Price paid: € 1700
Sound — 10
I have been playing guitar for almost 10 years. The band I play in is a thrash/death metal band, but I also like playing blues and jazz some times or just wanking on the guitar. I know that almost everybody says this about their guitar, but this one trully can play everything. I use thi guitar with a Line 6 Live xt POD floorboard on a combo 50 watt marshal amp and whatever is availlable at practice studios. Nothing special as a setup but I was particullary amazed when I tried the guitar with just the amp. I just played a chord and waited to see when it will die out. Well let me tell you it took a loooong time. Lots of sustain. And the sound is very full and balanced. Sometimes I just put the guitar straight in the amp with a bit of reverb and I don't need anything else. The active mode is a bit noisy especially in higher volumes and the passive mode is very quite with almost as good a sound. I cannot compare with EMG's beacause I haven't tried them, but the sound in active mode is very rich and organic. The harmonics are awesome, very intense and easy to produce without being compressed. Plus you have two equalizers for high's and low's that act as preamps also. As I stated I think you can play anything with this guitar. From warm bluesy sounds to full on death metal. And with the features you have you can shape any sound you want. From Fender style sound to dark modern sounds.
Overall Impression — 10
As I said I usually play thrash-death metal. Especailly with the active circuit on you have tons of distortion and sustain, so I would say it is a great much. But most of all you can paly almost any style of music with this guitar and have a very very good sound. I have been playing for ten years and my only other guitar is Squier that was guite customised (from the factory not by me). Before discovering Carvin I was thinking of buying a Jackson soloist or a PRS Custom 24. In Greece the soloist and the PRS costs around 3000E, and for almost half the price I got a guitar that kicks the ass of both of them. If I have the chance and cash I would bye these two but If I had to choose between them and a Carvin I would definetely choose Carvin. There is nothing I don't like in this guitar. Maybe I could have goten it with a Floyd to do some tricks, but at least agoin do some dive bombs with the Wilkinson (and far more sustain). If it were lost or stolen I would certainly try to locate it with the Snagg chip. If I would not be able to retrieve it I would certinly buy a new Carvin, or two.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is sure build to last. I have been palying it for a year and I have no complaints. It doesn't go out of tune when use the tremolo (well maybe a llitle, but not enough to be noticeable in rehearsal or live). You can definetely depend on this guitar in a Live show, but it is so darn beautiful that you will think twice about abusing it a lot. I would use a backup on stage just in case. Even though chord chabging is easy, it is not as easy as a string through or a fixed bridge.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The factory setup was quite good and I came with Elixir 010 strings. It was somewhat different from my previous guitar, but I got used to it rather quickly. The ebony fretboard is very smooth and you can feel the difference from other guitars. The neck is very easy and it is a good choice for shredders (which unfortunatelly am not). I was quite happy with the sound so I didn't check the pickup adjustment but it seems very easy to adjust. I have one thing to say about the finish Carvin guitars are absolutly stunning. When I first saw it I fell in love with it and the only reason I didn't buy it on the spot is because I knew nothing about Carvin then. After a quick research I went back and bought it and I don't think I will ever regret it.
Features — 10
This is a 2006 DC400T and I think it was made in USA. I don't know if Carvin has a factory outside the US. It has 24 frets on an ebony fretboard with abalone block inlays with medium jumbo frets. The guitar is neck thru construction with a maple neck wih alder wings. It has a flamed maple top with a gloss anticque brown finish. It features a wilkiinson tremolo with the active C22B and C22N humbucker pickups from Carvin. It has a three way selector with two coil splitters for the pickups and a phase Switch. The tuners are sperzel and it came with a molded hardcase. Also this model features the Snagg chip to track down the guitar in case it is stolen