Greg Howe is now with Carvin (24 Fret Bolt-On Coming)

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Thread: Greg Howe is now with Carvin (24 Fret Bolt-On Coming)

  1. #1

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    Greg Howe is now with Carvin (24 Fret Bolt-On Coming)

    Some of you may have or have not noticed that Greg has been playing some Carvins at his clinic and posting pictures of playing them on his instagram plus Facebook page. Apparently, he is now working with Carvin and he went into detail how he began working with them and the relationship with Laguna. Really happy to hear that he is truly with a quality guitar company among the other Legends with Carvin. Plus Carvin will be releasing a 24 Fret Bolt-On guitar with him. I know some of you Carvin guys have been waiting quite somtime. Thank you Greg Howe!

    Howe: Ah OK, yeah. So he’s a really nice guy, and very well known, and very talented. But he was the one who developed the line and then they sent me some guitars in 2006 and again it was like the DV Mark thing.

    I said, “These are cool but there’s nothing here that's really working for me.” About a year later, there were two new people that Guitar Center had hired to come on and oversee the Laguna project and they said, “Greg, it looks like a year ago we sent you some stuff you didn’t care for. We were just curious, why didn’t you like it?”

    And I just explained to them that it just didn’t work for me. And they said, “Well, what would it take for you to like it?” and I said, “Well, I need this, I need that, I have to change this, I want blah blah blah.” And they said, “Well, OK. How about if you come in and design a guitar? Your model for Laguna.”

    And I said, “OK.” So I had dinner with the two guys. Our first meeting was a dinner thing in California and I sat down and the very first thing I said was, “I want you guys to know that the last thing I need are more guitars. I don’t need any guitars. I’m not interested in guitars. I’m not interested in free stuff. What I’m interested in is a relationship that’s going to be mutually beneficial, whereby my coming on board helps bring awareness and credibility to your line. And you guys being on board helps support me and my career and keeps me provided with great instruments.

    And that we’re always working towards bettering the product. That we can have open dialog and ideas when we work together to just constantly make the product better. That it feels like a relationship, and not just some standard contractual arrangement.

    I want it to feel like a relationship where I can call you up and say, “Hey, I was thinking: I was trying this guitar out, you know, and I noticed that when I put this pickup in it, there was a different kind of feel that came to it and, you know, maybe next round we can try this, or whatever, just so we’re always working towards bettering the product.”

    So at first, it came out of the box swinging, they just did some big ads, you know, some big stuff. But right after the 2008 economy crunch, Guitar Center just sort of backed out of the whole Laguna thing. Not to mention that Laguna was never available anywhere other than Guitar Center. So you know, you couldn’t get one of these guitars overseas. You couldn’t get this stuff. You couldn’t get them anywhere other than Guitar Center. That's kind of limiting.

    Howe: And a lot of my fans are overseas. So that was always a bit of a problem. But then like I said, Guitar Center changed their business model a little bit after 2008. It’s just one of the reasons why, when you walk into one of their stores, you probably noticed they cut way back on their inventory, how much inventory they have in stock. It used to be, you walk into a Guitar Center and you ask for almost anything, and they’ve got it in back. Now it’s always, “We don’t have that in stock but we can order it for you.” So that’s the new M.O. at Guitar Center.” Right.

    Howe: And I think that was part of their thing. And then the other thing was, "We really don't want to get involved in anything that’s going to hinder our bread and butter," you know, their accounts with Fender and Roland and Gibson, and all the things that work for them. Right.

    Howe: And there was also always, I think, a bit of conflict of interest with Guitar Center putting out a product -- being a retailer and at the same time a products company that’s competing with your own accounts.

    I don’t think it makes Ibanez real happy to know that a kid could walk in there and now he’s got a choice between a Laguna that he can get for $400 or an Ibanez he can get for $600. I think there was always a bit of a conflict. So I think Guitar center just decided, “Look let’s just pull the plug.”

    They pulled the plug a while ago and the only reason I hadn’t stepped off is because I don’t want the reputation of that guy, you know? I really believed in the LE924, which is the model that I was in on. I still think the guitar is great but I can’t make them release it. So at some point I have to come out and tell everyone that, “As much as I like this guitar, I have to step off because it essentially doesn’t exist anymore.”

    So Carvin has been, the company I’ve been interested in for a long time. They’ve been especially interested in me for a long time. The product is great, the quality is great, they’re made in America, so everything is direct order. It’s not cheap stuff down made in Indonesia, it’s made right here in America.

    They have a really high standard of quality. They’re one of the few companies that’s actually raising their quality and raising their prices. As opposed to going for quantity and lowering prices and lowering quality. Which is what a lot of the other guitar companies are doing. They seem really interested in, sort of, entering or filling the void of maybe like, what PRS used to be, or like what a Tom Anderson did.

    They want to get into that high quality range. They want to be known as almost the boutique market but accessible as a guitar company. Custom order stuff.

    If I come on board we’re gonna be doing the first 24-fret bolt-on neck that they have. They don’t have that as of now. The few bolt-ons that they’ve got is 22-fret. Anything 24-fret is neck through.

    So, I think it’ll be great. I can serve as a catalyst and so can the model. We’re part of this whole new awareness at Carvin. Not to mention that they’re a great company. They’ve got Frank Gambale, they’ve got Jason Becker, they’ve got Allan Holdsworth. So I’d be in the company of some of the greatest players on the planet. It feels good. They sent me some stuff just to get the feel of their quality. I love it. I really do.

    A really well done interview! He even talks about working with Richie Kotzen and how he would love to do something or play some shows with him of their old stuff too. Also touring with N'Sync, Michael Jackson. Just a very, very well-done interview.

    Yeah, he’s just one of those guys. But yeah I would love to do something with Richie again at some point. That would be fun. I think even if we went out and did some gigs of those albums that we’ve recorded together. I think people would flip out. I think that would be really cool.
    Enjoy guys and God Bless!
    Last edited by Venator; 11-08-2014 at 03:08 AM.
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  2. #2

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  3. #3

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    Wow, what a long interview, I thought those were very much of the past! Thanks for posting, I love me some Howe.

  4. #4

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    Hmmmmm, I was wondering why Laguna guitars disappeared, LOL!!! Nonetheless, so cool for Greg to hook-up with Carvin, looking forward to seeing his new sig. model
    Last edited by gerrygtr62; 11-08-2014 at 10:09 PM.
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  5. #5

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    I was wondering about Laguna too. I thought they were pretty kick-ass cheap guitars. I really like the feel of the neck on mine.

  6. #6

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    The bolt-on Carvins I've played have been excellent--much better sounding than the DC guitars. I'll be curious to see how Greg's new model turns out. It fills a hole that's existed in Carvin's product line for a long time.

  7. #7

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    To me Greg will always be associated with Fender HM´s. Too bad Fender doesn´t make them anymore.
    I am curious about the new Carvin Greg Howe model. A 24 fret, bolt on guitar with a basswood body and all maple neck and fretboard is always a good start.

  8. #8

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    I'm really surprised Fender hasn't done a proper HSS Strat-head Charvel yet. Given how coveted the HM Strats seem to be, it kind of seems like a no-brainer to me.

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