As the fifties drew to a
close, Carvin continued to offer a wide variety of electric solidbody
guitars and steel guitars. It was sort of a transitional period,
as well - some of the budget guitars and other stringed instruments that were
offered as far back as 1955 were still being sold, but the new SGB series of
guitars that would continue through the mid-60's were also offered.
Click each picture for a
Carvin's flagship model
for 1959 was the model #6-SGB. This was a 3-pickup
guitar, constructed from hardrock maple, with an adjustable maple
neck, rosewood fingerboard, bone nut, and nickel-plated
hardware. An interesting feature was the Gibson Vibra-rest
tailpiece, which was a basic vibrato unit, similar to the Bigsby,
without the complicated string paths. Electronics consisted of 3
Carvin AP-6 pickups, with a master volume control, tone control for
the front and middle pickup, and a 3-way selector switch, which meant
you could chose any one pickup, but not a combination or two or
three. Price on the #6-SGB was $169.90, and the #3-SGC hardshell
case was an additional $24.00.
The Model #3-SGB
was similar in construction to the Model #6-SGB, but in a two pickup
configuration with a standard stop tailpiece/bridge assembly.
Electronics consisted of a pair of AP-6 pickups, with two volume
controls, two tone controls, and a 3-way selector that allowed
selection of the bridge, neck or both pickups. The #3-SGB sold
for $119.90. The Gibson Vibra-rest could be added for
$19.90. Also offered was the #4-SGB, which had
non-adjustable A-1 pickups. It sold for $99.90.
On the left is the
Carvin Model #1-SGB guitar. This was a basic guitar,
constructed from maple with a natural finish, with an adjustable maple
neck, rosewood fingerboard and nickel-plated tuners. Electronics
consisted of a single AP-6 pickup with volume control, and treble and
bass tone controls. The Model #1-SGB sold for $79.90. It
was also offered as the #2-SGB, with a non-adjustable A-1
pickup, which sold for $69.90.
On the right is the
Model #1-MB electric solidbody mandolin. This instrument
had a single AP-4 pickup, with master volume control and bass and
treble tone controls. It sold for $89.90, and was also offered
as the #2-MB, which had a non-adjustable pickup, and sold for
Carvin offered a pair of
doubleneck s in 1959 - the #1MS (left) 6-string/mandolin
doubleneck, and the #4-BS (right) 6-string/bass
doubleneck. Both these models used AP-series pickups, with dual
tone and master volume controls, and a 3-way selector which selected
which pickup was on (only one pickup could be on at a time). The
#1-MS sold for $229.90, and was also offered as the #2-MS, with
non-adjustable pickups, for $199.90. The #4-BS also sold
for $229.90, or 199.90 with non-adjustable pickups (#5-BS).
At 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 $39.90. The case for
either was an additional $9.90.
The Model #6-B
(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. Finish was
natural, and it was also available in shaded dark brown.
Electronics consisted of a pair of AP6 pickups, with pickup selector
switch and volume and tone controls. The price on the Model 6-B
was $119.90, or $89.90 for the Model #7 non-electric version.
Case for either was $15.00.
On the lower right was
the Model #44. This guitar had a spruce top, mahogany
back and sides and mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard and a
single pickup with volume and tone controls. This model sold for
$59.90, plus $9.90 for the case.
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 $39.90.
Case for either was $7.00.
The Model #6DHG-5B
(near right) and the Model #8DHG-5B (far right) were featured
on the inside front cover, with Carvin's traditional Introductory
Letter. These were maple-bodied instruments with a single Carvin
AP-Series pickup, dual tone controls, master volume control, ivory
tuners, and molded nut. The model #6DHG-5B sold for $49.90, and
the #8DHG-5B sold for $69.90. Both these were also available
with A-Series non-adjustable pickups for $10.00 less.
On the left is Carvin's #C8806D
steel guitar, which was a doubleneck 8-string model with a tone
changer installed, and on the right is the model #88806D, which
was a triple-eight. Like the other models in this series, it was
constructed from maple, with AP-Series pickups, single volume and tone
controls, and nickel hardware. A variety of combinations were
available, with one, two, or no changers, AP or A-Series pickups, and
different string and neck configurations.
On the left are more
configurations of Carvin's "88" series steels - an #8806B
on the far left, and an #8808B on the near left. These
were also available with AP or A-Series pickup configurations.
Carvin also offered the
Model #60C and the Model #80C steels. These models
were constructed from eastern hardrock maple and black walnut, with
otherwise similar features as Carvin's other steel guitars.
The Model #60C, with
changer, sold for $99.90, and the Model #80C with changer sold for
As had been the case for
many years, and would continue to be the case, the AP-Series pickup
would be the primary pickup in all Carvin instruments. The
Alnico V pickups were also very popular with other guitar
manufacturers and musicians, and could often been seen retrofitted
into other famous instruments.
The back cover of the
'59 catalog had not only the standard order form, but also showed
something you wouldn't expect in a Carvin catalog - accordions!