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The death of Carvin Audio

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Hi, all! I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd come and tell about the death of Carvin Audio. I don't know if any of you own anything by Carvin but, they've been making very fine products for about seventy (plus or minus) years now. When I was a kid, a friend of mine had a Carvin guitar and it was awesome! Now, they're called Keisel Guitars and they are nice; if a bit pricey. Anyway, the audio gear division of Carvin is closing its factory and selling its remaining stock, of which hardly any is left. I own a fifty watt combo of theirs called the V3MC and am quite fond of it. It's a very versatile amp with three independent channels and a lot of preamp options. I like to think of it as a poor man's Mesa Boogie Mark IV/V. So now, they're going away! There won't be any more servicing or warranties or anything. I think it's sad when a company that has been in it for so long has to fold. So perhaps, any of you who own their gear(guitars or amps or P.A. gear) could chime in with your feelings and/or experiences in order to provide a proper eulogy for this fine manufacturer.

I hope all is well with you all and your Holidays are all you wish them to be! Stand and Deliver!

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I am very saddened by the loss of Carvin audio.

 

I own two passive speakers, and two active speakers. They sound much better than competitors that costs much more, and other than a blown tweeter have given me no trouble. They were so embarrassed about the tweeter, that they replaced it for free (that was after the warranty expired). So when I found Carvin Audio was going belly-up, I bought a few tweeter drivers.

 

Are Keisel guitars really the same company? I wonder? I assumed they sold their guitars to Keisel because why give up the name Carvin which has had a good reputation for well over a half century?

 

The owner of my local Mom & Pop store actually encouraged me to go for the Carvins. Another advantage of giving a local business first choice for everything from strings to instruments. He didn't have anything better for the price (and he had Mackies, Eons and a few others. He'd rather keep a loyal customer than make a greedy sale. In return, I've ordered a few items through him that he didn't have in stock (including a guitar) and buy all my disposables there (strings, reeds, etc.).

 

Notes

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I am very saddened by the loss of Carvin audio.

 

I own two passive speakers, and two active speakers. They sound much better than competitors that costs much more, and other than a blown tweeter have given me no trouble. They were so embarrassed about the tweeter, that they replaced it for free (that was after the warranty expired). So when I found Carvin Audio was going belly-up, I bought a few tweeter drivers.

 

Are Keisel guitars really the same company? I wonder? I assumed they sold their guitars to Keisel because why give up the name Carvin which has had a good reputation for well over a half century?

 

The owner of my local Mom & Pop store actually encouraged me to go for the Carvins. Another advantage of giving a local business first choice for everything from strings to instruments. He didn't have anything better for the price (and he had Mackies, Eons and a few others. He'd rather keep a loyal customer than make a greedy sale. In return, I've ordered a few items through him that he didn't have in stock (including a guitar) and buy all my disposables there (strings, reeds, etc.).

 

Notes

 

 

 

That's a real bummer. Carvin always meant quality to me.

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Since 1971, three states, two countries, up and down the east coast, I've never seen a Carvin guitar. One or two amps in the late 90's. Whatever they were doing, it didn't make it to the very busy and diverse guitar world of the Philly suburbs and down to the Jersey shore.

 

rct

Edited by rct

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I've been making posts about my Carvin Legacy amp for several years now. It is sad to see them go. My friend, who never bought anything from them got emails every day for their clearance stuff. I never got anything and kept forgetting to look. By the time I went on their site, everything I might have purchased was sold out.

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Since 1971, three states, two countries, up and down the east coast, I've never seen a Carvin guitar. One or two amps in the late 90's. Whatever they were doing, it didn't make it to the very busy and diverse guitar world of the Philly suburbs and down to the Jersey shore.

 

rct

Good guitars, bad marketing I guess. They have a great reputation.

 

It seems the majority of people are firmly in the Gibson - Fender - Ibanez camp and a decent minority in the PRS - Gretsch and a couple of other brands camp.

 

I own two USA Parkers. Much better guitars than Gibson, Fender, and any other major brand I've tried. But without the budget for extreme promotion, sadly you cannot get a USA Parker anymore (and finding an Asian one is hard).

 

Just because they are uncommon doesn't mean they aren't any good.

 

Now to be clear, I've never owned a Carvin Guitar. I almost did, but when my wife got a Parker, I was so impressed with the quality and the playability of it, I opted for a Parker. And that was so great I had them build a custom one for me.

 

Now I still love my Gibson, but >90% of the time my hands are on one of the Parkers.

 

Insights and incites by Notes.

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Well, I've been singing the praises for my Carvin SH550 guitar on this site for years. It is still my go-to guitar.

 

I was recently toying with picking up a bass amp, esp. with the sale prices, but they sold out before I could make the commitment. Even though Kiesel guitars are relatively pricey, they are still the best deals going for a guitar made in the USA.

 

I think part of the problem, but also part of their success, is that, unless you can find a used product in a brick and mortar store or have a friend who owns one, it is virtually impossible to get a fair, hands-on experience with their product. Gibson might benefit by adopting a similar business model. Direct sales cutting out the middlemen allows them to make a quality product at an affordable price. Carvin amps were a great value. Too bad they're closing.

Edited by zigzag

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Since 1971, three states, two countries, up and down the east coast, I've never seen a Carvin guitar. One or two amps in the late 90's. Whatever they were doing, it didn't make it to the very busy and diverse guitar world of the Philly suburbs and down to the Jersey shore.

 

rct

 

I had a buddy that I was in band with. He had a Carvin built for him, very nice guitar. The only time I ever saw it was when he first got it. I never saw him plug it in, never heard it through an amp. I'm going to ask him if he even has it anymore. FYI, it was here in Jersey. LOL!

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I had a buddy that I was in band with. He had a Carvin built for him, very nice guitar. The only time I ever saw it was when he first got it. I never saw him plug it in, never heard it through an amp. I'm going to ask him if he even has it anymore. FYI, it was here in Jersey. LOL!

 

Stay Weird South Jersey.

 

rct

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I think we had some Carvin PA amps but I didn't really take much notice of them. And, that meant that they worked flawlessly, night after night, for years. I don't remember the model, other than knowing they were Carvin because I'd seen the ads with Steve Vai and Carvin amps and seen the Carvin catalog and saw the name. Their amps sounded good in the old flimsy records they'd advertise with but I never played one of their guitars. I never saw one to be able to play it.

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Since 1971, three states, two countries, up and down the east coast, I've never seen a Carvin guitar.

rct

I bought a Carvin CT6 about 10 years ago. I live not far from their Santa Ana store and the staff there was most helpful with suggestions, questions, etc. and very, very low pressure to buy/order anything. Their guitars are/were excellent. Their catalog was a thing of beauty, and their return policy basically was "if you don't like it for any reason, send it back". Their resale sucks but I'm thinking that's because most people have no clue about them. Folks that own Carvin guitars like them a lot from what I've seen. No experience with their audio stuff, but I'm told that it's top notch as well. As for Keisel guitars, I have no experience, so can't comment.

 

Trivia FWIW: I'm told that the name carvin came about after the owners two sons, CARson and gaVIN.

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... As for Keisel guitars, I have no experience, so can't comment.

 

Kiesel is the family who makes Carvin guitars. Essentially, the guitars are the same since Kiesel changed the name from Carvin, however the lines are evolving. The body shapes, woods, and electronics are essentially the same, but Kiesel is offering more, newer pickup designs, headstock shapes, and finish colors.

Edited by zigzag

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It looks like they actually closed their Santa Ana and Hollywood stores back in 2014 Dennis

 

I’ve had a carpet covered Carvin X100B half stack for about 10 years now. My buddy and I picked it up off craigslist for $200. It is incredibly loud, louder than most 100W tube half stacks I’ve cranked. Not sure what speakers are in it but it pretty much goes from zero to too loud for most bands

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It looks like they actually closed their Santa Ana and Hollywood stores back in 2014 Dennis

Time flies when you're having a good time. [laugh] Like I said, my CT6 is 10 years old & I'm glad I got to spend time with their sales guys, who were most helpful.

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Time flies when you're having a good time. [laugh] Like I said, my CT6 is 10 years old & I'm glad I got to spend time with their sales guys, who were most helpful.

Tell me about it, I didn’t even know the Hollywood store is gone till I looked into it after reading your comment. Do you ever go to Jim’s Music in Tustin? I got my Ric there, nice people

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Do you ever go to Jim’s Music in Tustin? I got my Ric there, nice people

Yes, kind of the best of both worlds: GC type selection but with sales staff who know what they're talking about!

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It appears Carvin Audio is coming back with pedals and accessories. Are new amp offerings in the works?

 

January 23, 2018

 

Carvin Amps and Audio announces the relaunch of carvinaudio.com, which offers a brand-new user experience. We will continue our 70+ year legacy by providing musicians and sound professionals with solutions to their everyday needs with tube guitar pedals, in-ear monitor systems, wireless microphones, and gig essentials like D/I boxes and power conditioners.

 

Expect new products from Carvin Amps and Audio in 2018 including a new tube preamp guitar pedal, which is based on one of our most iconic tube amps, to be released at the 2018 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. Visit us and demo the new pedal at the Acacia Guitars booth #4249 and the Vola Guitars booth #4334 at NAMM 2018.

 

Stay tuned for more information about the new tube preamp guitar pedal!

Edited by zigzag

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Did Carvin actually have dealers? I seem to remember only ever seeing them as catalogs.........always loved looking at the catalogs, but never bought anything.

 

Used some of their PA stuff over the years, and recall a few amps comming through the shop I worked at but that is about it.

 

NHTom

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I thought it was Keep Austin Weird. Ah, Jersey the state my parents had sex in to make me. Kind of nauseating to think about. Never played any Carvin stuff. Heard their audio stuff was nice and there guitars are not shapes in guitars I dig, but they are supposed to be good stuff.

It’s actually Portland unless Austin copied that slogan

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It was Austin first. Used to go there lots in the 90's, early 2000's for work and to stalk Charlie Sexton at the Continental. Bought Leslie quite a few drinks too, but I think he/she has passed.

 

rct

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Woow woow woow, you staked dudes?

 

Saw Alejando Escovedo at the Continental and stayed across street at the Austin Motel. Killer Mexican food and I even bought a real pair of s-hit kickers.

 

Yeah man, Charlie is one stalkable guitar player/singer/ writer! And what is better than hanging at the Contintental?

 

Charlie's wife owned that motel.

 

rct

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Or the one next to it. Not sure which now. 2008 was the last time I was there I think.

 

rct

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I've got quite a lot of Carvin stuff, speakers, mics, mixers, monitors, amps, and wireless systems. IMO, their stuff was too good, would'nt break down so no replacement. I've got a 1960s mixer that is clear as a bell. One thing that I did find out tho, about 3 yrs ago I had a small hiss in one of my wireless systems, called them up about getting it fixed, was told that all their wireless stuff and mics were made by Nady and just rebadged for Carvin.

TC

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