NGD: Carvin ST300T in "Purple Sunset Burst"

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by SnowfaLL, May 2, 2014.

  1. SnowfaLL

    SnowfaLL SS.org Regular

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    It's been a long time coming for this one, I'd say about 7 years. I came up with this color combination at that point and knew that SOMEDAY I'd find a way to get it made. I was an Ibanez fanboy at the time, and all into the "Parts Customs" - but those never turned out great. Either way, This was my first design from the V-RG builder back iin the day.

    [​IMG]

    (I did not know of the Ernie Ball Music Man Steve Morse model until late 2013, when I finally decided to Opt 50 this color with Carvin. Lots of research came to see it had been done before. Still neat though)

    After owning many used Carvins over the years, and ordering about 5 necks/neckthru blanks, I decided it was time to get my first full custom. Unfortunately, I bought a Kemper right before the CT7 came out, so I put it on hold and waited 6 months, then for some reason I was on a 6 string kick at the time. The choice was tough between the CT624 and ST300, but I eventually went with the ST300 because it was significantly cheaper with my Opt 50s, and I wanted to keep it true to my original Ibanez plan. Even with all these Opt 50s (including at the time, Roasted maple neck woods which Carvin rejected when it arrived to the factory) - It was just over $2000. Pretty solid deal for a One piece Quilted top with custom color, and the only other "trustworthy" custom shop that could do this for me was Suhr at $6500 US.

    Specs:

    5 Piece Mahogany/Mahogany neck
    Plain Maple Headstock Cap
    Alder Body wings
    Wilkinson in Gold (may be changed to a Hipshot Contour 6 in the future)
    C22B and H22N pickups
    One piece Quilted maple top in "Purple Sunset" burst
    Natural Body Binding
    Medium Jumbo SS frets of course.


    Here is the picture I sent in to Carvin when it came to the Opt 50 color, from Kuhboom's DC600 PSP.

    [​IMG]

    Since placing my order, I picked up an amazing deal from a local friend (Patriclese on these forums) for his ST300C - I couldn't pass it up. I actually went to try this exact guitar out 2 days before I called Mike Jones to place my ST300 order, just to be 100% sure on the choice, and a few months later here I am owning it. Solid. It blew me away when I finally got to spend more than 20 minutes with it, and it instantly ranked in my top 10 of guitars-ever-played. So the hype for this new ST300T being as good made me nervous as hell.

    I will also say Mike Jones did a wonderful job helping me out. There was a lot of concerns, and he did his best to accommodate them. I do get nervous when he sends me an email just saying "Call me" but at least last week, I called to the news of it being shipped already - not "something slipped off a shelf and snapped your neck in half" like my mind was assuming.

    THIS THING IS SO DIFFICULT TO PHOTOGRAPH!

    So, How is it????

    This guitar lives up to the hype. I don't understand if it's just the ST300 model itself, or Carvin stepping their game up in the past ~3 years, but my two ST300's play head and shoulders above every other Carvin I've owned (and just about every other guitar I've ever touched, up there with Washburn USA's, Bowes Guitars and Anderson Guitars). I was blown away how easy the ST300C I bought from Patrick was to play, but obviously when you put my specs on the guitar (Maple fretboard, Wilkinson Tremolo, Medium Jumbo SS frets) instead of his Rosewood and Jumbo SS frets, it feels at home. This thing basically plays itself. No wonder Jason Becker loved the DC200/ST300 model.

    Overall, I'm quite impressed, and will continue to recommend Carvin to almost anyone (mostly from the US, see below) and hope to get at least one more guitar and one more bass each.


    The Not so great:

    - My only complaint with this guitar, and its kind of my mistake for not being even more persistent and clear with my directions - The color has way more Amber than I was expecting. The Color match picture I sent in, the Amber went just slightly outside the bridge/pickups, and the fade to purple started earlier. Obviously when they looked at the color match photo, they just copied the color itself and not how the bursting was meant to be done. I know that for next time, and I will specifically request extra lines on EXACTLY how I want the burst/fade to look. Even with that, I've actually been craving an Amber Quilted guitar recently (Thanks to AlienSporeBomb's ST300T, which also swayed my model choice heavily - Check it HERE ) so getting this guitar basically being full Amber with a slight burst of Purple is alright. Not ideal, but I wont make a fuss about it. It's close enough. The next guitar, I will even pay for an Opt 50 to add extra descriptions sent directly to the paint guy if need be.

    - The Pickups are alright, but not exactly my cup of tea. I believe its the C22B (stock bridge pickup) and the Holdsworth Neck. I understand what crowd they are catering to, as these pickups have a very sharp cutting fuzz to them - I actually may keep the C22 in this guitar solely because I plan on playing most of the 80s hair metal/classic rock stuff on this guitar, which this pickup fits perfectly. It's just not smooth at all, and has that "hairy" tone to it. The Holdsworth neck, while it cuts really good, also is not as smooth as I enjoy. I'm a Duncan Jazz guy, and that is what will go in here. This Holdsworth pickup actually reminds me kind of like a Dimarzio Evo almost, or least that kind of vibe. Both pickups actually have a very Dimarzio-esqe quality to them, with the C22 having that Super Distortion/PAF feel. Subjective points, but just something that I will have to change.

    - One tiny mistake on the paint line on the neck - It has 0.2mm of a "slip" onto the fretboard. Not important and I had to look VERY close to see it, but it's there. For that being the only actual "build quality" mistake on the whole guitar, I'm quite impressed.

    - If I was to do it over again, I would get a Satin neck. The Gloss is not bad, but Satin is just amazing. Totally recommend Satin to everyone, its the perfect medium between ultra-protective and tung-oil like feel.

    The Absolutely AWFUL:

    - UPS Shipping only to Canada. Sucks.

    But what you have been waiting for - PICTURES!
    (Someday I'll get outdoor ones, its rainy all this weekend)

    [​IMG]

    Look at that sexy binding

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Having a Maple headstock cap with a Purple back is kinda odd, but I like it -

    [​IMG]

    Can see the 5 piece Mahogany neck here

    [​IMG]


    And here is my "Six String" Collection going forward - I am a 7 string player at heart, so I will only keep three 6ers. The ST300T being the main, the Carvin/Warmoth Strat being the "vintage" recording guitar, and the ST300C being the backup. Pretty Satisfied with that lineup!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now on to the 7 string collection!
     
  2. Jeesan

    Jeesan Regular

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    Wow man! Congratulations! Glad to know that your vision turned out awesome... :)
     
  3. mcd

    mcd stuff and thangs

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    I greatly enjoy that color. Great looking axe man!
     
  4. BucketheadRules

    BucketheadRules Fuzz pedal hoarder

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    That finish really shouldn't work but somehow really does.

    Happy NGD fella :)
     
  5. ErkerAsylum

    ErkerAsylum SS.org Regular

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    Thats an interesting color match-up there. I'm sure it looks better in person but the photos here still look great. I see the difference in the amount of purple as you mentioned but, its understandable like you said. Happy NGD!
     
  6. fortisursus

    fortisursus SS.org Regular

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    wow man this is sexy!
     
  7. Adamh1331

    Adamh1331 RED. Contributor

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    Love the finish! Nice collection as well.
     
  8. ilyti

    ilyti Lazy Ryebread Viking

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    Love those colours. Its like purple burning lava.
     
  9. SkyIllusion

    SkyIllusion Maine Music Teacher

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    It's so warm. I can see what you mean about it being far more gradual and late to fade to the purple but it still looks stunning. The maple neck provides a fantastic contrast. HNGD!
     
  10. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    That is a sweet looking burst! They did a great job on that. It's beautiful.
     
  11. Garnoch

    Garnoch SS.org Regular

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    Brilliant idea, man. It might not have been exactly what was in your head, but it's amazing. Congrats!
     
  12. SnowfaLL

    SnowfaLL SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, the plan now is a CT7 with this finish, but exactly how I want it with a written direction in the opt 50 description line.. (basically the amber ends right outside the pickups, just like my photoshop image)
     
  13. HattersGonnaHat

    HattersGonnaHat Well-Known Member

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    Happy NGD! But what I want to know is how you fit Dimarzio single coils in your other ST300. Did you modify the baseplates?
     
  14. SnowfaLL

    SnowfaLL SS.org Regular

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    I bought that one used, so I dunno what the dude did to fit them. Probably modified the baseplates; I did that for my old DC727 with BKPs before the routing change.
     
  15. Yimmj

    Yimmj Metalhead

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    Wow. man i cant get enough of carvins :wub:
     
  16. lewstherin006

    lewstherin006 SS.org Regular

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    Congrats bro! The nailed that finish!
     
  17. rifftrauma

    rifftrauma Trapped in time... Contributor

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    Very cool finish man, HNGD!
     
  18. Patriclese

    Patriclese SS.org Regular

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    DiMarzio will ship single coil pickups in a "no flange" option for a large portion of their production models. This is how I modified that ST300.
     
  19. J7string

    J7string SS.org Regular

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    Looks like something Schecter would make... I like it! HNGD!
     
  20. ChrisH

    ChrisH Kiesel Specialist

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    I love this guitar. I was driving to Orange County from San Diego yesterday and the sunset mixed with the clouds looked just like that. Just beautiful.

    Congrats!
     

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