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Plum crazy
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Im asking this question because ive noticed something about myself concerning carvin guitars and im curious as to how many other people might feel the same way to verify im not bonkers. If you are a fan of carvin guitar by all means that is awesome. I know many people are happy with them and if that is the case for you then this thread simply doesnt apply to you.

My issue with them is that in my experience they make a beautiful guitar. Many of the guitars Ive ordered or picked up used have been as close to physical perfection as humanly possible. Paint is always flawless. The woods always have tons of figure. But I have to say most of them that I have owned sound and feel dead. Now mind you Ive been a carvin fanboy since 2005. I nearly played them exclusively for that long. In those years I have owned over 10 of their instruments. And out of those 10 only one of them sticks out in my mind as actually being a keeper.

The issues I had with them is that they for the most part sounded dead. You know that sound you get when you have old strings on your guitar? Thats what most of them sounded like even with fresh cobalts on them. I also noticed that the ones that were really really bad in the tone department were exceptionally heavy weight wise. Im curious if carvin is drying their wood properly. In my long membership on carvin devoted forums I have witnessed several paint separation issues and Im wondering if the wood on some of their instruments have too much moisture left in them creating that dull feel and sound as well as the paint issues. Its either that or maybe they just werent for me?

I am curious though how the people who have stopped playing carvin guitars feel about them and why they may have moved on. Some people just upgrade to higher prestige brands and never look back. Im more looking for responses with those who actually felt that the carvin product is somehow inferior. I dont believe I'm the only one as I seem to see carvin fans cycling through carvin guitars very quickly. It seems that within 6 months to a year nearly every carvin NGD ends up on the chopping block. Many times I see the same exact guitar never finding a permanent home. Thoughts?
 

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I am Groot
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32,450 Posts
That has ALWAYS been my problem with Carvin. I've maybe played three over the years that I would consider worth owning. Most of them are shrill and dead above the twelfth fret.
 

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I've played a couple of dead planks and a slew of mediocre Carvins, but the CS4 that I have is the best sounding, best playing guitar that I've ever played, hands down.
 

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I am Groot
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I've played a couple of dead planks and a slew of mediocre Carvins, but the CS4 that I have is the best sounding, best playing guitar that I've ever played, hands down.
You got lucky, although I've heard the CT and CS line are much better than the DC line. I've played exactly one 7-string DC that wasn't a pile of crap.
 

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Is Actually Recording
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I've played a couple of dead planks and a slew of mediocre Carvins, but the CS4 that I have is the best sounding, best playing guitar that I've ever played, hands down.
Yeah, my experience has been like Chris's - bunch of average ones, one or two really killer guitars, Chris's being one. I covet that thing.

I'd still consider a Carvin 8 because there's not much else out there right now that isn't either stupidly expensive or super cheap, but I'd definitely be choosing body woods with the understanding being that on its own it'll be too bright.
 

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Registered
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Quite possibly the worst thread to come across now that I'm halfway saved for this (only black hardware, no inlays, and rosewood fingerboard):





:ugh:
 

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Pallin' around
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I've played 3 Carvins, two sevens, and one eight.

All three were exactly as you are describing. Awesome looking, but somewhat dead and uninspiring.
 

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Dream Crusher
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I've played four or five Carvin basses, which were solid and excellent value for money.

I've played maybe three Carvin guitars: Chris's CS4, which is fantastic; my old guitarist's CT4, which was incredible; and Eric's Bolt, which was excellent. I haven't spent any appreciable time with the DC series.
 

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Super Moderator
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8,927 Posts
I've owned numerous Carvins that dated from the early '80s all the way up to the mid 2000s, and I've always found the DC line to be shrill-sounding and not very lively. The pre-1988 setneck DCs were better in that regard, but still not great. The CT and CS guitars are entirely different, and I've liked the ones I've played (never owned one, though).

The sonic problems with the DCs seem partially tied to their thin bodies. The bodies are a good 1/2" thinner than a Jackson Soloist, and that does make a difference. However, that can't explain it all. It's not the pickups, since even DCs where I swapped pickups still sounded crappy. It could be related to the truss-rods, or it could be how the neckthru portion is constructed so that the strings sit pretty high off the body. I just don't know. Even all-mahogany DCs aren't as warm or rich as a Gibson SG, which has an even thinner body. :shrug:
 

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Banned
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^

:lol:


Sad thing is, I see Carvin as the only company that can make decent "custom" guitars for around a grand. They're the only ones that could make what I want at that price (beside Agile). :(
 

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Banned
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Im asking this question because ive noticed something about myself concerning carvin guitars and im curious as to how many other people might feel the same way to verify im not bonkers. If you are a fan of carvin guitar by all means that is awesome. I know many people are happy with them and if that is the case for you then this thread simply doesnt apply to you.

My issue with them is that in my experience they make a beautiful guitar. Many of the guitars Ive ordered or picked up used have been as close to physical perfection as humanly possible. Paint is always flawless. The woods always have tons of figure. But I have to say most of them that I have owned sound and feel dead. Now mind you Ive been a carvin fanboy since 2005. I nearly played them exclusively for that long. In those years I have owned over 10 of their instruments. And out of those 10 only one of them sticks out in my mind as actually being a keeper.

The issues I had with them is that they for the most part sounded dead. You know that sound you get when you have old strings on your guitar? Thats what most of them sounded like even with fresh cobalts on them. I also noticed that the ones that were really really bad in the tone department were exceptionally heavy weight wise. Im curious if carvin is drying their wood properly. In my long membership on carvin devoted forums I have witnessed several paint separation issues and Im wondering if the wood on some of their instruments have too much moisture left in them creating that dull feel and sound as well as the paint issues. Its either that or maybe they just werent for me?

I am curious though how the people who have stopped playing carvin guitars feel about them and why they may have moved on. Some people just upgrade to higher prestige brands and never look back. Im more looking for responses with those who actually felt that the carvin product is somehow inferior. I dont believe I'm the only one as I seem to see carvin fans cycling through carvin guitars very quickly. It seems that within 6 months to a year nearly every carvin NGD ends up on the chopping block. Many times I see the same exact guitar never finding a permanent home. Thoughts?
I think it's really just the DC series. The CT/CS stuff and the Bolts don't really suffer from the same dead plank feel.
 

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I think that in the case of the DCs, some of them are just a little less awesome than they look, but acceptable considering how much you get for the price. I think the other half of the equation can be chalked up to cork-sniffing gear mongers who overstate how "bad" they sound.

My 727 was meh, but with decent pickups it was certainly a decent guitar for the ~$600 or something that I paid for it.
 

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Les Paul Nut
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8,077 Posts
My guitar center got a purple SC90 and I couldn't believe the playability and how great it sounds.
 
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