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


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I have a story for you. My neighbor, Tim Brown or (Timothy McCoy), is a musician friend of mine and has been for about 40 years. About 3 years ago his house caught on fire and destroyed most everything in it. After a day or so we were sifting through the ashes and discovered in the front bedroom an assortment of musical instruments still leaning in the corner. There was 2 fiddles, a Martin D1 acoustic, a Johnson left handed acoustic, a Fender Strat and a Carlos 240k acoustic. Most of the damage was from smoke and a lot of heat with no direct burning and luckily they were all in cases. My neighbor said all he wanted was the Martin, which he purchased new in 1998. The other guitars he just traded different things for. He said just throw away the rest. I said, "sure"! The Martin had heat damage from around the 6th fret on up to the headstock where the heat blistered the finish off of it. The case melted away from it around the neck and the body was smoked up pretty bad. Martin wanted $700.00 to repair it. I sanded the neck down and refinished it myself and cleaned all the smoke off of it and it plays as good as new. Luckily it didn't warp. The other instruments all have been repaired as well. I didn't fool with the Carlos for a long time because I thought it was just another cheap guitar. Finally after the first of this year I ran across it in storage and cleaned it up. Luckily it was only smoked up, badly I might add. I finally got it clean and put new tuners on it. It has the brass nut, saddle and dots on the neck. The sound from this guitar really surprised me. Like you, I've owned a lot of guitars and some were crap and that's what I expected from this Carlos but I was wrong. The body style and everything about this guitar is just like a Martin acoustic and the sound from it is almost as good. Amazing. I am doing further research on Carlos guitars.

Carlos Guitars were imported acoustic guitars distributed by Coast Wholesale Music (a division of Kaman Music Corporation) from around 1976 to the late 1980s.

Check out our music on Ourstage.com >Gene Payne, Tim Hood, Timothy McCoy, John Kelley Rocks and Mark Levi.

All of this music was recorded in our studio. TenTimes Recording.

Thanks. Gene Payne. logunsrun5@aol.com

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  • 3 weeks later...
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My first acoustic when I was learning to play was a Carlos. It's been quite a few years, but as I recall it was all flamed, pale wood of some sort and had a brass nut. I remember it sounding great, but it was a bear to play, so I ditched it when I got a cheapie Washburn on clearance. I've still got the Washburn - it's my favorite "always leaning in the corner" guitar.

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The first guitar I ever had was a piece of dirt out a friend's closet when I was 13 years old. It was a warped, steel string monstrosity from which I got the music bug. I was not, however, stupid enough not to see it's shortcomings so I started mowing lawns and doing odd jobs in the neighborhood.

A couple of weeks later I had the scratch to buy something new so I headed to the shop where I was taking lessons and bought "Carlos", a model 236 classical made by Carlos in Korea. I spent $40.00 which included the chipboard case. That was 1978.


I have had a lot of guitars come and go through my hands in the 36 years since I bought Carlos and some of those guitars have cost me 50 times what I spent on him but he's the only guitar in the WILL NOT CONSIDER SELLING category. The decades have only made it more beautiful and resonant. It's a keeper.


As for the conspiracy theorists, it's possible that first time postings here are due to the same reason I am posting for the first time. I Googled Carlos Korea and a link to this thread came up. I wasn't aware that the only people with anything to contribute are those that troll the forums endlessly. Sarcasim intended...



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In my younger days I was a pretty avid player of coin-op arcade games. I was in several tournaments, one of which was for the Aerosmith game "Revolution X".

I was doing very well, climbing the brackets rather easilly, and saw little competion other than a young Asian man named Jin. He was good - very good - but I was better. We both advanced through our brackets and were in line to have a showdown in the final round to determine a winner. We both knew who it would be. Hessian doesn't lose at Revolution X - EVER.

I was outside smoking a clove cigarette when I saw Jin's sister Sun walking up to me. I smiled, wondering if she was going to try to seduce me into throwing the match. Fat chance of that, though - my pre tourney regiment consisted of a balanced breakfast of cloves, Southern Comfort, and gamer-groupies. HOT gamer-groupies.

"Hey, Hessian," she said, "Do you like cartoons?"

"Baby," I replied, "I pretty much am a cartoon. They call me Bam-Bam, because of all the Bedrock(ing)." It's very difficult to sound suave while verbally adding a parenthentical suffix, but I pulled it off. I pull most things off.

"Well how do you feel about Quck Draw McGraw?" she purred, a smile playing at the edge of her lips.

Just then I felt the tickle of danger run down my neck right before seeing a refelection of movement in Sun's eyes. I whirled around like a cat or a snake or a cat-snake, but as I did Sun kicked me in the back of the legs, and I fell forward onto my knees.

"EL," I heard the shout begin, and I knew that I had been beaten after all. The last thing I remember is Jin shouting "KABONG!" as he brought an obviously finely crafted Korean guitar smashing down on my head. I woke up in the parking lot hours after Jin's victory by forfeit and the first thing I saw was the name on the headstock of the guitar that laid me out. That name, of course, was Carlos. I will never forget it. I will never forgive it. But most of all, I regret that I never got to play that beautiful guitar.

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I have to laugh, because I bought a Carlos guitar in a pawn shop about 20 years agoi for $100. Probably paid too much, but it came with a hard case. Sound isn't too bad, but the action is slow. Need a bridge adjustment to lower the strings a little.  Gave it to my son to practice, but he brought it back in a couple weeks. Guess I'm stuck with it...Barry

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Yes, I just picked up a Carlos Tenor guitar at a flea market.  I spotted it earlier in the day but walked right by when I saw the off brand name.  Then when I came back around I noticed it was a tenor so I took a look.

Looks like it came out of a time capsule - near mint condition.  It's all laminated, but it does have a truss rod and is "X" braced.  It has a plastic bridge but appears to have a Brazilian rosewood fretboard.


The sound is very good, better than it has any reason to be based on materials, but the intonation is dead on as the neck is straight and the action low.

It has the label others have mentioned "Quality product of Korea" and the usual "Made in Korea" little gold sticker on the back of the neck near the headstock.  Model "TG-207" typed onto the label and a separate sticker with a serial number.


In what looks to be the original foam lined chipboard case - which looks like it just came from the store.


Like others, any info appreciated.

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Found this site googling for info on my guitar.

I'm another "ghost" user that is "trolling" about this carlos guitar by making this my first post. A friend of mine left it at my house then moved to montana. Good for me!

It's pretty beat up, the tuners rattle unless turned the right way and it has gouges and scrathes everywhere. But it plays!

Model 283, it's a 12 string. Not sure what kind of wood, looks kind of like rosewood?

Edit- Ok it's probably mahogany.





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4x4_e30 wrote:

...I'm another "ghost" user that is "trolling" ...

 Quite true. Another one post wonder with profound words of wisdom for this fine forum.

4x4_e30 -- 1 post

Ukeman_27016 -- 1 post

sfshipper -- 2 posts

mikey19504 -- 1 post

Alexia Snear -- 1 post

Gene Payne -- 1 post

texas_redman -- 1 post

johncastello--1 post

rtmuzyka--1 post

gsdrunk--3 posts

45311--2 posts

jazzy64--2 posts

Coastal--2 posts

gpie1288---2 posts

robert froyd--1 post

blueharp1--3 posts

el;vin lateagan--4 posts

Kiddarkness--1 post

biopticpaper--1 post

Guitarsaver--2 posts

kgraham7s--1 post

frnell--1 post

bnewell--2 posts

Quanto--1 post

hot_burrito_1--1 post

Robb Hughes--1 post

hbrector--1 post

Alexia Snear--1 post

Myriam NT--1 post

campfire-guitars-- 1 post

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eanna--1 post

aieauka--2 posts

jonford--4 posts

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Hahaha, thats pathetic. People trying to find out more about a guitar that has very little information available on the web come here and try to find out more or share their experience so that others may know more about it than they once did and you down talk 'em. No wonder they didn't stick around to make any more posts. Have fun with your exclusivity, I'll find another forum to contribute to.

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I didn't know the forum was only for CONTRIBUTORS, I was somehow under the impression it was for anyone looking for help or information regardless of their instrument's pedigree. If you Google your instrument trying to find out information on it and a link to this forum comes up, is that "trolling?". Looks like some users spend a lot of time trolling for trollers so they can belittle them and/or the instruments they ask about. Go ahead, I'm expecting the smart axx comment. Kick me off, I don't care. All I've seen since I posted my one comment/question are mostly jerk responses.

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Viewers and Google searchers do just that, they view and they search. Members contribute. Neither dredges up old threads, Einstein. idea.gif

You're no different than the others on that long list of phoney members doing this crap.

In a previous post you said you were leaving... and yet, you're still here.

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OK, here's another first time poster (I guess a troll in this forum) adding by own experience with a Carlos guitar.


I fix acoustic guitars as a hobby. A year ago our son told his music teacher that and she said that she had wanted to teach guitar in class but there was no budget to buy guitars. So I volunteered to find donated acoustic guitars for our kids middle school music program. I put ads on FreeCycle, CraigsList and local Facebook groups. I got more responses than I expected. I repaired and delivered 10 last school year with 6 more to work on. I'm waiting for the teacher to get me strings so I can finish 8. I extended the offer to the other middle school in town, but getting string from either of them has been frustrating. I’m doing all the work (turning junk into playable instruments) and replacing the occasional saddle, and all I asked of them was to buy the strings. I’d really like to get these guitars out of my workshop, I have my own to work on.


My Carlos story is about one of the guitars I was given for the school. I met a guy in a commuter parking lot and he reluctantly handed over his guitar that he's had since the early 80's. He said it is a great guitar but he hadn't used it in years and his wife convinced him to let it go. I took it home and scoffed at the brass nut, saddle and fret markers. It was a model 207. The nut and saddle action were high so I took some measurements and started sanding. THE NUT AND SADDLE ARE BRASS PLATED STEEL! Maybe some are solid brass but not this one. I sanded the bottom of the nut and replaced the saddle (TUSQ) and got the action down to where it was easy to play.

And it sounded great!! Of all the guitars I’ve been given for the school, that was the only one I didn’t want to see go. To this day I still regret giving it to the school for kids to beat the crap out of. I may see it someday to repair.


That brings me to my second, continuing Carlos story. Last night I won a Carlos acoustic on ShopGoodwill. $33 plus $20 for shipping. Yea, my wife is going to kill me for buying another guitar! And another project!!! The picture of the label was hard to read but I think it is a model 438, judging by other less fuzzy label pictures. I sent them an email and I should hear more info later today. It was impossible to tell what condition it was in, other than it looked like all the parts were there except one of the tuner knobs. It looks like the screw loosened and it fell off, the washers are still in place. I’ll find something in my boneyard. The nut and saddle in this one are not brass. Maybe they were replaced. Maybe I wasted $53 and this is a POS! I guess I’ll find out in a week.


To be continued…


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OK' date=' here's another first time poster (I guess a troll in this forum) adding by own experience with a Carlos guitar.…[/quote']

You're not considered a troll unless you act like one. Welcome aboard and congratulations on your work getting guitars into schools. Years ago, when our daugher was much younger, I fixed up computers for her school. That said, reviving old threads is considered bad form and being nasty when this is pointed out is worse.

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Hello all;


Admins: Since the last post I read (12/14) indicates some disagreement between at least 2 site admins as to the relevancy of posting to old threads, I think I'll just add to this one, since it was nice to see all of the posts re: Carlos guitars together, rather than having to search through 4 or 5 threads on the same site. But I will obey any further instructions you lay down.


Trolls: Please save your calluses for your guitars. I've been around the block too many times to care.


To those interested in Carlos guitars, here is my own information.



Back in the early 80's, my parents bought me a used Carlos 260FK, "Quality Product of Korea", for a couple of hundred dollars at a Denver guitar store. After years of learning/playing on it, I moved up to a Martin 6 and Taylor 12 (we won't talk about the Epiphone 12 I had for a couple years) and have been fairly content ever since.


Recently, I have been wanting a travel guitar and have been looking at the baby Taylors, so I have been thinking of trading in my Carlos at the local Guitar Center. This led my to dig it out of the back of the closet and start researching prices.


Now, I literally haven't taken it out of its case in 4 or 5 years and I'll be da***d if it only required minor tuning.


The neck is still straight as an arrow and the action is still exceptional. (As other posters have stated, this model, like the other seemingly better "Carlos - made in Korea" models, has the brass nut/saddle/inlays and is x-braced.)


Now that I've looked through some of these posts and other internet sites, I may just hang onto it. My boy turns 10 this year and is pretty darn musical and this would be a good starter, if he ever gets the mind and I can't imagine getting a better guitar for the money, new or used.


*Note; Aside from some brass tarnish, my guitar is in great shape. I'll have notifications "on", so let me know if you want some pics.



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  • daddymack changed the title to Don't laught..anyone have a CARLOS acoustic?

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