Sound — 9
I play blues, rock, and occasionally I delve into metal. This guitar does it all. I have played it through many amps, and every time it has sounded great. Currently I am playing through a Peavey Valveking 212 though. Every pickup has it's own characteristics, and it really reacts to changes with tone and volume. The neck pickup is great for smooth clean sounds and creamy distortion. The bridge pickup is bright and can handle many different genres. With the coil splitters, I can get a great single coil tone, especially in the neck position. It can be either RHCP clean or SRV bluesy. However, I do need a volume booster when I flip on the single coils because there is an output drop-off. On the other hand, I would not suggest the standard pickups for metal. Although the bridge pickup sounds fine with heavy distortion, I would suggest getting a higher output pickup to handle it.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for 4 years now, and the Carvin DC145 is the perfect choice for me. Whether you play blues or rock, this guitar shines. If this was lost or stolen, I would probably opt for something cheaper as I don't have the financial means to purchase another expensive guitar. But don't be fooled; this guitar is worth every cent. I would definitely try to get another Carvin. And to help put my mind at ease, Carvin installs Snagg microchips on their so if it is stolen and recovered by someone else, it's rightful owner can be identified. I absolutely love everything about this guitar, I have yet to find a single thing wrong with it yet.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is solid. I have not had one issue with reliability yet. It has fallen over a few times, and there is no visible damage to anything on it. The finish doesn't seem like it will be wearing off anytime soon. HOWEVER, the finish on did get scratched once, and I am not sure how or why it happened. I ordered Dunlop Straplocks for it, so I doubt I would have any problems with it falling. I would never gig without a backup, but having this guitar would definitely make me feel a lot more comfortable in knowing that I can rely on it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action on the guitar is flawless. The strings are low, but not too low as to make fret buzz. My uncle, who has played for roughly 40 years, described it as having one of the lowest actions he has ever seen. The finish is perfect. I do not see any problems with the hardware, even a year later. The pickup poles were also adjusted correctly.
Features — 10
Made in September/November 2008. The DC145 is Carvin's 3 pickup (HSH), Strat-shaped, 6 string guitar. Made in the US at Carvin's shop. The features on this guitar are limitless. Because Carvin allows you to choose your own features on your guitar, I can't find any fault with them on the guitar itself. That's one of the reasons why I went with a Carvin, instead of something like a Fender or an Ibanez. The pickups are made by Carvin, and they sound great. They have 11 poles each, which eliminates note drop-off when bending. I have the standard humbuckers in the neck and the bridge position, and a single-coil sized TBH humbucker in the middle position. Although I cannot personally vouch for this, the TBH supposedly sounds better than the standard AP11 single coils. The neck and bridge pickups have coil splitters, which have IMMENSELY widened the array of sounds I can get out of this thing. I also had a phase switch installed, which I never really use. However, I can get a great electric-acoustic sound out this guitar because of the phase switch, but I never really need this sound. The is one volume knob and one tone knob. The bridge is an Original Floyd Rose, by my choice. There are several bridge options that Carvin offers for varying prices. Along with it, I chose a locking nut. The tuners are locking Sperzels, which I have fallen in love with. The body is mahogany and the neck is maple. Because it is a neck thru body, it has a light blue stripe (in contrast to the dark blue surrounding it) running down to the bottom of the guitar. The fretboard has 24 frets and is made of ebony. The neck finish is satin, which feels AMAZING. And as a final detail, I ordered a personalized truss rod cover with my initials. Once again, because Carvin allows the buyer to choose their features they want on their guitar, I have to give this a 10.