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Thread: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

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    Super Toneologist ravendouglas's Avatar
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    Default i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    well after gibson wanted to charge me 6800 bucks for a purple ,flame top les paul,i said screw that,so today,my local authorized dealer,contacted fender custom shop for me,and for ..only 5000 bucks ,i can get a master built,basswood,fender show master done with a flamed purple maple cap and matching headstock..........next................i was on the phone with carvin ,and i can get a flamed maple top ,over a basswood body,actually i assumed they use basswood,i will have to double check that ,carvin v220,in purple,with case ,delivered to my door.made in the u.s.a..for...1250 bucks..i said send me the catalog.so here we are..........i need to know about carvin..ive never even seen one up close.
    Last edited by ravendouglas; 10-01-2009 at 05:33 PM.
    play louder than the other guy.....

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    Kablamminator ratherdashing's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    I know a couple people who have Carvins they are very happy with. I don't think they're in the same league as a master built Fender though. The old "you get what you pay for" saying is just as true here as anywhere else.

    If you're just looking for a purple flame maple guitar, you should also check out Warmoth and USA Custom Guitars.

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    Mojo's Minions Binnerscot's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    If you want custom, Carvin is a good option. I had one of their guitars and had no complaints with it.

    If you want even better custom quality, but can live with standard woods/paint/etc. just get a Jackson as their US Select series is the same quality as their custom shop (but their custom shop prices would be around Fender's and Gibson's for a complete custom like your description).
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    Wulf
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    I have three; a TL60 and two CT6's. I don't have any construction complaints. They are CNC cut so the necks and bodies are very consistant. The fret work is very good. The finishes and top woods are excellent. They only offer one neck shape per model but offer several radius options. You can make certain wood and finish requests without being charged extra. Sometimes you can make custom 1 off requests for an upcharge - just ask if they can/will do them. I have not heard of them using basswood so verify that again. Obviously the tones very with each piece of wood so the only bad thing is you can't play few and pick out the best sounding one. You can return them if you are not happy and request a rebuild. For the price, you can't find a better USA made guitar.

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    Wulf
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    One more thing - their pickups aren't exactly the best sounding IMHO

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    RepententRodentologist darnright's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Quote Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
    One more thing - their pickups aren't exactly the best sounding IMHO
    +1....Still not sure why they don't offer Seymour Duncan's or some of the other upgraded pups.

    -dave
    I don't believe anything I say and only half of what you hear....

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    Super Toneologist ravendouglas's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    if i go with carvin,im sure i will be putting s.d. pick ups in it.
    play louder than the other guy.....

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    Kablamminator ratherdashing's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Quote Originally Posted by ravendouglas View Post
    if i go with carvin,im sure i will be putting s.d. pick ups in it.
    That's somewhat easier said than done. Duncans aren't direct replacements for Carvin humbuckers. Carvins use 3-screw mounting for their buckers. There are ways to work around this, but it's not a trivial thing to do.

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    Super Toneologist ravendouglas's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    well crap,its always something..hmmmmmmm i hope they dont sound crappy
    play louder than the other guy.....

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    Tone Member lowenzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Gotta stick up for the Carvins a little here. I have owned 4 over the years, 2 currently. Their pickups have come along way since the 80's shred sticks they are known for. My single cut set neck pickups are close to perfect. My dual cut is a test bed for different pups and currently has a C8b and 59n.

    After a recent shopping trip to some vairous guitar stores looking at Gibsons and Gibsonish, I now understand the 3 hole ring thing and believe it is a great idea. The typical set neck Gibson has an extreme neck angle. Ever notice how high the bridge needs to be on some guitars. A few Gibsons on the "extreme" end of things here had front to rear edges of the pickups with 1/4-3/8" differences. The 3 hole mount ring lets you compensate for this and the pups stay parrallel with the strings.

    Carvin setneck guitars, dont run extreme neck angles and have no need for the bridge to be mounted up high, They actually route out under the TOM so it sits recessed. Extremely cool and comfortable detail there.


    Oh and Stainless frets last forever, that alone is one of my favorite features.

    My avatar is my double cut CT3
    Here is my single cut plain top CS4 with a light honeyburst finish with natural maple cap body binding finish.


    Carvin CS4 PG-n/ BBQ-b
    Ibanez AS103NTcustom /Super58's n&b
    G&L ASAT Classic

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    Tone Member lowenzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    That's somewhat easier said than done. Duncans aren't direct replacements for Carvin humbuckers. Carvins use 3-screw mounting for their buckers. There are ways to work around this, but it's not a trivial thing to do.
    Couldn't be more incorrect sir. It's as simple as ordering up some new rings. They use standard sized routes now as they have covered pickups. They've been doing this for approx 3 years now.

    Since Carvin has there return policy the way it is, I seriously doubt they will ever offer aftermarket pickups for the simple reason of, can you imagine how many people would return guitars to try other pickups. This forum community is far from the norm. Most people have no idea how to solder. Hell I've witnessed multiple people bring in a guitar and pay to have just the strings changed.

    Carvin's pups are no longer instant throwaways and have gathered a small following. I have their pups in one of their guitars, SD's in my other Carvin.
    Carvin CS4 PG-n/ BBQ-b
    Ibanez AS103NTcustom /Super58's n&b
    G&L ASAT Classic

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    Tone Member lowenzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Quote Originally Posted by ravendouglas View Post
    well after gibson wanted to charge me 6800 bucks for a purple ,flame top les paul,i said screw that,so today,my local authorized dealer,contacted fender custom shop for me,and for ..only 5000 bucks ,i can get a master built,basswood,fender show master done with a flamed purple maple cap and matching headstock..........next................i was on the phone with carvin ,and i can get a flamed maple top ,over a basswood body,actually i assumed they use basswood,i will have to double check that ,carvin v220,in purple,with case ,delivered to my door.made in the u.s.a..for...1250 bucks..i said send me the catalog.so here we are..........i need to know about carvin..ive never even seen one up close.
    The V220 is a neck through (maple) with alder wings. you can do all mahog, walnut, koa, etc. And yes all the flamed/quilted tops you could ever want. No Basswood at Carvin in the last 15+ years, I've done business with them.
    Carvin CS4 PG-n/ BBQ-b
    Ibanez AS103NTcustom /Super58's n&b
    G&L ASAT Classic

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    Super Toneologist JordanM82's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    That's somewhat easier said than done. Duncans aren't direct replacements for Carvin humbuckers. Carvins use 3-screw mounting for their buckers. There are ways to work around this, but it's not a trivial thing to do.
    It's not that hard to deal with as long as you plan for it honestly, I have done it on both my Carvin's... I have a Bolt-T and a CS4 both of which are very well made instruments... However, they are a bit different then what you might be used to. I actually bought a new Strat and am selling the bolt-t nothing wrong with the guitar, it plays phenomenally but just doesn't suit me. The CS4, thats different, I don't think I'll ever sell it, it's an amazing guitar.

    As far as options go, Carvin doesn't do Basswood, they never have and don't have plans to add it in the near future according to their sales people.

    They make GREAT guitars, but they aren't for everyone, they are different in shape and sound then the typical guitar of that type, one thing you can count on tho, is excellent quality and playability.
    "This is my hat now, this is totally my hat..."

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Quote Originally Posted by ravendouglas View Post
    well crap,its always something..hmmmmmmm i hope they dont sound crappy
    I haven't verified if this is possible, but I'd presume it is......Buy a set of Duncans and pickup rings, and when you place the order with Carvin, request that they take delivery of your pickups and install those.

    If I remember correctly, the pickup rings they use have different screw spacing, so if you change them after it's built, you'd probably have to redrill and could make a mess of your finish. I'd try to have them install your aftermarket set during construction.
    If you play guitar chest-high, you play from your heart.

    If you play guitar waist-high, you play from your guts.

    If you play guitar low, you play from your huevos.

  15. #15
    Lewguitar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    The Carvins I've played were very nice guitars. Played great and sounded just fine. A little generic though. Not much of a vintage feeland not a lot of personality. But a lot of guitar for the money. However, they don't seem to have a high resale value.

    I think most guys think of them as being an interim guitar until they can swing a real Gibson, Jackson, Fender...whatever they're REALLY lusting for but can't afford quite yet.

    Personally, I'd get on Ebay and search for a used, made in the USA Hamer.

    Lew
    Last edited by Lewguitar; 10-02-2009 at 05:39 AM.

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    Member Smooth Apparatus's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    I haven't verified if this is possible, but I'd presume it is......Buy a set of Duncans and pickup rings, and when you place the order with Carvin, request that they take delivery of your pickups and install those.

    If I remember correctly, the pickup rings they use have different screw spacing, so if you change them after it's built, you'd probably have to redrill and could make a mess of your finish. I'd try to have them install your aftermarket set during construction.

    I did this back in either ’98 or ’99. They were Dimarzios, but nonetheless when I called to place the order for my SC90 I asked and then arranged for them to install the Dimarzios. I don’t recall paying any extra for this.

    But I would later come to find that their M22SD was a badass pickup for real.

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    Super Toneologist kherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford






    '89 Yellow DC127 (ST Body)
    '89 Blue DC200 (ST body)
    '09 Black quilt ST300
    '94 Purple DC400
    '05 White DC727

    I'll put Carvin build quality up against Ibanez Prestige, ESP Standard, and Jackson USA Select any day of the week.
    I love how they play, feel, and sound.

    I have the H22n/C22b pickups in my Diodati LP type guitar.

    I think this set works great in mahogany.
    Huge difference over the stock Gotoh pickups that came with it.
    Added a fuller more dynamic tone to the guitar.
    Same with the S22J/S22B combo in my ST300.
    That guitar is mahogany neck and body with quilt top.
    It has a nice full and open tone to it.

    The '89s are all maple with ebony boards.
    The '94 is flame maple top with maple neck and poplar sides with ebony board.
    The tone of these guitars is tighter more straight focused sounding.
    Probably because those pickups are sitting in a lot of maple.
    They all have the M22n/M22sd pickup combo.

    I plan on trying the Duncan Alnico II/Custom Custom in the purple '94.
    Just to see what it does. What different type of sound it'll give me.
    And I don't need all three of those guitars having the same pickups in them.

    To me in the end, pickups are like strings, everyone has their preference.
    Which is why I think Carvin doesn't bother with after market pickups.
    If they did the 59/JB like everyone else, people would still complain because it wasn't the Antiquities, or Pearly Gates, or Customs, or Black Outs, etc.. etc.

    How many here have swapped out their stock Gibby, Fender, PRS, Ibanez pickups?
    Why do people not complain that those companies aren't putting in after markets like Duncans, or Lollars, or Bar knuckles, in "ALL" their guitars etc..
    Doesn't stop them from buying their LPs, Strats, Custom 24, or RG1550.
    They just swap them out to their preferred brand.
    But, Carvin always seems to get dissed for not offering after markets.
    I don't get it.

    I personally think the stock Carvin pickups are better than a lot of the stock pickups out there. Especially better than Duncan Design, EMG HZ, Ibby IBZ, and others.

    All I can say is pick you neck wood wisely.
    Since this is the main wood your pickups are going to sit in with Carvin neck thru guitars.
    Maple is tighter and brighter.
    Mahogany more dark and open.

    I see people get the mahogany wings, but still get the all maple or mostly maple necks.
    Then complain because the guitar is too bright and tight sounding still.
    When what they really wanted was more dark and open.
    Then they should have gone with the mahogany or Koa neck instead.

    I've heard the same complaint about the Soloist Select, Ibby RGT320, ESP MII NT.
    All which have maple neck thru.
    So, it's not just isolated to Carvins.


    As for the "you get what you pay for" comment.
    I disagree when it comes to Carvin.
    Only reason Carvins are less expensive than MIJ ESP, MIJ Ibanez, and USA Jackson is because they are factory direct.
    No Ma and Pa or GC store to add a middleman mark up to the price.
    It's you dealing directly with the company.
    Otherwise you can bet a flame maple topped DC127 would cost the same as a SL2H if Carvins were sold through stores.
    Obviously Carvin can't sell direct for the same amount as a retail store would either. Your buying site unseen.
    By selling for less than the retail stores, it gives you more incentive to give them a try. with a 10 day trial period. 5 year warranty.

    And I have used the 5 year warranty.
    The '05 DC727 is a rebuild for my '02.
    My '02 developed a truss rod problem.
    Sent it back to Carvin.
    They checked it out.
    Built me the '05.
    No questions asked.
    Covered under the 5 year warranty.
    The '05 has been great. No issues.
    Last edited by kherman; 10-02-2009 at 02:44 PM.

  18. #18
    Super Toneologist kherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Quote Originally Posted by lowenzz View Post
    The V220 is a neck through (maple) with alder wings. you can do all mahog, walnut, koa, etc. And yes all the flamed/quilted tops you could ever want. No Basswood at Carvin in the last 15+ years, I've done business with them.
    As lowenzz mentioned, Carvin does not use basswood.

    In the '80s Carvin used all maple. Or you could get Koa.
    Early '90s they use maple neck with poplar wing.
    By mid '90s they used alder wings. Plus added mahogany to the list.
    Today the offer mahogany, alder, ash, maple, koa, and walnut for electrics.
    Cedar and spruce for acoustics.
    Carvin did offer a alder neck option at one time. Still may, you'd have to call and ask.
    Ebony, rosewood, and maple for fretboards.

    Anyways, you should be able find your tone from any of those wood choices.
    You want bright, go maple or walnut.
    Want medium, go ash or alder.
    Want dark, go mahogany or Koa.

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    Super Toneologist ravendouglas's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    that purple carvin is SICK........AWSOME
    play louder than the other guy.....

  20. #20
    Super Toneologist kherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: i want to know about carvin guitars,its the only u.s. made i can afford

    Thanks, Ravendouglas.


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