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
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
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.
each picture for a larger version.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
SC90 and TL60 guitars were moved to the same page, had
slight price increases, but were otherwise unchanged for early 2005
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.
DC150, which had been shown with the SC90 in 2004, was still
available, but wasn't shown in the catalog.
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
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.
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.
California Carved Top models were once again treated to a two-page spread
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.
'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.
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.
catalog showed an HF2 Fatboy in Vintage Yellow on quilt with
matching headstock, rosewood fingerboard with abalone dot inlays and
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.
AE185 was unchanged. The catalog showed an AE185
with figured walnut top
and matching headstock, body binding, coil taps and phase switch and
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
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.
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.
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.