#1
I've been looking into a new guitar for a while. For a while I was looking at a Les Paul, but then I got a catalogue from Carvin in the mail. After looking into them, both for price and because of the 10-day return policy, I decided to bite the bullet and order my first Carvin.

That was the 15th of July. It was finished on the 8th, the night of September's new moon, which is why I've been calling it Luna(That, and it's impossible to use the phrase New Moon without Twilight coming upon you nowadays, and I hate those books), and arrived today while I was at work. Needless to say it's a delightful thing to come home from work to.



(Scissors and boxcutters are for girly men. Real, manly men open their boxes with swords!)



The box falls away to reveal a swanky tweed case. Inside is the treat. On an embarassing note; I spent a good five or ten minutes panicing because the locks were down on the case but there was no key in the box. Turns out they're those kinds of locks you need to push the keyhole to open. I need to handle luggage more...



Two months nearly to the day of intense anticipation and waiting rewarded.
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#2


And one without the flash to contrast;





A body shot without the flash...



And a body shot with the flash.



And of course, no NGD thread would be complete without the obligatory arty shot.

Now then, onto the review! Sadly I have no clips, as my amp is just about dead tonally(I've got some spare tubes, but those are the old ones, which were on the verge of death when I took them out, so it works, but there's plenty of hiss and fizz, so I'm not posting the demoes until I can get the amp working. Not letting this happen again though; I'm not swearing off tubes, but it's just depressing to get a new, custom guitar, then have your amp die and your only other option be a Fender Frontman, so I'll be picking a modeler of some sort up soon), but I will soon!

Review done in an abridged version of the standard UG review;

Price - $1,800 something(Screw buying two Schecters, a Dean, and an Ibanez; Save your money for something that does everything they do, but better kids!)

Features - Here be the shortlist of non-standard specs(If it's not listed, it's the standard option for a Contour 66), which should give a rough idea of features;

~Hardtail w/ stringsaver saddles
~Mahogany neck & body
~Quilted maple top
~Deep Dragonburst finish
~Quilted maple headstock
~Stainless medium jumbo steel frets
~Abalone block inlays
~Satin neck
~Black hardware
~Gold logo
~Custom wiring(HSH C22B/AP11/C22J, 5-way selector(Neckbucker, neck split-mid, mid, mid-bridge, bridgebucker, push-pull in/out-of-phase toggle, master coil splitter, bridge pickup on/off for positions 1 and 2, killswitch)

It's obviously a strat shape, so naturally, it's both very comfy, and very nice to play(Finally a 25.5" scale hardtail with a second cutaway!)

Sound - I went with everything from mellow bluesy rock to straddling the border between heavy metal and hard rock on Stargazer, and I'm planning bigger leaps(More gain, at some points diving headfirst into metal territory, and soft acoustics on the other end) on the next release, so I want something that can cover every base possible.

Again, my amp isn't in great shape, so I can't give a perfect take, but what I could get with it was much better than what I expected. I was going into this somewhat concerned since, as some of you who helped me out know, Carvin's pickups are love-hate, and I was worried I'd be on the hate end, but I love them; I've always had a thing against humbuckers, but I love the way the C22's sound, they're punchy and strong, but articulate and dynamic too. Not perfect for incredibly heavy stuff, but they'll do everything else fine.

Action, fit & finish - Action was perfect when I took it out of the case. I've critiqued brand new guitars I've bought immediately on the set-up, as I play a very heavy-handed style, so I hate and get fret buzz easily. I've found none so far on this guitar. Set up out of the factory with my personal favourites, .11 GHS Boomers, and with the longer scale, which I love, it feels perfect, and stays in-tune now that the strings are stretched.

Finish, take a look at the photos. I love the way this thing looks, I smile every time I look up at it on my wall. Beautiful quilt, and well-matched too. Dragonburst is a beautiful finish, and the way it plays with the light isn't done justice by the photos.

Reliability & Durability - I've owned this guitar for a few hours now, so I'm not very qualified on this front. I will say though that it feels nice and heavy, which, combined with the durability my strat(Same construction and shape, but less wood from routing) and my tele(Same neck joint design) have shown, I'm more than confident in this guitar's longevity. That said, I religiously use ClipLocks ever since my tele took a nasty fall that killed it's volume pot and left me without my favourite guitar for a week, and refuse to play live without a locking strap now, so it'll be getting the usual treatment regardless of those strap buttons.

Electronics, we'll see, but I'm not that concerned about them as long as I can find out if they're 500k or 250k except for making sure the techie gets it right when wiring the controls back up, so that's not a top priority.

Overall - Again, I've owned it for all of four and a half hours, take it with a grain of salt I suppose, but I love it. I built it with the mind to frankenstein my favourite parts of a strat and a Les Paul, get something along the lines of the iconic tones of each, as well as some new, interesting tones. I think I managed to do that. The pickups weren't near as bad as I thought they'd be, and the guys at Carvin were willing to accomodate my love of weird wiring. If they'd just have put the ClipLock on in the factory, I'd have no complaints.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

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#4
I absolutely love that finish!
I also didn't realize they did that custom of wiring- is that something you came up with on your own, or was it inspired?

HNGD, man.

PS- get some clips up
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Tell us, is the black box lying?
#7
How rude of you!
You introduce such a beautiful lady, and yet you give no name??

>_>

Edit: my bad, I read to quickly
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Last edited by diofan88 at Sep 15, 2010,
#8
Quote by diofan88
How rude of you!
You introduce such a beautiful lady, and yet you give no name??

>_>



...he did.

HNGD man! freaking gorgeous!
LICKY, LICKY LOLLIPOP


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#9
Quote by archenemyfan
messy room

nice guitar

HNGD



Fortunately that's not my room; My room recently got cleaned out except for the bed, then had a desk and chair put in. That's actually the storage room in the basement, as I wanted to get the box there rather than having to wait to play it once I had it out.

Quote by Pink Muse
I absolutely love that finish!
I also didn't realize they did that custom of wiring- is that something you came up with on your own, or was it inspired?

HNGD, man.

PS- get some clips up


Thanks for the kind words about the finish. The wiring was actually inspired by a few things; The 5-way's setup, which is pretty much the same normally save for I think what I have as the mid-bridge setting, was inspired by HSH RG's in-general. I've always liked the look of them, the wiring, and the sound of them with aftermarket pickups, but they were always too high-output for me new, and the necks were way too thin.

The master splitter was simply because I wanted to see if I could get a tele sound out of the bridge pickup, and a Stevie Ray kind of vibe from the neck. It's not perfect, but that's what my strat and tele are here for, and it'll do for those live. The phase was mainly as a way to get a brighter, more filtered, throaty tone when I thought it'd fit after hearing Brian May finally explain what it does sonically, and the killswitch can be summed up simply as me wanting a fun little thing to play with. If I'm lucky, I can incorporate it into my music as more than a live throwaway gag for solos.

And don't worry, as soon as I can get new tubes or a decent modeling amp(Whichever is more practical!), there'll be plenty of clips of it.

Quote by littlephil



Dragonburst = teh s3x!!!

HNGD!!


Indeed, I had no idea what it was when I first heard the term, and when I googled it, I was adamant my next guitar would have it.

Quote by Levi79
That's ****ing sweet!!!


It is; this is the kind of guitar that, if not for the value, I'd want to pass around the forum and let everyone play, with a note tied to the headstock: "This is what you want!"

Quote by BrokenDstring
Quote by diofan88
How rude of you!
You introduce such a beautiful lady, and yet you give no name??

>_>



...he did.

HNGD man! freaking gorgeous!


Beat me to the punch! Thanks man, I'm really satisfied with the quilt; Maybe it's that thing they do where they stain it black, then sand it off and paint over it that makes it so, but the grain is a hell of a lot stronger than on my PRS copy.
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#10
Very very pretty guitar! Congrats.
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#11
dude thats gorgeous! nice choice of finish too. i wish i could see a dragonburst finish in person as im sure the photos dont do it justice



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#12
That's dragonburst? I always thought dragonburst was a yellow-green-black tri-burst finish. Ah well. Looks pretty anyhoo.

God damn now I want one too. Bloody Carvin jacking their prices up...
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#13
jizz jizz jizz...

thats a sexy top.

HNGD!
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#14
I don't often put the term guitar and pornography toghether. But this is guitar pornography.

HNGD!
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#15
is it a set neck or bolt on? can't really tell from the pics.

dayum gorgeous guitar right there.

and yes, you are right, one good guitar can take the place of 3 meh guitars anytime.

congrats, if that thing plays half as good as it looks - wow.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#16
Very nice dude. Carvin's dragonburst finish was the starting point for the finish I chose for my dragonburst custom LP:



Carvins are great guitars, and absolutely worth the money. I had a CT6 for a while that I absolutely loved and currently I have the Ultra V. If you buy them used, Carvin becomes an even more amazing value. I got BOTH my Carvins for less than $800 combined with hardshell cases. I recommend Carvin to everyone I know . Enjoy it, and get some clips up!
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#17
that's badass, really nice colour.

nice sword too
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#18
Cool. Not something I'd get, but it looks nice.
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#20
I told you you'd like the pickups Congrats dude! welcome to the Carvin family, and just to show off....







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#22
Quote by Talentless
Very very pretty guitar! Congrats.


Thanks mate. And indeed it is.

Quote by SYLrules88
dude thats gorgeous! nice choice of finish too. i wish i could see a dragonburst finish in person as im sure the photos dont do it justice



Hey, take a look around local shops; Weird used Carvins show up all the time for a few days around here, I'm sure a dragonburst will show up sometime soon.

Quote by MrFlibble
That's dragonburst? I always thought dragonburst was a yellow-green-black tri-burst finish. Ah well. Looks pretty anyhoo.

God damn now I want one too. Bloody Carvin jacking their prices up...


I wasn't actually aware there was a finish that looked like that. Any pictures?

Aye, that's my one complaint about Carvin. It doesn't effect me since I'm in the US, but I always hate hearing from people overseas how much they hiked up international prices. Seems completely counterintuitive to their concept too...

Quote by diceksox1809
jizz jizz jizz...

thats a sexy top.

HNGD!


Quote by Fisheth24
I don't often put the term guitar and pornography toghether. But this is guitar pornography.

HNGD!


Thanks guys. I was actually unsure of how it'd turn out since I couldn't find any quilted dragonburst C66's on google, but it looked great on every other guitar, so I gave it a shot. Well-worth the risk I say.

Quote by CustomAxe
Very nice dude. Carvin's dragonburst finish was the starting point for the finish I chose for my dragonburst custom LP:

(Invalid img)

Carvins are great guitars, and absolutely worth the money. I had a CT6 for a while that I absolutely loved and currently I have the Ultra V. If you buy them used, Carvin becomes an even more amazing value. I got BOTH my Carvins for less than $800 combined with hardshell cases. I recommend Carvin to everyone I know . Enjoy it, and get some clips up!


Holy crap, that's incredible. It looks like a Dragonburst with a darker green, more blue, and a more flamesque top? Also, how'd you get the painted mounting rings, were those a request or did you do that yourself?

Agreed; For the above reasons, as long as they're in North America, I've always tried to recommend them to people. And apparently last night someone broke into the shop I work at(A music shop, and since I get an employee discount at the shop, I'm planning to pick them up there).

Fortunately the alarm went off and we're two or three blocks from the local police station, so he ran off fairly quickly, but not after smashing a few cabinets looking for stuff, one of which was unfortunately the tube display box, so the amp is still down. That said, I'm still going to blind A/B a few modeling amps so I can get a back, and hopefully I'll come home with it tomorrow, so clips will be up then.

Quote by RBM01991
I told you you'd like the pickups Congrats dude! welcome to the Carvin family, and just to show off....

(Invalid img)

My baby.


Beautiful! It says Nissan, but it looks more like a Ferrari to me. Also tweed cases FTW!

Quote by SilverRock113
Damn this really makes me want a Carvin
HNGD!!!


If you can afford it, I'd really recommend it; The neck is one of the best I've ever played, and unlike all of my guitars except my acoustic, this one actually likes being played standing up.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

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#23
necrosis,

I maybe wasn't clear, my dragonburst LP is NOT a Carvin. I work with a luthier who builds most of my guitars. It's entirely handbuilt and has a very unusual neck-thru body construction. The pickup rings are quilted maple just like the top, and stained to match.
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#24
really necrosis, how could you confuse that with a Carvin Singlecut??? afterall they look nothing alike...
#25
Quote by fretjob22
really necrosis, how could you confuse that with a Carvin Singlecut??? afterall they look nothing alike...


Sarcasm?
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#26
Tweed case ftw

HNGD, man!
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#27
Quote by necrosis1193

I wasn't actually aware there was a finish that looked like that. Any pictures?
This is what Fender and Warmoth call 'dragonburst':


It's... yeah. I think I prefer the Carvin version...
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#28
And I prefer mine . Warmoth's is more of a geckoburst in my opinion. Carvin's is great but a little light for my tastes, I prefer darker colors.
Custom guitars, vintage amps, boutique pedals. Blah, blah, blah.
#29
Quote by CustomAxe
necrosis,

I maybe wasn't clear, my dragonburst LP is NOT a Carvin. I work with a luthier who builds most of my guitars. It's entirely handbuilt and has a very unusual neck-thru body construction. The pickup rings are quilted maple just like the top, and stained to match.


I like the sound of this. Does he wrap the pickups too, or are they from a boutique brand like Fralin?

Quote by LoudLove5150
Tweed case ftw

HNGD, man!


Tweed cases are like telecasters - They'll never go out of style because they're cool for at least as long as Keith Richards is alive, which is forever.

Quote by MrFlibble
This is what Fender and Warmoth call 'dragonburst':


It's... yeah. I think I prefer the Carvin version...


Quote by CustomAxe
And I prefer mine . Warmoth's is more of a geckoburst in my opinion. Carvin's is great but a little light for my tastes, I prefer darker colors.


Agreed, I definitely prefer the green-blue to the yellow-green.

Also, good news; My amp is working now, so I'm proud to say it sounds wonderful! The splitters work great, it's awesome to be able to do a volume swell with the guitar's volume again, and the phase toggle cuts off the chunk from the mahogany to make the single-coil sounds much more believable, which was a pleasant surprise since I thought it may end up a throwaway I'd never use.

Unfortunately, I don't have any clips yet. But I will before the weekend! In the meantime, enjoy a photodump of some more guitar pornography.







THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 73-78
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 2-0
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 24-7
#30








THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 73-78
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 2-0
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 24-7
#32
:O *fapfap* Such an awesome guitar! HNGD!
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