ST300C review by Carvin

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 1
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 5.8 Decent
  • Users' score: 6.1 (19 votes)
Carvin: ST300C
0

Price paid: $ 1750

Purchased from: Carvin, Santa Ana, CA

Sound — 9
The active electronics were amazing. I could make it sound like my best Les Paul. It could make Strat sounds, blues and metal. This was a working-mans guitar. It wasn't too expensive for a custom ordered guitar. I never played a pick up that sounded like a single coil when split. This pick-up did. The action was nice too, considering...

Overall Impression — 1
This is like having a Victoria Seceret Model girlfriend...that won't put out! I purchased this "Made in the USA" guitar because I expected a quality insterment. What I got was a major clusterfu*$K and one HELL of a head ache. I guess Made in the USA doesn't mean much to Carvin.

Reliability & Durability — 1
Okay, here's the BAD PART. The Hi E string kept poping off the neck! After waiting 6 weeks I had to send it back. 2 weeks go by and they haven't touched it! Hey, they got my money now so WTF! The tech tells me he doesn't know ow to fix it! 2nd their attitude was very stand offish. They just didn't want too talk to you. I called this morning. They re-fretted it, but it the string still pops off the neck! It will arrive here tomorrow. What am I going to do with a 6 string guitar with only 5 working strings!

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar arrived set-up just like I would set it up! It was even in tune! The finish is called Deep Orange Burst Flame and the headstock was matched. The Floyd Rose Bridge was set up flat just like it should be. I've been waiting for years to buy a new guitar. This was a special present for me.

Features — 8
Neck through tung oil neck, Curley Maple Neck, Sperzal tuners, Flame Maple top, Floyd Rose, Active Electronics, BEAUTIFUL! Vintage pick ups, coil spliting and phase switching. There wasn't much missing on this guitar. I ordered it with everything, including abolone Diamond fret markers and 24 frets. Read on...

74 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Matt420740
    homebrew1709 wrote: First off, I don't think a one-off, horror-story "review" belongs on the front page of UG. Secondly, as an owner of a Carvin, I find the whole thing hard to believe. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've ordered 3 Carvins and never had a single problem with customer service. In fact, most recently, I told them that the nut on my DC127 wasn't cut correctly, they mailed me a new one for FREE, no questions asked. If everything the reviewer said is true, then I guess he's just an unlucky guy.
    This ^ Carvin has excellent service. And 2nd, Carvin has a 10 day return policy. Why would you wait 6 weeks to return it? This review just sounds like bull to me.
    llama
    Like others have said, this almost seems to be a joke. Carvin's customer service, from all my experiences, has gone ABOVE AND BEYOND to fix any problems.
    feathers632
    The reviewer is the only person unregistered here. Doesn't seem like he has anything else to say.
    homebrew1709
    First off, I don't think a one-off, horror-story "review" belongs on the front page of UG. Secondly, as an owner of a Carvin, I find the whole thing hard to believe. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've ordered 3 Carvins and never had a single problem with customer service. In fact, most recently, I told them that the nut on my DC127 wasn't cut correctly, they mailed me a new one for FREE, no questions asked. If everything the reviewer said is true, then I guess he's just an unlucky guy.
    Andragon
    Dude, just no. I've SEEN Carvin not only have much better quality control than other manufacturers (guitars and cabinets), but their customer service is stellar. You just got a "tech" who's a jerk.
    njm0830
    i just want to throw in my two cents here. I had this issue when i got my last guitar (a taylor solidbody standard). I talked to the dudes at Taylor adn they sent me a new nut that was aligned more properly and now the problem is fixed. You don't need a new guitar if just the high e string is slipping off. It's probably a nut issue.
    shaofu0424
    well, if it is not operator error of some sort, then i am sure they would replace the guitar... i have been working on carvin guitars & basses for friends in bands for a LONG time (like 15 years) and have yet to see one have a single flaw in it... that is a very impressive track record... mostly, people just ask me to change pickups for them because they are so sound they don't even need a setup... considering there is little pertinent information as to the problem we as a community can only make estimated guesses at best without pics or a better explanation... but to the previous take on american quality, let's not forget that fender, gibson, carvin, charvel, jackson, kramer, peavey, and yes, even epiphone all started as AMERICAN companies... outsourcing has become an issue with quality control, but peeps should think before they speak... if you dont like it, go play some skiffle... celticstorm84, respect...
    TsarBomba
    I don't need to beat this dead horse, but I have a Carvin too. DC727. I couldn't ask for a better guitar. $1800 is extremely cheap for a custom shop build where you're choosing everything from the wood down to the finest details.
    amuzik
    I vote the reviewer is just incompetent. I like so many others owned one for many years and I actually worked for them at their Hollywood outlet. I've toured the factory, known some of the techs personally and met the owners. They don't skimp on workmanship or follow trends very closely. Their guitars are extremely well engineered. There is more, or less, to this story. Operator error.
    homebrew1709
    Also, the reviewer said he waited 6 WEEKS to send it in. If something was wrong with the guitar, it should have been apparent the moment it was first played out of the box. And Carvin would have taken it back without question within the 10 day trial period. Most of us don't need to play a guitar for 10 days to know if it's right for us or not. This guy dealt with a "defect" for 6 weeks before sending it back... And again, I must ask: why does UG put a "review" like this on its homepage?
    EpiExplorer
    This is like having a Victoria Seceret Model girlfriend...that won't put out! I purchased this "Made in the USA" guitar because I expected a quality insterment
    Yeah, most people expect that.. just a shame that American Quality is a bi-phrase for 'badly put together rubbish' in most cases. Especially vehicles. And sentences. And their government.
    rokkit
    this is kinda proof that usa made guitars arent any better than korean or japanese made
    steveracer16
    Keep reading...I am trying to respond, but so many people posted comments, so fast that it caught me off guard.
    feathers632 wrote: The fact is this person posted the review and has not responded to any comments so it appears he is bogus.
    steveracer16
    LOl, actually, I was surprised you can post reviews on this site without regestering. Well, I did go and register. This is on the up and up. So far I have been contacted by 3 other ST300 owners with similiar issues. This is a new model and it does have some flaws that need to be ironed out. I just sorry I became the guinea pig.
    feathers632 wrote: Oh I guess he called himself "unregistered"?
    steveracer16
    Yes, I just requested they remove the locking nut and replace it with a bone nut that can be tweeked.
    njm0830 wrote: i just want to throw in my two cents here. I had this issue when i got my last guitar (a taylor solidbody standard). I talked to the dudes at Taylor adn they sent me a new nut that was aligned more properly and now the problem is fixed. You don't need a new guitar if just the high e string is slipping off. It's probably a nut issue.
    steveracer16
    You are lucky. So far I feel like I got F'd in the A. I feel like they are overwhelmed with repairs. It does seem like most people posting a responce has had to deal with getting their guitars repaired. I'm just saying...
    llama wrote: Like others have said, this almost seems to be a joke. Carvin's customer service, from all my experiences, has gone ABOVE AND BEYOND to fix any problems.
    feathers632
    steveracer16 wrote: It's not popping off at the bribge, its popping off along the length of the neck when hammering the e string. It is going back to Carvin for the 2nd time.feathers632 wrote: With floyd rose the string can jump out at the bridge end if it's not locked in properly. Or maybe the nut locks are too tight and crushing the string. You might want to examine the nut lock around the e-string to see if it has any sharp edge that's slicing into the string.
    Maybe you can try and get your money back and then avoid carvin in future. I have a Schecter Hellraiser diamond series with FR. You can't really sell your guitar while it's faulty like that. Nice to see you eventually posted here again
    steveracer16
    I really waned a USA guitar. I feel like; I live in the US and I do want to do my part in its recovery by buying American made goods. Lets see how it goes. I do understand Mr. Kiesel has been made aware of the problem. Besides, if fixed, this would be one hell of a guitar! If they don't, to me, a doorstop. lol!
    feathers632 wrote: steveracer16 wrote: It's not popping off at the bribge, its popping off along the length of the neck when hammering the e string. It is going back to Carvin for the 2nd time.feathers632 wrote: With floyd rose the string can jump out at the bridge end if it's not locked in properly. Or maybe the nut locks are too tight and crushing the string. You might want to examine the nut lock around the e-string to see if it has any sharp edge that's slicing into the string. Maybe you can try and get your money back and then avoid carvin in future. I have a Schecter Hellraiser diamond series with FR. You can't really sell your guitar while it's faulty like that. Nice to see you eventually posted here again
    feathers632
    I think you should document any dealings with the company. Record phone conversations and of course keep any emails and note any lack of responses to emails you've sent.
    poland
    I have been looking for a guitar with birds eye maple neck. For today the cost is $999. I find that great for todays prices. Is the FR a licensed or original? The neck is it flat or rounded? I ask this due to a guitar I owned long ago where the neck was rounded and the bottom E kept slipping off the neck when I played it. The guitar I won in a contest (air guitar by a local radio station). It was made by a local luither (sp?). I do not understand his problem unless it is the same.
    blkjakkgoose
    Carvin uses original Floyds not licensed! The neck radius can be curved or almost flat or 20" flat (on a holdsworth model). You choose the radius! Sounds to me like the string is to close to the edge of the neck and THAT is why the E string slips off the neck. Period. The causes of this could be either the FR string saddle/nut groove spacing is too wide for the neck. The more curved the neck is (12" radius) as opposed to a flatter neck (14" radius) the more pronounced this slipping would be.
    jamstation
    holy crap.. $1750 and they won't fix it for free? for that kinda cash if they can't fix it, they should replace it!
    feathers632
    With floyd rose the string can jump out at the bridge end if it's not locked in properly. Or maybe the nut locks are too tight and crushing the string. You might want to examine the nut lock around the e-string to see if it has any sharp edge that's slicing into the string.
    steveracer16
    I guess I am a little more them upset. After waiting 6 weeks for them to build it, it arrived...i fell in love with it immediatly...then discovered I couldnt play it completely do to the string slipping off the neck. I love the guitar but am getting upset at the lack of do dilligence for their product and customer.
    Tarsplitter wrote: I feel bad for you but this is more like a rant than a review.
    Tapping_Ninja
    You probably need to lower the actionso the string tensions not so tight. To be honest it sounds like they think there is nothing wrong.
    soaum
    does this guy mean the E string is slipping from the tuning peg? if so he is not stringing it up correctly, or It could be the neck is misaligned and the e string is too close to the end of the board? if this is the case then the guitar cannot be fixed and should be replaced. a refret will do nothing to remedy this!
    DennChooch
    Funny, I got a 450,- Ibanez and when I got even the slightest problem they offered me a brand new one... You'd expect a $1750,- customer would be treated right!
    Dexter_prog
    Get your money back and get a Schecter guitar in another store. A 1700-usd-guitar can't have ANY problems when you buy it new, it is just unacceptable.
    celticstorm84
    EpiExplorer wrote: This is like having a Victoria Seceret Model girlfriend...that won't put out! I purchased this "Made in the USA" guitar because I expected a quality insterment Yeah, most people expect that.. just a shame that American Quality is a bi-phrase for 'badly put together rubbish' in most cases. Especially vehicles. And sentences. And their government.
    Yeah, OK. I'm sure where you're from is a shining example of what quality is...
    thedeaduk
    If its just the nut thats not right then replacing that should fix the problem. However with the tech saying he cant fix it then I cant see it being just the nut thats the problem, unless he is a bit crap at his job that is. If the bridge isnt aligned correctly or the neck hasnt been set in the right position though(which at this price there is no excuse for), then thats a whole other problem altogether.
    Leon987
    maybe he is just a guy from another guitar producing company, in order to give carvin a bad name, because he unregistered, and everyone, except him say carvin has a good customer service so WTF?!
    Robslip
    I own 5 Carvin basses and i have to say they have always delivered a quality product and thier customer service has always been pretty responsive. The only issues I ever ran into was returning a neck (I bought one of the lits to build my own to save $$) and they couldnt find a record of me purchasing it, but they still took it back and sent me a new one. other than the shipping charges, I have always seen them as a quality company regarding their products AND service.
    OXL
    "This is like having a Victoria Seceret Model girlfriend...that won't put out! " Lol at that, sucks though that they're not able to fix it.
    steveracer16
    Understand, this is a new model. I feel they didn't do enough R&D on the ST300 with this width Floyd. The tech said to put the narrower Floyd on it...but I have to pay for it! I went with Carvin because I did hear all the good reviews. My beef is, a shop as big as Carvin should be able to correct this problem and not keep sending back an unrepaired guitar.
    homebrew1709 wrote: First off, I don't think a one-off, horror-story "review" belongs on the front page of UG. Secondly, as an owner of a Carvin, I find the whole thing hard to believe. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I've ordered 3 Carvins and never had a single problem with customer service. In fact, most recently, I told them that the nut on my DC127 wasn't cut correctly, they mailed me a new one for FREE, no questions asked. If everything the reviewer said is true, then I guess he's just an unlucky guy.
    steveracer16
    This is a new model. I am a very experienced guitarist and can adjust a Floyd in my sleep. The fact is they sent it back just as bad as it was the first time. I really am beguinning to believe they just didn't do enough R&D using this version Floyd Rose on the ST300. Albert, the head tech told me it really needs the PRO version Floyd to fix the guitar,...however they will not pay for it! Heck, I'll even split the difference with them if they will just try harder!
    ProgJazzMath wrote: Burning_Angel wrote: Really? As with everyone else who's said it. I own a Carvin, and it was PERFECT right out of the box. Sounds to me like you just set up the Floyd wrong or messed up the tension, which is very possible if you don't know what you're doing. And the customer service has always been good to me, so this seems like bullshit to me. The customer service at Carvin is very helpful. Maybe this guy who wrote the review had a minor problem he could have easily fixed if he knew what he was doing, but considering my friend's experience with Carvin, I wouldn't doubt if there was a flaw in the design.
    EpiExplorer
    american_yakuza wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: celticstorm84 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: This is like having a Victoria Seceret Model girlfriend...that won't put out! I purchased this "Made in the USA" guitar because I expected a quality insterment Yeah, most people expect that.. just a shame that American Quality is a bi-phrase for 'badly put together rubbish' in most cases. Especially vehicles. And sentences. And their government. Yeah, OK. I'm sure where you're from is a shining example of what quality is... Oh definitly not, apart from.. no wait, cant think of anything apart from 'accents' which isn't much to go on. BUT STILL. Poorly constructed sentences, huh? FAIL
    Bet it hurts to be you right now.
    Burning_Angel
    Really? As with everyone else who's said it. I own a Carvin, and it was PERFECT right out of the box. Sounds to me like you just set up the Floyd wrong or messed up the tension, which is very possible if you don't know what you're doing. And the customer service has always been good to me, so this seems like bullshit to me.
    ProgJazzMath
    Oh this is Carvin! I thought it was Charvel for some reason. Yeah, you really can't trust Carvin. Especially in their custom shop. The guitars are cheap, yes, but it's too good to be true. A friend of mine ordered one customed, bolt-on neck and the neck was put together with glue, and the glue was seeping out of the sides. Very nice looking guitars, poorly poorly made.
    ProgJazzMath
    Burning_Angel wrote: Really? As with everyone else who's said it. I own a Carvin, and it was PERFECT right out of the box. Sounds to me like you just set up the Floyd wrong or messed up the tension, which is very possible if you don't know what you're doing. And the customer service has always been good to me, so this seems like bullshit to me.
    The customer service at Carvin is very helpful. Maybe this guy who wrote the review had a minor problem he could have easily fixed if he knew what he was doing, but considering my friend's experience with Carvin, I wouldn't doubt if there was a flaw in the design.
    EpiExplorer
    celticstorm84 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: This is like having a Victoria Seceret Model girlfriend...that won't put out! I purchased this "Made in the USA" guitar because I expected a quality insterment Yeah, most people expect that.. just a shame that American Quality is a bi-phrase for 'badly put together rubbish' in most cases. Especially vehicles. And sentences. And their government. Yeah, OK. I'm sure where you're from is a shining example of what quality is...
    Oh definitly not, apart from.. no wait, cant think of anything apart from 'accents' which isn't much to go on. BUT STILL.
    celticstorm84
    EpiExplorer wrote: celticstorm84 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: This is like having a Victoria Seceret Model girlfriend...that won't put out! I purchased this "Made in the USA" guitar because I expected a quality insterment Yeah, most people expect that.. just a shame that American Quality is a bi-phrase for 'badly put together rubbish' in most cases. Especially vehicles. And sentences. And their government. Yeah, OK. I'm sure where you're from is a shining example of what quality is... Oh definitly not, apart from.. no wait, cant think of anything apart from 'accents' which isn't much to go on. BUT STILL.
    Haha...good play, sir.