Carvin DC400TA Reviews 5

Paid $1260 from Carvin factory direct. Did EXTENSIVE research, as this was my first big guitar purchase, and i knew i wanted a custom.

I opened the case for the first time and about died. i swear it is the most beautiful guitar ever made. Flamed maple over alder body with a walnut sound board. the neck is a 5-piece maple/koa/maple/koa/maple and the hardware is gold. I looked at PRS guitars, but wasn't happy with what they considered a "10-top" - by the PRS scale, the Carvin would be a 30! The maple is so flamed, it's holographic when you rock it back and forth in the light. The ebony fingerboard has abalone block inlays. I waited 9 weeks for this guitar to be built for me, and it was worth every second. Everything about this guitar is right. The active/passive electronics allow you to coax every sound possible. I run it through a custom pedal board i built and a Carvin MTS3200 (read my review of it on this site), and the sound is sweet. Also, it's built like a rock. it has dropped off a stand face-first onto a marble floor, and it was fine. it has dropped out of my case when i forgot to close the case latches and pick up the case off a 4 ft counter (you could see everyone in the store go "oohhhh" as it dropped in slow motion to the floor). plus it has so many dings and dents, it's ridiculous. It's not that i don't take care of it, it's just that i have at least three weekly gigs at any given time, so this guitar gets a ton of use. it's bound to encounter some trouble along the way. plus it gives it character.

Construction: perfect, Workmanship: excellent, Attention to detal: amazing, pickups....well not so good. carvin has been making their pickups for a long time, and they know what works...i have C22's in this guitar and the sound awesome passive. But when in active mode, they lose their low end punch, and it's difficult to get pinch harmonics as you go farther up the neck. it's like carvin designed the perfect pickup, then tried to just send an electrical charge through them. it sounds good, but maybe the M-series, or H-series pickups are better suited for active electronics. oh yeah, but the active does sound good for the funk/metal sounds. but i use a different guitar for funk, and play mainly progressive rock/instrumental rock on this guitar.

ha! read above (what i like), everything is perfect.

Bottom line: I've had this guitar for about 2 years...i've had time to get over the fact that i paid $1260, and i have to love it! But here's an interesting fact...the list price on this guitar was $3000+. that means that if i had bought it from guitar center or musicians friend (assuming they would carry Carvins) it would have cost me probably list price or at least in the $2500 range. That is because it is a totally custom instrument - i called carvin and talked to a guitar guy for at least an hour straightening out all my options. Ah, the joys of a factory direct company! If anyone has any questions about this or any other Carvin products, e-mail me at i love to talk about guitars!

Tyler Christesen rated this unit 5 on 2002-07-01.

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