Guitars

Throughout the 60's, the emphasis at Carvin was on steel guitars more than conventional guitars and basses.  There were guitars and basses available, as well as amplifiers, but there were also mandolins and  doublenecks, in addition to a wide assortment of steel and pedal steel guitars.

1966 Basses

1966 Guitar Amps

1966 Bass Amps

The catalog cover showed a model #74-BG bass, model #65-SGB guitar and a Twin Master guitar amp.  The endorsers shown (top to bottom) were Joe Maphis, Larry Collins, Billy Mize and Pua Almeida.

Click each picture for a larger version.

 

The model #35-SGB was a 22-fret, bolt maple neck guitar, available in Sunburst finish a on maple body.  Like other Carvins of the era, it had a rosewood fingerboard, MOP dot inlays, and a steel adjustable truss rod.  The tuners, bridge and tailpiece were chrome, but the manufacturer of these items was not explicitly stated.  Electronics consisted of Carvin's adjustable AP-6 pickups, with volume and tone controls for each, as well as a 3-way pickup selector switch.  The price on this guitar was $119.90, and the model #21-SGC case was an additional $23.90.  A felt-lined case, the model #22-SGC, was also offered for $19.90.

Also available was the #45-SGB guitar.  This was the same as the #35-SGB, except it used the non-adjustable A-1 pickups.  Price on this model was $99.90.

The Bigsby Vibrato was available as an option on both these models for an additional $29.90.  A chrome handrest which covered the bridge was also available as an option on either model for $5.00.


Beltone Teisco Logos

The 1960's were an interesting time in the world of guitars.  Although Gibson & Fender dominated the US market, import guitars from Japan, Germany and Italy began to flood the American music scene.  Most of these instruments were made by just a handful of companies, who licensed the guitars to be sold under a variety of names in different overseas markets.  The Japanese company Teisco was the king of these companies, selling guitars under such names as Teisco Del Ray, Beltone, Kingston, Silvertone, and Kimberly in the US, and under the Arbiter, Audition & Kay badges in Europe.  These guitars were made in a huge assortment or styles, and changed constantly throughout the 1960's.  Carvin was a part of this, as well, selling the a Beltone guitar as the  model #I-902 (and would be called the #I-909 in 1967).

This mid-60's Beltone is very similar to the #I-902.  Although the #I-902 had 3 pickups (and on/off switches for each), a tremolo unit,  and was finished in sunburst, the body shape, pickguard shape, smaller 12th fret markers and headstock are identical to the Beltone.  Below is another example, this time in natural mahogany, with the same electronics configuration as the one above.

 For more information, see the Guitar Identification Guide.  For information on Carvin's relation ship with Höfner, see 1969 and 1981.

The model #65-SGB (left) was based on the same body and neck as the #35-SGB, but had a different electronics configuration.  This model had 3 AP-6 adjustable pickups with single volume and tone controls, and an on/off switch for each pickup, allowing 7 different combinations of pickups.  The chrome handrest, which was optional on the #35-SGB, was standard on this model.  The Bigsby Vibrato was offered as an option.  Price on the #65-SGB was $159.90, and the same cases were offered as on the #35-SGB.

The model #10-LSGB (right) was the same as the #35-SGB, but in a left-handed design.  Specifications were the same as the #35-SGB, but the Bigsby was not offered.  Price on this model was $139.90.

The #I-902 (left) was a lower-cost, import model offered by Carvin in 1966 (see sidebar,  far left).  The body was mahogany, with rosewood fingerboard, adjustable bridge and chrome tailpiece/tremolo.  Electronics consisted of 3 adjustable pickups, with master volume/tone controls, and on/off rocker switches for each pickup.  Price on the #I-902 was $89.90, and the #I-904 soft case was $19.90.

The #I-905 (right) was an imported, full size Spanish acoustic guitar.  Back and sides were constructed from mahogany, with a spruce top with natural finish.  The #I-905 sold for $35.00, and was offered as the #I-906, which had steel strings (versus nylon) for $35.00.  The #I-907 soft case was $10.00.  This would be the last year this model was offered.

The model #1-MS (left) was a doubleneck 6-string guitar/mandolin combination.  The guitar was based on the #35-SGB guitar, and the mandolin was based on the #1-MB mandolin.  Necks were maple with rosewood fingerboards and the body was finished in Sunburst on maple.  Electronics consisted of two AP-6 adjustable pickups on the guitar neck, and 1 AP-4 adjustable pickup on the mandolin neck, with master volume and tone controls, and on/off switches for each pickup.  The #1-MS sold for $229.90, and the #2-MS, which was identical except for non-adjustable pickups, sold for $199.90.  The #3-CMS case sold for $29.90.

The #1-MB electric mandolin (right) was built using the same materials and techniques of Carvin's other USA-made instruments.  It had a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, bone nut, sunburst finish on maple body with chrome-plated hardware.  Electronics consisted of a fully-adjustable AP-4 pickup with master volume and tone controls.  Natural finish was also available at no extra charge.  The #1-MB sold for $89.90, and was also available as the #2-MB, with non-adjustable pickup, for $79.90.  The #1-MA hardshell case was $19.90.

Carvin had as many models of steel guitars in 1966 as the did "regular" guitars.  In fact, in those days, they were probably better know for steel guitars than standard instruments.

At the far left is the model #6DHG-5B six-string lap steel guitar.  This instrument was constructed with the same high-quality materials and techniques as Carvin's other instruments - in this case, Eastern hardrock maple with sunburst finish, ivory tuning pegs and metal cast heat-hardened nut and tailpiece.  Electronics consisted of an AP-6 pickup with single volume and tone controls.  This model sold for $49.90.

The #8DHG-5B (near left) was an 8-string version of the #6DHG-5B.  Features were the same, except this model used an AP-8 pickup.  The 8-string version was $69.90.

Also available was the #6DHG-6B and #8DHG-6B, both of which were the same as the above models, but used the A-1 or A-2 non-adjustable pickups.  Prices on these models were $39.90 and $59.90, respectively.

Available options for these models included chrome-plated telescoping legs ($19.90) and the #484-B hardshell case ($19.90).

Carvin also offered doubleneck steel guitars in 1966, as they had for many years.  The #6606-D (near right) was a double six, with the same features of it's single-neck counterpart.  The electronics were also the same, with a pair of AP-6 pickups and master volume/tone controls.  The #6606-D sold for $89.90, and was available as the #6606-E with non-adjustable A-1 pickups for $75.00.

The #8806-D double eight was the same as it's single-neck counterpart, and had two AP-8 pickups.  Price on it was $119.90.  The #8806-E, with A-2 non-adjustable pickups, sold for $99.90.

Above is the 8-string model #61 Pedal Guitar.  The 6-pedal assembly could be connected in a variety of ways, but it's basic function was to allow the player to sharpen or flatten the pitch of any string while playing.  The body of the guitar was made from natural-finished maple, with chrome hardware, and an AP-8 pickup.  Price on this model was $349.90, and the #100 case was $35.00.  Not shown was the model #41 Pedal Guitar, which was the same as the #61, but with 4 pedals.  It sold for $299.90.

The model #81 Doubleneck Pedal Guitar (above) was similar to it's single-neck counterparts, with two 8-string necks and 8-string pedals.  Construction and features were the same as the others, and this model carried a direct price of $499.90.