When you pick up the CS6M and play it, you realize how well made this guitar really is. I was impressed with the high-quality construction and attention to detail. The ergonomic design felt good in my hands and was very comfortable to play. One feature I noticed right away was the smooth heel-less design for easy access to all frets. Most guitars with a set-in neck have a cumbersome heel, which makes playing the high frets a difficult task. I was able to play a B minor scale in 19th position flawlessly, which can be hard to pull off on other guitars—or it puts my hand in an awkward position because of the chunk of wood I have to get around! The neck actually sets five inches into the body and extends underneath the neck pickup, which allows for amazing sustain and greater stability. Carvin’s Rapid Play low-action neck offered excellent playability throughout the entire fingerboard, and it gives those who like to play fast the ability to shred with ease!

I have used the CS6M on many recording sessions lately—everything from a pop/punk band track to a jingle for a national sandwich meat commercial. The Carvin is versatile enough to handle any style of music. The S22 pickups offer a smooth, warm tone, and really bring out the sustain of the guitar. The coil splitters came in very handy in achieving a wide variety of tones and doubling the range of the pickups. I was able to get everything from a bluesy single-coil tone to a more funky, soulful tone with the combination of the neck pickup in single-coil setting and the bridge pickup in humbucker setting at the same time.

Plugging In
I plugged the CS6M into a variety of amps. With my Roland Jazz Chorus 120 amp, the guitar offered a well-balanced clean tone— very warm and bright at the same time. I then took the CS6M to the extreme and plugged it into my Marshall 1959RR Randy Rhoads head with a Marshall Lead 1960 cabinet. In a high-gain setting, the CS6M morphed into a metal machine! It offered a strong attack with tons of sustain. You can definitely rock out with these Carvin S22 pickups.

The Final Mojo
I have owned a Carvin DC127 guitar for many years, and the CS6M is leaps and bounds ahead of it, in terms of construction, quality and playability. I honestly couldn’t think of anything I didn’t like about this guitar. Carvin has always been known for making high-quality guitars that are built to a customer’s specifications, and they now offer even more choices for woods, finishes and custom options. By mixing and matching the many different options that Carvin now offers, you can have a guitar made in over 50,000 different combinations. Now that’s impressive! By selling direct, Carvin is able to offer incredible value for an amazing guitar. I also love the fact that Carvin provides a direct connection to your guitar builder. With many choices from a wide variety of materials, any guitarist can custom-make a Carvin CS6M into their dream guitar.
Buy if...
you want to custom-make a high quality dream machine with your own specifications.
Skip if...
you're perfectly happy with guitars right off the rack with no customizing.

MSRP $1349 (base model); $1803 (as reviewed) - Carvin -