Review: Carvin DC-727

Review: Carvin DC-727

Carvin is one of those names that has been associated with the music industry for as long as I can remember. Carvin has its hands in the guitar, bass, amplifier and the pro audio markets. Over the years, it has had a large number of endorsees including Greg Howe, Frank Zappa, Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambale, Steve Vai, Brendon Small, Bunny Brunel, Craig Chaquico, Alex Lifeson, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, and Al Di Meola amongst others.

In this review, I take a look at their 7-string offering DC-727.

Specs:

  • Construction: neck through
  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Body: Alder
  • Fingerboard: Ebony, 14″ radius
  • Neck width: 1.91″ wide @ nut, 2.6″ wide @ 24th fret
  • Hardware: Black
  • Bridge: FT7 hardtail, strings through body
  • Tuners: Premium Carvin locking tuners, 19:1 ratio
  • Frets: 24 medium-jumbo, .103 wide X .048 tall
  • Pickups: D26 humbuckers
  • Electronics: Push/pull active/passive controls with passive master volume & tone and active master volume & cut/boost for bass & treble, 3-way PU switch, 2 dual/single coil & phase switches
  • Dimensions: 39.5″ long, 12.75″ wide body, 1.68″ thick body
  • Average weight: 8.5 lbs

First Impressions:

If you judge a book by its cover, then the AAA flame top Blackburst is a marvel of creation. The fingerboard that lacks the fret dot markers, gives this guitar a very sleek shredder look, notwithstanding the fact that the guitar is certainly on the heavier side. The neck feels comfortable for a 7-string and the deep cutaways make access to the higher frets, a breeze. The instrument’s beautiful curves and carving are also noteworthy. The guitar sits exceptionally well with the body and there are no sharp edges. The smooth surface is akin to a glass surface.

The action on the guitar is great and allows for some great soloing and two-handed multi finger tapping à la Stanley Jordan.

The bridge is solid and the locking tuning pegs hold the guitar in tune without any issues. The black hardware is well paired to the guitar’s aesthetics and overall the guitar is an instrument to behold. The knobs roll smoothly and the push pull action on the coil split is great.

Sound:

The passive and active setup on the guitar is great and easy to operate. However, I did not enjoy the stock pickup sound. I tried both settings, active and passive, to see if there is something that I would enjoy, but I could not find a suitable setting to my taste. I was further disappointed to find that Carvin uses non-standard pickups that makes installing after-market options difficult. This seems to be a common sentiment across different forums I’ve visited. With different gain selections and clean settings, I was able to get tones for rock and metal, but nothing that was to my liking. The clean settings worked for an all-fingers on the neck approach to tapping and the response from the pickups was good. The push pull coil taps and the phase switches do offer an interesting palette of sounds to choose from.

Verdict:

I wish these models were setup for standard pickup routing, because that would alleviate a lot of issues that seem to plague these models. The instrument wood and weight’s influence on the sound is sadly diminished by the pickups tone. The build quality is fantastic and a lot of attention has been given to the finish and fret work. I only wish I could have swapped the pickups without shaving off some wood or some such mod to drop in some DiMarzio pickups. At this point, this guitar serves me more as a show piece than an instrument I can use.

Visit their website for more at: http://www.kieselguitars.com/

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Rahul Mukerji is a composer and guitarist. Check his solo work through the official website or follow him on Facebook. He also plays in a band called Iritis. They are on Facebook too.