Carvin vs. Ibanez - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Carvin vs. Ibanez

Alright, I know I might be getting a little annoying with all of these questions, but I'm buying a new guitar and I really want to make the right choice.

In the end, I will most likely purchase an Ibanez, but Carvin guitars really intrigue me, mostly due to the ability for me to be able to customize any of their guitars to my specs for roughly around the same price of the RG3550MZ or a used JEM7VWH (the two Ibanez choices I've narrowed it down to). I was just wondering if anyone here has a Carvin guitar, how the necks are, how good the company is, etc. I know Tony MacAlpine plays their guitars religiously so they MUST be good guitars.

Thanks guys, I appreciate your help!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 02:56 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

Endorsement deals are not a good way to judge whether a guitar is a good one. It might be that they work particularly for that artist if they have odd needs in a guitar, they might through cash at an artist, or the guitar he plays might be specially built by their top luthiers as on off hand-crafted masterpieces...

Satch's JS1200 doesn't have the same hardware on it that they one I can buy from a store has.

I can't comment on carvin guitars as you don't see them over here, so this is just half of $0.02 really
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

That's true. I just thought it was cool that MacAlpine AND Holdsworth play them. But I understand what you're saying!!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 04:28 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

Carvins are great guitars. You should note some very basic differencees between Carvin and Ibanez, structurally speaking:

1 - The Carvin DC models are all neck-through-body.
2 - The Carvin DC, V22, and UltraV, models have a 25" scale lenghth, as opposed to the RG's 25.5"
3 - Carvin's Bolt-On models (Bolt, Bolt+, and Contour66) are 25.5" in scale length, but have 22 frets and a bulky heel.
4 - Carvin's CS, CT, and Holdsworth models are set-neck guitars.
5 - Carvin's necks are a bit thicker and a tad more narrow than Ibanez necks. You have a choice of radii - 12" (standard), or optional 10" or 14". The 14" will be closer to what you're used to if you've been playing Ibanez.
6 - Carvin uses the Original Floyd Rose trem on all models except the 7x7 series, which feels and sounds a bit different than the Ibanez Edge models.

There certainly are many other differences, but those are the most glaring. If you want to build a Carvin that's similar to RG specs, then for for either a Bolt+ or C66 with the flatter, 14" radius. If you have to have 24 frets, then go for a DC model with the 14" radius.

Take a long look at the options available and even call the customer service number - those guys are really helpful.

Good luck,
(no, I don't work for Carvin - I'm just a devotee)
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 04:49 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

I would recommend Carvin over Ibanez any day of the week. If you do decide on a Jem 7V, try to find one made prior to 2002, they are much better than the later ones. Original Floyds do change the sound, but for the better. They are more solid that edge tremolos, better quality. Remember all Ibanez Edge tremolos are made from a soft metal, not solid steel like OFR's. So they won't survive forever. Even Satch and Vai have to have their trems replaced (that is a fact). Of course as long as you aren't whammy happy the trem will last a long time. Like the previous poster said, i would never judge the quality of a guitar or company as a whole based on the endorsers. Those contracts are based on money and/or free guitars. I played a Carvin at least 10 years ago, there was a used one at a local shop. It felt weird to me, but then that was when I was a younger and naive Ibanez lover. The overall quality destroys any Ibanez though. I would recommend playing one first though. FYI to anyone reading this, I am not bashing Ibanez, I still like Ibanez guitars, but there are guitars out there that are a million times better for less money.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 05:16 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

Originally Posted by smc1975 View Post
FYI to anyone reading this, I am not bashing Ibanez, I still like Ibanez guitars, but there are guitars out there that are a million times better for less money.
I find this a very interesting remark as I've tried pretty much everything out there, from Suhrs to Andersons to Tylers to Caparisons and nothing "destroys" my high end Ibanez guitars. Some of them play just as well, but I've not tried anything (and I've looked) that plays so much better that I want to switch.

I'll have to find a Carvin to try, obviously!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 02:49 AM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

I have owned 3 Carvins in my life, two DC727's and 1 Bolt Plus. I sent 2 back before the 30 day trial was over and I sold one of the 727's a couple years after buying it. Definitely great build quality but I never bonded with any of them. I didn't like the 'feel' on any of them and the re-sale value sucks. Definitely lacked 'mojo' as they call it. But...some guys really love them and don't play anything else. I doubt you can get a neck as thin on a Carvin as the wizard though. To me, that is the coolest thing about Ibanez's. I am primarily a Gibson Les Paul player, but I enjoy the thin neck on my 550. I would say play one before you buy or do the trial. Personally, I tried my hardest to like their guitars, but you won't see me buying another.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 12:05 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

Jason Becker and Marty Friedman played Carvin too but I don't like the feel that much. The neck through is very nice and so are the Sperzel locking tuners that usually come on them but I think Ibanez is a better shredding guitar any day. Of course, I only played seven string so it could be a lot different on a six.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 06:23 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

I really want to try out a Carvin. I'll probably drive down to their San Diego store sometime soon.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 04:31 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

I'm a big fan. I have a really nice BB75 bass that is to die for
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 05:01 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

I've owned carvins for better than 15 years now...never an issue with any of them.

Top quality.. unmatched playability and durability.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 10:54 AM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

One vote to Carvin
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 02:59 PM
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Re: Carvin vs. Ibanez

I own 1 Ibanez and 1 Carvin so I don't have a great representation of the brand (well I have played many other Ibanes guitars but only the 1 carvin, being in the UK they're hard to come by).

The Ibanez is an S and the Carvin is a Bolt-T, the Ibanez is currently in repairbut both of them are incredible guitars.
I'd say that the Ibanez has a more "Synthetic" feel on the neck due to real thick lacquer, where the Carvin feels a bit more natural, and the neck on my Carvin (it's the largest radius available BTW) is a lot thicker than the Ibanez' wizard II.
The sound is obviously very different on both (one being HSH and mahogany, the other being SSS and alder) but I won't comment on that for comparison, but they both sound great.

Overall I'd say it's a matter of feel as they both make good sounding instruments, but Carvin (if my Bolt T is anything to go by) is generally thicker than Ibanez in the neck department.
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