Carvin owners come on in!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by SFW, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. SFW

    SFW Member

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    My bass player wants to sell me his Carvin DC127. The guitar has a neck through design. Maple w/ Walnut sides. Finger board is Ebony. It is a beautiful guitar to look at, and the couple of times that I have played it, it had a great feel and response to it. I'm not really digging the carvin pups, so they would have to go. I'd more than likely slap the JB/59 combo in it.

    My question is this... for those of you who have owned Carvins, how are you guitars holding up? They seem to make quality gear, but I've never owned a guitar that was custom built. Most of my current guitars have either Gibson or Fender on the headstock. Im just wanting to get some opinions on quality and what I can expect from the guitar.

    Thanks guys!
    JD
     
  2. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I was very disappointed in the two Carvins I've owned. Too many stupid problems with them. Jacks failed, pickup switches failed, volume pots get scratchy very quickly, one with active electonics failed in a few months. Way too unreliable for serious use. They look good, but fail to deliver. Many people rave about them, but the two I had were useless. For the money there are great options from other companies.
     
  3. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    I would have to 100% disagree with the post above. I have a '92 DC127 that I've slapped around pretty hard. And I don't mean I'm heavy handed. I mean I have literally thrown this thing around! I've taken it off and thrown it strait down on the stage...a number of times. There have been times I've had to put the thing back together to some extent but honestly the thing keeps coming back for more.

    I actually like the Carvin pickups that came with mine. They are an M22V for the neck and an M22SD for the bridge. I've gone through a truck load of pickups in and out of that guitar and found the Seymour Duncan JB and the Custom Custom to be the best SD pickups for the bridge. The DiMarzio Super Distortion with the 2 conductor wire (not the 4 conductor) sounded great too. In the neck position I like to coil tap for single coil and the best pickup far and away that I found for that was an Anderson H1 but it didn't match up well with anything that I had in the bridge. I currently have a pair of Bill Lawrence L500s in it and I don't think I have them wired correctly. The sound is kind of thin. I'm thinking about just dropping the original pups back in there. The original neck pickup tapped sounds VERY Strat-like. In fact it sounds more "Stratish" than my friend's Strat with Texas Specials in it.
     
  4. SFW

    SFW Member

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    I had pretty much decided that if I do buy this guitar that when I swap the pups, I'd change out the pots as well. The volume pot is a little stiff for my liking. The Carvin pups are too "hi-fi" sounding to me. I like a little grit around the edges, if that makes sence. Although the Andersons sound like a cool idea too. Maybe a H1/H3 combo would sound good. I still want the coil taps though. I like the idea of being able to get some Tele-ish tones from the guitar.

    This is a 2002 model. It's been sitting in my bass player's closet for the past four years. He bought it when he get his Carvin bass (which is really nice btw). He's asking $400 for it. His original ticket, which is still in the case, had it at $850. So I thought it might be a good addition to the herd.
     
  5. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    The few Carvin's I've owned in the past were better then some "name" guitars costing double the $$.
    E.B.
     
  6. mge80

    mge80 Member

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    I will also agree that my Carvins (and I currently own 6 guitars and one bass) are exceptional. Great quality in every way....craftsmanship, playability, feel, etc.

    I could not be happier with the products or the company. Neither have failed to deliver every time and over the long haul.
     
  7. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    If you don't like "hi-fi" sounding pickups, I would stay away from the Andersons, at least from my experience with the one pickup I had. If you like a little grit around the edges, you would be better off with the 59/JB combo you talked about. You won't find a Tele tone in that pup combo though.

    $400 is a fair price for that guitar too. Pick it up, make the mods you want and enjoy it for years to come. I will never sell mine.
     
  8. Mcclassic

    Mcclassic Member

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    I have 2 V220 from the 80's., both great guitars that I love dearly
     
  9. MetalHeadd

    MetalHeadd Member

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    My main guitar is a DC127 that I use and abuse all the time and it keeps coming back for me. M22SD in the bridge that absolutely screams, and H22N in the bridge which sings when the gain is up and sounds beautiful coil-tapped for some clean work. Excellent guitars, considering another one as we speak.
     
  10. mark123

    mark123 Member

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    I had a AE-185 for a few years that I kinda liked, but never really bonded with it - never really got the tone I was after I guess. Got a hell of a deal on a Hamer Duotone and never missed the AE-185 after that. Sat in the case for the last few years and finally traded it for some other equipment.
     
  11. Antero

    Antero Member

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    My main guitar is a DC135, which has proven basically invulnerable - yes, I check it when I fly to school. The single coils sound great, but I'm going to swap out the bridge humbucker for some sort of hum-sized P90, because 1) I don't like humbuckers that much and 2) it's the old C22T, which pretty well sucks.

    I've heard complaints about the 3-way toggle failing - I have three miniswitches instead, and they've been fine.

    You can expect it to play fast as hell, stand up to abuse, and sound good with the right pickups; you might want to change out the switches.

    I'm keeping mine. :)
     
  12. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    I picked up a used 127 several years ago. Outstanding playability! No issues whatsoever. The pickups are voiced for a modern tone, but, depending on your amp, they might sound fine.

    My new amp is more of a vintage type. It prefers the Duncan 59's in my Bluesbird. I may swap the Carvin's out for Duncans, but I'm not sold on the JB's. I prefer a slightly darker bridge tone, and just slightly hotter, as well. I think the JB's are too bright for my tastes. Maybe a Custom, or Antiquity would be better for me.

    I recently purchased a Hamer with Rio's. (Thanks Chris!) I'm still setting it up, and making adjustments, but compared to my 59 equipped Bluesbird the Rio's seem darker, but hotter, with more edge. I'm lovin' my 59's! I'm using less OD these days, and like my guitar's to "talk" to me. (as opposed to scream.)

    Decide what you want it to sound like, and play some other guitars, if you can. And, just remember,... it doesn't have to be expensive to sound good.
     
  13. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    IME, SD Ants are "vintage" wound and are much brighter and, er, "less hot" than JBs.
     
  14. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    Careful. The Boutique Police will be on your ass in no time.
     
  15. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    "Freeze Asshole! Up against the wall! Feet back and spread-'em!" :jo
     
  16. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    If you like the guitar, buy it, as $400 sounds like a good price to me for a guitar that you like.

    Having said that, I've owned three Carvin instruments and I don't think I'll ever own one again. The first was an LB75 bass that I bought new and used for a few years. The wood choice wasn't particularly nice, as there were visible knots on the body. It arrived with a high fret that forced the action to be set fairly high. The electronics were decent, but the bass never sounded particularly full. The bridge metal was soft and the saddles were digging holes into it. It was a pretty nice bass, but not something I'd get again.

    The second two instruments were guitars. The first was a Holdsworth that I custom ordered through one of the Carvin stores. I speced the guitar out with a Carvin employee so it would turn out the way that I wanted. Again, the wood that they chose wasn't particularly good. There were knots on the neck and the color was significantly lighter than what I had been promised. I ended up returning that guitar within 10 days.

    The third guitar was one I bought off the wall at a Carvin store. This one was also a Holdsworth and it looked and played great. I enjoyed playing this one, but didn't care for the pickups. I was planning to change them, but then the electronics started to act up, so I simply sold the guitar instead.

    I might just be unlucky when it comes to Carvins, but they never seemed to live up to the hype. The $400 guitar sounds like a good deal and I'd be willing to deal with replacing pickups, pots, switches, etc. at that price.

    Bryan
     
  17. bikerdude2

    bikerdude2 Member

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    I've played and owned them on and off for the last 12 years without any problems. $400 for a quality neck thru? Money well spent, even if you swap pups IMHO.
     
  18. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    I have almost the same stroy but I bought a SAS to replace the AE-185. It was a cool guitar but I never bonded with it. Now I have a HBI with piezo and it is like the big brother to the AE-185.
     
  19. Hardtail

    Hardtail Member

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    Over the past 6 years or so, I've owned 7 Carvins. I'm into figured maple, and NOBODY on planet earth offers top shelf quilted maple for even close to what Carvin charges. I have a quilted Carvin Bolt superstrat that I would put up against any of the boutique guys stuff. Never had any problemswith electrical issues - pretty much bulletproof. Pickups rock ... hard. If any metal head out there dislikes the M22SD, they've never heard it played through good equipment - it'll take your head off without the nasaly midrange of the JB or variants. My CT-4 has the new C22B - it will chunk with the best of 'em. Those that diss pickups simply don't like the aesthetics of them, because they' look different. As I step off my soapbox ... Carvin's rule - you will not find any better bang for the buck (best of all is they scrapped the thin D shaped shredder necks - all the new stuff is coming through with a moderatly beefy C shaped neck & you pick the radius from 10-16"). Whats not to like ...

    [​IMG]

    And this is a lowly CT-4 (not even supposed to have a flame top !!)

    [​IMG]

    HT
     
  20. Antero

    Antero Member

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    Side comment: I think pickups that would sound fine/good in a bolt-on or set neck won't necessarily sound good in a neck-through. Humbuckers in a neck-through feels limited and compressed to me, but that might just be because I'm all about single coils.
     

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