Carvin Impressions?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jnavas, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

    Messages:
    4,597
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    I always thought Carvin was missing the boat with their "one size fits all" neck approach. Especially for a company that trades so heavily on customization. If I could order a Carvin with my choice of body style AND a choice of neck profiles I would have given one a try long ago. Because I don't doubt the quality. Yes, the Holdsworth model sounds like it may have a neck more to my liking, but I'm stuck with that body style. In all fairness, it's probably one of the reasons they can keep their prices relatively low. Still, I think they're losing a lot of potential business. I'm not the only one who prefers a big 50s style V-neck. So if they're going to advertise themselves as a "custom shop", give us some choices.
     
  2. robmarch

    robmarch Member

    Messages:
    1,013
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    my bass is finished in the full tung oil treatment, which I like a lot. it's not for everyone, though. it works well with the koa sides on my bass, as well as feeling great on the maple neck.

    a chambering option on the guitars with fancy tops would be a nice option, for those who prefer lighter guitars. They listened to the customers on their board who were hounding them for a carved top set neck guitar, so there's a possibility that the chambering option could happen :)

    they also listened to the board and now offer rosewood, maple, and birdseye maple fretboard options for those who want something other than ebony. it's kind of funny, the other manufacturers use rosewood primarily, and when they put ebony on a guitar it's the highest end one, and carvin chose to make everthing ebony for consistency, and now people are asking for the other stuff :) preference and variety rule, of course. I have rosewood and ebony guitars aplenty, and my brain vastly prefers fretboard woods that don't require a finish from a logical perspective. Still, part of me has gear lust for a nice nitro finished maple fretboard on a beat up strat :)

    the guitar necks work for me, but I wouldn't turn down the option to get a bigger profile.
     
  3. 3Sides

    3Sides Member

    Messages:
    336
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    It's been said here before, but Carvin is more an options shop than a custom shop.
     
  4. robmarch

    robmarch Member

    Messages:
    1,013
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    there's a fine line in there somewhere :)

    what they offer is a lot of options, and the opportunity to select the ones you want. neck carve hasn't been one of those options, to date.

    this isn't a whole lot different than most of the "custom shops" out there that are tied to a body style, headstock shape, or other. I can see how neck carve could be a hot button issue for some people, though.

    it's like custom motorcycle shops. some fab everything down to the frames, some do piece and paint.

    the amount of customization options available at the price point is unmatched, though, from what I've seen. If you want even more options or control, there are more expensive and more flexible options out there.
     
  5. mge80

    mge80 Member

    Messages:
    12,295
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    The Woods of Wisconsin
    As far as the necks go, about a year or so ago they went from the very thin, flat neck profile to a more rounded "c" shape. The bolt neck and neck throughs are virtually identical...only slightly different, the CT neck is a little bigger and rounder, although not the "V" shape referred to earlier, and then the Holdsworth neck is different, still.

    I guess for me the bottom line (and then I suppose I will have said all I have to say about my "Carvin Impressions") is that they provide a consistently high quality product, with a fairly extensive array of options, have reasonable build times and perhaps the most important of all, absolutely oustanding customer service. All at prices that are very reasonable and extremely competitive.

    This all combines to make me an exclusive Carvin player. But again, this is just what works for me. Others may not think this is for them and that's cool.

    (Trying to express my opinions and at the same time get along and be accepted on this board...:D )
     
  6. Reeek

    Reeek Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    There are several neck radiuses and scale lengths in the Carvin lineup. You can get 25 1/2 and 25 inch scales lengths and there is an all 14" radius neck on the Carved Top models, 12"-15" compund on the neck throughs and bolt ons and a 20" on the Holdsworth models
     
  7. royd

    royd Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    came into this one late...
    I have a Carvin bolt kit.
    I've been playing a little more than 40 years and had stopped playing electric for about 10 years... FWIW, my last electric rig was a '68 tele and a '64 Deluxe Recerb. When I went looking for an electric about two years ago I wanted to stay under about $700 and find a nice strat-style guitar. I played a bunch of Fenders and wasn't impressed by any in my price range. I played some higher price strat style guitars and found some very nice ones but they were more than I wanted to spend. I ordered an alder body hardtail bolt kit thinking it couldn't be worse than the Fenders I had played and was a good bit cheaper plus it would be fun putting it together.
    The body and neck fit together perfectly. I like ebony boards. The nut is wider than most of the fenders I played which was easier for me coming from a 1 3/4 inch acoustic nut (Lowden). The tung oil finish is easy to do and doesn't impede the sound. I went into the project planning to replace the electronics but found myself really liking the sound of the guitar as is so I haven't replaced anything.
    Two weeks ago my band played the local primo club (SOhO in Santa Barbara) for the first time. During the sound check the soundman asked me about the guitar and commented that it was one of the best strat sounds he had heard there.
    All that said, the bolt is worth a look. I'm sure that you could put together a warmoth or USA Custom guitar as nice that might fit your taste better - given the multiple choices in neck shape, pups, etc. - but it would cost a lot more than a bolt kit. I'd have to go with those who say that you can't get anything better for anything near the price.
     
  8. robmarch

    robmarch Member

    Messages:
    1,013
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    the bolt kit is a cool and inexpensive way to get into guitar building. and, for those that end up not liking the pickups, there's more fun you can have replacing them with something else you want to try.

    I've really wanted to check out some of the stuff in the warmoth showcase too, though, but I keep talking myself into super custom stuff instead, and can the whole thing :)
     
  9. Reeek

    Reeek Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    That's what happens to me too, robmarch. I dink around at Warmoth then by the time I mentally build an ax that I want, it's $1200 . . . :mad:
     
  10. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,185
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Carvin rocks!


    No, they suck!


    No they rock!


    Maybe


    or maybe not.

    And that's all I have to say on this topic.
     
  11. robmarch

    robmarch Member

    Messages:
    1,013
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    they do have some great options, though. I'm not saying it would be a bad $1200 guitar, it's just that I keep upgrading myself to that price point without even trying. warmoth's wood choices are impressive too, that's where I always get bitten. I mean, if you're going to make a neck, you might as well make it out of solid ebony, right?
     
  12. Reeek

    Reeek Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    I agree whole heartedly! I don't think it is money poorly spent at all. Warmoth enjoys their fine reputation because they earned it.

    I'm just sayin . . . :)

    I will likely build one someday when I'm finished buying guitars that someone else made :D
     
  13. jnavas

    jnavas Guest

    Strange thing happened. I decided to spec out a Carvin and order one just to see what they were like. If I hated it, I could always give it to my nephew (whose father refuses to let him spend money on a good guitar even though the kid can play very well and only has an off brand strat copy).

    So, after spotting a hum/single style C66 at the Carvin musuem, I called and asked if they could do the same for an upcharge. I was told absolutely not. A few hours later I called back, spoke to a different person, and was told they could do it, but he would have to check on the upcharge (also told me that spalted maple might be available as well-cool), so I'll be calling back to get the details.

    In the interim, I discoverd a small company called GMW guitars, who look like they do nice stuff. Their stuff is a little more than I wanted to spend, but not so much to totally rule them out as an option.
     
  14. baald

    baald Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Location:
    west side of the east bay
    i was inquiring about a bolt on neck for a project and asking if they could grafts option not shown on the catalog page onto just a neck -- bigger frets, no inlay. the rep said "hey man -- we're a custom shop. no problem". you might just try calling them and asking if they could do something like XXX guitar with the holdsworth neck carve or something like that.

    baald
     
  15. robmarch

    robmarch Member

    Messages:
    1,013
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    yeah, the options are available on the necks. my last one was shipped without inlays (NIN).
     
  16. Reeek

    Reeek Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    That's a very provacative statement :cool:

    Addendum:

    Do me a favor and in an informal list style, bullet off the steps that it takes to get everything. Is that too long a list? I'm thinking probably not. Which components did you buy from Warmoth versus somewhere else?

    Thanks!
     
  17. Reeek

    Reeek Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Appreciate it :)
     
  18. royd

    royd Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Gary,
    this may seem a bit gauche... but could you put one of those lists up here with prices for a comparison?
    roy
     
  19. afm409

    afm409 Member

    Messages:
    81
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    i put together a bolt kit.

    likes:
    • neck pocket fit excellent.
    • wider neck at highest fret w/ wider bridge (hardtail) width.
    • pickups - their newest hb and their sc.
    • i tung oiled the neck and body.
    dislikes:
    • i felt the sound was "brittle-ish". replaced the neck with a compound warmoth maple w/rw. the guitar instantly warmed up. beautiful sound.
    comment:

    the kit is great. i really like the wider width neck at the pocket - i think that is really good. the pickups sound good with the 250 or 500k pots. the sound of the neck did not do it for me. it played fine.

    to install the warmoth neck i made two spacer shims to get a nice snug fit. drilled four new holes to attach the neck because they did not match. i also had to shim the back of the neck up so the end of the fretboard was not up against the pickguard.

    conclusion:

    the carvin is proprietory. i sold the neck and now i am going to sell the body with the bridge. keeping the pickups. received many compliments on the sound of the modded carvin. the hardtail definitely works for me.
     
  20. MOJO

    MOJO Member

    Messages:
    3,345
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn Ny
    Any pics of yours Gary? i'm in Brooklyn NY and was thinking of having Rob put my Koa VIP kit together...
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice