Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
Well after I put in EMG pickups in my guitar collection this is a middle of the road guitar for me. The EMG 60 in the neck position really suit this guitar giving a warm well round tone getting good jazz tone is no problem, EMG 81 in the bridge is hotter but the body wood still give a nice well rounded sound a solid thicker smooth tone come from this Carvin with EMG pickups. The tone of the wood and neck thru construction has clearly given this guitar long sustain and warm clear overtones, one of the best guitars I have in relation to "sound of the guitar" itself. I play thru mainly thru a computer VST plugins (amp farm, GTR, Guitar Rig, Amplutube etc) live JCM 900 and Carvin power amp driving 4 Marshall cabs and a Line 6 X3 Live and RP350.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for 24+ years I have had this guitar for 3 years and in that time I've played metal in some bands and blues in another and Jazz jaming in another this guitar goes to all of them and fits in well,. It's warm tone is strong enough to want to use it for when you need that type of tone. Best way to tell you how it's sounds is maybe talk about what it doesn't like. It does NOT have that glassy sound of a Strat totally opposite. It's has a warmth that not many other guitar have if do. If I lost this guitar I would be hunting for another to replaces it the very next day. It's better then my Les Paul Studio and many other guitars I have in this "warmth" department. What I dislike? Hmm it's hard to say but if pushed hard. Well I have to say the head stock looks a little "big and boxy" looking at the Carvin catalogue I prefer the Allan Holdsworth type head stock BUT if I had to purchased again I do not think I would worry about such cosmetic thing since the SC90 sounds and plays so well, the Allan Holdsworth may not give me all the things I like about the SC90. Maybe a custom order will be my next Carvin.
Reliability & Durability — 10
One of the best built guitars I have owned, solid on every level the Wilkinson tremolo. Stay in tune very well for a unlocking bridge the controls give great sound options. I put DiMarzio straps on all my guitars so no comment on the Carvin strap buttons. This guitar will always be in my gigging guitar list to take with me it's has not shown any sights of bad workmanship in any part of the build, everything show good original design at Carvin and I am looking forward to adding another Carvin guitar to my collection soon.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I got this second hand from eBay and the action and feel was pretty good when I got it. After a pickup change and dealing with the electrics I have I say it was very well built inside too. I normally change tuning machine if there is any cheap or roughness to how they feel but I have kept the original Carvin tuners in place. The action is very low, chords a easy to play and it's all is very well put together instrument, it's sits well when I stand up to play (I never sit when playing guitar). It's body shape is very well round no hard edges at all which is nice compared to say a Ibanez or even a Les Paul all up it feel great to play.
Features — 9
I think mine is a 2008 model USA made I purchased from eBay jumbo fret neck thru body with Wilkinson tremolo, I put EMG pickups in 81 and 60 (sorry I'm a active pick guy but I did keep the Carvin pickup's they where good but not EMG's). some think this is a Carvin Les Paul but I have to disagree yes some features of a Les Paul are here But it's very much has it's own wonderful feel that is very different to a Les Paul, fast neck, low action, flexible controls (having Les Paul controls) the just feel like a Carvin it's a joy to play has a nice warm tone and sustain is very good (due to the neck thru body I think) a very well made guitar.