Here are a few things that have popped up in my research onto getting a Carvin custom built:
1. I am planning on using a DC127 as the base (I want an HH guitar as I already have enough HSH with my Ibanez, and I have my HSS 560). Do they allow for 5 way switches on HH guitars?
2. Can you request to change the position of the 3 way or 5 way switches? I dont like the position of the 3 way, coil tap or phase switches on the standard DC127 model. They seem to be out of the way and hard to switch on the fly (I like the position of the switches on the JB200)
3. Can you request that the neck be made with the dimensions of a different model? I like the JB200C neck profile and I was wondering if the same profile could be used on a DC127.
4. I was originally thinking of getting the M22SD and M22V pickups but I'm also curious about the standard C22 series. How would you describe the C22 series versus the M22 series? From everything I've researched on the M22 series, they are higher output pups designed for metal and the standard C22s are more of a medium output type, but I plan on playing this in Eb tuning and was wondering what might be a better choice.
5. Since the plan is to be in Eb tuning, what gauge strings do you recommend? I know that the scale length is shorter meaning there is less tension on the strings but would 10-46 gauge strings work well? I use D'addario 10-46 for all my Eb Ibanez guitars.
Carvin does something called an option 50. This allows you to ask for things that are not done in their builder. Downside is that an option 50 guitar cannot be returned. Also, every option 50 must be approved by the company president before they will build it. They may just say no to certain options. The carvinbbs is full of requests, denials, and successes. You should check the board out before ordering. There is also a guy on there that will do a photoshop mockup of the guitar your thinking about to give you an idea what it will look like.
1) They use 5-way switches. I have one on my DC600 with HH combination.
1 Bridge pickup
2 Inner pickup coils, parallel
3 Outer coils, series
4 Outer coils, parallel
5 Neck pickup
2) I'm not sure the JB is based off the ST300 not the DC, so you'll need to ask the salesman. They deleted the tone and 5-way on my yellow ST + added the push-pull coil split for $50.00
3) Yes - $50 option. I have this on both my DC600 & ST300. Very popular option.
4) I have an MS22 in the ST300 and the C22's in the DC600. The MS22 is hotter. I like both sets. I will say that I like Dimarzio's better - with the Fred being my favorite. So that gives you an idea of my taste.
5) Can't answer this. I always use 9-42. I welcome that the Carvins feel easier. It sets them apart from my other guitars. I do tune my S classic to Eb every now and again to play along a song. It has 9-42 strings and a 25" scale - but I always tune it back up.
My advice is don't rush into ordering one. Do the research. Read the posts on the carvinbbs, especially the NGD threads and just ordered threads. These will give you a feel for what folks are buying and how it worked out.