 

pedersenkirk

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
432
Reaction score
164
Yeah, stick with finding that Yamaha SG:dude: (Actually, I don't know Carvin from shinola. But good luck regardless) How did you do on the V sale?
The SG still hasn't left my mind. Actively hunting one as we speak.

As for the V, I got less than I was hoping for but I'm just glad to see it gone. The kid who bought it seemed to genuinely be thrilled to have it, so that's good enough for me. Hopefully he gets more out of it than I did.
 

Lungo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
7,926
Reaction score
13,216
There's another Carvin forum. Carvin Museum :: Index

There's a classified section there. Carvin doesn't allow private sales on their site.

If you're patient you can find a great deal on a used Carvin.
 

pedersenkirk

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
432
Reaction score
164
There's another Carvin forum. Carvin Museum :: Index

There's a classified section there. Carvin doesn't allow private sales on their site.

If you're patient you can find a great deal on a used Carvin.
Perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. Not allowing private sales on their own forum is completely understandable, wouldn't want to hurt new sales.
 

goldengate06

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
11
Reaction score
1
I have owned six Carvins, an assortment of PRS, and Custom shop Les Pauls. My Carvins are every bit as good as the PRS and my Les Pauls. I agree with what everyone else has said about the necks. They are most like a PRS wide thin or a Gibson 60s slim neck. My only gripe with my Carvin guitar is the pickups are kind of hit and miss. I've replaced the pickups in both my Carvin CT 6 guitars with PRS pickups. Now those guitars have the best of both worlds. Good luck in your search.
 

Pinkie

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
5,155
Reaction score
3,680
I had a TL60 which is a neck thru tele body,2 humbuckers and piezo bridge.
Beautiful guitar and played great but was dead as a door nail tone wise.
If you can get into one cheap it won't hurt too bad when it comes time to sell it.
They have very little resale value.
 


Latest Threads



Top