So I guess Carvin closed...

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Larry Mal
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So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:47 pm

When I was a young Larry Mal, I drooled over their catalogs, and I just knew that you could get a guitar made by someone other than the big names that would do it all. I thought that a lot of guitarists were stuck in the past, slaves to tradition, playing whatever guitar they played because Eric Clapton did because Muddy Waters did and it was all so boring.

So I pawed over the catalog and got myself a Carvin. Neck through, hand made, with hum buckers that could be split into single coils, I felt that it could to it all, I sure did.

Six months later I got my first Jazzmaster and I don't even know where the Carvin is now. The thing sucked. It didn't "do it all", it didn't do anything.

I've been a loyal Fender and Gibson guitar player ever since. That was enough for me.

https://reverb.com/news/carvin-audio-an ... _source=FB" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Shame, though.
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by JVG » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:04 pm

It is a shame. I remember Carvin being popular when I was kid. I never had one - I was too busy drooling over the Steve Vai Ibanez models (complete with handle). The more fluorescent the colour, the better. Or so I thought as a 12 year old!

Hmm, how about a bright green Jazzmaster with a JEM-style handle....hmmmm. I've clearly matured!

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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by mediocreplayer » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:03 pm

According to that post though (near the end), the guitars are and will still be made.

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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by StevenO » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:46 am

Larry Mal wrote: Six months later I got my first Jazzmaster and I don't even know where the Carvin is now. The thing sucked. It didn't "do it all", it didn't do anything.
This is my, and probably countless others, main concern about buying a custom or boutique (or really just any high-priced) instrument unseen and unplayed. I can think of many times that I've seen a guitar come up for sale locally through an ad on the internet and when I go to check it out, I'm horribly disappointed by it. And it happens at all price points, too.

There's a store I often go to that sells all sorts of high end boutique and Custom Shop guitars, and man... A lot of them are dogs, and most are worth more than my car. :wacko:

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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by Jaguar018 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:19 am

StevenO wrote:A lot of them are dogs, and most are worth more than my car.
There are also real dogs worth more than your car. :w00t:

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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by BoringPostcards » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:24 am

mediocreplayer wrote:According to that post though (near the end), the guitars are and will still be made.
Yea, but they have the Kiesel brand name on them now. Carvin brand was only being used for amps after they merged and that part is what's going out of business.

Carvin goes back 70+ years. They were around when Fender was just starting. Pretty sad.

I'd be worried it's a canary in the coal mine, but they had an odd business model. All custom orders, correct?
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:42 pm

I still have a Carvin 4x10 that I bought new in the mid 90's.

I had a Carvin bass head for a while around that time. It was pretty ok for the money. I even visited their LA showroom around that time and played a few dumb weenie guitars and basses with too many strings.

If you look at what Fender and Gibson are doing now they are playing to the extreme high and low ends of the market. That takes shit tons of money and involving people a family business might not want to. I don't know the business relationship betwen Carvin and Kiesel, but it's the same family. Seems like they're just closing the part of the business that isn't profitable and focusing on what they do well (making semi-custom shreddy guitars at reasonable prices).

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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by tribi9 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:27 pm

I saw a pic of a really cool late 60s Carvin electric guitar. It was a vsry nice looking design, I recall..

It even had custom shaped pickups

Wish i would have saved the picture.. :(
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:17 am

You could find it here:

http://www.carvinmuseum.com

Probably.
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by tribi9 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:17 pm

Oh why yes it is, Larry. Not as cool as i remembered it but still pretty cool i think.

Image
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:29 pm

The one I lusted after was this DC127 in Blueburst, and I was not at all disappointed with the looks nor the build quality:

Image

It was just the sound of it. I wasn't a real good guitar player, and I couldn't make it do anything cool. I couldn't make it sound like anything, any of the sounds in my head or on records I'd heard didn't sound like this Carvin. Probably a skilled guitarist could have made it do all that, but I wasn't that guy.

I kind of wish I had it still. Man, looking at that catalog is funny. That six hundred dollars took me like forever to put together. I was working at my first real job, working 60-70 hours a week, and living with my parents, and it still took me forever to put that money together it seemed like.

I pawed over that catalog like it was porn or something- there was no internet back then, you know? I still do that, but not with Carvin. I never looked back on them after I sold the guitar to whomever and sold a Carvin 2X12 amp that I had of theirs too. I couldn't get any of it to do anything cool.

My Jazzmaster, though, did cool shit right off the bat. I never felt more at home on a guitar as I did that Jazzmaster- which I still have- after like four minutes on the showroom floor I was putting the Jazzmaster on layaway. And I was not disappointed, I don't need to tell you, but Jazzmasters have all kinds of sounds in them, just popping out.

All of a sudden I felt like I had an interesting sound at my disposal with the Jazzmaster, like I'd found my voice.

I'd still like my old Carvin, though. I wonder where it is. 23 year old Larry Mal really was excited about that guitar.
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by tribi9 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:48 pm

I remember getting a catalog from some American guitar store back in the 90's...

Cant remember the name, maybe Roxy music?

It had so many cool guitars including some $100 dollar Epiphones. The used cheap guitars here used to go for at least $200 or so at pawnshops it seemed.

I treated that catalog just like another one of my guitar magazines. :P
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by s_mcsleazy » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:59 pm

so outside the odd amp. i have never seen a carvin guitar in person. i guess they were never super popular in the uk. but i always remember seeing their advert in the skatopia level of tony hawk's underground 2 and some american guitar mags i found in a charity shop. never seemed like my kind of guitars to be honest.

i did notice that they tended to go after the "performance" style of guitar without being too blingy like some of the other guitars of the time. the super strat for older men. however i think some of the prs, higher end fenders and even companies like warmoth kinda took the business away. so i cant say it's not expected.

anyone notice how the last major volume USA guitar company that has no cheaper version left is rickenbacker?
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:43 pm

Carvin was never popular here. I have never personally known anyone outside of myself who has ever owned one. And I know dozens of people.

I know that other people have bought them, because I see them up for sale. But I've never seen one played live, never seen one for sale used in a store, nothing.
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Re: So I guess Carvin closed...

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:45 pm

Incidentally, I guess the guitars are still made by "Kiesel". One glance at their products chilled my fucking blood. Pick everything I hate about the electric guitar and boil it into a black glue and that's what Kiesel is. Dreadful.
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