#1
I just bought a Carvin CT624 with lithium pickups from their existing stock inventory. They don't just sell out of that inventory, but also sell with the idea of taking the guitars back so that customers can hear the guitars before ordering a custom model.

The lithium pickups have way too much output, and I can't get them to sound good on any amp I have, or at any amp at Guitar Center or another decent-sized guitar store.

I'm wondering if anyone here has more than one Carvin, with one having lithium pickups and another having traditional warm alnico pickups. If so, I'd like to know what the difference in sound is.

Thanks for any replies.
#2
Have you thought of a treble bleed cap and maybe a different tone cap?
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#3
I can't modify the guitar, as it has to be returned to Carvin, and I don't want to modify any of my amps.
#4
Are you able to lower the height of the pickups? That might help a bit on cutting back the output. I don't think that would be considered "modifying".
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#5
Did you try backing off on the volume or tone knobs? I highly doubt that the guitar/pickups can't sound good with any amp. It sounds more like user error. What amps are you using and what kind of settings?
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#6
Quote by Monkeyleg
I just bought a Carvin CT624 with lithium pickups from their existing stock inventory. They don't just sell out of that inventory, but also sell with the idea of taking the guitars back so that customers can hear the guitars before ordering a custom model.


Did someone at Carvin tell you that specifically?

In the past, the Guitars In Stock were usually (often?) returns or mistakes, and priced accordingly. OTOH, they had a few factory stores (Covina, Hollywood, Orange County, and one at the factory itself) that were nicely stocked with gear. I think the factory store is still around, but the others are gone. Carvins normally come with a 10-day no questions asked return policy anyway, including custom orders.


Quote by Monkeyleg

The lithium pickups have way too much output, and I can't get them to sound good on any amp I have, or at any amp at Guitar Center or another decent-sized guitar store.

I'm wondering if anyone here has more than one Carvin, with one having lithium pickups and another having traditional warm alnico pickups. If so, I'd like to know what the difference in sound is.


I really haven't spent much time with the Lithium pickups; my Carvins have M22 and C22 series pickups (except for the single coils and/or single coil size humbuckers). My favorites are the C22 series, though there are several different output levels available there as well.

What amps do you have at the moment, and what kind of music are you playing?
#7
Yes, one of the tech support guys I talked to said I could return it within ten days for a refund, and I could use that time to decide whether I liked the pickups.

For amps, I have a Fender Super Reverb Reissue that I use with a Weber Mass Lite attenuator. With my other guitars, I have the amp set at 5 to 6 and the attenuator at 3 or 4. With the lithium pickups, I have the attenuator set a 1, the lowest setting, and the volume on the amp at 4.

I also have a Peavey Classic 30. I can't set the volume on the clean channel much above 1.

And I have a Peavey 1500 bedroom amp, which also has to be kept dialed down with these pickups.

I don't like using a guitar's volume knob, as it always seems to muffle the sound when the volume is dialed down. The EQ of the guitar can't be finessed anywhere near as well with one tone knob on the guitar as it can with three on the amp.

I gave some thought again to a lower wattage amp, but I'll already be spending more than I should on the guitar. I shouldn't be adding to the expense by getting an amp just for that guitar. I would think that one of their alnico pickups would be lower in volume and warmer.

I already played "find a way to make this custom guitar sound good" with another pricey custom model, and finally decided it would make more sense to sell it and get something that sounded good. Unfortunately with Carvin, you have to buy one to hear it when you live in a small town, as I do.
Last edited by Monkeyleg at Dec 25, 2015,
#8
do you have a MXR 5 band EQ to try with it ??..... you can turn down the volume with the EQ and still retain the sound
#9
Well, I suppose this is just a case of: You don't like the pickups.

In that case. Send it back... or keep it and swap the pickups out.

How do you like the guitar other than the pickups? That's the real question you need to answer.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#10
Quote by ThunderPunk
Well, I suppose this is just a case of: You don't like the pickups.

In that case. Send it back... or keep it and swap the pickups out.

How do you like the guitar other than the pickups? That's the real question you need to answer.


The guitar is blue, and I don't like blue at all. My ex-wife bought me blue shirts every Christmas and birthday for the last few years of our marriage because she knew I don't like blue.

I just got that one because it was the closest to the guitar I'll order, but with the lithium pickups. When I return this one and order the next, it will be with C22 or M22 alnico pickups. The only color they have available in the model closest to what I want is blue.

As for the guitar itself, it's extremely well made. People have commented many times on the Carvin fretwork, and their comments are spot on. The fit and finish are flawless.

I was surprised at how light the guitar is. I was expecting a mahogany guitar to be heavier than my alder or ash bodied Strats, but it's not.

The neck is thinner than any of the guitars I have, and that will take some getting used to, but I think it will ultimately make it very easy to play. Right now my fingers are moving to familiar positions on the neck, only to find there's no string there.

The one I want to order would have a flamed koa top with black burst edges and black sides and back. It won't be a cheap date, so it has to sound good.

If the C22 or M22 pickups give the guitar a warmer, fuller sound, I'll be happy as a pig in something or other.