The Carvin CT4 is their more basic carve top models. The M in the name stands for the tune-o-matic bridge type. The CT4's have a more basic top than the CT6's but all of the important features are the same. This guitar I had was pretty standard apart from aftermarket pickups. The specs on this guitar are very nice for the price. You get a mahogany body with a maple top. The neck is a set mahogany neck with 22 frets on an ebony fretboard. This guitar had the optional jumbo stainless steel frets. Up top locking tuners are standard. The bridge as the M in the name implies is a tune-o-matic with a string through tailpiece for extra sustain. The electronics are pretty standard with a master volume and a master tone with a push pull coil split pot. There is also a 3 way pickup selector. This guitar I demoed had Seymour Duncans swapped in which I recommend since Carvin pickups are pretty subpar.
These guitars play like butter. The American Custom Shop quality means the fit and finish are perfect. You can get a really low action on a Carvin with the factory setup. The ebony fretboard is smooth and feels great under your fingers. This guitar having jumbo stainless steel frets means the frets will never wear out and your setup will stay true for much longer. This guitar being a more traditional design means it has a set neck and the upper fret access is not as good as the neck through models but it is still pretty good. The locking tuners are great and every guitar should have them. The tune-o-matic bridge is well setup. On a lot of guitars the bridge is standing up high on the posts but on these Carvins they are designed so the bridge can rest right on the body and you can still get a usable action.
If you are looking at Carvin guitars you probably know what the weakest part of the guitars are. The weakest part on these guitars are the stock pickups. Since Carvin makes everything in house they make their own pickups and they just arent that good at it. This example had a set of Seymour Duncans swapped in and I have used stock Carvin pickups it was like night and day in tone. The guitar has great natural tone already but with some high quality pickups you can really take advantage of the natural tone. The guitar had a JB in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck. The JB in the bridge is a classic bridge pickup. It puts out that classic hot rodded PAF tone. It is just tight enough to do metal but lose and saggy enough to do all your favorite rock and classic rock riffs. The Jazz in the neck is like a more modern 59. It is super smooth like a 59 but has a bit more high end bite so it does not get as muddy with a high gain tone.
More people should check out Carvin guitars. They sell everything factory direct so there is no middle man like Guitar Center or Musicians Friend to jack up the price on you. Everything is made in America with Custom Shop quality and at factory direct prices you can get a lot of guitar for little money. With a guitar like this you pretty much get a Custom Shop Les Paul style guitar and the guitar I was trying out was built for less than 1200 dollars. And for that price you get a ton of features you would never find on any Gibson for that price like locking tuners and stainless steel frets. Even with the price of swapping pickups you are still getting a guitar for like half the price you would be paying for a Custom Shop Gibson.