Price paid: $ 695
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
Where do I begin? It suits basically any style of music that needs an electric guitar. Flip a phase Switch, and play some metal. Flip it off, and you can play some '50s rock 'n' roll. I'm using it currently with a no name 15 watt amp and a Fender mini amp combined. I sometimes also use my off brand expression pedal. The guitar makes no noises/pops whatsoever, no matter what setting. The sound is as rich and bright as any high end custom guitar. It makes Les Pauls jealous. With the active electronics, and so many controls, I basically can make any sound I can imagine. The variety is almost infinate.
Overall Impression — 10
When I was first looking at a new guitar, I really wanted a Gibson SG. They have a pretty good sound, but are expensive (especially for left handers like me). So I did alot of research for finding the perfect guitar for me. Carvin seem the best because of there extremely high quality, tons of custom features, and, above all, a bargain. I play basically any style of music, but prefferably classic rock. Most of my other stuff is noname junk, like my 15 watt amp and expression pedal. I have absolutely no regrets on buying this guitar. If it were stolen, I would have no hesitation of killing who ever stole it. I love everything about this guitar. Even the itty bitty chip on the headstock. I have to say my favorite feature is owning it! Carvin is one of those unsung guitar companies that most definately deserves a spot right by Fender, Gibson, and PRS; if not, ahead of them. It makes Fenders sound like cheap Squiers, and makes Gibsons sound like a noname copy. It is that good! The only thing I wish it had was a flamed koa body and headstock. This guitar is easily going to be the one that I'll be playing if I get somewhere in music. If you are looking for a guitar that has outstanding quality, but isn't as such a bust in the bank, Carvin is the way to go.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar could probably withstand a tank driving over it. It's about as solid as you can get a guitar. The hardware looks as though it's going to stay on the guitar it's whole life. The strap locks are a god send, and I recommend any player to get them. There's no dought I could depend on this guitar even if my life depended on it. I would bring my backup guitar, only because I love showing both off to the crowd and other players. The finish is probably going to last as long as I own it, and I'm planning on having this guitar for my lifetime.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar came to me perfectly. The action on this baby is like butter. The pickups needed no adjustment whatsoever, and if I needed to, would be very simple thanks to the setup of the pickups. The guitar itself looks like someone hollowed out a koa tree with the shape of my guitar. It is all one solid piece of koa. The bridge came in perfect working order, and it still works as well as it did when I got it. Because it was a used guitar, the bottom frets are a little bit dirty. There is also a itty bitty chip at the top of the headstock. The finish is still flawless; no scratches any anything like that. It just need a little cleaning and it now looks like new. A truly beautiful guitar.
Features — 10
Custom made in the US. It has 24 mediun/jumbo frets on a koa neck through body. The inlays are abalone blocks throughout the neck. The neck is reinforced with graphite rods and has a dual adjusting truss rod. The body is made of solid koa, and has a transparent finish. It has a Strat style body to it, only a little slimmer. It came with a gold Wilkinson tremelo system. The electronics are active (requires a 9 volt battery), and comes with 3 way selector Switch, volume, teble, bass, tone, phase in/out Switch, and two coil splitters. All the knobs and switches are gold. The stock pickups are active humbuckers. Has gold Sperzel locking tuners. Came with tweed case, gold strap locks, 8 feet of cable, tool set with poutch, whammy bar, and original oder form for the guitar being made (originally $1350 USD).