the 1960's and early to mid 1970's, Carvin bought necks from
Höfner, and used them on their own guitars and basses.
Carvin's relationship with Höfner began in the mid-1960's, and would
last until the late 1980's. All Carvin guitars and basses from
1964 until 1978 had bolt on Höfner necks, and the SH225 archtop was
made entirely by Höfner and sold under the Carvin name.
the following guitars:
is a Höfner 1962 model 172 guitar. The neck, fingerboard
inlays and headstock shape are identical to the Carvin necks of
is a 1964 Höfner 191i double-neck. In this example, the
necks are different than the Carvin model #41 (below), but the
bodies are identical, all the way down to the slight outward angle
of the necks.
As the 60's came to a
close, Carvin offered a surprisingly large selection of guitars.
There were two basic models, a solid-body electric and a semi-hollow
electric, but these both had variants with different electronic
configurations. There were also doublenecks, steel guitars and
mandolins to round out the line.
Click each picture for
a larger version.
First up is the Model #35-SGC
Spanish guitar (left). Even in the late 60's, Carvin referred to
electric 6 string instruments as "Spanish" guitars, although
this was actually a standard regular 6-string electric. This
model was constructed from a maple Hofner neck with rosewood
fingerboard and a maple body with a sunburst finish. Electronics
consisted of a pair of Carvin AP-6 pickups, with dual volume and tone
controls and three-way selector switch. The manufacturer of the
tuners, bridge and tailpiece was not specified, although a Bigsby
vibrato tailpiece was available as an option (shown at right).
Base price on the #35-SGC was $129.90 with a standard bridge/tailpiece
assembly, and the Bigsby was an additional $29.90. The #21-SGC
hardshell case was an additional $24.90.
Next is the semi-hollow
model #36-ASGC guitar (right). This guitar had the same
electronics and neck of the #35-SGC, with a body constructed of maple
with a spruce top. The #36-ASGC sold for $149.90 with a
conventional Bigsby tailpiece, and the optional Bigsby vibrato was an
additional $29.90. It was also available in a left-handed model,
#39-LSGC, for $159.90. The #31B deluxe hardshell case was
The model #65-SGC
Spanish guitar (right) was similar to the #35-SGC, but it had three AP-6
pickups, versus 2 as on the #35. Controls consisted of a master
volume and tone, and an on/off switch for each pickup, which allowed 7
different combinations of pickups to be in use at once. Like
other Carvin guitars of the era, the neck was made by Höfner with a
rosewood fingerboard (see sidebar, right), and the body was maple with sunburst
finish. The #65-SGC sold for $169.90, and the Bigsby vibrato was
an additional $29.90. The #21-SGC case sold for $24.90.
The model #12-B
(left) was a twelve string equivalent of the model #35-SGC. Body
construction, neck and electronics were identical to it's 6-string
counterpart (although the headstock shape was obviously
different). This model sold for $149.90, plus $26.90 for the
model #23 hardshell case.
There was also a
12-string version of the #36-ASGC semi-hollow guitar called the model #38-ASG
Construction and electronics were the same as the 6-string, with the
exception that a Bigsby vibrato was not offered. It sold for
$159.90, plus $43.00 for the #31B hardshell case.
The model #37-ASGB
guitar (left) was a basic semi-hollow model, with a single AP-6 pickup, and
single volume and tone controls. The maple Höfner had Kluson
tuners with ivory buttons, and a rosewood fingerboard with double-dot
inlays. This entry-level model sold for $110.00.
Carvin offered three
doublenecks in 1969, the model #11 guitar/mandolin (near right), the
model #41 guitar/bass (far right) and the model #42 12/6
guitar (not shown). All these models had Höfner necks, Carvin AP
pickups and maple bodies. All these models were finished in
sunburst. The model #41 guitar/bass sold for $229.90, the model
#42 6/12 string sold for $249.90, and the model #11 guitar/mandolin
sold for $229.90. The Bigsby vibrato was available on the
6-string neck for an additional $29.90.
Carvin also offered an
electric mandolin in 1969, the model #3-MB (left). This
instrument had a solid body with male bolt-on neck, single AP-4 pickup
with volume and tone controls and Kluson tuners. It sold for
$99.90, plus $19.90 for the #2-MA case.
In addition to
guitars and basses, Carvin also offered a wide selection of steel guitars, in
both lap and pedal varieties. Above is the model #61-B 8-string
steel guitar, which was an 8-string model with 6 pedals. It sold for
$359.90. Below is the model #81-B, which was a doubleneck
8-string with 8 pedals. It sold for $499.90. Also available was
the model #41-B, which was an 8-string with 4 pedals that sold for
$319.90; the model #10B 10-string with 6 pedals that sold for $399.90;
and the model #1010B, which was a doubleneck 10-string with 8 pedals
that sold for $599.90. Carvin also offered a variety of accessories for
their pedal steel guitars, including cases, pickups and double sharp and
double flat changers.
There were also lap
steep guitars to choose from, in 6 and 8 string, and single and
doubleneck varieties. On the far left is the model #6DHG-5C
6-string lap steel. Like other Carvin lap steels, it was
constructed of maple, with a single AP-6 pickup, volume and tone
controls, cast nut and tailpiece, chrome trim and ivory tuning
pegs. Scale length was 22.5" on all lap steels. The
#6DHG-5C sold for $59.90, and the model #8DHG-5C 8-string model
(near left) sold for $79.90.
There were also
doubleneck steels to be had. These models had the same quality
construction features as their single-neck counterparts, in a double-6
or double-8 configuration. The model #6606-A (near right)
sold for $99.90, and the model #8806-A (far right) sold for
were more instruments offered by Carvin than just guitars and basses
in 1969. As they had done off and on throughout their history,
Carvin was an authorized reseller of instruments made by other
manufacturers. On the left is the Mark VII organ, which was made
by Rheem (known now primarily for air conditioners!). Direct
price on this item was $549.90.
If an accordion was more
your style, Carvin offered those, as well - in this case, made by
Sonola. They offered two models, the 152X-S Mini Grand, which
sold for $299.90, and the $152X-M Baby Grand which was $319.90.