Price paid: $ 1.25
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
This guitar will suit any style from jazz to hard rock, from blues to gospel, country to metal. I play in church and this is more than suited for what I need. Honestly I would and do play this guitar with no backup and am confident in it doing what's needed and more. I play through our soundboard at church with a solid state amp(uuugghh) but the Carvin sounds excellent. At home I play an Egnator Tweaker 40 through a variety of pedals which are constantly changing. This guitar has no bad sounds. Cut back on the volume and it cleans up even nicer on both pickups without loosing string definition, same with tone turn back and you have Duane Allman but once again string definition and no muddy sounds. Impressed once again.
Overall Impression — 10
I play gospel and blues been playing over 33yrs and this is a guitar that will handle that and any style depending on amp pedals and settings. It truly absorbs well whatever setting or pedal you run it through and will handle it well. I would most definatly cry if stolen and would hunt the person down for stealing this guitar. This is my first Carvin and most likely not my last. Their negatives rep wise are misconceptions. No the resale value isn't there, why I don't know because this is by no means a low priced quality guitar. Has as much if not more to offer than PRS and wont need a mortgage if your home to but one especially if buying used which is what I did. Awesome in every way play one you wont regret it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Id play this guitar anywhere. Everything is topnotch, electronics, frets, straplocks, tuners. This is a boutique workhorse. The finish though isn't a Nitrocellious finish is glassy and compliments the top incredibly. So I will give it a 9 1/2 for not being nitro, so far extremley reliable. The Hardware is very durable this is my first experience with Sperzle tuners and I love em great tuners. The straplocks are pushbutton type but do what they are required they lock the strap. The weight of this guitar is pefect and its balanced incredibly.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I can't brag enough on the setup it was dead on low action with no buzz and feels like a great broke in Vintage guitar. Frets are stainless steel and play amazingly. I have yet to find any flaws on this guitar which I always find something wrong. The nut was cut perfectly with no Custom Shop Gibby kachink you get when tuning using stack strings. The top is easily PRS private stock quality just incredible with matching headstock. Eye Candy definitely. Pickups once again were set perfectly. Great sustain and many sweetspots on that neck.
Features — 10
Its an American made guitar and represents our country well. It has 22 stainless steel frets with Ebony fretboard. The neck is slightly thicker than a '60s neck of a Gibson. The body is Mahogany with Abalone block inlays. The neck is immaculately done. The frets everything is perfect on this neck. It's Tungoiled and has an excellent feel to it much like a Vintage Gibby or as I said to my wife a well broke in pair of levis. Has a beautiful quilted maple top with neck through body and strings through body. Has Sperzel locking tuners brass it looks like and they are wonderful, keeps the guitar in tune. Pickups are Carvins passive C22J & C22B classic humbuckers which btw ignore all the complaints you've heard of the pickups lacking or being sterile sounding. Now I'm a boutique Pickup guy and honestly these pups will most likely stay in their present home. They are lacking on no area. - Master volume, 3-way pickup selector - Push/pull tone control doubles as coil splitter - Finish covers the top wood and back of guitar - Came with a Carvin case which fit the guitar like a glove. The guitar does resemble the PRS in so many ways but is not a clone but is it's own beast and for what your offered and cost honestly Unless for investment purposes I may not look to the PRS camp (sorry I do like the Mcartys but... Carvin!)