Price paid: $ 579
Purchased from: www.carvin.com
Sound — 10
I love the sound from this guitar. With D'addario strings, the sound is incredible. When plugged into the sound system at my church the sound is incredible. The Fishman Prefix Plus system allows for adjustment to the equalization when the system you're plugging into doesn't sound just right.
Overall Impression — 10
My starter guitar was a $100 Yamaha from Guitar Center... This one blows that guitar away in every category. I would absolutely replace this guitar with another Carvin 850 if it were stolen. It produces the sound of a Martin at a fraction of the price. The action actually feels better than the Martin / Taylor guitars I tried out at GC. For background, this was written by a 30 year musician.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I play with a group on Wednesdays and Church on Sunday. It feels sturdy and I expect it will hold up fine. Carvin backs these guitars with a five year warranty. The hard case is so so. However, this seems to be a trend today. I've not seen a case that holds a Acoustic perfectly straight. It protects the guitar which I suppose is all that matters.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
No flaws. Any one who plays this guitar is impressed with the low action on the neck. Then they comment "this is what Carvin guitars are known for." I looked this guitar over from head to toe before I purchased it. There is not a single blem anywhere. And this is even more impressive as it has a high gloss finish. It is a great looking guitar backed up by it's melodic ability.
Features — 10
Carvin has been making acoustics for many years. Electric guitars for decades (made in San Diego, CA). The Carvin Cobalt C850T produces a beautiful sound from the Rosewood body. The body is a cutaway dreadnought. The guitar comes with Fishman Prefix Plus T electronics. The other guitarist at church who plays a Martin raves about the sound from my Carvin Acoustic. It comes with Grover Rotomatics with a 18:1 ratio. I rarely have to tune the guitar much at all during the course of a week. The guitar is imported.