Nice flamed tops: Why so expensive with the big boys?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by kingsxman, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    Just noticing after getting my latest Carvin catalog how incredibly beautiful thier guitar tops are. And they arent priced over 3k or 4k like some of the Gibsons and PRS's that have comparable tops. I am starting to look for a nicer Les Paul than what I currently have and was considering a 59 historic..but the prices with a nice top are just outrageous. It just got me thinking about how much extra we're getting gouged....

    Check these tops:
    http://www.carvinguitars.com/isa/process/getGuitars.php?modelID=14
     
  2. morlll

    morlll Member

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    Because they can:D

    People are buying them at those inflated prices.
     
  3. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    I've been slobering over Carvin catolog's since the late 70's. They make a fine instrument, but their necks are too slim for me.
     
  4. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    Well who is gouging who? The Carvin CS6 California Single is really no more guitar than a Gibson Les Paul Studio Plus and in my opinion the Gibson is the better of the two. And it would not be a fair comparison to compare the Carvin to the higher end Gibsons because of all the extra intensive labor that goes into putting all the binding on them.
    I submit, the Gibson Les Paul Studio Plus;
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/prod...tudio-Premium-Plus-Electric-Guitar?sku=517372
    Add in the price of the case for the Carvin and the price is more for it! And the pickups aren't to my preference. You would think that with no middle man that they could make more guitars that could compete price wise with Gibson and fender. Don't even try to convince me that the Carvin is in the same league as a PRS! Plus there is a huge hit if ever try to resell. So no, I don't think Carvin is the bargain it used to be, unless you score one used.
    Best Regards!
     
  5. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    Carvin's tops are AMAZING. The latest Les Paul Standards at some of the local stores have been very ho-hum uninspiring. When people say things like "you got a good one", it usually means there's some out there that ain't so good. I was in the market for a new LP Stamdard, and was incredulous about spending 2 grand and getting a top that was so drab. Meanwhile, the Carvin I paid half that for has a phenomenal top.

    So, short answer to your question: because they can, and people will still pay it.
     
  6. PLAYLOUD

    PLAYLOUD Member

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    Carvin has the buying power to probably buy the nice tops in bulk getting a better rate. They use technology to crank those out one after another. The small builders, while some have CNC's, still put a lot of hand labor into them. Not to mention they probably don't buy in bulk. Even though Carvin isn't charging $3 or $4k, I bet they are still making a good amount.

    The small builder probably has way more hours in a guitar, that's the big difference. So I guess it comes down to a hand crafted $3k guitar or a mass produced $1500 guitar like the Carvin (which I've heard good things about). Bottom line buy what you want. But the fact is, they buy in bulk, utilize technology to build guitars faster, so utimatley they can charge less. BTW, they're direct so no middle man another reason why it's not $3k.

    Pretty basic economics, I guess
     
  7. PLAYLOUD

    PLAYLOUD Member

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    Oh yeah BTW, Carvin is probably buying in board feet not considering the weight of the wood. I think a look of small builders buy on weight, more expensive.
     
  8. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    I think Gibson is buying way more flamed maple then Carvin ever dreamed of.
     
  9. PLAYLOUD

    PLAYLOUD Member

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    I think Gibson thinks they're the only game in town. Most new Gibson's I've played are terrible.
     
  10. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    This thread isnt about why Carvin is better or worse than other guitar companies..... Just about why Gibson and PRS get so much more for thier flamed/quilted tops.

    But I have to respond....Carvins quality is better than Gibsons but not quite PRS.
     
  11. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    And Gibson doesnt???
     
  12. PLAYLOUD

    PLAYLOUD Member

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    hence my statement, I guess.
     
  13. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

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    Point taken. I was not implying that Carvin was better or worse, they seem to make a nice product. I should restate that in both of the guitars I mentioned (CS6 California Single Carved Top vs. Les Paul Studio Plus) the Gibson would be a better value, especially when consider price and resale value unless that is, one plans on never selling the guitar ever. Gibson and PRS have to pay a middle man. If we could buy direct I am sure the price would be much lower. All I was stateing is that the Gibson Les Paul Studio Plus is made of the same basic materials, is of the same basic design, is approximately equal in quality, and cost about the same, but the Carvin has a lower resale, and Gibson has to pay a middle man vs. Carvin does not.
    Yes, they are both great guitars I am sure, but like it or not Carvin is making a higher profit per guitar made of equal materials, price, and construction. So maybe, when you figure in the extra hands on labor that goes into putting binding on a guitar by hand, spraying it in Nitro, using higher quality pots and pickups, and paying middle men to broker the guitar, advertisment, etc. that just maybe were not getting gouged as bad as you seem to imply.
    Best Regards!
     
  14. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    I think the PRS flame tops are nicer for the money than most Gibson tops I've seen. You can buy a new non 10 top PRS for less money than most Gibson flame tops.

    The Carvins look nice, but since I can't play them anywhere near me they aren't on my to buy list. Maybe next time I'm in CA I'll stop by the Carvin store and check them out.
     
  15. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    Are Carvin's figured tops a veneer or the complete top? That would be a big part of it. A 3/4" thick figured piece of maple that would be used to make 1 Gibson or PRS top could be sliced into enough sheets to probably make 10-12 veneered tops.
     
  16. jimlp

    jimlp Member

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    I just bought this guitar and the maple top on this guitar cost the designer $40.00, his tops are only 5/16's of an inch thick but they got 2 tops out of this piece of wood so a 1/2 top would have been possible as it is flat not arched. Gibson and PRS are raping people for a good top.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    What is that? Thats a cool guitar. (Coming from someone who's collection wont be complete until I have a Ibanez PS-10 Paul Stanley model). :dude
     
  18. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    No sweat. Used Carvins (like used american G&L's) are some of the best values out there. Its why its hard to buy either of those 2 new.
     
  19. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    Those dang thangs sure do look sweet. :dude
     
  20. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    I can't think of any music I'd want to heat that was ever recorded by a PRS or a Carvin. Therefore I don't need to own one.:D

    I did have an SC that sounded great, but it wasn't anywhere near the tone of the R7 goldtop that I used to own. In spite of it's weight, (it could have been used as an anchor) it actually sustained and resonated really well. My main problem with it was the wide fat neck was just too much for my sausage fingers.
     

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