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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the deal. I have about $1200. I want to get the best possible 7 for my money, period. I was originally and am still considering a custom Carvin, but I've heard so many bad things about their pickups, and in my mind, one shouldn't have to upgrade the pickups in a "custom" guitar.

So, in your opinion of course, what is the best NEW 7 string for at/under $1200? Unfortunately, the RG1527 seems to fall under the same category as the Carvin, bad pickups... maybe Ibanez is even ruled out because of this, I don't know!

HALPZ?
 

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If the Carvin is right for you then you should definately NOT let the niggle of pickups put you off, the pups can be upgraded really cheaply if you go second hand.

The option to build a guitar with what woods you want for so cheap (Carvin) is something that you can't really forget about so easily in my opinion.
 

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You won't get a loaded Carvin for $1200, never mind having cash left over for replacement pickups. That said, the pickups sound much worse in the standard maple neck/alder body config than they do in mahogany neck/mahogany body with maple top. I bought a Blaze/Blaze Custom combo to go in my 727 but I haven't gotten around to it after nearly 2 years because the stockers sound fine (if not fantastic) with the right wood combination.

With 1200, I would look for a 1527 and some toys like an X3 Live. You could get a used Carvin, but for 300 more you could get your custom Carvin, which I think is a better option than going used.
 

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Pickups can always be changed later, but that being said I have heard the complete opposite. I've heard that Carvin's pickups sound best with the standard body woods and if you start to change that the pickups arent as nice. Of course I have a friend who was at Carvins showroom and after seeing and playing those he swore to never buy a Carvin ever. I guess the point is everyone you ask can give you a different answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You won't get a loaded Carvin for $1200, never mind having cash left over for replacement pickups. That said, the pickups sound much worse in the standard maple neck/alder body config than they do in mahogany neck/mahogany body with maple top. I bought a Blaze/Blaze Custom combo to go in my 727 but I haven't gotten around to it after nearly 2 years because the stockers sound fine (if not fantastic) with the right wood combination.

With 1200, I would look for a 1527 and some toys at an X3 Live. You could get a used Carvin, but for 300 more you could get your custom Carvin, which I think is a better option than going used.
I guess whatever 'loaded' means to you...

ASH - Maple Neck/Swamp Ash Body $40.00
-CG - Clear Gloss Finish (Standard) $0.00
FTR - Crimson Red Flame $160.00
FPH - Flamed Maple Headstock $25.00
BMF - Birdseye Maple Fingerboard $30.00
-DI - Dot Inlays (Standard) $0.00
STJF - Stainless Jumbo Frets .055" H .110" W $40.00
-R14 - 14in Fretboard Radius (Standard) $0.00
-C26B - C26 Bridge Pickup $0.00
-C26N - C26 Neck Pickup $0.00
-400 - Black Coils w/ Black Bezels (Standard) $0.00
-CH - Chrome Hardware (Standard) $0.00
-1056 - Elixer Light Gauge .010 - .056 (Standard) $0.00
WL - White Logo $0.00
HC11 - Form-Fitted ABS Hardshell Case $49.00
Guitar Total: $1,173.00
 

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Loaded definitely means not getting the maple neck alder body combination, as I already mentioned. Skip the maple neck. The swamp ash is also going to be a bit bright. Carvins are naturally bright, you should aim to subdue that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The JP is clearly awesome but if I ordered one I would have to wait an estimated twice the amount of time I'd wait for a Carvin, so I would need to know some dealers.

Also, this may be the wrong place to ask but... isn't $1500 a little much to be spending on a basswood guitar?
 

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Nothing at all wrong with basswood. Tom Anderson puts basswood with a maple top as the ultimate tone body. It's usually a bit cheaper than other woods, but rarity and availability don't necessarily equate to quality. I happen to like it, though I do like mahogany more.
 

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Nothing at all wrong with basswood. Tom Anderson puts basswood with a maple top as the ultimate tone body. It's usually a bit cheaper than other woods, but rarity and availability don't necessarily equate to quality. I happen to like it, though I do like mahogany more.
I will also echo that there is nothing wrong with basswood, and I sometimes think it gets a bad reputation.
 

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Pickups can always be changed later, but that being said I have heard the complete opposite. I've heard that Carvin's pickups sound best with the standard body woods and if you start to change that the pickups arent as nice. Of course I have a friend who was at Carvins showroom and after seeing and playing those he swore to never buy a Carvin ever. I guess the point is everyone you ask can give you a different answer.
Their 6 string pickups are great pickups any way you look at them. I moved up to Carvin singles in my Mexi Strat and they're a big improvement in that guitar. Their 7 string pickups however aren't so lucky :lol:
 

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and in my mind, one shouldn't have to upgrade the pickups in a "custom" guitar.
FWIW, I feel the same way, but I changed the stock pickups in my Caparison Horus, and it was a night and day, and I mean a night and day difference and it made all of the difference in the world, so a Carvin could still be an option if you feel this way.
 

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Pickups can be pretty subjective; I think the goal right now would be to get a guitar that you feel comfortable with, and then decide which pickups will match your style.
 

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The JP is clearly awesome but if I ordered one I would have to wait an estimated twice the amount of time I'd wait for a Carvin, so I would need to know some dealers.
If you are going to spend the money you may as well do it right and not worry about something like waiting a few more weeks.
 
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