PJD Carey Standard & Carey Custom 10th Anniversary review

It's all change behind the scenes at PJD, but the quality of the guitars remains tip-top

PJD Carey Standard & Carey Custom 10th Anniversary
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

The Carey Standard and Carey Custom 10th Anniversary represent the affordable luxury and exotic custom vibe that PJD can offer. The stripped down and immaculate Standard offers great value, while the Custom has a grown-up voice and stunning details.


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    Standard wins on affordability.

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    Precise details and lightweight build.

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    Great neck.

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    Wonderful vibrant, quality voice.

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    Custom has a nuanced, mature voice.

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    It has an exotic but far-from-posh vibe.


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    The Standard has limited colour options.

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    Its chamfered body edge won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

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    The Custom's sharp-edged binding is an acquired taste.

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    As ever, quality guitars such as the Custom cost big money.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

It’s been a busy year for PJD Guitars. Aside from a factory move, the company’s founder, Leigh Dovey, has expanded his workforce to include Zach Pygall. 

“Zach does most of the work when it comes off the CNC machine, refining the necks and doing the sanding,” Leigh tells us. “I still look after wood selection, milling up the wood and kind of getting everything as it should be – the crucial work is so often at the start, the right materials and stuff. Then we have Andy Jackson who has recently joined us; Andy mainly does assembly, wiring and setups.”  

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.