#1
I don't have either an ESP or a Carvin, and I haven't played either one. The ESP I might be able to sample in a store, but maybe not the Carvin. For a long time I have been staring at the ESP E-II Horizon hard tail version, and for a couple of years I've gotten the Carvin catalog in the mail.

Both Horizon and the Carvin CS6 appear to be roughly the same price. Of course I want them both, but if I am lucky I might be able to get one. The Carvin seems close to a LP type guitar. I already own a LP standard. However, the Carvin is beautiful, has differnt pickups, and seems a bit more streamlined.

The closest thing I have to the ESP is a Schecter C-1 Classic. I picked it up for $450 a few years back (I'm an old guy). I like that Schecter, but have speculated the ESP to be somewhat of a step up in terms of design quality. The electronics on the Schecter I have considered to be somewhat noisy, and when I play it hard my hand slams a pickup and I end up with a blister. Nice guitar though, expecially cranked out on the bridge pickup position.

Any thoughts on these two?
#2
since Carvin is a direct order deal not likely to find in store unless you luck out and it's used. ESP is very nice guitar for a LP style. personally i'd be more tempted to go with the Carvin as you can order it the way you want it.
#3
Both companies make good guitars in terms of quality of manufacture. ESP tends to cater to the hard rock/metal guitarist, so usually will opt for EMGs or hotter passive pickups in their builds. Carvin, OTOH, has historically aimed for more mainstream tones- while you can get hot passives or actives, most Carvins you see on the used market will not have them. Besides, pickup swaps are (relatively) cheap modifications.

Get the ESP if that model is haunting your dreams, if you want to play metal or other more aggressive rock genres without changing anything, or if you are concerned with not being able to try it before you buy it.

Get a Carvin if you are aiming for blues/rock/country/jazz and want a quality axe that won't look like anyone else's.
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#4
I just got the Horizon and WOW...
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#5
Depends on what you're looking for in a guitar. If you're going for the heavy, then ESP. Versatility and customization, go Carvin. But both are great companies.
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#6
actually these days teh carvins get an upgrade to the kiesel pickups which are very well suited for harder styles of music. the kiesel branded guitars have em stock but word is if you build a regular carvin you can request a $0.00 swap for the kiesel pups.
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#7
I wasn't sure if the Kiesels were a free upgrade or not. Good to know!
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!
#8
If you want to roll the dice on a Carvin they do have a ten-day return window. But if you keep the guitar longer than that and try to sell it you’re going to take a bath—Carvins have shit resale value.
#9
You wouldn't know it from looking at them on the used market...
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!
#10
if you want versatility and more of a "classic" vibe, go for a carvin. if you play metal, go for the ESP.
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#11
Quote by Hail
if you want versatility and more of a "classic" vibe, go for a carvin. if you play metal, go for the ESP.


Thanks. I think I am leaning towards the ESP, mainly because I have the "classic vibe" fairly well covered with a LP and a Tele. With regards to the ESP, how does it compare with my Schecter C-1 Classic? Both are neck thru, both have Duncans I believe, and both have coil taps. I do note that the ESP has an Alder body as opposed to the mohagany on the Schecter. Is the ESP a step up in terms of electronics/precision/refinement?
#12
it's not even a fair comparison
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#13
Quote by Seriden
Thanks. I think I am leaning towards the ESP, mainly because I have the "classic vibe" fairly well covered with a LP and a Tele. With regards to the ESP, how does it compare with my Schecter C-1 Classic? Both are neck thru, both have Duncans I believe, and both have coil taps. I do note that the ESP has an Alder body as opposed to the mohagany on the Schecter. Is the ESP a step up in terms of electronics/precision/refinement?


Having owned an E-II and currently rocking the Carvin DC600 I can say both are top notch instruments. Carvin is far and away the better value since you can customize it exactly the way you want it for penny change compared to other custom shops. I can say with confidence I will only buy Carvins in the future. For $1100-2000 its AMAZING what you can do. No other company comes close to offering what Carvin/Keisel produces.

Here is mine that I paid $1650 for, which is what the ESP cost as well.



Carvin is no doubt the superior overall, absolutly perfect!
#14
That is a not unsexy axe...
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!
#15
If you live in the US and have that amount of money to spend, Carvin will always be the most logical choice. For the money, the quality you get and the level of customisation are like nothing else.
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#16
Quote by Hail
it's not even a fair comparison


They're really not in the same ballpark. The ESP is a production guitar sold through brick and mortar stores, which add a hefty layer of profit into the cost of the guitar. ESP's finish choices for any one specific guitar model are limited and the wood and other spec choices are immutable.

Carvin is a semi-custom guitar individually made to order and sold direct from factory to user with no additional music store profit tacked on. Wood choices are superb, there are tons of finish options and you can choose fretboard woods, radii, fret material, fret size and much more. The new Jeff Kiesel-designed guitars are pretty spectacular (including the dyed/figured fretboards, etc.) and reports on the new Kiesel pickups are pretty favorable. You can probably get EMGs or AHBs if you ask, but that's likely going to involve a phone call.
#17
Quote by Seriden


Both Horizon and the Carvin CS6 appear to be roughly the same price. The Carvin seems close to a LP type guitar. I already own a LP standard. However, the Carvin is beautiful, has differnt pickups, and seems a bit more streamlined.


These guitars are widely different. Do you have a *Gibson" LP standard, or an Epi?
It sounds like you're looking at upgrades to the two guitars you have already.

A couple of comments regarding the CS6 -- you might also look at the CS 624 (24-fret version of the CS6). Same scale (25") on both instruments, but the bridge and bridge pickup have moved, the neck is extended a bit and the 24th fret lands in about the same spot as the 22nd fret on the CS6 (or on your LP Standard).

Compared to a Gibson LP Standard, the body is a bit thinner (but solid) where the Standards are thicker but weight relieved or chambered. The bodies have a tummy cut.

More importantly, however, the Carvin has a much smoother neck heel. A standard LP has a seriously clunky heel-body connection (I've collected the 90 degree corner of the body on a Standard in the palm of my hand often when trying to work on the upper frets). The Carvin's neck heel is smooth. Much easier to play on the upper frets.

Carvin's fretwork will be better than whatever you have on your LP Standard. No qualifications. Depending on the headstock you order (my choice would be the straight pull 3+3 rather than the "traditional" wide paddle 3+3), you'll probably find the guitar staying tune a LOT longer than your LP standard.
#18
Oh, and by way of qualification (and bias), I own seven Carvins (some purchased new, some used). No ESPs.

That said, I am *still* trying to get the ESP Custom shop to build me one of these:

#19
Quote by dspellman
Oh, and by way of qualification (and bias), I own seven Carvins (some purchased new, some used). No ESPs.

That said, I am *still* trying to get the ESP Custom shop to build me one of these:


That's funny and dead on. I want the ESP and the Carvin. May still get the ESP though, although your arguments certainly have merit. My LP standard is a good guitar, which is part of what is moving me towards the ESP. I paid to have my LP refined at a regional Gibson repair shop about 5 years ago. The frets were professionally leveled. The guy who did it put alot of time into it, and demonstrated that eccentric type of interest that you want when someone works on your guitar. Never parting with my LP.
#21
I was going to order a Carvin V220 custom but since I couldn't get it with an R2 Floyd Rose I went with a ESP instead.Carvin told me they're necks are R3 only and I really prefer the narrower necks like old Kramer Barettas.
#22
Man, between those two is a hard choice. I would personally lean towards the Carvin, as those guitars are simply some of the best bang-for-the-buck around. Plus, I've heard tales that their customer service is top notch and works with people who get guitars that they're slightly unhappy with.

Where's Robbgnarly? He's got Carvin experience to share.
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