Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
I have only been playing for a couple of years and mostly play classic rock to 80's metal, as well as just doing a lot of noodling. This guitar is easily able to handle these styles and likely just about any other style that one would want to play. I have two other electrics, a MIM Strat SSH and an Epi Les Paul Standard with Seymour Duncan 59 in the neck and SH-5 in the bridge. I find that the Carvin's stock pickups sound better than either of the other guitars that I have. I play mostly through a Blackstar HT-20 when I want to have higher volume and when I am not looking to disturb the neighbors I play through a Boss JS-8. The guitar plays great through either one of these and I am amazed at how well it cleans up by rolling off of the volume. It is far superior to my other guitars when it comes to this. The coil-splitting is also a great feature that I don't have on my other guitars, it really give a lot of versatility to the sounds that can be achieved through this guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
As previously mentioned, I have only been playing for a couple of years and I feel that it is a privilege to have such a fine guitar. Compared to my other guitars this one suits me the best. It is able to really roar, like my Les Paul, when I'm standing, but with a much lighter weight. It is also as comfortable to play when I'm sitting as my Strat, but with the much more aggressive output than that guitar is able to deliver. If this guitar was lost or stolen, I wouldn't have to think twice about getting another one. As a matter of fact, I'm am quite sure that I will order one directly from Carvin at some point in the future. This way I can get it exactly as I would like it. I would highly encourage anyone that is looking for a high quality guitar for a more than reasonable price to check out Carvin. Read some reviews and you will see a guitar that consistently ranks as high or higher than other quality guitar manufacturers, such as Gibson and Fender. There are also some great deals to be had on the used market for these guitars. I believe that the fact that each guitar is custom built to each buyers specific tastes, that this does have a somewhat negative impact on their resale value. This allowed me to get a $1,200 guitar for less than half of that price. However, if you are looking to buy a guitar to keep for the long run, a new Carvin can be made exactly the way that you want it (for the most part) and you will have an instrument that you will really be able to enjoy for a lifetime.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Being that I just received this guitar, I cannot personally comment on the reliability or durability of the instrument. I can say that what I received is a very high quality guitar that seems to be very durable and reliable based on the condition that I received it in. However, I really have know way of knowing if the former owner ever had any problems with the guitar or if it just never really got played and that is why it is in such good shape. At this stage of my guitar playing journey, I don't really see myself ever being a gigging musician, but I have no doubt that this guitar would stand up to live playing without issue. When I received my Carvin it had stock strap buttons installed. And while I'm sure that they would be sturdy, my other guitars have Dunlop strap locks on them and the first thing that I did was go out and buy some for this guitar. I figured it was less expensive to buy the strap locks and be able to quickly swap out my existing guitar straps than to go out and buy an new strap, not to mention the added comfort level of knowing that my new toy wasn't going to accidentally take a nasty fall because of the strap unexpectedly slipping off. I do feel that I have done a good amount of research though. I watched just about every video review of any Carvin electric on YouTube and I also read just about every review and comment that I could find on the internet. I feel very confident that this guitar will be a very durable instrument for many years to come. One never knows what might happen in the future, but if I were asked today, I would say that I can see myself having and enjoying this guitar for the rest of my life.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Being that I bought this guitar used, I can't comment on the setup from the factory. However, when I received it I was very happy with the setup. The frets are very nicely finished and they don't hang over the fretboard at all. The action is very low and I don't notice any string buzzing. Pickups sound even when switching between them as well. The finish is a gloss finish, as previously mentioned and it is very good. It is very smooth and I don't see any imperfections in the finish at all. Now for the negatives - the gold hardware (mainly the bridge) is fading. I understand that this is normal with gold hardware and this is the reason that I would not have opted for if I was ordering the guitar new. Also, the body is a 3 piece body and the lower wing is considerably darker than the rest of the guitar. I feel that it could have been matched better. Other than that, I am very please with the quality of the instrument. I have been eyeing Carvins ever since I first received their catalog in the mail. I think that their guitars are absolutely beautiful to look at and then after reading all of the high marks that they receive in their reviews, I knew that this is what I wanted. I was fortunate enough to go to a Guitar Center a few weeks ago and they had a used DC127M on the floor. I got to play around with it and really liked the feel of it. That is what got me to start searching for one on eBay. I really wanted to have the opportunity to play one prior to buying it.
Features — 10
The DC127M is a 24 fret, neck through, solid body (Strat copy) design with dual humbuckers. As with all Carvins, there are a host of options that can be selected when ordering and they are all made in the San Diego factory in the USA. Mine was made in 2007. I purchased it used on eBay, so obviously I didn't have the opportunity to customized it to my own specs, but I was able to find one that had most of the options that I would have wanted. The "M" in the model means that it has a Tune-O-Matic bridge with string through body design. This setup provides for great sustain. I also have a Koa neck and body with a gloss finish and Ebony fingerboard. Had I chosen this, I believe I would have went the the Tung Oil finish (at least on the back of the neck), but I still really like the appearance of the and feel of this guitar. It has passive stock humbucker pickups with a single master volume and master tone control. There is also a phase switch and coil-splitting mini toggle switches (one for each pickup). It has Sperzel tuners and came with the original hard shell case. Mine also came with stainless steel medium-jumbo frets and gold hardware.