#169004  by wpmartin1979
 
Howdy y’all - I picked up this Carvin guitar to do some Jerry mods and actually discovered it was pretty sweet sounding stock. Below is a video that goes over the guitar and shows you the sounds of all three pups plus the middle pup for soloing.

https://youtu.be/jlchrF4sKQI

Some possible mods:
DGN Custom single coil JG pickup for middle
Super 2s for bridge and neck
Hard tail the bridge
Unity Gain buffer

What else would you guys do if it were yours?
 #169007  by wpmartin1979
 
Jon S. wrote: Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:36 am I agree it sounds really nice stock. Tread carefully on any irreversible mods!
I’m pretty sure I can hard tail the bridge without permanently altering it. Just stick a block behind the trem block , not sure if it would be glued in or what not.
In the 90s Carvins came stock with the Wilkinson Trems which were top of the line at that time. I just never use the Tremolo and would prefer the added sustain of a hard tail bridge.

The only knock I have in the pickups is that they sound a bit thin, no matter what pedal to throw at them they sound thin. They are nice and bright and articulate though. They work great for a song like Eyes, but for some other tunes they sound a little fickle.

Anyone else have any experience with Carvin guitars or the pickups they used in the 90s?

Pretty sure they are M22s with Alnico 5 magnets.
 #169015  by PurpleTrails
 
I'm pretty sure Carvin pickups used to be slightly different size from normal ones, so simply thinking you can pop in a set of super 2s may or may not be possible without some mods done to the guitar. I'm not sure when they switched, so maybe ask over on the Carvin guitar forum about what you are thinking about doing. That forum was super active in the past, and the people there tend to be both pretty knowledgeable and super fanatical.

https://www.kieselguitarsbbs.com/

FWIW, I own a Carvin AE185 which I picked up used and think dates to the early aughts. Really nice but kinda weird variation on a thinline tele deluxe. I play it frequently.

Someone ordered one of those DC145s pretty much spec'd out to look like Wolf a few years back and posted a thread about it here. Not sure who it was or if they kept it. Thought about doing the same but never quite got around to doing so for a variety of reasons.
 #169018  by wpmartin1979
 
PurpleTrails wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:53 pm I'm pretty sure Carvin pickups used to be slightly different size from normal ones, so simply thinking you can pop in a set of super 2s may or may not be possible without some mods done to the guitar. I'm not sure when they switched, so maybe ask over on the Carvin guitar forum about what you are thinking about doing. That forum was super active in the past, and the people there tend to be both pretty knowledgeable and super fanatical.

https://www.kieselguitarsbbs.com/
Thanks for this info! I will check it out right now actually.

You know, the guitar had pretty thin strings on it (either 8 or 9 gauge). I changed the strings to 10-46 (which are my usual gauge) and moved the pups up towards the strings a bit and the @thin sound I was referring to from the pickups seems to have gone away. I’m wondering if the thin strings were tripping me out, or if they actually made the sound thinner!?
I just jammed out for a while with the new strings and they sound really good, so thinking about keeping the pups in there.
Or I may just throw that DGN custom JG single in the middle because I am curious to see how it sounds. I think the single should fit okay by looking at it.?.
As far as Carvin goes I can see why people are stoked. Made in USA custom grade guitars with quality parts and nice features. I read that Frank Zappa and Steve Vai were both really big Carvin heads.
I wouldn’t want to turn it into a Wolf, but just customize it to my liking to dial in some sweet Jerry tones!
 #169019  by wpmartin1979
 
PurpleTrails wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:53 pm I'm pretty sure Carvin pickups used to be slightly different size from normal ones, so simply thinking you can pop in a set of super 2s may or may not be possible without some mods done to the guitar. I'm not sure when they switched, so maybe ask over on the Carvin guitar forum about what you are thinking about doing. That forum was super active in the past, and the people there tend to be both pretty knowledgeable and super fanatical.

https://www.kieselguitarsbbs.com/

FWIW, I own a Carvin AE185 which I picked up used and think dates to the early aughts. Really nice but kinda weird variation on a thinline tele deluxe. I play it frequently.

Someone ordered one of those DC145s pretty much spec'd out to look like Wolf a few years back and posted a thread about it here. Not sure who it was or if they kept it. Thought about doing the same but never quite got around to doing so for a variety of reasons.
Ok so here is a quote from the Carvin forum on the pickups:

M-22-N/M-22-T - This is really nice if you want pickups that will push your amp and get sounds similar to using two D'Marzio Super Distortions.
Classic Rock, Hard Rock,Old school grind. They will clean up nice but will always have something of an aggressive sound and a bit of edge.

This would explain why these work so well for Jerry tones lol!
 #169025  by wpmartin1979
 
PurpleTrails wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:02 pm Lol, yeah I'd be tempted to just leave it as is after reading that!

Do you know if it has an onboard preamp? My AE185 does, and between that and the piezo under the bridge I can dial in a pretty huge variety of tones.
No preamp, but Dan at DGN (the same cat that makes that Jerry middle pup single coil) also makes a unity gain buffer modeled off of the one in Tiger. I’m thinking Those two mods together would be under $200 and probably more than get me there.
I checked those AE185s and they look really killer are they semi hollow or hollow body guitars?
 #169026  by PurpleTrails
 
Semi-hollow, neck-thru construction, 24 frets. Upper fret access is the best of any guitar I own. Really light, but unfortunately it's also prone to neck dive.

You can blend the piezo and humbuckers pretty much full max either direction and anything in between, and the preamp also can boost the volume quite a bit. I like the semi-hollow construction because you can use it sort of like trey does to get controlled feedback and sustain by moving in and out of proximity to an amp. I can get tones ranging from pretty good twang all the way to a dark les paul-ish growl with it.
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