Carvin Bolt-T Kit

Electric 6-String Guitar

Made by Carvin

Description Fender Strat Clone, with maple neck & 15" ebony fret board; graphite nut; 22 medium jumbo frets, tilt back head stock; sperzel locking tuners; Wilkinson tremolo; and 3 AP11 single coil pickups.
Posted By Robert Silvia (1575)
Directory Equipment: Guitars
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 5.0 (of 5)
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Member Reviews


On 11/11/2006, Craig Maslowski (4) posted:
Overall Rating:
People have no idea that this guitar was built from a kit until I tell them. Every hole was perfectly drilled. Everything lined up and mounted easily. Carvin's quality control is amazing. The tolerances were so tight that the intonation was near perfect right after I bolted the neck to the body.

I can't recommend this kit highly enough. You'll get the satisfaction of finishing and assembling your own guitar, but more than than you'll save hundreds of dollars by doing so. I spent $420 on this kit and all the supplies to finish it. If Carvin built the exact same guitar for me, it would have cost around $750.

I would build another one of these in a heartbeat if something happened to this one. I'm considering building their bass kit next.
Model Year: 2003
Price: $420.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Carvin
Features:
Kit built Strat style alder body Hard rock maple neck 22 medium jumbo frets Carvin Pickups in SSH configuration (AP11/AP1/M22) Passive Electronics Natural Tung Oil finish All black hardware with black pearloid pick guard String-thru body style bridge Sperzel Locking Tuners
Playability:
Carvin's Rapid Play necks are my absolute favorite to play. Flat, thin, and fast. I prefer a medium to low action and this neck provides without any fret buzz.
Sound Quality:
I wanted a guitar that could serve double duty as a metal shredder and for more mellow soulful pieces. With the humbucker in the bridge position this guitar serves a good dose of shred, while the single coil in the neck position provides plenty of warmth. The range of tone I get from this guitar never ceases to amaze me. Consequently, I use this guitar almost exclusively. It quickly replaced my $1300 USA made Jackson as the favorite in my collection. Because I built this guitar from a kit, it had everything I wanted on it. However, upon reflection, I wish I'd have built it with the Wilkinson Tremolo option.
Durability:
My only complaint with this guitar falls in this category. The alder body is rather susceptible to nicks and dings. If I had it to do over, I'd have sprung for the swamp ash body. Otherwise, it's solid as a rock. Never fails. Always ready to perform and hasn't needed a single adjustment since I built it.
On 5/14/2002, Steve Gurnis (146) posted:
Overall Rating:
I wanted a Strat style guitar, plus I've wanted to build a guitar for a long time. I can't think of a single thing negative about it other than I wish I had finished it in a "hard" finish rather than tung oil(which was easier)because the wood "dings" easier. The tung oil looks great, though. Its a fantastic guitar for the money.
Model Year: 2001
Price: $450.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Carvin
Features:
Tung oil finish, red tortoise pickguard, Sperzel tuners, Wilkinson tremolo
Playability:
This guitar adjusted perfectly after construction. Action is excellent, plays much better than my Les Paul, and sounds great.
Sound Quality:
I play it through a 1971 Fender Twin and a 40 watt Crate amp(don't know the make).Sound is versatile, has all the Strat "flavors" plus it seems to have more output than regular Strats(distorts my Twin nicely which a regular Strat won't). Also has a warm sound when the tone control is turned down.
Durability:
I don't do gigs anymore, but it hasn't needed any further adjustment at all in the year I've had it.
On 6/14/2001, Robert Silvia (1575) posted:
Overall Rating:
I love this guitar, and the fact that I got to build it just makes me like it more.
Model Year: 2001
Price: $450.00 (new)
Where Obtained: www.carvin.com
Features:
Maple neck with 15" radius ebony fret board
Adler Strat Style Body
graphite nut
22 medium jumbo frets
tilt back head stock
sperzel locking tuners
Wilkinson tremolo
AP11 single coil pickups (S/S/S)
500 ohm Volume & Tone Pots
Playability:
I had to do some fine-tuning to get the action the way I wanted it, also the intonation was slightly off. The neck size took me a while to get used to, but now that I have been playing on it for a month this guitar plays better then any guitar that I have ever had the pleasure of playing. Watch out kids the tremolo is very sensitive, just breathing on it heavy changes the pitch.

Oh almost forgot the necks overall feel really depends on how you finish it. The tung oil leaves a very woodish feeling on it which made it difficult to slide my hand down the neck. I ended up taking the guitar apart and I redid the neck with lacquer.
Sound Quality:
One aspect of this guitar that I was really amazed with is it acoustic qualities. Beautiful sustain, and not a single buzz to be found you can feel the body vibrate. Another shocker was that It stayed in tune after a horrible beating I gave to the tremolo.

After I played acoustically for an hour, I hooked it up to my mesa/boogie amp (subway blues) with no pedals. The best way I can describe the sound of this guitar is like a bright strat on steroids. With a quality overdrive pedal I was able to pull off almost any sound (heavy metal, Blues, Jazz, Rock). 500omh pots makes it real easy to do volume swells.

I did notice that the pickups hum a good bit, this is because carvin does not send enough copper tape to get a quality shield so be sure to buy a few extra shielding kits so you can shield this thing the right way.
Durability:
Since I have only had this guitar for close to a month I really haven't had enough time to tell how well it would hold up on a long session. One thing that annoyed me is that I scratched the finish on my tremolo while adjusting the intonation (I have Black Hardware).
On 8/19/2000, John Boggs posted:
Overall Rating:
I think this kit was a great value and fun to put together.
Price: $359.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Carvin
Features:
I ordered my kit with an Alder body (various options are available) and with a humbucker in the bridge position. The neck is 22-fret, ebony fingerboard, maple, bolt-on with jumbo frets pre-installed. The pickup are Carvin AP-11 (11-pole) single-coils in neck and middle positions and M22 (22-pole) humbucker in bridge position. All electronics are pre-wired except the output jack, which you can connect to the controls with a wire-nut. The body is pre-shaped and only needs final sanding. All holes are pre-drilled.
Playability:
I love the neck. It's very shallow and sonewhat narrow but plays great.
Sound Quality:
I play through a small Crate GFX-30 amp with Boss CS-3 compressor and Morley Wah. I play mostly blues but the Bolt will be good for rock as well. The range of sounds available with the three-pickup configuration is amazing. The humbucker has a switch to convert it to a single-coil if desired. My only complaint is the control pots included don't seem to have much effect in the middle range of their turn. The most pronounced effects come at either end of the range. I'm considering replacing the pots.
Durability:
I feel it will be very reliable.