Carvin DC727

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by speedy1, May 16, 2008.

  1. speedy1

    speedy1 SS.org Regular

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    Alright, so now I've gotten to mess around with my guitar for some time, and I have a pretty accurate picture of its capabilities/tonalities...

    So, here it goes!

    Specs:

    Tung-oiled Swamp Ash Body
    Tung-oiled Maple Neck
    Bird's Eye Maple Fretboard
    20" Radius
    Stainless Steel Medium Jumbo Frets
    Graphite Nut and Saddles
    Sperzel Tuners
    Push/Pull Coil Tap
    3 Way Blade Switch
    Routed for Battery Box (in case I want active pickups)

    Cost $1198


    FINISH/AESTHETICS:

    Absolutely perfect. Really, to me it's perfect!

    The all tung-oil finish feels so awesome. No friction at all on the back of the neck, no gloss to get sticky and mess with your forearm when it's resting on the top of the guitar. The figuring of the swamp ash and bird's eye maple completely exceeded my expectations.

    SET-UP:

    I opted for the stainless steel medium jumbos, super-light strings (9-52), and a 20" radius.

    The medium jumbos feel like vintage sized frets! Perhaps that's because they feel "slicker" than nickel frets, and are so unobtrusive when sliding from fret to fret. The radius is also perfect for barre chords, arpeggios, and legato playing. I have not broken-out the chromatic tuner, but to my ear, the intonation sounds dead-on.

    The action is slightly low for my taste, but I'd rather have a little lower action than one which is an inch off the fretboard.

    I read on various forums about how super-light strings are a no-no for 7 string guitars-- they will buzz, or sound muddy, or not have enough bass, etc. I have not had any buzzing/flopping problems with my low B, even though it is only a 52...but then again, I use 008s or 009s on my Strats, and play with a very light touch.

    SOUND/TONE:

    This is a very mixed bag. I did not immediately love nor hate the pickups. I like bright sounding guitars, and my 727 does not disappoint. It is very resonant, and actually projects very well for a solid-body guitar when played unplugged.

    The bridge humbucker has a very "biting" sound. It is pretty clear, and more treble/upper-mid sounding. It works very well for pinch/artificial harmonics, and shows nice note separation when playing distorted chords.

    The neck humbucker is warmer, darker, and not nearly as treble-sounding. I don't care for the neck humbucker using distortion. However, it sounds fantastic for clean playing. When split, it is somewhat noisy but produces an excellent round/glassy/chimey tone that I love. It sounds very similar to the H22N I had in my old DC127.

    Much to my surprise, I can get somewhat of a Strat tone when using the neck humbucker in split mode (playing clean).

    I am probably going to change out both pickups, even though they do have some good qualities to them. I am in love with the sound of a single coil in the neck position, and so I will replace the neck humbucker with a Rio Grande Tallboy-- this is a 4 conductor humbucker which can actually function as a true single coil.

    I will replace the bridge with either a Blackout, Pearly Gates, or JB. (All pickups I am familiar with and love...)

    Let me stress that these pickups are definitely not "crap" as some reviewers may say on Harmony-Central. They have some very good tonal qualities, but are just not the perfect fit for me.

    Additional, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall tone of my guitar/pickups/amp. This guitar is very clear, with a nice upper-mid and treble response. I was initially concerned that the guitar's sound would be very muddy and bassy with the low B string, as I had almost no experience playing 7 strings. The only 7s I had played, had floppy bass strings and seemed very dark/undefined when playing with distortion.

    This is not the case with the Carvin, whether it be because of my wood choice (swamp ash/maple neck/maple fretboard), pickups, amp, or any combination thereof.

    I am absolutely contented with the basic tone of my guitar!

    I am hoping to post a video on youtube of my guitar today, to show more of how it sounds/plays. Unfortunately, the sound quality may not be too good.

    Thanks all for reading!

    If anyone is considering a Carvin over an Ibanez, Schecter, or Agile, I think they will NOT be disappointed. I don't believe I will have a need or desire for a different 7 string in addition to this one. Time will tell, but this really fits perfectly for what I had imagined a 7 string to be!

    :shred:
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  2. Edroz

    Edroz new album soon!

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    nice review, and equally nice guitar :yesway:.

    btw, are you sure the fretboard's a 20" radius? i thought Carvin only offered radius choices for their six string electrics and 20" isn't one of those choices... unless they changed that recently, the 727/ 747 are only available with a 14" radius.
     
  3. Apophis

    Apophis Banned

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    Nice review :metal:
     
  4. Ancestor

    Ancestor Contributor

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    Nice review. I wonder about the pickups all the time. I would like to have a chance to play one. I guess they have that 10 day trial period. They look amazing. Glad you like your new axe. :D
     
  5. speedy1

    speedy1 SS.org Regular

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    Sorry for the late reply; my dogs chewed through my outside cable for my internet!

    Edroz, yes mine has a 20" radius, as I asked for that specifically. I don't know if they can offer the 20" radius on ALL their guitars (as they usually state that the 20 is only on the Holdsworth model,) but I got it when I asked for it!

    I am still figuring out how to put a picture of my guitar in this review; for some reason the "edit" feature isn't letting me upload a pic from Photobucket or my own computer.

    Anyhow, the Carvin is a keeper, and plays great. I couldn't have gotten a better 7 string!
     
  6. ohio_eric

    ohio_eric Contributor

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    Nice review! :yesway:
     
  7. speedy1

    speedy1 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks, I tried to be somewhat thorough and more descriptive...hopefully anyone considering buying a Carvin will find my review helpful.

    I forgot to add that my wait-time was 12 weeks-- WAY shorter than many custom shops, but it still had me going crazy!
     
  8. _Drizzt_

    _Drizzt_ SS.org Regular

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    Rock on! Carvins are great!
     
  9. kmanick

    kmanick Contributor

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    Great review , thanks!that oiled "raw" look, kooks great!:hbang:
    I love my Carvin as well.
    when they do them right , they really do them right :shred:
     
  10. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    nice review!

    im waiting to get my used DC727 back from the shop. if you're looking for a set of blackouts complete w/ everything, i will probably be selling mine - PM me for info.
     
  11. speedy1

    speedy1 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks Budda.

    I'm contemplating the Blackouts.

    I've got some questions, so I'll PM you later!
     
  12. lambofhowe

    lambofhowe SS.org Regular

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    Sick looking axe, I love my DC 727.
     
  13. Zepp88

    Zepp88 Arktanian Diplomat Contributor

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    Nice review dude. I don't know how Carvin pickups have changed over the years, but if you can find some old '80s Carvin pickups, buy them. They're clean, articulate, amazing they have this certain bite and grit to them. My buddy has a vintage V220 and it sounds terrific.
     
  14. heffergm

    heffergm SS.org Regular

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    ... Carvin wasn't making 7 string pickups in the 80's dude... mainly because they didn't start making 7 strings until 1999 or so.
     
  15. Born4metal85

    Born4metal85 SS.org Regular

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    I will sell my RG 1527 and buy a Carvin dc 727...very awesome guitar.....wish there would be someone who I could switch or trade my Ibanez rg 1527 to a Carvin dc 727
     
  16. Werwolf999

    Werwolf999 SS.org Regular

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    I remember hearing something to the effect that Carvin's pickup cavities were somewhat undersized and that a few people had to enlarge them slightly in order to install replacements. Is this the case with your Carvin, or is sort of an "old wives tale"?
     
  17. speedyone

    speedyone Addicted 2 Dat Shred

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    Werwolf--

    up until a few months ago, the pickup cavities in the 727 were all routed smaller than other brands of pickups...so you used to have to have them routed.

    From what I have heard lately from the Carvin site/other owners, Carvin has switched to standard size pickup routes.

    Therefor, you shouldn't have any problem installing your own pickups in one. (well, except for those horribly shaped emg abominations!)
     
  18. Werwolf999

    Werwolf999 SS.org Regular

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    Speedyone,

    Thanks for the heads up!

    Any ideas as to what you'll be replacing the stock pups on the Carvin with?
     
  19. speedyone

    speedyone Addicted 2 Dat Shred

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    Well, sadly I don't have the Carvin anymore!

    After playing strats for many years, I could just not get my "holy grail tone" out of the Carvin....which for me, is the neck pickup tone of a strat.

    I tried replacing the neck humbucker with a Lollar Blonde single coil-- but it didn't sound strat-like at all. I replaced the bridge humbucker with a Lollar Imperial, and THAT sounded fantastic.

    For rhythms, the Carvin was excellent. But in the end, I just preferred a different tone for my leads...because I play ALL my leads with the neck pickup.

    I ended up having a custom 7 string strat built for me by Rice Custom Guitars, which i should receive in about 2 more months.

    The Carvin was the best playing guitar I've ever tried though. I think if you get one (as long as your not looking for a stratty neck pickup tone,) you will NOT be disappointed!
     
  20. Zsharp

    Zsharp SS.org Regular

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    dude i own this guitar now! i think?
     

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