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Don't laught...anyone have a CARLOS acoustic?


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  • Don't laught...anyone have a CARLOS acoustic?

    Don't laugh - not an expensive or reputable brand. As a matter of fact there are NO CARLOS guitars on ebay OR listed at Harmony Central in the reivew database - not one.

    Now bear in mind I have owned nearly 150 guitars (maybe more) in the last 15 years, including many Gibsons, Taylor, Ibanez, Washburn, etc. I know my guitars pretty well. That said, I bought a CARLOS II model 240K acoustic 6 string at lunch today from a pawnshop for $50.

    It's Korean made, probably late 70s I'm guessing. It has what appears to be *original* brass nut, brass bridge/saddle and instead of pearloid dot inlays it has actual brass studs inlayed. Despite needing some serious work on the action and a truss rod adjustment, and the strings being ancient, the guitar actually had a good sound and feel. I'll be working on it tonight when I get off work and then can give a real assesment. But initially, I think it's going to be a great guitar.

    A web search revealed that several recording studios have CARLOS acoustics on hand for recording, but other than that I found nothing online. Can anyone tell me anything? If you have one how old is it, and does it suck? Is it just oK? Is is good?

    singer/guitarist looking for bandmates in DALLAS, TX

  • #2
    Never head of one. The closest sounding thing I've every heard of is Carlo Robelli, a house brand for Sam Ash. Not sure how you can tell when it was made. Is there a sticker inside? It should list the country of origin. If it is in fact late 70's it's probably Japanese. From what you're saying about the high action it may need a neck reset. Put a ruler on across the fretboard pointing down to the bridge. If it points into the top the neck needs to be reset. If it's pointing right to the saddle, then you should be able to fix it with the truss rod and sanding down the saddle. Frank Ford has great pictures. His site is a wealth of information.


    I have never seen a guitar with a brass saddle, nut and inlays, Very odd, indeed. Obvioiusly changing the nut and particularly the saddle will improve the sound. I doubt whether it's worth a whole lot more than what you paid for it but with some work it may turn out to be a damn good beater.


    • #3
      One thing - the neck doesn't appear to be warped or need a reset... The action is just VERY low, like the bridge/saddle piece needs a little something under it to give it about an eighth of an inch more clearance off the neck. Also - I love the brass nut and saddle, it gives it a great sound, much better than the plastic used on most guitars.

      singer/guitarist looking for bandmates in DALLAS, TX


      • #4
        An ebay seller with the username, jj-lin, seems to have several Carlos guitars. They don't seem to fetch alot of money though...



        • #5
          Is that like an "ESTEBAN" guitar?
          2013 Official Luthier's Forum Medium Jumbo (Western red cedar/mahogany)
          2012 McKnight McUke (soprano ukulele, redwood/mahogany)
          2010 Martin D-16GT
          2006 Larrivee OM-03R
          1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster (natural ash finish)
          1989 Kramer Stryker
          197? Epiphone Texan FT-160N


          • sfshipper
            sfshipper commented
            Editing a comment

            Estaban is a lot better and fuller sound. Except I get a buzz on the 9th fret of the E string. I have the Estaban acoustic electric. Sounds great with a fender pro 185 amp.  Barry

        • #6
          I have one. It's the first guitar I actually owned, bought around '82. The one I have came with a brass nut and saddle, too. It's only OK, good starter, but not a fantastic sounder.


          • #7
            Got it home last night - loosed the truss rod a turn, put a thin shim under the saddle, cleaned it and restrung it with Elixers. It actually sounds really decent - not amazing or anything, but pretty good. One impressive thing is that the intonation is PERFECT all up the neck! I have played many expensive acoustics that can't boast that, including Taylors and Guilds.

            It'l be a good 2nd guitar to take out and about when I might want to jam a bit but don't want to risk bringing the expensive acoustic out.

            singer/guitarist looking for bandmates in DALLAS, TX


            • #8
              carlos guitars are a dirty little secret..most of the korea made ones are hand crafted and are known to have the sound of a 3,000 dollar acoustic.i have a old 240 hand made carlos that i researched a bit..just cause it sounded so good..such a deep rich bass...well i found out some carlos guitars are worthless..has to be the early korea made ones....i have all so seen in guitar mags were few guitar dealers wanting to buy old korean carlos guitars...but they wont tell you what they are worth!!<~~ this is the problem i ran into...i never had a guitar that was so hard to find info about.

              i really had to dig deep for what i found out...i have found a few forums were some one is asking..what is a old carlos worth? and a few people pop in there and say they been offerd 1,200 for the right model of carlos from a guitar dealer...but then again..you cant find carlos in a price guide..and its not cause they are worthless. but just cause of there limited numbers and non popular name they never gained any popularity.. i tell you what thou...if i found a early korea made one for 50 bucks i wouldnt hesitate. they sounds great and some day mite be worth a insaine amount of money just cause they are being kept on the low down from collectors...dont abuse that guitar!! you mite regret it down the road


              • #9
                Just wanted to add that the Daion guitars made in Japan in the 80s' had many models with brass saddles. They were great sounding guitars wih solid cedar tops. I wouldn't discount the brass but I think I need to A/B them to bone sometime. I found my next experiment thanks.
                What good is a guitar without a guitarist?
                What good is a guitarist without a guitar?


                • #10
                  I've got a Carlos Acoustic. I'm in the middle of restoring it. It sounds awesome!! The Model number has faded away. It's a really bassy instrument. One of the nicest guitars I've heard in a while!

                  I think it was built in Korea in the early 80s. It's got a lovely Cedar-top. I understand why colledtors are after them. I could be wrong, but I think that the back and sides are Brazilian Rosewood~ could it be true?!

                  Anybody else have info on them?



                  • #11
                    Carlos called. He wants to know who took his guitar.

                    There are a lot of gems from the 1970's floating around out there. It sounds like you found one.


                    • #12
                      I have a Carlos mod. 226 given to me around 1975 at a time when I thought I would take it up. but it never happened. Today I took it out of the box for the first time since I received it. I'm not trying to sell it or anything like that , I'm just doing a little research and it would be nice to find out that it was a good guitar. The sticker inside has Carlos in large letters, mod. 226, and Quality product of Korea. So what do you think ? Russl


                      • #13
                        [QUOTE=Hudman;25108749]Carlos called. He wants to know who took his guitar.

                        Nice joke Hudman

                        I was given a Carlos back in the early 80's from a family member. From what I remember it was nice looking guitar, but had high action. It was broken a couple of years later by a friend in college (party foul). It was replaced w/a Washburn.
                        Alvarez - DY62C
                        Fender - F-210
                        Guild GAD-5N w/D-TAR
                        Guild GAD-50 Nat
                        Guild GAD-JF30BLD
                        Larrivee OM-03
                        Seagull - M12

                        Fishman - Neo-D magnetic pickup
                        LRBaggs - M1 magnetic pickup

                        Godin Exit 22
                        Ibanez S570DXQM
                        Jackson DKMG Dinky EMG 81 & 85

                        DrZ - Maz 18 Jr Combo
                        Fishman - Loudbox 100
                        Rivera - Clubster 45
                        Dunlop - ULTEX 1.14 Picks
                        Peterson - iStroboSoftware
                        V-Picks - Large Rounded 2.75mm


                        • #14
                          I have a Carlos model 238 that was given to me by a friend when he moved out of town. The action is high / hard, but as a previous poster said, the intonation is great through the full reach of the instrument. Mine does NOT have a brass saddle, and certain parts of it do appear to be pretty cheap, but it does play well.


                          • #15
                            I definitely wouldn't laugh at a cheap guitar. Especially if it actually plays well.

                            My first guitar was a "Crescent" acoustic.

                            Horrible. High action (even when the saddle was sanded down to a nub). No truss rod. Balsawood top, back, and sides (or something very similar).

                            But I learned on it, and it wasn't bad enough to make me quit, so I guess it served its purpose.
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