Carvin has been hand making guitars in the USA for 30 years. Every guitar they make is made to order and sold directly by them. There is no middle man when it comes to Carvin guitars and this allows them to give everyone factory direct prices. They save the cost of selling to suppliers and pass the savings on to the customer. The customer is able to customize any part of their guitar and get any kind of wood or electronics configuration they want. The CT series is a newer line from Carvin. It was introduced in 2004 and has a shape similar to most PRS guitars. Carvin customers can get many different types of wood and finishes but the basic CT3M comes with specs similar to these. The guitar has a mahogany body and neck with a carved top. The neck of set neck construction with a 22 fret ebony fretboard with dot inlays. The headstock is topped with sperzel tuners. It has dual Carvin pickups of your choice with a master volume and master tone controls and a 3 way switch. The bridge is your choice of Floyd Rose, Wilkinson Fender style tremolo or Tune-o-matic string through the body bridge. This one I had has a tune-o-matic.
The upper fret playability on this guitar is similar to that of a Les Pauls but maybe slightly better. This guitar is no Ibanez or Jackson. The body is nice and thick and made from good solid mahogany so it is a bit heavy. The arched top is comfortable on your arm and does not dig into you anywhere. The tune-o-matic bridge on my guitar provided great tuning stability and comfort on my hand. I am not a huge fan of tremolos but I suspect the Floyd Rose and the Wilkinson or good options too. The Floyd Rose if you want to do series divebombs and the Wilkinson if you want to do more Fender non locking tremolo type stuff.
The pickups are probably the weakest part of any Carvin. The pickups seemed to be voiced more for jazz or classic rock than hard rock and metal. You can get nice smooth sounds from the neck position and even jazzy tones. The bridge position is pretty weak. For heavy music I would recommend changing out at least the bridge pickup. For this type of guitar I would probably drop in a Seymour Duncan custom or something similar to that. Just changing out one pickup wouldnt really call for a active EMG to be dropped in.
Carvin is a great company that should get more respect. They are a small American company that makes guitars to the consumers specs. They dont deal with any vendors or anything and offer straight forward realistic prices. When you see Carvin prices you are looking at what it really costs to build a guitar. There is no reason why one Les Paul will cost 3000 dollars while another one costs 1200 and the only difference is a bit of binding or something. With Carvin you select the options and they will tell you straight up how much that option really costs to do. If you are looking for a guitar built to your specs for a reasonable price you should check them out.