Carvin, long known in the shred underground as the best in direct-sale custom shop guitars and solid, inexpensive audio gear of all kinds, have released a new design for their line of 7 strings. The TL-70 is hardly the first 7 string to sport a telecaster shape – ESP, Chapman Guitars, and Agile (I’m sure there’s more) all offer production 7 string teles – but Carvin’s combination of customizable options, direct sales, and (this is important) having been firmly established as a company for a long time make this your best bet if you’re in the market for the beautiful fusion of classic country style and metal crunch.
I’m not being dramatic when I say that establishment is a requisite when buying a custom or semi-custom instrument. I have personal experience getting an instrument from an up-and-comer, and while I did get a full refund, the crap I endured in the year that it took to get the piece of junk to my front door was not anything I would wish on anyone. There’s a new cliche forming, and if you’ve spent any time on the Sevenstring.org forums, you’ll know what I mean about new custom shops/luthiers who make great designs, get some internet buzz with a bit of guitar porn, and then get overwhelmed with orders and stop answering emails.
This guitar looks pretty dope as is, but you have to also use your imagination a little: the one you get could vary quite a bit. You can choose from multiple woods, figured tops, fretboard inlays, headstock shapes (!), bridges, finishes, and other options that will drastically change the vibe of your guitar to fit your personality. Not quite the same as making a fully custom guitar with a one-of-a-kind shape and whatever you want, but it prevents the kind of garish nightmares that result from total freedom of choice (think the original MySpace and the sparkly nightmare of personal pages).
Check them out at Carvin’s website.