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Author Topic: Carvin Audio to close  (Read 1741 times)

Jamin Lynch

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Re: Carvin Audio to close
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2017, 09:50:57 pm »

And the higher you sit the further you fall.

It seems the top dogs always land on their feet.  ::)
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Craig Leerman

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Re: Carvin Audio to close
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2017, 11:15:15 pm »

There are many reason as to why Carvin is going out of business but I don't think it was the quality of their gear.

Growing up in Baltimore on the East coast I never really saw any of their stuff but I sure did drool over the Carvin catalog every year. Major artists like Allan Holdsworth and Steve Vai used their gear and had signature guitars. Frank Zappa had a few of their sound boards mounted in a mobile truck for recording.

I did a Road Test a few years ago on their TRX 3903 column system as was so impressed with it I bought the demo rig. The top cabinets were loaded with Faital Pro drivers.

About 4 years ago I got to do a factory tour. At that time both the guitars and audio were build in the same factory with one brother in charge of guitars and one in charge of the amps and PA side. The factory was clean, and well set up. Almost every part was made in house. Many of their workforce had been with them for years. I hope their employees land on their feet.

While the marketplace may have caused their downfall I suspect it was mostly the following:

*The brothers do not like each other and eventually split Carvin apart. One brother renamed the guitar side Kissel guitars after their family name. The other brother rebranded the audio as Carvin Audio. Instead of sharing the large warehouse and factory, about 3 years ago they split up with each brother taking his company to different facilities adding financial burden with moving and new building expenses.

*Carvin was not available everywhere. In the old days they had a catalog and a few California factory stores. Musicians like to get their hands on instruments and amps before buying them. Folks in the east were not going to buy a $900 guitar, tube amp or a set of PA speakers from a catalog (or later over the internet) without hearing them. They were always seen as a west coast company.

*While they switched to a dealer network about 4-5 years ago, they did not support their dealers well. I know, I was one. They didn't even reach out to dealers and give them first crack at liquidation. I learned about them going out of business the same as everybody else.

*They tried to go high end with an MI brand selling a line array as Carvin. While they did have an upscale brand called TCS, they let it slide into obscurity and did not update the website or gear offerings for the last 10-15 years on the TCS side. Pity as some of the TCS cabinets were pretty nice.

*Carvin did not advertise correctly. I don't think they even had a marketing person much less a department. At trade shows they would have separate booths for the guitars and PA stuff even when they were under the same banner. They were non existent in pro audio magazines.

I wish the best for their employees

I'm so old, when I was doing FOH for Tommy Dorsey, to balance out the horn section I would slide their chairs downstage and upstage to mix!
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