#1
Hey guys, Here is the scoop,

I've been thinking of selling off a couple of guitars for a higher end model. I've been really interested for years in getting a custom built guitar, made just the way I want it. I've been looking heavily into getting a Carvin guitar built.

I would want to get a CS6. I love the quilted finishes that they do and I love the les paul shape.

So my question is....would it be worth it? Anyone have a custom built carvin or have played one/know someone who has etc?

It looks very legit and I've read some reviews, it just...its a lot of money to spend on a guitar that you haven't even played and won't know exactly how it looks.

I play almost exclusively metal so how are their pickups? what would you recommend for metal pickup wise from them. Or should I plan on swapping in my own?

Thanks in advance guys!
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#2
Like this? http://www.carvinguitars.com/guitars-in-stock/109687

The pickups are probably the one thing you WON'T like about Carvin. They're pretty mainstream, voiced more for blues, country, jazz, classic rock and hard rock, but not really metal.

Other than that, Carvins are well made and everybody I know who owns one loves 'em to death.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 2, 2013,
#3
I've had a love-hate relationship with mine. It's an outstanding guitar, and it always has been. The problem for me though was that the most expensive guitar I had owned before it was $425. I wasn't used to something this well-made, so I started getting depressed because I wasn't immediately good with it - it takes time to adjust to any new guitar, even the good ones - so I felt like it might have been wasted money. Once I finally got worn in with it though, I've loved it. Feels great, looks great, plays great, and in my opinion, sounds great. It was in my head, and once I cleared that up, I've been enjoying a great, well-crafted instrument.

The ordering process is really great. The guys at Carvin are very accommodating, and actually know what they're talking about, so you're not just talking to a random sales rep. I'd definitely recommend calling and ordering over the phone instead of ordering online, that way if there's anything specific you want to request or anything special you want done that they normally don't do - "Option 50" as they refer to options not listed online - you can get it instead of being stuck with what your options online are.

As far as the pickups you'd want, if you want to stick with the stock stuff, the M22SD in the bridge and a C22N or an M22N in the neck. That said though, the pickups are a mixed bag, and the only negative about them I can find. I've heard some people that hate them, I've heard some people that love them. I personally don't have any strong feelings, but they work, they sound good enough to me, and between the cost of a new HSH set and the rats nest I don't trust myself messing with, I'm not planning on fixing what's working.

You and I probably have very different tastes in pickups though. I like mine lower output and more traditional - PAF type sounds - so you may end up not liking them at all. I've heard of people ordering them without any pickups though and just putting their own in, so that may be worth looking into.
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#4
I've heard of people ordering them without any pickups though and just putting their own in, so that may be worth looking into.

I never thought of that. That's kind of clever.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
I'd rather order them and then take em out and sell em as they come with for free anyways. Also though, I wonder....I've heard of people sending in strings for them to set up the guitars with. I wonder if the same could apply for pickups. If they would install them for you. Its a nice thought, although I've rewired so many guitars at this point it wouldn't be a big deal to do another.

Thinking some duncan JB's or something.

And yes, kind of like that one, but I'd much rather spend a little more, get my EXACT color combo, etc.

And I planned on ordering on the phone as well, I just used online to kind of get a baseline of what it would cost.

Thanks for the input guys!!!


now.....anyone want to buy a hellraiser, or an alexi v?
'93 Gibson LP Studio (498T/490R)-Ebony
'14 Gibson LP Standard (JB/Jazz)-Ocean Water Perimeter
Epi MKH LP Custom-7 (SD Custom Shop JB-7)-Ebony
+More

Maxon od808|Boss NS-2|Boss CE-5|
Line6 G55|Korg Pitchblack Pro

JVM 210h|1960a(V30/G12t-75)
Last edited by RCA1186 at Sep 2, 2013,
#6
This is my CS6. I've had it for about 4 years. It is a amazing guitar. The only changes I made were to replace the pickups with Duncans, remember to get short leg pickups, and changed out the volume and tone pots. I didn't like the push pull switches.



If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
#7
oh boy! check out this:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1615856&highlight=Carvin

its insane. i am 100% happy with mine. lately, my only reservation is if i should have gotten jumbo frets or my medium jumbos. its almost impossible to tell without trying the same exact guitar (or closely a PRS), but as a whole thats a minor gripe.

i do agree. pickups are very solid. better than just about any asian made guitar pups you will get in guitar center. but when comparing to a NICE guitar, 1000+ with ducans, dimarzio, etc, they are a notch or two down.

i agree, the stock config pickups are solid for just about everything but metal. if you want versatility, perfect. if you want the brootz, ask the carvin guys which pickup for metal.

i love my push pull pot. very nice, really makes the guitar with all the unique toanz.

HERES A FACTOID!!

did you know carvin builds anti thieft tracking RF ID chips into the guitar?

https://www.snagg.com

this company. generally i can get a response from a carvin rep in 1-4 days such as:

"Hello Ike,

We send our SNAGG numbers over to the company in batches at the end of the month. You should be able to register by the 1st of October."

NICE. as a whole, i dont think money can buy a better guitar. if the guitar was better, such as better pups, bottom line you would have to raise price. i mean, look at my thread. the build is insane.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
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#8
Quote by ikey_


HERES A FACTOID!!

did you know carvin builds anti thieft tracking RF ID chips into the guitar?


No longer. They just recently decided to stop. Ask about them when you order your guitar. Nothing wrong with them, and Carvin still has a great relationship with SNAGG; it's just that a lot of users just don't bother to register the SNAGG chip on the SNAGG website, which makes them useless.

I have seven Carvins at this point (six guitars, one bass), and I really can't think of anything bad to say about them. I'm actually going to sell off a few (and order some new ones) within the next few months, but I have to fight off the feeling that I should hoard them <G>.

I'm very happy with the pickups in them, especially the C66 series and the M22SD bridge pickup. They don't sound exactly like everyone else's pickups, but I consider that a good thing; I've never replaced them with anything but other Carvin pickups. Word of advice: Don't order replacement pickups before you hear what's on your guitar.

Build quality has just been right on the money. Woods are incredible, and if you have something you really want them to do, they'll work with you to get just the right top, etc. The stock choices in woods, finishes and hardware are almost annoyingly vast.
#9
well. unless they just stopped. i ordered my guitar in july (got it in september). so i doubt they would tell me i have one when i don't....unless the sales reps are not aware of their product updates.

regardless, that was a fancy addon but really nobody cares unless your guitar gets stolen.

i just played my guitar, pups are great. i feel like they are a tab mellow in the settings aside from the bridge. may want to adjust them and change my EQ.

however, no way i work it, i cant get a metal tone that sounds as good as my epiphone les paul. i have come to the conclusion that the c22j and c22bs are just NOT high gain pups.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#10
I have had a TON of Carvins. THe company is very easy to work with, the M22 is a really good pickup for high-gain work, but not many of the other pickups are great for heavier tones. The build quality is awesome. Don't listen to people blasting Carvin, they have a money back guarantee even if you don't like the wood grain. Best guitars you can get for the money, and so many customizable options! Carvin is a great way to step up into custom guitars at an affordable price. Gives you plenty of easy ways to build a custom, before having to drop thousands on a smaller, boutique luthier. Highly recommend them!
#11
oh one thing i really liked was that it is basically lay away when you buy. you put a deposit down, and then you have 9 weeks to pay it off. they are totally fine if you do it in sections.

i would call my rep up and ask him to charge my card a couple hundred bucks every 2-3 weeks. it made the purchase painless cause it felt like paying a bill or something instead of splurging on a ton of cash.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#12
Quote by ikey_
well. unless they just stopped. i ordered my guitar in july (got it in september). so i doubt they would tell me i have one when i don't....unless the sales reps are not aware of their product updates.


You ordered in July, so you got in under the wire. Here's the announcement:

Effective August 31st 2013, Carvin will no longer be installing the SNAGG RFID microchip in Custom Shop guitars and basses. Technology has improved so much since Carvin's implementation of SNAGG in the 90s that most entities such as police departments and pawn shops have moved away from RFID in favor of other theft recovery devices and deterrents.

Guitars ordered prior to August 31st 2013 will still have SNAGG installed.

If you currently own a Carvin instrument with SNAGG, you are still protected in the event of loss or theft. However, the best deterrents are the most obvious - keep your instrument stored safely in its case, and keep copies of your original Carvin invoice along with the serial number of your gear. It's also a good idea to have good photographs of the front and rear of your instrument as well as the serial number, to help identify it should it ever be lost or stolen.
#13
Quote by engage757
I have had a TON of Carvins. THe company is very easy to work with, the M22 is a really good pickup for high-gain work, but not many of the other pickups are great for heavier tones.


There are several kinds of M22; the M22N, M22V, M22T aren't great (in my opinion) for high-gain, but the M22SD is awesome for that.



It's definitely worth looking at their active preamp for the C22 series if you're going to be doing a lot of high-gain. This setup changes the standard passive 2V 2T control quad to a Master Volume, a Master Treble, Master Bass and a Blend knob for a pair of humbuckers. Both the treble and the bass controls give you, in the "5" position, about what you'd get if you were dimed with the traditional 2V 2T. But both have an active 15 dB boost and cut on either side of the "5" -- much more tonal flexibility.
http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/502G



This isn't what you're going to get with a set of Blackouts, of course, so if you're looking for that sound, you're better pulling the Carvins and replacing them (IMHO), but you've got a lot more options with the Carvins and the active preamp than you do with the Blackouts, which are rather more one-trick ponies (though they're very very good at that one trick).

Here's a comparison for Carvin pickups (scroll down for tone comparisons): http://www.carvinguitars.com/pickups/
Last edited by dspellman at Sep 29, 2013,
#14
My Carvin isn't the best guitar I've ever owned or played...but its a workhorse, durable, strong as ****, insanely cheap for what you get...and absolutely beautiful. Its not the most symbiotic of relationships, but its like a good marriage, you take the good with the bad...because in the end its worth it...and my other guitars sit there collecting dust.
Gear:
1987 Charvel Model II
2010 Carvin ST300C
1990 Charvette 100
1991 Ibanez RG560M
2006 Fender Mexi Strat
Jackson/Charvel Star W/ Custom Graphics.
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