Guitars

The 1980's arrived with Carvin building a head of steam in the guitar and bass arenas.  Although the catalog still focused primarily on pro audio gear, the instrument lines began an expansion that would continue to the present day, and the foundation was being established for a reputation that many would consider to be the finest US-made instruments on the market.  

1980 Basses

1980 Guitar Amps

1980 Bass Amps

The catalog cover itself heralded the rebirth of the doubleneck line, which went on a redesign hiatus after the 1979 model year.  There were 4 basic models of guitars available (the DC150, DC160, CM140 & CM160), as well as the DN612 and DN640 doublenecks, and the LB50 bass - but the line was about to explode with new models, new colors, new features and many new options.

Click each picture to see the full catalog page.

1980 Carvin Catalog Cover
1980 Carvin DC150CM Guitar

Like the LB50 bass for 1980, the DC150 was available in 3 configurations: clear finish on maple body/neck with maple fingerboard (DC150CM), clear finish on maple with ebony fingerboard (DC150CE), and black finish on maple  with ebony fingerboard (DC150BE).  All three models were stereo-wired, with dual M22 humbuckers, dual volume controls, single tone control, and coil splitters and phase switches.  Abalone dot inlays and chrome plated Schaller tuners and bridge/tailpiece assemblies were also standard.  Optional gold hardware was available for an additional $50, and MOP block inlays were available on the ebony fingerboard for an additional $50.  A left-handed model was available for an additional $30.

The DC150CM sold for $420, the DC150BE and DC150CE sold for $440.  The HC10 hardshell case sold for $55.

1980 Carvin DC150BE Guitar

1980 DC160 Stereo Guitar

The DC160 was an indication of things to come in the future for Carvin.  This model was essentially an upscale DC150, made from curly or birdseye maple, with abalone block inlays, abalone headstock inlay and 24K gold hardware as standard features.  Electronics were the same as the DC150.  The pickguard found on all other Carvin models was noticeably absent, allowing the wood to show - a feature that would soon be standard on most Carvin guitars. The DC160, in curly or birdseye maple, sold for $690, or $720 for a lefthanded model.  In addition to the HC10 case, the Anvil AN20 flight case was available for $195.

1980 Carvin CM130 Guitar

The CM130 (left) was also available in the same 3 configurations as the DC150, and featured mono output, in a Les Paul style body shape.  Pickups and controls were hte same as the DC150.  The CM130BE and CE sold for $400, and the CM130CM sold for $380.  A lefthanded model was not offered.

The CM140 (right) was a slightly upscale CM130 (although not as extreme as the DC160).  It was stereo wired, and included MOP block and headstock inlays.  A maple fingerboard was not offered, but a left-handed version was available.  The CM140, in black or clear finish, sold for $490.  The lefthanded model was $520.  Gold hardware was an additional $50.  The HC10 case for any of the CM models was $55, and the Anvil AN20 flight case was also offered for $195.

Not shown in the catalog was the CM120, a twelve-string version of the CM140.  It was available in the same finishes of the CM140, with stereo wiring and MOP dot inlays on the same neck as the DN612 (below).  It sold for $500.

1980 Carvin CM140 Guitar
1980 Carvin DN612 Doubleneck Guitar

1980 saw the return of doublenecks to Carvin's lineup, both of which were entirely different from their 70's counterparts, sporting sleek looks, set necks, and a standard scale 20-fret fingerboard on the bass side. Interestingly, the DN series featured the body style that would be the template for the hugely popular DC200 series of guitars that would be introduced in 1981, and the LB60 bass that would appear in 1986.

The DN612 (left) was available in black or natural finishes, both with ebony fingerboards, MOP dot inlays, chrome hardware and mono wiring, with an input for each neck.  Price on the DN612 was $920.00 (either finish), and optional gold hardware was an additional $100.00.  The HC16 case was an additional $70.00.

The DN640 (right) was available with the same features as the DN612.  Price on the DN640 was $890.00 (either finish), and optional gold hardware was an additional $100.00.  The HC16 case was an additional $70.00.

1980 Carvin DN640 Doubleneck Bass Guitar

In addition to the catalog pages actually featuring the available guitar models, Carvin dedicated 4 pages to "selling" the instruments, with in-depth descriptions of various features, construction techniques, and electronics.  Interestingly, the M22 pickup (far right) was shown installed in what appears to be a Les Paul, and the description is clear that the M22 can be installed on a Gibson guitar.

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1980 Carvin Guitar Features 1980 Carvin Guitar Features 1980 Carvin Guitar Features 1980 Carvin Guitar Features