Guitars

Despite the electric guitar being a relatively new innovation, Carvin offered a decent selection of these newfangled instruments in 1956.  The focus of the catalog was still primarily on steel guitars, as would be the case for the next decade and a half, but the "Spanish guitars" would starting to make their presence known.

Fender products, including the Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass, were no longer offered.

1956 Basses

1956 Guitar Amps

1956 Bass Amps

Carvin also left Baldwin Park, and set up shop in Covina, which would be their home for many years.

Click each picture for a larger version.

1956 Carvin #1-SGB Guitar

All-new for 1956 was the model #3-SGB guitar (right).  This solid-body guitar was constructed from hard-rock maple, with a bolt-on maple neck.  The neck had a rosewood fingerboard with a bone nut and sealed nickel-plated tuners.  Electronics consisted of Carvin's AP-6 adjustable-pole pickups, with individual volume and tone controls, and a standard 3-way selector switch.  The #3-SGB sold for $119.90, and was also available as the #4-SGB, with non-adjustable pickups, which sold for $99.90.

Also new for 1956 was the model #1-SGB guitar (left).  It was similar in construction to the #3-SGB, but with a single AP-6 pickup with dual tone controls and a single volume control.  It used the same tuners (although in a 3X3 configuration) as the #3-SGB, and the same A-40 cast bridge and A-3 molded tailpiece as the #3-SGB.  The model #1-SGB sold for $79.90, and was also offered as the model #2-SGB, with non-adjustable pole-pieces, for $69.90.

1956 Carvin #3-SGB Guitar

1956 Carvin GuitarsAt 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 $49.90, and the Model 1744 sold for $36.90.  The case for either was an additional $9.90.

The Model 6 (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.  Electronics consisted of a pair of AP6 pickups, with pickup selector switch and volume and tone controls.  The price on the Model 6 was $99.90, or $65.90 for the Model 90 non-electric version.  Case for either was $15.00.

On the lower right was the Model 1515.  This guitar was made from "hardwood" (possibly maple) with a 25.25" scale rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and a pair of pickups with volume and tone controls and a slide-selector switch.  The finish was considered "copper-bronze".  This model sold for $59.90, plus $7.90 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 $35.00.  Case for either was $7.00.

As in 1955, Carvin offered a banjo, the Model 504T tenor banjo (far left), which had a curly maple body with resonator and rosewood fingerboard with inlaid position markers.  It sold for $49.90, and was also available in a non-tenor model, the Model 504, for the same price.

On the near left is the Model 44  Spanish electric flattop.  This was essentially an acoustic guitar with a pickup and controls added.  The top was spruce, with mahogany neck,  back and sides and body binding.  The fingerboard was rosewood, as was the bridge, which had bone saddles.  Price on the Model 44 was $59.90, or $36.90 for the Model 65 acoustic version.  Also offered was the Model 12 tenor guitar and it's acoustic version, the Model 17.  Both tenor models sold for the same price as their standard counterparts, and a case for any of these was $9.90.

Right in step with Carvin's new 1956 solid-body guitars was the new #1-MB mandolin.  This innovative new instrument took it's design cues and construction techniques from the SGB series of guitars, with a solid maple body, and AP-4 adjustable pickup with dual tone controls and master volume control.  The model #1-MB sold for $89.90.

1956 Carvin #1-MB Mandolin
1956 Carvin Model 608 Steel Guitar

The Model 608 (left), Model 607 (near right) and Model 807 (far right) steel guitars were unchanged from 1955.  These had a maple neck with walnut body, ivory tuners, AP-series pickups, single volume and bass and treble controls.  The Model 607 six-string sold for $79.90, the Model 807 8-string sold for $99.90, and the Model 608 with DeArmond tuning changer sold for $109.90.

1956 Carvin Model 607 & 807 Steel Guitars

1956 Carvin 6606A & 8806A Steel Guitars

1956 Carvin 88806A Steel Guitar

1956 Carvin 888806A Steel Guitar

Above are Carvin's main line of steel guitars from 1956.  From left to right: the Model 6606A double six; the Model 8806A double eight; the Model 88806A triple eight; and the Model 888806A quadruple eight.  All these were constructed from Eastern hard rock maple with lucite fingerboard, and all had single volume and tone controls.  The 6606A sold for $79.90, the 8806A sold for $99.90, the 88806A sold for $149.90, and the 888806A sold for $209.90.

1956 Carvin DHG Series Steel Guitars

The #6DHG (far left) and the #8DHG steel guitars were Carvin's entry level models for 1956.  They were both constructed from maple, with a lucite fingerboard, ivory tuners, single AP pickup with volume and tone controls.   The #6DHG-1, with single non-adjustable A-1 pickup, sold for $39.90.  With an adjustable AP-6 pickup (#6DHG-2), it sold for $49.90.  The #8-DHG-1 with single non-adjustable A-2 pickup, sold for $59.90.  With an adjustable AP-8 pickup (#8DHG-2), it sold for $69.90.

The Student Deluxe model #3-SHG was changed in 1956, to a hardwood-bodied six-string model with single non-adjustable AP-1 pickup and single volume and tone controls.  It sold for $29.75, or could be combined with the #10A amp for $69.90.

1956 Carvin Student Deluxe Steel Guitar
1956 Carvin Catalog Back Cover

This is the back cover of the '56 catalog.  A basic ordering form (note the 3% California sales tax), as well as customer testimonials.  Of interest are the customer comments from Honolulu, T.H. (Territory of Hawaii) - Carvin was doing business when there were only 48 states!