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#1: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-08 21:01:30 by Jack Zucker

Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review
For years I've been a huge fan of Holdsworth and wondered about his namesake
Carvin guitar. I've been struggling with finding a guitar that really
sounded amazing for fusion and have been using a couple different
semi-hollow instruments (an Ibanez AS200 and a USA Epiphone JLH). Last
weekend saw an "in stock" Carvin Fat Boy that looked amazing. It was one of
the most beautiful quilted tops I had ever seen. On a whim and with the 10
day trial and knowing that American Express would double the warranty up
from 5 to 10 years, I ordered one.

I received it today. My first impression upon opening the case was that this
was not the guitar I saw the picture of. The guitar in the picture was an
amber fading to umber fading to brown sunburst. This guitar was pretty much
a light brown fading to dark brown on the edges. Not ugly by any means but
certainly not what was in the photograph. I don't know if the pix they show
for "in stock" guitars are stock photos or actual pictures of the
instruments they are selling. In this case, I would suspect the latter. Of
course, lighting could have something to do with it. Perhaps they
photographed the guitar under incandescent lighting which would give the
photograph more amber to it. Whatever...At any rate, the looks were still
very good. Just not on par with what I thought I was getting. I guess it
would be the difference between a "10" top and a very good top.

The guitar felt great and the setup was spot on. Low action all the way up
and down the fingerboard. Neck angle and string height above the guitar
happened to be perfect for the way I play which is to lightly trail my
fingers along the pickguard or the top of the guitar in this case.

Put the strap on it and stood up and whoa...The thing is very neck-heavy.
What a disappointment. This is a deal breaker for me as there is nothing
worse than fighting with your guitar on a gig in this respect. The guitar
has 2 strap buttons on the bottom like an Anderson and I switched to the
other strap button which is closer to the bottom of the instrument when you
are wearing it with a strap. It felt a little better there but this created
a new problem. Now the center of gravity was way above the pivot points of
the strap and the guitar tips forward when you play it like this. <sigh....>

I plugged the guitar into a Clarus 2/R amp running through a Raezers-Edge
S12 (1x12) cab and surprisingly the thing sounded wonderful for jazz though
a tad bright due to the 24 fret neck. Very clear and clean tone, full bodied
but with more clarity than is normally heard in a solid body or thinline
archtop guitar. My guess is that the fully hollow construction coupled with
the 24 frets gave the guitar its unique voice in that respect.

The middle position also sounded nice. Quacky in a humbucker sort of way.
This particular instrument did not have coil taps so I could not test that
aspect of it.

Treble pickup also sounded great and full bodied. So far so good. However, I
had ordered this instrument primarily to get a fusion sound.

So...I turned on my Fuchs ODS 20, plugged it into my THD 2x12 cab and after
warming it up, switched to the bridge pickup on the guitar and the "lead"
channel of the Fuchs amp. Very nice singing sustain. A tad tubby sounding on
the low strings (probably due to the hollow body). Oddly, there was a
problem with open strings feeding back while playing with gain, much like
you'd experience with a fully hollow archtop guitar. Of course, there was
less of this than when playing something like an Ibanez George Benson but it
was definitely more annoying than when playing a 335 style instrument like
the AS200. Of course, this same quality allows it to "catch" certain notes
and feedback, creating infinite sustain should you want that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, the instrument also suffers from some of the same
shortcomings of a full sized hollowbody in the upper register in that the
notes attenuate (deaden) rather quickly. Also, like many hollowbodies, there
are dead spots on the fingerboard that just don't sustain like the rest of
the instrument. For example, C on the 5th fret of the G string seemed to
sound "thuddy" and dull as did a high G on 15th fret high E string...

Quick summary:

Pros




a.. Chimey Clean tone in middle and bridge positions (very Holdsworthian)

b.. Surprisingly good jazz guitar sound in neck position

c.. Nice girth to the notes. Attack is very much like an archtop.

d.. Fret access, neck feel and playability are all excellent.


Cons



a.. Neck heavy

b.. Top heavy if you use the lower strap button

c.. Some uneven and dead spots along the neck

d.. A tad harsh for distortion on the bridge pickup


Suggestions

a.. Make a non-Holdsworth version of this guitar with:

b.. 24.75" or 25" scale

c.. Option of rosewood fingerboard

d.. 22 frets would yield a much better jazz tone as well as a warmer and
rounder distorted tone (ala Ford, Carlton, etc)

e.. Mahogany Body option. This ought to lend a sweeter sustain to the
slight harshness of this instrument.

f.. 22 frets and the mahogany body would solve neck heavy issue. (I know
they make instruments similar to what I've described but the set-neck
construction is key to getting a smooth distorted tone in my opinion. I've
rarely heard a neck-through guitar that had a really sweet sustain.

So basically, the neck-heavy issue is the deal breaker for me and thus it
goes back. Overall My Ibanez AS200 had a better clean (jazz) tone as well as
a better fusion tone. However, it does not have the chimeyness of the
Holdsworth. I guess there is no perfect instrument!

Jaz

--
Experience a revolutionary way to approach the instrument.
Introducing "Sheets of Sound for Guitar"

Check it out at: www.sheetsofsound.net

Report this message

#2: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-08 21:19:02 by Atlas

x-no-archive: yes

On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 15:01:30 -0400, &quot;Jack Zucker&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jaz&#64;jackzucker.com" target="_blank">jaz&#64;jackzucker.com</a>&gt;
wrote:

&gt;Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Awesome review, Jack. Thanks!

I appreciate your highlighting the shortcomings too (something
which is missing quite often from magazine reviews).

Gonna watch the Browns get pummelled by the Steelers this weekend?
;)



Atlas

Report this message

#3: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-08 21:31:36 by Dean

Jack,

I had a Carvin 7-string 24 fret guitar for a couple years, and had the
same complaints you do, especially regarding the &quot;dead spots on the
fingerboard.&quot; G notes were thuddy on E and B strings in particular. It
was not neck-heavy, because I got it with a layer of mahogany, so the
body was very heavy. While the tone was a bit sweeter, standing with it
for more than 30 minutes was almost painful. Selling it was also
&quot;interesting.&quot; Carvins have much less resale value than other brands.

Dean

Jack Zucker wrote:
&gt; Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review
&gt; For years I've been a huge fan of Holdsworth and wondered about his
namesake
&gt; Carvin guitar. I've been struggling with finding a guitar that really
&gt; sounded amazing for fusion and have been using a couple different
&gt; semi-hollow instruments (an Ibanez AS200 and a USA Epiphone JLH).
Last
&gt; weekend saw an &quot;in stock&quot; Carvin Fat Boy that looked amazing. It was
one of
&gt; the most beautiful quilted tops I had ever seen. On a whim and with
the 10
&gt; day trial and knowing that American Express would double the warranty
up
&gt; from 5 to 10 years, I ordered one.
&gt;
&gt; I received it today. My first impression upon opening the case was
that this
&gt; was not the guitar I saw the picture of. The guitar in the picture
was an
&gt; amber fading to umber fading to brown sunburst. This guitar was
pretty much
&gt; a light brown fading to dark brown on the edges. Not ugly by any
means but
&gt; certainly not what was in the photograph. I don't know if the pix
they show
&gt; for &quot;in stock&quot; guitars are stock photos or actual pictures of the
&gt; instruments they are selling. In this case, I would suspect the
latter. Of
&gt; course, lighting could have something to do with it. Perhaps they
&gt; photographed the guitar under incandescent lighting which would give
the
&gt; photograph more amber to it. Whatever...At any rate, the looks were
still
&gt; very good. Just not on par with what I thought I was getting. I guess
it
&gt; would be the difference between a &quot;10&quot; top and a very good top.
&gt;
&gt; The guitar felt great and the setup was spot on. Low action all the
way up
&gt; and down the fingerboard. Neck angle and string height above the
guitar
&gt; happened to be perfect for the way I play which is to lightly trail
my
&gt; fingers along the pickguard or the top of the guitar in this case.
&gt;
&gt; Put the strap on it and stood up and whoa...The thing is very
neck-heavy.
&gt; What a disappointment. This is a deal breaker for me as there is
nothing
&gt; worse than fighting with your guitar on a gig in this respect. The
guitar
&gt; has 2 strap buttons on the bottom like an Anderson and I switched to
the
&gt; other strap button which is closer to the bottom of the instrument
when you
&gt; are wearing it with a strap. It felt a little better there but this
created
&gt; a new problem. Now the center of gravity was way above the pivot
points of
&gt; the strap and the guitar tips forward when you play it like this.
&lt;sigh....&gt;
&gt;
&gt; I plugged the guitar into a Clarus 2/R amp running through a
Raezers-Edge
&gt; S12 (1x12) cab and surprisingly the thing sounded wonderful for jazz
though
&gt; a tad bright due to the 24 fret neck. Very clear and clean tone, full
bodied
&gt; but with more clarity than is normally heard in a solid body or
thinline
&gt; archtop guitar. My guess is that the fully hollow construction
coupled with
&gt; the 24 frets gave the guitar its unique voice in that respect.
&gt;
&gt; The middle position also sounded nice. Quacky in a humbucker sort of
way.
&gt; This particular instrument did not have coil taps so I could not test
that
&gt; aspect of it.
&gt;
&gt; Treble pickup also sounded great and full bodied. So far so good.
However, I
&gt; had ordered this instrument primarily to get a fusion sound.
&gt;
&gt; So...I turned on my Fuchs ODS 20, plugged it into my THD 2x12 cab and
after
&gt; warming it up, switched to the bridge pickup on the guitar and the
&quot;lead&quot;
&gt; channel of the Fuchs amp. Very nice singing sustain. A tad tubby
sounding on
&gt; the low strings (probably due to the hollow body). Oddly, there was a
&gt; problem with open strings feeding back while playing with gain, much
like
&gt; you'd experience with a fully hollow archtop guitar. Of course, there
was
&gt; less of this than when playing something like an Ibanez George Benson
but it
&gt; was definitely more annoying than when playing a 335 style instrument
like
&gt; the AS200. Of course, this same quality allows it to &quot;catch&quot; certain
notes
&gt; and feedback, creating infinite sustain should you want that sort of
thing.
&gt;
&gt; Unfortunately, the instrument also suffers from some of the same
&gt; shortcomings of a full sized hollowbody in the upper register in that
the
&gt; notes attenuate (deaden) rather quickly. Also, like many
hollowbodies, there
&gt; are dead spots on the fingerboard that just don't sustain like the
rest of
&gt; the instrument. For example, C on the 5th fret of the G string seemed
to
&gt; sound &quot;thuddy&quot; and dull as did a high G on 15th fret high E string...
&gt;
&gt; Quick summary:
&gt;
&gt; Pros
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; a.. Chimey Clean tone in middle and bridge positions (very
Holdsworthian)
&gt;
&gt; b.. Surprisingly good jazz guitar sound in neck position
&gt;
&gt; c.. Nice girth to the notes. Attack is very much like an archtop.
&gt;
&gt; d.. Fret access, neck feel and playability are all excellent.
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; Cons
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; a.. Neck heavy
&gt;
&gt; b.. Top heavy if you use the lower strap button
&gt;
&gt; c.. Some uneven and dead spots along the neck
&gt;
&gt; d.. A tad harsh for distortion on the bridge pickup
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; Suggestions
&gt;
&gt; a.. Make a non-Holdsworth version of this guitar with:
&gt;
&gt; b.. 24.75&quot; or 25&quot; scale
&gt;
&gt; c.. Option of rosewood fingerboard
&gt;
&gt; d.. 22 frets would yield a much better jazz tone as well as a
warmer and
&gt; rounder distorted tone (ala Ford, Carlton, etc)
&gt;
&gt; e.. Mahogany Body option. This ought to lend a sweeter sustain to
the
&gt; slight harshness of this instrument.
&gt;
&gt; f.. 22 frets and the mahogany body would solve neck heavy issue. (I
know
&gt; they make instruments similar to what I've described but the set-neck
&gt; construction is key to getting a smooth distorted tone in my opinion.
I've
&gt; rarely heard a neck-through guitar that had a really sweet sustain.
&gt;
&gt; So basically, the neck-heavy issue is the deal breaker for me and
thus it
&gt; goes back. Overall My Ibanez AS200 had a better clean (jazz) tone as
well as
&gt; a better fusion tone. However, it does not have the chimeyness of the
&gt; Holdsworth. I guess there is no perfect instrument!
&gt;
&gt; Jaz
&gt;
&gt; --
&gt; Experience a revolutionary way to approach the instrument.
&gt; Introducing &quot;Sheets of Sound for Guitar&quot;
&gt;
&gt; Check it out at: www.sheetsofsound.net

Report this message

#4: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-08 23:48:05 by Jack Zucker

Thanks Kevin. As you know, I have a love/hate relationship with the browns.
I've been in Cleveland for 17 years but was still rooting for the Redskins
last week by a small margin! :-) I'll definitely be watching the game. I'm
surprised the Browns have won 2 games, actually...

--
Experience a revolutionary way to approach the instrument.
Introducing Sheets of Sound for Guitar
&quot;Let the music govern the way you play guitar instead of the guitar
governing the way you play music!&quot;

Check it out at:
<a href="http://www.sheetsofsound.net" target="_blank">http://www.sheetsofsound.net</a>
&quot;Atlas&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:cbpdoc&#64;earthlink.net" target="_blank">cbpdoc&#64;earthlink.net</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:uupdm0t5rc76gph3642vesps0gb2tor0k5&#64;4ax.com..." target="_blank">uupdm0t5rc76gph3642vesps0gb2tor0k5&#64;4ax.com...</a>
&gt; x-no-archive: yes
&gt;
&gt; On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 15:01:30 -0400, &quot;Jack Zucker&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jaz&#64;jackzucker.com" target="_blank">jaz&#64;jackzucker.com</a>&gt;
&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt; &gt;Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review
&gt;
&gt; Awesome review, Jack. Thanks!
&gt;
&gt; I appreciate your highlighting the shortcomings too (something
&gt; which is missing quite often from magazine reviews).
&gt;
&gt; Gonna watch the Browns get pummelled by the Steelers this weekend?
&gt; ;)
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; Atlas

Report this message

#5: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-09 05:39:24 by krosser414

Jack -

The version of this guitar that I played and did not notice as being
particularly neck heavy was the original version, not the Fatboy. It was
either a chambered semi-hollow or a lighter solid body, I honestly don't
remember. But it was definitely not the Fatboy, which came out a few years
later.


Ken R
www.kenrosser.com

Report this message

#6: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-09 15:42:51 by Dave

Based on my experience with Carvin guitars (I've owned 3 or 4), I'm
surprised the Fat Boy sounded good! Each one I had was crafted to tight
tolerences and played great. But they were all pretty sonically dead. Good
thing they were dirt cheap used which is what made me try them.

How does the number of frets change the tone? Isnt' it a scale length
issue? For example, you can make a 24 fret guitar with a 25&quot; or 24.75&quot;
scale length. If you use the same scale length but with a shorter 21 or 22
fret fingerboard, won't the guitar still sound the same? Seems to me that
brightness would be the result of fingerboard wood like ebony or maple
and/or a longer scale lenth (snappier at least) rather than purely the # of
frets for any given scale length. Am I misunderstanding how this works?

Nice review!

P.S. I would tell them to refund shipping since what they sent wasn't what
was pictured.


&quot;Jack Zucker&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jaz&#64;jackzucker.com" target="_blank">jaz&#64;jackzucker.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:iPqdnSZfLvfFfvvcRVn-qQ&#64;adelphia.com..." target="_blank">iPqdnSZfLvfFfvvcRVn-qQ&#64;adelphia.com...</a>
&gt; Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review
&gt; For years I've been a huge fan of Holdsworth and wondered about his
&gt; namesake
&gt; Carvin guitar. I've been struggling with finding a guitar that really
&gt; sounded amazing for fusion and have been using a couple different
&gt; semi-hollow instruments (an Ibanez AS200 and a USA Epiphone JLH). Last
&gt; weekend saw an &quot;in stock&quot; Carvin Fat Boy that looked amazing. It was one
&gt; of
&gt; the most beautiful quilted tops I had ever seen. On a whim and with the 10
&gt; day trial and knowing that American Express would double the warranty up
&gt; from 5 to 10 years, I ordered one.
&gt;
&gt; I received it today. My first impression upon opening the case was that
&gt; this
&gt; was not the guitar I saw the picture of. The guitar in the picture was an
&gt; amber fading to umber fading to brown sunburst. This guitar was pretty
&gt; much
&gt; a light brown fading to dark brown on the edges. Not ugly by any means but
&gt; certainly not what was in the photograph. I don't know if the pix they
&gt; show
&gt; for &quot;in stock&quot; guitars are stock photos or actual pictures of the
&gt; instruments they are selling. In this case, I would suspect the latter. Of
&gt; course, lighting could have something to do with it. Perhaps they
&gt; photographed the guitar under incandescent lighting which would give the
&gt; photograph more amber to it. Whatever...At any rate, the looks were still
&gt; very good. Just not on par with what I thought I was getting. I guess it
&gt; would be the difference between a &quot;10&quot; top and a very good top.
&gt;
&gt; The guitar felt great and the setup was spot on. Low action all the way up
&gt; and down the fingerboard. Neck angle and string height above the guitar
&gt; happened to be perfect for the way I play which is to lightly trail my
&gt; fingers along the pickguard or the top of the guitar in this case.
&gt;
&gt; Put the strap on it and stood up and whoa...The thing is very neck-heavy.
&gt; What a disappointment. This is a deal breaker for me as there is nothing
&gt; worse than fighting with your guitar on a gig in this respect. The guitar
&gt; has 2 strap buttons on the bottom like an Anderson and I switched to the
&gt; other strap button which is closer to the bottom of the instrument when
&gt; you
&gt; are wearing it with a strap. It felt a little better there but this
&gt; created
&gt; a new problem. Now the center of gravity was way above the pivot points of
&gt; the strap and the guitar tips forward when you play it like this.
&gt; &lt;sigh....&gt;
&gt;
&gt; I plugged the guitar into a Clarus 2/R amp running through a Raezers-Edge
&gt; S12 (1x12) cab and surprisingly the thing sounded wonderful for jazz
&gt; though
&gt; a tad bright due to the 24 fret neck. Very clear and clean tone, full
&gt; bodied
&gt; but with more clarity than is normally heard in a solid body or thinline
&gt; archtop guitar. My guess is that the fully hollow construction coupled
&gt; with
&gt; the 24 frets gave the guitar its unique voice in that respect.
&gt;
&gt; The middle position also sounded nice. Quacky in a humbucker sort of way.
&gt; This particular instrument did not have coil taps so I could not test that
&gt; aspect of it.
&gt;
&gt; Treble pickup also sounded great and full bodied. So far so good. However,
&gt; I
&gt; had ordered this instrument primarily to get a fusion sound.
&gt;
&gt; So...I turned on my Fuchs ODS 20, plugged it into my THD 2x12 cab and
&gt; after
&gt; warming it up, switched to the bridge pickup on the guitar and the &quot;lead&quot;
&gt; channel of the Fuchs amp. Very nice singing sustain. A tad tubby sounding
&gt; on
&gt; the low strings (probably due to the hollow body). Oddly, there was a
&gt; problem with open strings feeding back while playing with gain, much like
&gt; you'd experience with a fully hollow archtop guitar. Of course, there was
&gt; less of this than when playing something like an Ibanez George Benson but
&gt; it
&gt; was definitely more annoying than when playing a 335 style instrument like
&gt; the AS200. Of course, this same quality allows it to &quot;catch&quot; certain notes
&gt; and feedback, creating infinite sustain should you want that sort of
&gt; thing.
&gt;
&gt; Unfortunately, the instrument also suffers from some of the same
&gt; shortcomings of a full sized hollowbody in the upper register in that the
&gt; notes attenuate (deaden) rather quickly. Also, like many hollowbodies,
&gt; there
&gt; are dead spots on the fingerboard that just don't sustain like the rest of
&gt; the instrument. For example, C on the 5th fret of the G string seemed to
&gt; sound &quot;thuddy&quot; and dull as did a high G on 15th fret high E string...
&gt;
&gt; Quick summary:
&gt;
&gt; Pros
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; a.. Chimey Clean tone in middle and bridge positions (very Holdsworthian)
&gt;
&gt; b.. Surprisingly good jazz guitar sound in neck position
&gt;
&gt; c.. Nice girth to the notes. Attack is very much like an archtop.
&gt;
&gt; d.. Fret access, neck feel and playability are all excellent.
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; Cons
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; a.. Neck heavy
&gt;
&gt; b.. Top heavy if you use the lower strap button
&gt;
&gt; c.. Some uneven and dead spots along the neck
&gt;
&gt; d.. A tad harsh for distortion on the bridge pickup
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; Suggestions
&gt;
&gt; a.. Make a non-Holdsworth version of this guitar with:
&gt;
&gt; b.. 24.75&quot; or 25&quot; scale
&gt;
&gt; c.. Option of rosewood fingerboard
&gt;
&gt; d.. 22 frets would yield a much better jazz tone as well as a warmer and
&gt; rounder distorted tone (ala Ford, Carlton, etc)
&gt;
&gt; e.. Mahogany Body option. This ought to lend a sweeter sustain to the
&gt; slight harshness of this instrument.
&gt;
&gt; f.. 22 frets and the mahogany body would solve neck heavy issue. (I know
&gt; they make instruments similar to what I've described but the set-neck
&gt; construction is key to getting a smooth distorted tone in my opinion. I've
&gt; rarely heard a neck-through guitar that had a really sweet sustain.
&gt;
&gt; So basically, the neck-heavy issue is the deal breaker for me and thus it
&gt; goes back. Overall My Ibanez AS200 had a better clean (jazz) tone as well
&gt; as
&gt; a better fusion tone. However, it does not have the chimeyness of the
&gt; Holdsworth. I guess there is no perfect instrument!
&gt;
&gt; Jaz
&gt;
&gt; --
&gt; Experience a revolutionary way to approach the instrument.
&gt; Introducing &quot;Sheets of Sound for Guitar&quot;
&gt;
&gt; Check it out at: www.sheetsofsound.net
&gt;
&gt;


---
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Checked by AVG anti-virus system (<a href="http://www.grisoft.com" target="_blank">http://www.grisoft.com</a>).
Version: 6.0.775 / Virus Database: 522 - Release Date: 10/8/2004

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#7: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-11 01:51:39 by icarusi

Jack Zucker &lt;<a href="mailto:jaz&#64;jackzucker.com" target="_blank">jaz&#64;jackzucker.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:iPqdnSZfLvfFfvvcRVn-qQ&#64;adelphia.com..." target="_blank">iPqdnSZfLvfFfvvcRVn-qQ&#64;adelphia.com...</a>

&gt; Unfortunately, the instrument also suffers from some of the same
&gt; shortcomings of a full sized hollowbody in the upper register in that the
&gt; notes attenuate (deaden) rather quickly. Also, like many hollowbodies,
there
&gt; are dead spots on the fingerboard that just don't sustain like the rest of
&gt; the instrument. For example, C on the 5th fret of the G string seemed to
&gt; sound &quot;thuddy&quot; and dull as did a high G on 15th fret high E string...

Have you tried a Switch guitar made from Vibracell material? The design and
pickups are by Trevor Wilkinson and it has a 'chambered' sound to my ears,
although I don't think it is chambered. They're slighltly on the heavy side,
no more so than ash, but I favour alder and similar weight woods these days.

There's also Flaxwood (a flax based composite AFAIK) which I've read about
but haven't seen or tried yet, but the Switch guitar has raised my interest
in non-wood guitars.

Icarusi
--
remove the 00 to reply

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#8: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-11 18:18:21 by pataud

Dave wrote:
&gt; Based on my experience with Carvin guitars (I've owned 3 or 4), I'm
&gt; surprised the Fat Boy sounded good! Each one I had was crafted to tight
&gt; tolerences and played great. But they were all pretty sonically dead. Good
&gt; thing they were dirt cheap used which is what made me try them.
&gt;
&gt; How does the number of frets change the tone? Isnt' it a scale length
&gt; issue? For example, you can make a 24 fret guitar with a 25&quot; or 24.75&quot;
&gt; scale length. If you use the same scale length but with a shorter 21 or 22
&gt; fret fingerboard, won't the guitar still sound the same? Seems to me that
&gt; brightness would be the result of fingerboard wood like ebony or maple
&gt; and/or a longer scale lenth (snappier at least) rather than purely the # of
&gt; frets for any given scale length. Am I misunderstanding how this works?
[snip]

The number of frets influences the position of the neck pickup.

A little closer to the bridge doesn't just mean a little brighter
either: when the neck pickup polepieces are under the double octave
harmonic where the 24th fret would be, the tone takes on a warm
richness. This is lost in 24 fret guitars.

Of course the bridge pickup (and middle if there is one) is unaffected
either way.

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#9: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-11 23:02:50 by Greger Hoel

Jack, regarding your comment about the overly trebly/harsh tone, be
aware that the maple top version ain't Holdsworth's personal choice,
it's a custom shop option. Holdsworth's design is an alder body with
twin birch rails rather than a center block. Since the alder body
design is essentially two bowls of alder glued together in the middle,
the maple top option is prolly to switch one bowl with a maple one.
Anyway, I think you'll agree that the tonal impact of this could be
potentially huge.
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#10: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-12 00:23:38 by Jack Zucker

I agree Greger,

However Holdsworth is pictured with the maple top version in several ads and
I spoke with Carvin's artist rep who assured me that he has a birch *AND* a
maple top version. However, I've also heard that he does not really use the
Carvin and uses the Delap instead. Someone told me that on 16 men of tain,
he's pictured with the delap on the european version of the album but not
the american version.

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&gt; Jack, regarding your comment about the overly trebly/harsh tone, be
&gt; aware that the maple top version ain't Holdsworth's personal choice,
&gt; it's a custom shop option. Holdsworth's design is an alder body with
&gt; twin birch rails rather than a center block. Since the alder body
&gt; design is essentially two bowls of alder glued together in the middle,
&gt; the maple top option is prolly to switch one bowl with a maple one.
&gt; Anyway, I think you'll agree that the tonal impact of this could be
&gt; potentially huge.
&gt; --
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#11: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-12 04:44:33 by Dave

This I understand. It's one reason I bought a PRS Custom 22 rather than a
24. Come to think of it, I don't think I own any 24 fret guitars anymore.
I thought Jack meant the guitar was brighter overall, not just on the neck
pickup.


&quot;pataud&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:pataud&#64;jazzandjava.com" target="_blank">pataud&#64;jazzandjava.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
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&gt; Dave wrote:
&gt; The number of frets influences the position of the neck pickup.
&gt;
&gt; A little closer to the bridge doesn't just mean a little brighter
&gt; either: when the neck pickup polepieces are under the double octave
&gt; harmonic where the 24th fret would be, the tone takes on a warm
&gt; richness. This is lost in 24 fret guitars.
&gt;
&gt; Of course the bridge pickup (and middle if there is one) is unaffected
&gt; either way.


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#12: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-12 18:31:29 by wrrodrick

Greger Hoel &lt;<a href="mailto:gregerh&#64;spammersgetbent.net" target="_blank">gregerh&#64;spammersgetbent.net</a>&gt; wrote...
&gt; Jack, regarding your comment about the overly trebly/harsh tone, be
&gt; aware that the maple top version ain't Holdsworth's personal choice,
&gt; it's a custom shop option. Holdsworth's design is an alder body with
&gt; twin birch rails rather than a center block.

So is Jack's Fatboy, actually - they're all built this way. The only
tone-affecting option is the maple top, but I wonder if maple really
sounds that different from the standard birch, since birch is quite
hard and non-porous too. It is true that the green Fatboy that
Holdworth has been pictured with (in concert, not in promo pictures)
has the birch top. FWIW, when I saw Holdsworth in Boston a couple
years ago, he was using his DeLap rather than the Carvin, although
that may have something to do with the fact that the headless DeLap is
easier to travel with. He very briefly made use of the DeLap's
Steinberger trem a few times during the night, something he couldn't
have done with the Fatboy, of course.

&gt; Since the alder body
&gt; design is essentially two bowls of alder glued together in the middle,
&gt; the maple top option is prolly to switch one bowl with a maple one.

You may be thinking of the first Holdsworth model Carvin introduced,
the H2(T). This was the one with a thinner, chambered alder body with
a center block. That one also had a laminated alder neck, vs. the
Fatboy's maple neck.

Bill R

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#13: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-12 19:00:59 by Greger Hoel

On 12 Oct 2004 09:31:29 -0700, <a href="mailto:wrrodrick&#64;yahoo.com" target="_blank">wrrodrick&#64;yahoo.com</a> (Bill Rodrick)
wrote:

&gt;Greger Hoel &lt;<a href="mailto:gregerh&#64;spammersgetbent.net" target="_blank">gregerh&#64;spammersgetbent.net</a>&gt; wrote...
&gt;&gt; Jack, regarding your comment about the overly trebly/harsh tone, be
&gt;&gt; aware that the maple top version ain't Holdsworth's personal choice,
&gt;&gt; it's a custom shop option. Holdsworth's design is an alder body with
&gt;&gt; twin birch rails rather than a center block.
&gt;
&gt;So is Jack's Fatboy, actually - they're all built this way. The only
&gt;tone-affecting option is the maple top,

And there you contradict yourself. Alder body with twin birch rails
ain't the same as alder body with twin birch rails and maple top.

&gt;but I wonder if maple really
&gt;sounds that different from the standard birch, since birch is quite
&gt;hard and non-porous too.

AFAIK, the body is alder. it's just the two rails that substitute the
center block that are birch. OTOH, yes, birch can be similar to maple,
but then again maybe not. The maple is probably of the hard rock
variety, and birch vary from extremely hard to quite soft.

&gt;You may be thinking of the first Holdsworth model Carvin introduced,
&gt;the H2(T). This was the one with a thinner, chambered alder body with
&gt;a center block. That one also had a laminated alder neck, vs. the
&gt;Fatboy's maple neck.

Nope.
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#14: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-12 19:38:39 by Jack Zucker

Greger,

Carvin told me that Holdsworth uses a Maple and a Birch top version and in
fact told me his #1 HF2 guitar has the maple top.

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&gt; On 12 Oct 2004 09:31:29 -0700, <a href="mailto:wrrodrick&#64;yahoo.com" target="_blank">wrrodrick&#64;yahoo.com</a> (Bill Rodrick)
&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt; &gt;Greger Hoel &lt;<a href="mailto:gregerh&#64;spammersgetbent.net" target="_blank">gregerh&#64;spammersgetbent.net</a>&gt; wrote...
&gt; &gt;&gt; Jack, regarding your comment about the overly trebly/harsh tone, be
&gt; &gt;&gt; aware that the maple top version ain't Holdsworth's personal choice,
&gt; &gt;&gt; it's a custom shop option. Holdsworth's design is an alder body with
&gt; &gt;&gt; twin birch rails rather than a center block.
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt;So is Jack's Fatboy, actually - they're all built this way. The only
&gt; &gt;tone-affecting option is the maple top,
&gt;
&gt; And there you contradict yourself. Alder body with twin birch rails
&gt; ain't the same as alder body with twin birch rails and maple top.
&gt;
&gt; &gt;but I wonder if maple really
&gt; &gt;sounds that different from the standard birch, since birch is quite
&gt; &gt;hard and non-porous too.
&gt;
&gt; AFAIK, the body is alder. it's just the two rails that substitute the
&gt; center block that are birch. OTOH, yes, birch can be similar to maple,
&gt; but then again maybe not. The maple is probably of the hard rock
&gt; variety, and birch vary from extremely hard to quite soft.
&gt;
&gt; &gt;You may be thinking of the first Holdsworth model Carvin introduced,
&gt; &gt;the H2(T). This was the one with a thinner, chambered alder body with
&gt; &gt;a center block. That one also had a laminated alder neck, vs. the
&gt; &gt;Fatboy's maple neck.
&gt;
&gt; Nope.
&gt; --
&gt; _______________________________________________
&gt; Always cross a vampire, never moon a werewolf
&gt;
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#15: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-12 19:46:24 by Jack Zucker

Dave,

Are the Hamer Monaco guitars neck-heavy?

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&gt; This I understand. It's one reason I bought a PRS Custom 22 rather than a
&gt; 24. Come to think of it, I don't think I own any 24 fret guitars anymore.
&gt; I thought Jack meant the guitar was brighter overall, not just on the neck
&gt; pickup.
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; &quot;pataud&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:pataud&#64;jazzandjava.com" target="_blank">pataud&#64;jazzandjava.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
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&gt; &gt; Dave wrote:
&gt; &gt; The number of frets influences the position of the neck pickup.
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; A little closer to the bridge doesn't just mean a little brighter
&gt; &gt; either: when the neck pickup polepieces are under the double octave
&gt; &gt; harmonic where the 24th fret would be, the tone takes on a warm
&gt; &gt; richness. This is lost in 24 fret guitars.
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; Of course the bridge pickup (and middle if there is one) is unaffected
&gt; &gt; either way.
&gt;
&gt;
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#16: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-12 19:55:41 by Jack Zucker

Oops, it's the newport I'm interested in (hollow-body) , not the les paul
(monaco) one...

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&gt; Dave,
&gt;
&gt; Are the Hamer Monaco guitars neck-heavy?
&gt;
&gt; --
&gt; Experience a revolutionary way to approach the instrument.
&gt; Introducing &quot;Sheets of Sound for Guitar&quot;
&gt;
&gt; Check it out at: www.sheetsofsound.net
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&gt; &gt; This I understand. It's one reason I bought a PRS Custom 22 rather than
a
&gt; &gt; 24. Come to think of it, I don't think I own any 24 fret guitars
anymore.
&gt; &gt; I thought Jack meant the guitar was brighter overall, not just on the
neck
&gt; &gt; pickup.
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; &quot;pataud&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:pataud&#64;jazzandjava.com" target="_blank">pataud&#64;jazzandjava.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
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&gt; &gt; &gt; Dave wrote:
&gt; &gt; &gt; The number of frets influences the position of the neck pickup.
&gt; &gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; &gt; A little closer to the bridge doesn't just mean a little brighter
&gt; &gt; &gt; either: when the neck pickup polepieces are under the double octave
&gt; &gt; &gt; harmonic where the 24th fret would be, the tone takes on a warm
&gt; &gt; &gt; richness. This is lost in 24 fret guitars.
&gt; &gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; &gt; Of course the bridge pickup (and middle if there is one) is unaffected
&gt; &gt; &gt; either way.
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt; ---
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#17: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-12 20:46:33 by Michael

An interview I read recently with Holdsworth said that
when traveling overseas sometimes, he'll take that other
headless guitar (whatever the brand name was) because of
how easy it travels. Carvin is currently designing a
headless version of the Holdsworth guitar for him, just
for this purpose.
Also, I don't think Holdsworth is concerned at all about
the sound of the neck pickup on a 24-fret guitar. As far
as I've seen, he uses the bridge pickup exclusively. He
doesn't use that &quot;ooh&quot; blues tone real often, y'know?
---Michael (of APP)...
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#18: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-13 05:30:28 by pataud

Dave wrote:
&gt;
&gt; &quot;pataud&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:pataud&#64;jazzandjava.com" target="_blank">pataud&#64;jazzandjava.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
&gt; news:Kmyad.79103$<a href="mailto:vO1.441800&#64;nnrp1.uunet.ca..." target="_blank">vO1.441800&#64;nnrp1.uunet.ca...</a>
&gt;
&gt;&gt;Dave wrote:
&gt;&gt;The number of frets influences the position of the neck pickup.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;A little closer to the bridge doesn't just mean a little brighter
&gt;&gt;either: when the neck pickup polepieces are under the double octave
&gt;&gt;harmonic where the 24th fret would be, the tone takes on a warm
&gt;&gt;richness. This is lost in 24 fret guitars.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;Of course the bridge pickup (and middle if there is one) is unaffected
&gt;&gt;either way.
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; This I understand. It's one reason I bought a PRS Custom 22 rather than a
&gt; 24. Come to think of it, I don't think I own any 24 fret guitars anymore.
&gt; I thought Jack meant the guitar was brighter overall, not just on the neck
&gt; pickup.
&gt;

Whoops, guess I misunderstood the question.

Not sure what Jack meant there.

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#19: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-14 22:23:16 by noone

&quot;<a href="mailto:jaz&#64;jackzucker.com" target="_blank">jaz&#64;jackzucker.com</a>&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jaz&#64;jackzucker.com" target="_blank">jaz&#64;jackzucker.com</a>&gt; wrote in
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&gt; pataud wrote:
&gt;
&gt;&gt; Whoops, guess I misunderstood the question.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Not sure what Jack meant there.
&gt; Huh? What question are you talking about?
&gt;

Man, Jack for a pro musician and published author, you sure are missing the
boat... it's the question you asked of the guy who answered the other guy's
question from an associated thread in another newsgroup on the topic of
which answer was best for the question you asked. Now get on the ball, son!

Greg

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#20: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-14 23:05:58 by Greger Hoel

On Tue, 12 Oct 2004 13:38:39 -0400, &quot;Jack Zucker&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jaz&#64;jackzucker.com" target="_blank">jaz&#64;jackzucker.com</a>&gt;
wrote:

&gt;Carvin told me that Holdsworth uses a Maple and a Birch top version and in
&gt;fact told me his #1 HF2 guitar has the maple top.

So the Standard model has a birch, not alder, top? On the Fatboy I
played, the wood on the front bowl looked identical to the wood on the
back bowl.

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#21: Re: Carvin Fatboy HF2 Review

Posted on 2004-10-17 18:55:33 by pataud

<a href="mailto:jaz&#64;jackzucker.com" target="_blank">jaz&#64;jackzucker.com</a> wrote:
&gt; pataud wrote:
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;&gt;Whoops, guess I misunderstood the question.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;Not sure what Jack meant there.
&gt;
&gt; Huh? What question are you talking about?
&gt;

Dave asked how the number of frets could influence tone:
<a href="http://groups.google.ca/groups?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;selm=wcGdnZc6RtZBd_rcRVn-sA%40wideopenwest.com" target="_blank"> http://groups.google.ca/groups?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;selm=wcGdnZ c6RtZBd_rcRVn-sA%40wideopenwest.com</a>

I explained how the neck pickup will sound a little different with 24 frets.

He said he understood this, but he thought you meant the tone of the
entire guitar was changed by the number of frets:
<a href="http://groups.google.ca/groups?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;selm=QpudnU8__YaO2PbcRVn-qQ%40wideopenwest.com" target="_blank"> http://groups.google.ca/groups?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;selm=QpudnU 8__YaO2PbcRVn-qQ%40wideopenwest.com</a>

Realizing that I misunderstood what he was asking initially, I stepped
aside for someone else to explain.

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