Carvin Guitars

Carvin Holdsworth HH1

I first became acquainted with Carvin Guitars in the mid 1980s. Their ads were everywhere, and the guitars looked really cool. They were surprisingly affordable and, best of all, they were customizable. You could pick different colors, hardware, fret inlays, tremolos, pickups, and pretty much anything else you could want. The only downside was that you had to wait a few weeks because all the instruments were made to order. However, Carvin offered a generous 10 day trial period in which you can try out their instruments. To this day, they still offer a 10 day trial and are currently producing the best guitars in their history

The Early Days - 1970s

Carvin was founded in 1946 by L.C. Kiesel who also came up with the name Carvin taken from his two oldest children (Carson and Gavin). Originally a seller of guitars and basses, Carvin eventually added amplifiers and pro audio gear to their lineup. The 1970s were a particularly fruitful time for the company when the started making their instruments in-house, a strategy that continues to this very day. Many musicians were inspired by their large catalogs, not the least of which was Steve Vai (an early adopter of the X-100B amplifier).

The 80s

Carvin jumped on the "Shred Bandwagon" in the 1980s and made guitars for players as diverse as Craig Chaquico and Jason Becker. Guitars such as the V220 and the DC series helped Carvin secure a well-deserved reputation for making some of the fastest-playing guitars in the business. Frank Zappa and Steve Vai were notable users of the still-popular X-100B guitar amplifiers, noted for their affordability and versatility.

The Golden Age of Carvin Guitars

It's safe to say that Carvin Guitars has entered their "golden age" of instrument manufacturing. Their guitars and basses are available with more options than ever, and they cater to a wide range of players, including such diverse talents as Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambale, and Bunny Brunnel. They currently offer bolt-on and neck-through instruments in both 22 and 24 fret models as well as solid body and semi-hollow body instruments. They also offer some of the finest MIDI and Roland compatible guitars around. Carvin amplifiers are as popular as ever, with a revised X-100B Series IV currently being offered as well as the popular Steve Vai Legacy amps and the V3 series.

For someone who is looking for quality guitars, amps, and audio gear at an affordable price, it's hard to beat the offerings from Carvin.

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