The Holdsworth Group II (H2, Fatboy, Synth, new HH models)

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mikeymac
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The Holdsworth Group II (H2, Fatboy, Synth, new HH models)

Postby mikeymac » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:15 pm

THIS IS THE RETURN OF THE HOLDSWORTH GROUP THREAD!!!

EDIT: I've tried to edit the title of this thread to reflect the new HH headless Allan Holdsworth models. Hopefully others will see this and discuss those models in this thread as well, when they start hitting the streets.

This is the place to discuss, celebrate and ask question/learn about these great guitars. Also a place to share pics - that doesn't have to be reserved for the Photo Gallery part of the Forum!

Allan Holdsworth and the folks at Carvin are certainly the experts on these guitars, but I've had FIVE different Holdsworth's in my possession, so I think I also know a little bit about how they work, how they sound, and what kinds of mods can take them to another level (or just make them fit your sonic/tone needs).

I currently only have one Holdsworth, my original '06 Fatboy. Two of the five were returned during the 10-day trial period (one because the color didn't turn out as hoped, the other because I just didn't bond with it - even though it was a high quality, beautiful instrument; you can't just leave it hangin' on the wall as art!)

The other two were, unfortunately, sold to raise funds for other guitars (among them, a couple Carvin DC150's ... but that's for another thread). I tried a couple months ago to buy one of them back, but the new owner wasn't interested in selling - oh, well!

As this thread develops, I'll share tonal impressions, mods I've done, and options I hope Carvin will offer in the future (one option which I hope to order on my next Fatboy...).

I hope you'll share your Holdsworth experiences here as well, and let us in on how you've tweaked yours to meet your creative needs.

Thanks for checking in; see you again soon; I'll close with a few shots of my Holdsworths...more to come later:

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Last edited by mikeymac on Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:07 pm

The black Fatboy in the pics above has been modded - I've added some custom "Carvin style" f-holes - they look sort of like Carvin's signature inlays! I've cleaned them up since these pics were taken, and my Fatboy is now in the process of being painted by a guy who paints cars and Harley's for a living...

...can't wait to see it when he gets done with it. I gave him a few ideas about colors and graphics - we'll see what he comes up with. It will be a total surprise. And I have no idea when he's going to get done...it's being done as a gift, so he'll work on it as he has time. I do miss my Fatboy though, especially since I also don't have my other Holdsworths anymore!

I've also modded the Fatboy - and most of my other Carvin's - with aftermarket pickups. I've used lots of DiMarzio's, I may try some others in the future, or, on my next Fatboy, I may just leave the H22's in; I really like them...I just can't help but tweak some things!

Speaking of my next Fatboy, here's what I will order when that lucky day comes ... maybe sometime this summer:

Left-handed HF2
mahogany neck/body
bookmatched mahogany top
Ruby Red gloss stain
ebony board, dot inlays
low wide frets, 12" radius
chrome hardware
OPTION 50 (if Carvin will do this):
2V-2T with 3-way toggle (like my DC - see below)
move neck strap button to upper horn


It will be interesting to compare this one to my old Fatboy, which is made of the standard neck and body woods. I'm thinking mahogany will warm it up a little...I've even thought of doing a rosewood board for more warmth, although I don't think the fingerboard makes a significant difference in the tone.

Here's how I'd like the volume and tone controls set up:

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby NickCormier » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:16 pm

been having major holdsworth gas lately, esp since they are the only 6 string Carvin makes that are 24 frets and 25.5" scale. Really wish the DC was =[

Other than that, being semi-hollow too.. Just adds up to an amazing guitar, despite how Im not a huge fan of the shape, although its growing on me.

BTW: Does Carvin still make H2T's??? Doesnt give me the option to add a wilkinson on the main HF2 page anymore.. Hmm.

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:53 am

The Fatboy doesn't have the option of adding a Wilkinson (or Floyd) trem because of the hollow body and the "rails" down the middle of the body. You can only do a Bigsby on the Fatboy (and that's only for right-handed models).

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby NickCormier » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:16 am

but they used to make the semi-hollow ones with the wilkinsons, if im correct.. just dont do it anymore.

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:15 pm

Well, the H2 is also "semi-hollow" - the body has chambers in it, but it has solid wood in the middle so that a tremolo unit's springs can be secured; the Fatboy's design doesn't allow for a place to secure the trem springs - so the Fatboy has never had a trem option, other than the new Bigsby option that was added about 6-12 months ago.

While we're on this topic, a future Holdsworth option I'd love to see would be a solid/no chambers H2 (or "H1" - single bridge pup model). It would probably be 1 - 1.5 lbs. heavier than the current model, but it might have a different enough tone to make it a viable "other" model...

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Mon May 16, 2011 12:39 pm

Just went through the Carvin Gallery and found a few interesting Holdsworth pics that might be helpful for people wanting different ideas about the guitar and various options.

I'll break these up into a few posts so this doesn't get to be a long post.

These first two are the only ones I've seen with non-Holdsworth headstocks. I'd like to see a Holdsworth with the standard 6-in-line and also the new TLB headstock as well (if someone wants to do a couple photoshops!).

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Mon May 16, 2011 12:41 pm

Here are a few in solid colors. I think a Tele-style pickguard would look good on some of these - so I did a really bad "drawing" of the Copper one below with a pickguard - it at least gives you some idea of what I'm imagining:

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Here's a very plain-jane Holdsworth, which would also be dressed up with a pickguard:

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Mon May 16, 2011 12:48 pm

Here are a couple of traditional sunbursts - just goes to show how different the same finish can look on a different piece of wood:

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Here are two amazing quilts -very similar, but the color makes them look so unique:

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Mon May 16, 2011 8:07 pm

I like green Holdsworth's (hey, Allan has a green one!) ... here are a couple, including a rare H1T (single pup model). The green finish just looks great on alder:

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Here's an odd one with zebra neck pup and all black bridge pup:

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And another shot (from the GIS after I returned it) of "The Green Goblin":

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Mon May 16, 2011 8:09 pm

White always looks classy, although I'd prefer it with black hardware:

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And I would LOVE to see Carvin offer a 2V - 2T option on the Holdsworth ... it would work, since they use the same size control cavity on most of their models; here's another white guitar as an example of what I mean (note the absence of a pickup selector; definitely an option 50):

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Mon May 16, 2011 8:20 pm

Two with amazing Claro Walnut tops:

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And finally, an amazing spalt to, followed by one of the few HF2S/Synth Fatboy's I've seen (and a lefty at that):

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I like the pickup selector switch on the upper bout on the HF2S - if you're used to an LP, this would appeal to you.

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby brent » Wed May 18, 2011 11:57 pm

Great thread, thanks - I have an H2T on order, delivery in June - alder/alder, spalted maple top, black hardware, ebony FB no inlays, coil splits, phase switch, TUSQ nut, gloss body/satin back of neck, will post photos when it comes.

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby brent » Thu May 19, 2011 12:07 am

Thanks for the great pics. Have one on order (see below). My desire would be to have the H2T available with MIDI and the piezo Wilkie but everyone I talked to at Carvin said this just couldn't be done. If i like the one I've ordered may get a Fatboy with MIDI/piezo but wish I could have all in one.

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Re: re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S

Postby mikeymac » Thu May 19, 2011 8:56 am

brent wrote:Great thread, thanks - I have an H2T on order, delivery in June - alder/alder, spalted maple top, black hardware, ebony FB no inlays, coil splits, phase switch, TUSQ nut, gloss body/satin back of neck, will post photos when it comes.


That should be a beauty - it will be similar to the one pictured above. Do you have any other Carvins? Ever played one? The necks are incredible. And the H2T in alder is a very light, resonant guitar.

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby ElfDude » Thu May 19, 2011 9:59 am

I remember someone on here saying that he owned both a Fatboy and gibson ES-135 and that the two sounded very similar.

For you who own both the Fatboy and the and the H2... how similar in sound are they to each other?

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Re: re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S

Postby brent » Thu May 19, 2011 10:41 am

mikeymac wrote:
brent wrote:Great thread, thanks - I have an H2T on order, delivery in June - alder/alder, spalted maple top, black hardware, ebony FB no inlays, coil splits, phase switch, TUSQ nut, gloss body/satin back of neck, will post photos when it comes.


That should be a beauty - it will be similar to the one pictured above. Do you have any other Carvins? Ever played one? The necks are incredible. And the H2T in alder is a very light, resonant guitar.


Will be first one I've owned, have played a couple owned by friends. The quality you get for the cost from Carvin is amazing, this guitar at about $1500 is only $250 more than a garden-variety Stratocaster for gosh sake.

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Re: re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S

Postby mikeymac » Thu May 19, 2011 1:49 pm

ElfDude wrote:I remember someone on here saying that he owned both a Fatboy and gibson ES-135 and that the two sounded very similar.

For you who own both the Fatboy and the and the H2... how similar in sound are they to each other?


ElfDude,

They sound very similar plugged in...I don't think anyone could tell the difference in a blindfold test. I was surprised when I got my first H2 (after having owned a Fatboy for a couple years) at how hollow it is inside. Smaller and thinner than the Fatboy, but still it's as hollowed out as any of the SH550/SH445/645 Carvins, and actually MORE hollowed out than the AC175 and 275!

This also makes for a very light, comfortable guitar, with lots of resonance. The Fatboy feels quite a bit heavier and builkier in comparison, while having the same tonal characteristics (to my ears).

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Re: re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S

Postby ElfDude » Thu May 19, 2011 1:58 pm

Thanks for the response!

mikeymac wrote: but still it's as hollowed out as any of the SH550/SH445/645 Carvins, and actually MORE hollowed out than the AC175 and 275!


Wow, and consequently more hollowed out than my AE185 as well! Interesting and intriguing!

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re: The Holdsworth Group II (H1/H2, HF1/HF2/Fatboy, HF2S/Syn

Postby mikeymac » Thu May 19, 2011 2:02 pm

Yeah ... an alder body and neck on an H2 make for a very resonant, light guitar; I could always feel mine vibrating all over when I strummed it. And it doesn't really seem to matter what the top is (mine was flamed koa); the rest of the guitar is very sensitive to the vibration of the strings.


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