Dear metalguitarist.org friends,
After a lot of research, design, mocking up, calling and emailing I finally got my Carvin opt 50 DC800 quilted denim and wanted to share.
SPECS & REVIEW below
VIDEO coming soon
Enjoy !!! (The phone pics don't make the guitar enough justice but I don't have a camera)
Here's the original inspiration (advertised as "trans-black jeans"):
Here's Carvin's (under sun light):
With indoor white lighting:
This close up captures the details a bit better, you can notice the "greyish", darker portions of the stain
Single abalone signature inlay and beautiful BEM. BEM patterns tend to look dark/boring on low quality pics, but they are bright and rich
With flash here
Love the contrast between the black sides/neck and the maple "linings" of the top and fretboard
Burst on the back & black satin neck
The new Carvin tuners
The whole thing under natural light
Now Carvin's denim might not have come out quite as the sample I provided (less "greyish" and more "sandish"), but I know the staining process is tricky. So in Carvin's defense, here's another pic, from the same manufacturer, that came out closer to mine (also advertised as "trans-black jeans"):
- Swamp ash body
- Gloss body
- 5 piece maple + walnut neck
- Birdseye maple fretboard
- Jumbo frets
- Graphtech nut
- Black hardware
- Matched quilted denim picture
- Matched birdseye maple fretboard
- Single abalone signature inlay on 12th
- Black burst back + black painted satin neck
- Tone pot present but not wired, it's basically a 1-vol system
*BUMMER: one of my opt50 choices was to have a 3-way toggle switch instead of the regular blade, but it wasn't done. After a couple phone calls I decided to keep the axe since I liked it so much.
Special thanks to Keith for bearing with me through all my emails/phone calls etc.
As indicated above, the final result didn't come back as "greyish" as I originally wanted, it looks more like pale sand under natural light which looks incredible too. Like in the 3rd pic, if you watch the top from an angle you'd see the metallic effect of the darker portions. And this "sand" tone matches the BEM much better than the grey.
The BEM fretboard is so beautiful, with nice rich uniform patterns and ultra smooth. I almost don't wanna go back to ebony
This is my first satin painted neck, I have 2 tung-oil ones and while different I loved it; it feels even smoother than the tung-oil to some extent, but it hasn't yet gone through the real "sweaty" test.
FWIW, I appreciate the fact the serial numbers are no longer embossed on the fretboard, but on the jack plate
The only small bummer, as I mentioned before, is the fact the builder didn't see I wanted a 3-way toggle switch. But no big deal.
UPDATE: I originally made it sound like Carvin made a mistake and did nothing but no, we discussed various ways to compensate for the error and we settled it. Customer Service handled it satisfactorily.
Thinking about swapping the knobs for the abalone inlaid ones, I think they'll match the sig. inlay, should I?
Tone & playability:
I can really only compare it to my other DC800 which has std. alder body + ebony fretboard... this one is brighter (as expected from the BEM + swamp ash) and a bit more defined on the low end at least when playing it alone, still need to see how it sits in a mix with the same amp presents I have.
The guitar neck came with a big back bow and buzz fretting all over, but nothing regular truss rod adjustments couldn't fix. The action is low and nice and comfortable as expected from a DC800 neck. For those who are not familiar with it, the neck on these axes is super thin. You can also reach the 24th fret with a bit of spare room on the pinky.
The new tuners seem to be very stable so far.
That's it for now, I'll update these details as I put the axe through more tests. Video coming soon.
Thanks for reading \m/