Should I return this Mark Holcomb SVN?


New Member
Mar 16, 2024
Hey everyone! I saw a great deal and jumped on it for a used Mark Holcomb SVN walnut (7 string) guitar. It was $599 from guitar center, and after shipping and tax came to about $650. However, after playing it, I have noticed some issues with it. My gut is telling me just return it and if I really want this guitar, buy one for $150-$200 more (many used listings in this range that look great) to not have to deal with any of the things I've listed below. I wanted to post here and get other thoughts though before I go through the effort of returning it. Let me know what you would do! For context I have no experience working on guitars and while I have some mild interest, I really don't have the bandwidth to dedicate to that right now.

Primary issues:

1. Humbuckers are not stock. This is supposed to have Seymour Duncan alpha and omega humbuckers, but these are something else. It's unclear what they are, and I'm not really comfortable removing them to try and find out. But my assumption is since there is no visible branding, they are probably of lesser quality.

2. There is some buzzing/noise that I think is coming from the tone pot. I had a really hard time tuning it because the signal was so noisy. When I have the tone turned down all the way, it's ok, but otherwise it makes the signal noisy. Perhaps a simple fix for someone who knows how to work on guitars, I'm not sure.

Other issues:

3. Truss rod cover is blank. This is weird to me as it's supposed to say Mark Holcomb.

4. Tone knob was falling apart when it arrived. I tightened the screw on the pot and that's stable now, but the knob comes off when trying to activate coil tap. I think this is an easy fix by spreading the flanges, but will only do that if I decide to keep it as I don't want to risk breaking anything.

I don't expect to have any problems returning it for a full refund as I think it is clearly not as described and Guitar Center has a 45-day return policy.

It really is a beautiful guitar, but I had ordered a Schecter Reaper 7 at the same time, also on a good deal and that one showed up great. I'm new to 7 strings and I think realistically I don't need to keep both of them anyway (however it's really hard to fight the urge because I can tell this guitar would be amazing when functioning properly!)

Thanks for any feedback!

[note: tried to post this a bit ago with pictures, but I don't see that it went through. Since this is a new account, I think that's why. Perhaps if a mod sees this you can enable images for me so I can post them? I promise I'm not spamming :)]
Now I just need to decide... do I get a 7 or a 6! lol
You Can Always Have A 7 And Play It As A 6. The Reverse Is Not As Simple. :)

That Of Course Is A Personal Choice Only You Can Make.

I Personally Could Get By On A 3 String 8 Fret Holcomb Model. :)
You Can Always Have A 7 And Play It As A 6. The Reverse Is Not As Simple. :)

That Of Course Is A Personal Choice Only You Can Make.

I Personally Could Get By On A 3 String 8 Fret Holcomb Model. :)
Ha! I've been on a bit of a guitar shopping spree and I think I should probably cool it, but I really want to talk myself into getting one of these.

The only similar guitars I will have are a Schecter C1+ (bridge pickup upgraded to SD JB), the Schecter Reaper 7 I mentioned, and a Cort Duality II with Fishmans. I have a vew others, but more in the acoustic and single coil type of world. I'm basically trying to decide if that covers all the range I will need, or if getting a proper Holcomb SVN would be worth while. I'd love to be convinced to get one :p
While my advice would be to ditch the guitar, it sounds like the issues that it does have would be easy enough to remediate. Insofar as the pickups, it's easy enough to check what they are when you have the strings off for a string change by simply backing the four corner screws out of the pickup mounting rings and seeing if there's anything stamped on the underside. There are plenty of great pickups out that there that don't have any visible branding on their "face" as it were (i.e. Bare Knuckle, DiMarzio, Mojotone, etc.) As for the excessive noise, I'd say that sounds like either a loose solder joint somewhere or the pickups not being ground properly, both easy enough to fix, but the pain in the ass is figuring out which of the two it is. If you're not comfortable doing this type of troubleshooting and minor soldering, DEFINITELY return. If you plan to get another 7 string, even though I may be excoriated for recommending such behavior, I would recommend looking at other brands outside of PRS, perhaps an ESP LTD or even a different Schecter that would have active pickups. Just my semi unsolicited $0.02.
You didn’t get what you paid for.

This. It's easy enough to replace the Alpha/Omega pickups, but that was a big selling point for me. At $300/set, they put a great deal of the cost of the guitar into the pickups, and if you had to buy another set, your cost - on a used guitar - suddenly shoots up.

Send it back. You'll find a better one.