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Unread 07-26-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
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Compare and contrast: Carvin/Acacia/Siggery

I'm very close to putting a deposit on either. Each of these guitars has a good rep, is within my budget and has a satisfactory build time. My only real concerns with the Carvin are scale length and the pickups, and while the other two companies are more customizable they seem less certain to me and also have significantly longer wait times compared to the 10 weeks of Carvin. If I got a Carvin it would be very similar to this one, whereas the other two would have fancy binding and whatnot. As a side note, it would appear that Siggery at least doesn't have chambered bodies, this is definitely a turn off.

Can anyone help this guy out?
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Unread 07-26-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
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Siggery does infact do chambered body options. There are photos of a template he uses on his Facebook page. IMO, read this thread before ordering: Siggery guitars

His wait times are about 5-9 months, but he keeps quoting 2ish months. While the quality appears to be good, it seems like a shady tactic. I can report more on the quality later.

Carvin has a very sold reputation and, last I heard, was actually beating some of the quoted times. The disadvantage is that you will limit your options for woods and custom features (chambering, scallops, finish color) Granted, they have a large selection of both woods and finishes. I've only heard of a few lemons which speaks volumes for a company with such a large out put.

Acacia has a solid reputation. They have the ability to do custom options and finishes (ex. someone wanted an 8 string Iceman, a shape they didn't offer but they made it happen.) They prices are very reasonable especially with some upscale options. They are also the newest company of the three.

What are you looking for? Both Siggery and Acacia can do custom scale lengths and pickups. Carvin will limit you to one scale and their in-house pups. IMO, if you want a longer scale, pups, etc. Take the longer wait time, the finished product will be more personalized to your tastes.
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Unread 07-26-2012, 05:05 PM   #3
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check out skervesen guitars, amazing form what i can tell, super amazing customer support, they have me convinced for my custom, when i get back from this upcoming tour funds will be put together to place an order, look into them, just a suggestion
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Unread 07-26-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
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I'd also recommend Skervesen. Really helpful guys, with awesome customer support. And Mayones quility.
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Unread 07-26-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
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My buddy kit ordered a guitar from them a few weeks ago... literally WEEKS ago and its already done, was actually done and they were just waiting on the pickups to come in,
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Unread 07-27-2012, 12:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danukenator View Post
Siggery does infact do chambered body options. There are photos of a template he uses on his Facebook page. IMO, read this thread before ordering: Siggery guitars

His wait times are about 5-9 months, but he keeps quoting 2ish months. While the quality appears to be good, it seems like a shady tactic. I can report more on the quality later.

Carvin has a very sold reputation and, last I heard, was actually beating some of the quoted times. The disadvantage is that you will limit your options for woods and custom features (chambering, scallops, finish color) Granted, they have a large selection of both woods and finishes. I've only heard of a few lemons which speaks volumes for a company with such a large out put.

Acacia has a solid reputation. They have the ability to do custom options and finishes (ex. someone wanted an 8 string Iceman, a shape they didn't offer but they made it happen.) They prices are very reasonable especially with some upscale options. They are also the newest company of the three.

What are you looking for? Both Siggery and Acacia can do custom scale lengths and pickups. Carvin will limit you to one scale and their in-house pups. IMO, if you want a longer scale, pups, etc. Take the longer wait time, the finished product will be more personalized to your tastes.
The only issue I have with Acacia is literally the body shape, I got a quote and thought it was quite reasonable, however, in that range I feel like if I keep fishing for the right luthier I might get a comparable price on a better aesthetic. What you say is interesting though, and to give an idea of my tastes this is my dream guitar at the moment. I really don't want to go exactly superstrat if I'm breaking the $2k range.

I'm also having serious issues deciding between good pickups or a multi-scale, it makes me want to rip my ....ing hair out. On that note I sometimes just want to impulsively invest in the Carvin's lack of options to simplify things.
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Unread 07-27-2012, 01:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daken1134 View Post
My buddy kit ordered a guitar from them a few weeks ago... literally WEEKS ago and its already done, was actually done and they were just waiting on the pickups to come in,
I've already gotten a quote from him. To buy from Poland is intimidating, whether he pull a Roter or there be serious miscommunication. I've never gone custom, I've never put my faith into a man's integrity, especially a Polish man's, when I live all the way over in Indiana. A little scarey, huh?

This is certainly because I just recently read about Roter. Also, on the other hand, it's because I don't know quite how customizable he is in light of my issue with Acacia, body shapes, I don't know how much money it takes to buy my artistic freedom from either company either. I haven't emaiiled either about that. Finally, I've never before experienced the wonders of custom fees and I'm not sure that I'm ready to.

Edit: After checking out Skervesen's newest builds. ....ing Christ.. hm...
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Unread 07-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
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ill let you know. im in florida and my buddy should have his guitar in a week or so but he is super customizable he can do ANYTHING. ive been in talks with him to build an 8 string with completely custom specs and a warwick thumb 5 string body. also the guy worked at Mayonnes for 13 years so he knows what he is doin
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Unread 07-27-2012, 10:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linguos View Post
I've never put my faith into a man's integrity, especially a Polish man's, when I live all the way over in Indiana. A little scarey, huh?
If Xenophobia is an issue, I'd avoid Siggery, he is British, and choose between Carvin and Acacia. IMO, it's an ignorant reason to disregard a luthier.
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Unread 07-28-2012, 09:26 AM   #10
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Since when did Carvin have a lack of options? lol.

It would be hard for me to decide between Acacia and Carvin because I'm a huge Carvin fan but if you are looking for "off menu" they won't do it. They are a manufacturer, not a straight up custom builder, and that is why their prices are lower and their lead times are shorter. I would put Carvins quality, tone and playability up against any other guitar though.
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Unread 08-04-2012, 04:18 PM   #11
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Well, as the owner of the Acacia 8 string Iceman, I can fully recommend Scott as a great guy to work with. And I think he should be able to build you the body shape you'd like. I've never owned a Carvin or Siggery, so I can't give you any kind of direct comparison, however.

Also, as you eluded to, he's located in the US (it's not a matter of xenophobia, it's a matter of paying out the ass for and being unsure of the whole importation process. I totally get that. And, as has been mentioned, Siggery would involve the same process)
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Unread 08-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Well, as the owner of the Acacia 8 string Iceman, I can fully recommend Scott as a great guy to work with. And I think he should be able to build you the body shape you'd like. I've never owned a Carvin or Siggery, so I can't give you any kind of direct comparison, however.

Also, as you eluded to, he's located in the US (it's not a matter of xenophobia, it's a matter of paying out the ass for and being unsure of the whole importation process. I totally get that. And, as has been mentioned, Siggery would involve the same process)
Yeah, I've never dealt with that before, never gotten into any of this custom business. I'm just unconventional and picky, and my intolerance for subpar quality rose over the years in proportion to my skill. Then I stumble upon this forum and voilą, I've unwrapped the golden ticket. I admit, as I've given all my luthier research more time to digest, Skervesen is really striking a particular chord with me, however, he is Polish, a very far distance, I don't know what to expect. But his communication skills and desire to please seem to be superb. If I intend to jump into that boat I ought to soon, I expect turnaround times and possibly prices to skyrocket eventually.

Acacia, to be frank, could you compare its quality to anything more conventional? You very well might not know, but how is it to a DC800, RG2228, etc?

I've read that Siggery doesn't feel top notch, I'm not sure what that means.

Black Water is interesting me too, nice prices and turnaround times. I just don't know about the quality. I really want the best I can get for under three grand.
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Unread 08-06-2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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Carvin is just increbible but in terms of custom, you're just limited to what they offer. I can personally vouch for Acacia, they are incredible to work with and their build times are really fast, getting my custom built right now, should get it in October. Scott and Joe are really great people to work with. I've also put in an order with Siggery. I don't know of his quality (I'll let you know when I get my guitar), I'm sure its great, but he is an incredible person and his prices are really good. Based on the link picturing your dream guitar, I would say Siggery is quite fit for that build. InDivisons is getting his guitar soon from Siggery, PM him once he's gotten it and see how he likes it.

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Unread 08-06-2012, 03:53 PM   #14
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Carvin is just increbible but in terms of custom, you're just limited to what they offer. I can personally vouch for Acacia, they are incredible to work with and their build times are really fast, getting my custom built right now, should get it in October. Scott and Joe are really great people to work with. I've also put in an order with Siggery. I don't know of his quality (I'll let you know when I get my guitar), I'm sure its great, but he is an incredible person and his prices are really good. Based on the link picturing your dream guitar, I would say Siggery is quite fit for that build. InDivisons is getting his guitar soon from Siggery, PM him once he's gotten it and see how he likes it.
So, to clarify, would you say that Acacia is at least = the quality of Carvin?
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Unread 08-06-2012, 10:42 PM   #15
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Unread 08-07-2012, 01:50 AM   #16
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I would say Acacia is better than Carvin. Carvin is incredible as a COMPANY and while it is custom, it's limited by what they offer. I've heard nothing but good about the quality of their instruments and some view it as safer goig through them rather than an independent luthier. The guys down at Acacia are incredible, Joe, Jack, and Scott, theyre masters at their craft even though theyre just getting into higher production. Just go tothe Acacia guitars thread under Marketplace and you'll see the amazing work they do. You can't go wrong with Carvin or Acacia but You won't find that Vik-looking dream guitar of yours at Carvin haha.

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Unread 08-07-2012, 04:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linguos View Post
I've already gotten a quote from him. To buy from Poland is intimidating, whether he pull a Roter or there be serious miscommunication. I've never gone custom, I've never put my faith into a man's integrity, especially a Polish man's, when I live all the way over in Indiana. A little scarey, huh?
Not to be overly abrasive, but let me put it this way with a few examples of my own guitars. I live in Portugal. It's a bit far from:
- England - Jaden Rose (13 guitars), Blackmachine;
- Poland - Blackat (2 guitars), incoming Skervesen
- United States - Strictly 7, Sherman
- Sweden - Strandberg
- Canada - Decibel

I could carry on, but .... me if I'm going to put my faith in a man's integrity, especially a [English / Polish / American / Canadian / Swedish] man when I live all the way in Portugal. Nuh uh. Too scary.



Jokes aside, I could care less where the builder is located. All I care for is build quality, reliability (visible through track record if you don't have direct contact), and how the luthier "connects" with my vision. The rest would be narrowing my choices and using absolutely silly criteria to establish what I'd get, thus maximizing my chances of getting something wrong as opposed to protecting myself.

OT - Acacia has Joe Balaguer there, right? Wouldn't touch that shit with a barge pole, man! j/k
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Unread 08-07-2012, 05:40 AM   #18
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Fred, how unamerican of you...
For shame.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 05:45 AM   #19
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Hahah! Yes, buy real American guitars, made by Americans, cut with real American knives and all American woods! Oh, and if the US flag isn't proudly raised on the American factory's building, be careful - there could be some unamerican employee cleaning the facilities or something.

Honestly, stereotypes are really beyond me at times!
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Unread 08-07-2012, 05:48 AM   #20
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I could carry on, but .... me if I'm going to put my faith in a man's integrity, especially a [English / Polish / American / Canadian / Swedish] man when I live all the way in Portugal. Nuh uh. Too scary.
If anyone took that as anything negative, btw, I didn't mean it that way, just to be clear. It literally has to do with reliability and potential complications. Let me reiterate, I've never gone custom, and never bought anything overseas. Also, it's worth noting that I have a small budget, and therefore it's very necessary to get the best bang for my buck, because with any luck I'll get a decent recording setup soon, and to again point out, most of the things I will be buying will be based upon faith of Googling around and this forum. Music stores around me are pretty terrible, seriously.

Fred, I know you've been to things like NAMM and Musikmesse and plus, as we established, you have friends with incredible instruments. I also know you loathe suggesting guitars to people. But just this once, could you make an exception and just tell me, for a guitar under $3k and hopefully under $2.5k, what do you think would be the best bang for the buck? Just an all around, multi-purpose guitar, 8 stringed, for styles between yours all the way to some BTBAM. Supreme craftsmanship, intonation, acoustics and crystal clear lows are all very important to me. Your opinion would be very much appreciated, and not because you're Fred the Shred, but because I objectively know you've played more guitars already than I probably ever will.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 06:17 AM   #21
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Don't get me wrong - as I said before, the point was to jokingly rebate the apparent logic, which actually harmful to the buyer in many a case.

I don't loathe suggesting guitars at all, else stuff like endorsing Jaden Rose guitars would be a contradiction in itself. You just reach a point, from a given quality threshold, in which it is now down to the traits you'd prefer in an instrument. I do own examples of most of the guitar brands I speak of, or had substantial contact with them, else I'll refrain from posting an opinion, that's all - I don't want my opinion to influence people negatively in some cases, to be honest.

Now... under 2,5K USD to 3K USD in an 8-string that's worth it's salt... in my experience, and considering the location, I had great experiences with the S7 stuff (27,5" scale, really - longer than that is really not my thing at all), and Skervesen does build Blackats, which is also a nice calling card right there, with more flexible specs should that be your cup of tea. I can't comment on Acacia as I haven't played one yet, so maybe I'll beat one up at NAMM if Joe brings one along or something. Carvin is immense bang for the buck if you don't mind more "standardized" specs, due to the limited options, and I found the DC800 to be a very well thought-of instrument, although you won't have the "whooo, go nuts!" possibilities of smaller brands, of course.

My fave all-rounder 8-strings are Jaden Rose Spiders (hence me owning a bunch of them ), but I'm uncertain as how much they would set you back because of import duties, as shaving the UK VAT off the final price does leave you with... 2,4K USD + shipping.

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Unread 08-07-2012, 06:52 AM   #22
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Hey thanks! My philosophy with ordering a (semi-)custom is to first focus entirely on getting the most superb sounding and feeling instrument, and then, if possible, I'd totally be willing to piss away an additional $500 or so to make it look pretty, for example, I'm a real sucker for flamed maple neck binding, and, in fact, I generally scoff at most guitars without binding (aesthetically speaking obviously), it actually makes me pine over the DC800's lack of it. So, with this being said, if the DC800 truly is a superb instrument then that's fine enough for me on account of its cheapness, although I do worry that 27" isn't enough scale length to get a crisp F# or low, low E without a fat ....ing string, which I'd prefer not to have. Oh well. People like you make do without it, and I've never even played on anything over 25.5" so I'll cross my average sized fingers and hope 27" really is the best compromise.

Now, if someone could objectively say that the Acacia is certainly = or > than a Carvin, I'd like to hear that.

Hm, Fred, could you answer something a little more on the pedantic side of things? Could you compare the DC800 to any conventional company or at least tell me how nice it is to a comparably spec'd Jaden Rose?
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Unread 08-07-2012, 07:47 AM   #23
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The specs on both are never similar, as Carvin does neck thru on the DC800 and Jaden favours bolt-ons. I find the Jaden has more acoustic "snap" and ridiculous sustain, which I tend to prefer, but the DC is a solid guitar - I am entering the realm of personal preference here.

As for conventional companies, I find the DC800 has quite an edge over most production 8's out there, to be honest. It wiped the floor with "big brand" offerings such as Ibanez, LTD and Schecter in terms of feel, and tonally it was more to my liking as well.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 08:39 AM   #24
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The specs on both are never similar, as Carvin does neck thru on the DC800 and Jaden favours bolt-ons. I find the Jaden has more acoustic "snap" and ridiculous sustain, which I tend to prefer, but the DC is a solid guitar - I am entering the realm of personal preference here.

As for conventional companies, I find the DC800 has quite an edge over most production 8's out there, to be honest. It wiped the floor with "big brand" offerings such as Ibanez, LTD and Schecter in terms of feel, and tonally it was more to my liking as well.
So, just to make sure I'm not confused by all this, since it's so new, to buy a standard Spider 8 would be nearly $2.4k and after 20% English VAT nearly $2.9k plus shipping, so, around $3k give or take? ... plus a case
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Unread 08-07-2012, 08:57 AM   #25
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No, UK VAT does NOT apply to you as a US citizen - it is replaced by whatever import duty is applied in your State. That is why I deducted it from the European price (EU countries have the VAT prevail across borders and no import duties whatsoever).

So, what you have is 2,4K + hardcase + shipping + whatever it is you guys pay. If you add fancy stuff to the spider, it will increase the price, but that's pretty normal and you can enquire Jaden about the options to see whether they send the budget over the limit or not.

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