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
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).
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.
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.