Guitars

By the time 2005 rolled around, all the talk was about one thing - the California Carved Top model.  It had received stellar reviews in both Vintage Guitar magazine, as well as Guitar Player magazine, and had also been written up favorably in other print and online publications such as Musician's Hotline.  However, despite the tremendous popularity of the new carved top models, there was something else new at the beginning of 2005 for guitarists to get excited about - the Tony MacAlpine signature TMAC VI and TMAC VII guitars, based on the DC127C and DC727C Carvins that Tony often plays in concert and in the studio.

All guitars increased in price by about $50.00, however, the catalog offered $50.00 off on all guitars and basses, so on paper there were price increases, but in the wallet, prices remained the same as 2004.

Click each picture for a larger version.

2005 Winter Catalog Cover
2005 Carvin Contour 66 & Bolt Guitars

2005 Basses

2005 Guitar Amps

2005 Bass Amps

2005 Carvin World Guitars

2004 Guitar Player
CT6M Review

2005 Vintage Guitar CT6M Review

2005 Guitar World
 CT6M Review

Musician's Hotline Online CT6M Review

Musician's Hotline Carvin Profile

 

The Contour 66 and Bolt guitars were unchanged for 2005, as were all Carvin guitars in the early part of the year.  There were some price increases on these models over 2004, of about $50.00 on each model and the tremolo-equipped variants; however, the 2004 prices had dropped from 2003, so the 2005 prices were only about $20.00 more on each model than they had been in 2003.  With the $50.00 off special, these models were actually less than in 2004. And, as was fairly normal, Carvin offered half-off on all options and cases, so the C66 and Bolt were still great values for the dollar.

The catalog showed a C66C in blueburst on flamed maple with black hardware; a C66 in tobacco sunburst on quilted maple with gold hardware and a center-mounted AP11 pickup; a Bolt-T in black with matching headstock, black pearloid pickguard, black hardware and twinblade humbuckers; and a left-handed Bolt-T in emerald green on swamp ash with matching headstock, black pearloid pickguard, twinblade humbuckers with a C22B bridge pickup with coil splitters and gold hardware.

Although still available, the Bolt+ was not shown in the Spring or Summer catalogs due to space restrictions.

2005 Carvin DC127, DC135 & DC145 GuitarsThe DC127, and DC135 were unchanged from 2004, and had similar "on paper" price increases as other 2005 guitars (left).  Reintroduced for 2005 was the DC145 - a 3-pickup variant of the other DC models, which had been offered briefly from 1989-1992.  The catalog showed a DC127C in Pearl White with  rounded body sides, Birdseye maple fingerboard, abalone dot inlays and gold hardware; a DC127M in Umber Stain on quilted maple with matching headstock, abalone dot inlays and rounded body sides; a DC135T in Pearl Blue with rounded body sides and twinblade humbuckers; and a DC145 with flamed koa top and matching headstock, rounded body sides, abalone dot inlays and gold hardware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The summer '05 catalog (right) showed additional finishes, on a new background.  The largest picture showed a DC127 with a figured walnut top with matching headstock, birdseye maple fingerboard and cream pickups.  Next to it was a DC127T in translucent white on swamp ash with a birdseye maple fingerboard, birdseye maple headstock and gold hardware.  The DC135T in the center is Sunsetburst on flame with matching headstock and gold hardware, and the DC145 is the same flamed koa model shown in the previous catalog.

2005 Carvin DC727, DC747 & TMAC Guitars

The DC727 and DC747 seven-string guitars were unchanged, with the exception of increase in prices.  The catalog showed a DC727 with a figured walnut top and matching headstock and Birdseye maple fingerboard; and a left-handed DC747 in classic white with black hardware and mother-of-pearl block inlays.

New for 2005, and rumored since mid-2004, was the Tony MacAlpine TMAC models.  Details on these new models were sketchy at the beginning of the year, but they were based on the DC127C (TMAC VI) and DC727C (TMAC VII) that Tony plays.  Both had TMAC logos on the headstock.2005 Carvin DC727, DC747, Tony MacAlpine TMAC VII

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The summer '05 catalog continued to allude to the TMAC models, without any specifics or ordering info, other than to say that the TMAC guitars had Tony's logo on the headstock.  The catalog showed (left to right) a DC727 with a figured walnut top, matching headstock, birdseye maple fingerboard and chrome hardware; a DC727C in Blueburst on quilt with rosewood fingerboard, abalone block inlays and chrome hardware; a DC727C in Ruby Red stain on quilt with black hardware; and a DC747 in Pearl Silver with black hardware.

2005 Carvin SC90 & TL60 Guitars

The SC90 and TL60 guitars were moved to the same page, had slight price increases, but were otherwise unchanged for early 2005 (left).  The catalog showed an SC90S in Sapphire Blue with blackburst edges on flamed maple with matching headstock, MOP block inlays and coli splitters; and an SC90S in Antique Brown with blackburst edges on flamed maple with matching headstock and gold hardware.  Both SC90's were shown with non-rounded body edges, which was a little unusual - most SC90's shown in the catalogs over the years had optional rounded body sides.  The catalog also showed a TL60 in Classic Sunburst on swamp ash with matching headstock and Birdseye maple fingerboard; and a TL60 with figured walnut top and matching headstock and Fishman acoustic bridge with active electronics.

The DC150, which had been shown with the SC90 in 2004, was still available, but wasn't shown in the catalog.

2005 Carvin SC90 & TL60 Guitars

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, the DC150 was absent from the 2005 catalog (right) and the SC90 & TL60 continued to share a page.  Shown (left to right) was an SC90 in Antique Brown on flamed maple with blackburst edges, non-rounded body sides and gold hardware; an SC90 in clear gloss on mahogany with abalone block inlays and chrome hardware; the same TL60 in Classic Sunburst on swamp ash with matching headstock and Birdseye maple fingerboard as the Spring edition; and a TL60T in Blueburst on flamed maple with blackburst edges, black hardware, abalone block inlays and Wilkinson tremolo.

2005 Carvin DC400 & DC200 Guitars

The DC400 returned to prominence in the 2005 catalog, with a two-page spread showing the various DC200 and DC400 models.  With the $50.00 special, the prices remained the same as 2004, as did the specifications.  The catalog showed a DC400C in Ruby Red Stain on flamed maple with matching headstock and gold hardware; a DC400W with Fishman bridge and gold hardware; and a DC400A in Umber Stain with Sunsetburst edges on quilted maple.  Also shown was a DC200M in Greenburst on swamp ash with black hardware; a DC200M with flamed koa top and matching headstock with gold hardware; and a 12-string DC120 in Blueburst.

2005 Carvin California Carved Top Guitars

The California Carved Top models were once again treated to a two-page spread (above), although the prices and features remained the same as in 2004.  The catalog showed a CT6M in Deep Sunsetburst on quilt with matching headstock, abalone block inlays and gold hardware; a CT6M in Deep Blue on quilted maple; a CT3T in matte satin finish on mahogany; a gold top CT4M with natural body binding; and a CT4M in Cherryburst with natural body binding and gold hardware.

2005 Carvin CT Series Guitars

The summer '05 catalog had a new look to it (above), with the black background being replaced by a more neutral tan.  The CT Series continued it's 2-page layout, and some new colors were shown.  The large CT6M is finished in Triple-Step Tiger Eye with Cherryburst edges on quilted maple.  The CT6C model on the left is Triple-Step Tiger's Eye on flamed maple.  2 of the 3 smaller models were the same as the previous catalog, but the Gold Top model from the spring edition was replaced with a Pearl Silver CT3M model with birdseye maple fingerboard.

2005 Carvin Holdsworth H2 & HF2 Guitars

The Holdsworth H2 and HF2 Fatboy were unchanged for 2005.  Prices increased by $40.00 on each model, but with the $50.00 promotion, these were actually $10.00 less in 2005.  And of course, the Holdsworth models benefited from the 50% off on all options and cases.

The catalog showed an HF2 Fatboy in Vintage Yellow on quilt with matching headstock, rosewood fingerboard with abalone dot inlays and coil splitters; an H2T in Umber Stain/Sunsetburst on quilted maple with matching headstock, abalone dot inlays and black chrome hardware; and an H2 in Antique Brown Stain on quilted maple with matching headstock, no inlays, and black hardware.

2005 Carvin AE185 GuitarThe AE185 was unchanged.  The catalog showed an AE185 with figured walnut top and matching headstock, body binding, coil taps and phase switch and gold hardware; an AE185 in Umber Stain/Sunsetburst on flamed maple with matching headstock, body binding, coil taps and phase switch and gold hardware; an AE185 in flamed koa with matching headstock abalone dot inlays, black hardware and coil taps/phase switches; and an AE185-12 in Sunsetburst on flamed maple with matching headstock, abalone block inlays, body binding, black hardware and coil taps and phase switches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fall catalog showed an interesting AE185 (right).  It was finished in sapphire blue on quilted maple, but had the new California headstock, instead of the traditional 3 X 3 normally found on this model.  This example also had body binding, a Birdseye maple fingerboard and gold hardware.  Also shown were an AE185 in Sunsetburst on flamed maple, and AE185 in Umber Stain with Sunsetburst edges on quilt, and an AE185-12 in figured walnut with blackburst edges.

 

2005 Carvin AC175, AC275 & CC275 Guitars

The AC175, AC275 and Craig Chaquico signature CC275 models were all the same as their 2004 counterparts.  From left to right, the catalog showed a CC275 in standard clear gloss on flamed maple top, eagle inlays, body binding and gold hardware; an AC275 in Umber Stain/Sunsetburst on flamed maple with matching headstock and black hardware; an AC275-12 in Tobacco Sunburst on quilted maple with matching headstock, body binding, abalone dot inlays and black hardware; and an AC175 in clear gloss on flamed maple with matching headstock, MOP block inlays, body binding, and black hardware.

2005 Carvin AC375 & CL450 Guitars

The AC375 and CL450 were also unchanged from 2004.  The catalog showed an AC375 in figured walnut with matching headstock and gold hardware, an AC375 in clear gloss on spruce, and a CL450 in Sunsetburst on spruce.

Carvin's Cobalt acoustic guitars (below) were unchanged, and had the same prices and catalog photos as in 2004.

2005 Carvin Cobalt Guitars   2005 Carvin Cobalt Guitars