Oh, also, since I've had mine for a few months now, I'll answer some of my own questions in case a future reader wonders anything similar.
brento73 wrote:So, when the Holdsworth guitars first came out, I wasn't really interested. I'm not a fan of headless guitars, in general, and the later models didn't really do anything for me at the time, either. About a year and a half ago I got an SH275. It was my first new Carvin and my second overall(I used to have an AE185 I got and later sold on eBay). I LOVE the variety of sounds I can get from my 275, and the build quality is amazing(was on the used 185, too).
I've decided a few things in the past year and a half, though, which have made me think I might sell my 275 and get an HF2S. I'd keep both, but I can't get that past the budget committee(wife), so here are some of my questions/thoughts/concerns:
String tension: I use pretty heavy strings, specifically D'Addario Chromes Flatwound Jazz Light(12-52), so between that and spending several years playing almost entirely acoustic guitars(also with 12s or 13s), I've gotten used to stiff strings. That said I've also spent the past decade or so down-tuned a half step, and recently thought I might go back to standard tuning. Combined with the longer scale(25.5 on the HF2S vs 25 on the SH275), how much more tension might I expect on the strings? Would going to one notch lighter(11-50) get me back in the same ballpark?
Ok, so I've decided I'm a mutant here, but... I ended up going with the same strings/tuning on the longer scale(12-52, down a half-step) and then, recently, went down to D-standard and 13-56. It plays great, feels great, and I have nothing but good times playing it. Your mileage may vary.
brento73 wrote:Woods: my current guitar is walnut neck/body with maple top, which looks good and sounds awesome. I have thought about just going with the same woods(although I will most likely go gloss instead of tung oil this time), but then I thought the birch looks pretty cool already. The stock wood is birch front and back(if I'm not mistaken), and it seems that changing body wood option replaces the back along with the 'body', or sides. Has anyone looked into getting a top wood option on both the top and back? I assume there's an upcharge, perhaps opt50, for that? Also, I know that on electric guitars, even semi-hollow ones, the wood choice doesn't have a huge impact on sound, but I'm curious about any feedback current/previous owners can give on how different woods sound/feel, especially on the HF2(S). I think there's more agreement on neck wood effecting(A-ffecting? I can never remember which is which... anyway) tone, and I like the way my walnut neck sounds now, so I'd probably go that way again.
Just now, while typing the above paragraph, I though how cool a walnut neck and body(sides only) might look with the contrast of the light colored birch top and back... hmmm....
I ended up going a totally different way on this, color-wise(see previous post). I'm really happy with Black Magic Metallic, and have no regrets. The woods are stock, so maple neck, alder body, birch top. Whether the back is, indeed, birch, I'll likely never know since I went with the solid color. I also can't say whether the wood plays a role in the tone, since I don't have another, different, HF2 I can A/B it with, but it sounds great.
brento73 wrote:Another thing, I'm interested in what neck pickups people are using, and what they love or loathe about them. I'm 99% sure I'll have an M22SD in the neck position,
I meant bridge, not neck... JUST noticed the typo...
since I've been using them longer than I've been playing Carvins. As for what I'm looking for in the neck position, I suppose the simple answer is 'not an M22SD'. Since the bridge will cover all the paint-peeling, high-gain, wall-o-Satan sounds I could ever want, I suppose I'm interested in something more smooth, warm, mellow... something along those lines?
Ok, that's enough typing for now
As can also be seen above, I went with covered pick ups. In large part, this was because I thought it would look %&$#-ing RAD, and it does. I'm very happy with the sound, though, which is good news!
It's not quite the same as my previous guitars with the M22SD, but it gets the job done.