Price paid: $ 1600
Purchased from: Carvin
Sound — 10
I could go on forever decribing the versatility of this guitar. It really does cover every type of style. The band I play in writes music that covers anything from jazz to hard rock and metal. The clean tones are amazing, and with the coil tap, you can get some really good single coil sounds, perfect for funk, country, ska & reggae, blues. The sound is very warm, a little on the dark side, but very alive; certainly not a dull sounding guitar. Kicking in the overdrive, this guitar can handle anything. I usually use the neck pickup for milky solos that require a lot of clarity and sustain. When I want a real screaming lead, I Switch to the bridge pickup. One of the nicest things, especially for benders, is the pickups have 12 pole pieces, so string bends never cut out. With this guitar, I can nail all the bands I love to listen, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, RHCP, RATM, Velvet Revolver, Smashing Pumpkins, Hendrix, it's just a really versatile guitar, and a really great sounding guitar, especially considering the relatively simple set up.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of different styles of music, and this guitar satisfies my eclectic tastes better than I could ever dreamed. I have had this guitar long enough to know that no matter what I ever do in the future, my Carvin will always be there beside me. If it were lost or stolen, Carvin has a theft prevention chip installed in the neck of the guitar. I love absolutely everything about this guitar, except for the fact that it took two months for them to build, but I must say, I would wait a year for this guitar!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar seems like it will be one of the last I ever buy. It's truly a quality instrument that you just can't go out and purchase on the shelf. I think I would take a spare guitar with me to a gig regardless of what kind I had, but I certainly have No Doubt that I'll still be playing this guitar 30 years down the road.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Flawless. I pulled this guitar out of its case, and it was ready to rock. I didn't even have to re-tune the guitar, the locking tuners had kept the excellent Elixier strings perfectly in tune, and this guitar was shipped across the USA to pennsylvania. The finish is beautiful, the neck plays really fast. The only thing I have noticed so far is the ring around the input jack has come a little loose, but this was once and only after a good 4 hours of jamming.
Features — 10
Carvin is a custom electric guitar & bass compnay based in San Diego, CA. They offer several different models for customers to pick from, and then, customize with different paint jobs, hardware, electronics etc. etc. The model I chose was one of Carvin's finest, the California Carved Top 6 String Model. The guitar is, obviously, a carved top guitar with a similar body shape to that of a PRS. It is made of Honduras Mahogany, a quilt maple top, a mahogany neck and ebondy fretboard, with 22 frets. The finish is a beautiful Trans Blue, absolutely stunning. There is just about every color option available though. I opted for a string through body model, though Standard trem and OFR trems are available too, and the guitar is nicely paired with locking tuners. Carvin uses there very own passive humbucking pickups, H/H, on this model, and a coil tap is included. PLayers select between the neck and bridge humbucker with a three way Switch. There is 1 Volume and 1 Tone knob. A case is required with the purcase.