The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Carvin SH550 Thinline Electric Guitar, 2003


Instrument Categories: , , , , ,

The Carvin SH550 thinline archtop electric is still available from the successor to Carvin – Kiesel Guitars, run by descendants of Lowell Kiesel, founder of Carvin. Based on a carved Flame Maple top on a chambered Mahogany back with Mahogany neck and Indian Rosewood fingerboard, this is a very nice guitar aimed towards jazz players.

This Carvin SH550 dates to around 2003 based on the owner’s recollection. Precise dating information is not available. It’s in good clean condition with only very light wear, and appears to be all original. The hardware is gold plated, and includes Sperzel locking tuners, Alnico V pickups, a recessed tune-o-matic type bridge, and stop tailpiece. It plays well, and is quite comfortable.

The original Carvin hard shell case is included.

Founded in 1946, and from the late 1940’s available through direct sales, Carvin Corporation broke up in 2015, selling the guitar and bass line to Kiesel, operated by Mark and Jeff Kiesel. Carvin Audio reorganized and in 2017 Carvin Corporation permanently closed its factory in San Diego, California.

In 2010, Guitar Player Magazine reviewed the Carvin SH550.  Here’s an excerpt from that review:

“In the hand, the SH550’s medium-low action proves smooth, slick, and buzz free, and the guitar rings with an impressive semi-acoustic voice even before you plug it in.

Tested through a range of tube amps, it exhibits plenty of power to crunch and wail when you want it to, but still retains outstanding clarity from all three humbucker settings. The split-coil tones are extremely impressive, too: Where so many sound like just half a humbucker (i.e. rather thin and wan) the Carvins perform like gnarly P-90s at full volume, and snappier Fender-style singlecoils with the Volume knob rolled back a touch.

All considered, the SH550 is a sweet player, and a surprisingly versatile instrument. It’s ideal for those who want a guitar that’s more open and resonant sounding than a humbucker-equipped solidbody, and it could be the perfect choice for jazzers who seek a compact-bodied, high-end archtop that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.”


Price: $1,750.00 CAD
  • Model: SH550
  • Year: 2003 | Approximate year
  • Finish Gloss Dark Amber
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 2384889
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 19/02/2020

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 8.25lbs 3.75kg
  • Scale Length: 25in 635mm
  • Nut Width: 1.673in 42.5mm
Carvin Website

Contact The Twelfth Fret Regarding This Item


Guitarists’ Pro Shop
2132 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, Ontario  M4C 1J9 CANADA
○ Sales: +416•423•2132
○ Service: +416•423•1554