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
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
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
The DC150CM sold for $420, the DC150BE
and DC150CE sold for $440. The HC10 hardshell case sold for $55.
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
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
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 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.
(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
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.
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.
Click each picture to see a larger version.