In 1957, Carvin offered a
wide selection of guitars and steel guitars, as well as banjos and
mandolins. In addition to their own line of equipment, Carvin also
sold Fender guitars, including Stratocasters and Telecasters, Fender
steel guitars and amplifiers and Martin guitars. They also sold a
broad selection of parts and accessories, including everything needed to
build a steel guitar, and guitar necks, pickups, electronics and
each picture for a larger version.
model #3-SGB guitar got a new catalog photo to show off the
slightly altered body and headstock shape. The new shape
notwithstanding, the features and construction was the same as the 1956
model, with hard-rock maple body and a bolt-on maple neck. The
neck had a rosewood fingerboard with a bone nut and sealed
nickel-plated tuners. Electronics consisted of Carvin's AP-6
adjustable-pole pickups, with individual volume and tone controls, and
a standard 3-way selector switch. Pricing was the same as 1956,
with the #3-SGB selling for $119.90,
and the #4-SGB, with non-adjustable pickups,
selling for $99.90.
The model #1-SGB guitar
was radically changed from 1956. It sported the same style and
shape body as the #3-SGB, with the same neck and headstock (the '56
model had a 3X3 headstock, and a different body). It was similar in construction
to the #3-SGB, but with a single AP-6 pickup with dual tone controls
and a single volume control in a new configuration from 1956. It used the same tuners as the #3-SGB, and the same A-40 cast bridge
and A-3 molded tailpiece as the #3-SGB. The model #1-SGB sold
for $79.90, and was also offered as the model #2-SGB, with
non-adjustable pole-pieces, for $69.90.
the upper left is the Model 140 Spanish electric. It was a
single-pickup arch-top model, with a spruce top, and rosewood fingerboard and
bridge. It had white binding on the front and back, and a white
pickguard, and a single AP6 with volume and tone controls. The finish
was antique brown. It was also available as the Model 1744, which
was a non-electric version. The Model 140 sold for $59.90, and the Model
1744 sold for $36.90. The case for either was an additional $9.90.
The Model 6 (upper
right) was the big brother to the Model 140. Like the Model 140, it was
an arch-top design, with spruce top and curly maple back. It also had a
rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and had body binding as well as neck binding
and a bone nut. Electronics consisted of a pair of A1 pickups, with
pickup selector switch and volume and tone controls. The price on the
Model 6 was $99.90, or $65.90 for the Model 90 non-electric version.
Case for either was $15.00.
the lower right was the Model #44. This guitar had a spruce top with
a 25.25" scale mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and a
pair of pickups with volume and tone controls and a slide-selector switch.
This model sold for $59.90, plus $9.90 for the case. Also offered, but
not shown, was the #65 non-electric model ($39.90), the #12 Electric Tenor
Guitar ($59.90), and the #17 Non-Electric Tenor Guitar ($39.90).
On the lower left is the Model
6512 electric mandolin, which had a single pickup, with volume and tone
controls. This instrument sold for $59.90, and the Model 1735
non-electric mandolin sold for $35.00. Case for either was $7.00.
model #1-MB mandolin was changed significantly from 1956.
Like the #1-SGB, the body was redesigned, and the headstock adopted
the shape that would remain until 1969. The white pickguard of
the 1956 model would be replaced with a black one (also like the
#1-SGB), but the electronics (including the AP-4 pickup), control
configuration and body materials were unchanged. The #1-MB
sold for $99.90, and the #2-MB, with non-adjustable A-1 pickup sold
for $89.90. The #1-MA case was $17.00.
model 607 (far left) and model 807 (near left) lap
steel guitars were unchanged from 1956, although the model 608 was
dropped. The model 607 sold for $79.90, and the model 807 sold
1956, the #6DHG (near right) and the #8DHG (far right) steel guitars
were Carvin's entry level models for 1957. They were both
constructed from maple, with a lucite fingerboard, ivory tuners,
single AP pickup with volume and tone controls. The
#6DHG-1, with single non-adjustable A-1 pickup, sold for $39.90.
With an adjustable AP-6 pickup (#6DHG-2), it sold for $49.90.
The #8-DHG-1 with single non-adjustable A-2 pickup, sold for
$59.90. With an adjustable AP-8 pickup (#8DHG-2), it sold for
model #6606A (far left) and #8806A (center) doubleneck
steel guitars were also upgraded for 1957. Gone was the white
lucite fingerboard, replaced with a black plastic one. The AP
series pickups, controls and construction were the same as 1956.
The model #88806A (near left) had the same changes. The
#6606A sold for $79.90 with A-1 non-adjustable pickups, or $94.90
with AP-6 adjustable pickups. The #8806A sold for $99.90 with A-2
pickups, or $119.90 with AP-8 pickups. The #88806A sold for
$149.90 with A-2 pickups, or $179.90 with AP-6 pickups.
for 1957 was the #P-881 pedal steel guitar. This was a
doubleneck 8-string model, with 3 pedals on one neck. This
instrument had an unusual layout - notice the pickups are near the
tuners, and the fingerboard was reversed. The controls were
also located above the tuners, making this an easy-to-identify, yet
unusual, steel guitar. The #P-881, with adjustable AP-8
pickups, sold for $299.50. With non-adjustable A-2 pickups
(#P-882), it sold for $279.50. An additional pedal could be
added for $40.00.
As in 1955
& 1956, Carvin
offered a banjo, the Model 504T tenor banjo (far left), which
had a curly maple body with resonator and rosewood fingerboard with
inlaid position markers. It sold for $49.90, and was also
available in a non-tenor model, the Model 504, for the same
shown, Carvin offered other accessories, including the Electromonica
harmonica mic, the Kontak Mike, which was a pickup for acoustic
stringed instruments, and the 80X Crystal mic.
Carvin also offered a wide range of specialized acoustic transducer
pickups in 1957. There were models available for ukuleles,
mandolins, acoustic guitars and other stringed acoustic instruments.
addition to their own instruments, Carvin also was an authorized
reseller of Fender and Martin guitars in the 1950's. Carvin
offered the Stratocaster (with & without tremolo), the Telecaster, Musicmaster and Esquire. Carvin also sold Fender steel guitars
(in 2, 3 and 4 neck configurations) and several amplifiers,
including the Bassman and Fender Twin.
Carvin made it's name early on with pickups designed and built by
Lowell Kiesel for use as replacement pickups in other manufacturer's
steel guitars. The AP series of pickups were mainstays of the
Carvin line, and would be seen on Carvin instruments all the way
until 1977. These Alnico V pickups were offered in 3 different
models - the AP-4, which was used in basses and mandolins; the AP-6,
which was used in guitars and steel guitars; and the AP-8, which was
used in 8-string steel guitars. Also available were the A-1
and A-2, which were non-adjustable pickups used on 6-string and
8-string instruments, respectively.
as they do today, Carvin offered a wide variety of replacement parts
in 1957. Switches, bridges, tailpieces, tuners, necks and much
more were offered, as well as all the components (except the body)
necessary to build a steel guitar from scratch.