1970 Carvin Catalog Cover


1970 was an interesting year in Carvin's history.  Most obviously, for the first time, the catalog had a splash of color in it, albeit just on the cover, and the unusual pink price list and order form.  Additionally, the 1970 catalog was the first since the 50's not to have any doubleneck instruments of any sort in it (they would return in 1971, however).  Also, Carvin offered two bass models in 1970, and these models (and the catalog photography and descriptions) were the same as in 1969, although they had been given new model numbers that would persist through the next couple of years.

1970 Guitars

1970 Guitar Amps

1970 Bass Amps

Click the pictures for a larger version.

1970 Carvin SB40 Bass

First up is the hollow-body AB45 (left).  This bass was available in sunburst finish, and was equipped with the standard 22-fret Höfner-made neck that would be a mainstay of Carvin basses until they began producing their own necks in the late 70's.  The catalog referred to the body as "German made", but did not specifically mention if this was also made by Höfner.  However, the body looks identical to the Höfner 500/6 bass from the same era (see below), so most likely, the entire instrument was Höfner-made, and assembled by Carvin in California.  Other features of the AB-45 were Kluson tuners, rosewood fingerboard, pearl inlays, and APB-4 pickups with dual volume and tone controls, and a 3-way selector switch. 

Direct price on the AB45 was $155.00.

Carvin's other bass model for 1970 was the SB40 (right).   Like the AB45, the SB-40 featured a "German made body", as well as a Höfner neck with Kluson tuners, rosewood fingerboard, pearl dot inlays and sunburst finish.  Electronics also consisted of fully-adjustable APB-4 pickups with dual volume and tone controls and 3-way selector switch.

Direct price on the SB40 was $150.00.

1970 Carvin AB45 Bass

These are Höfner basses from 1967.  Note the similarities between the AB45 above and the Höfner 500/6.  The body shape and finish, as well as the neck and headstock shape are the same.  The Höfner headstock inlay is the same one that would appear on some Carvins in the mid-1970s.  The only significant differences are the electronics and tailpieces on the two - Carvin obviously used their own electronics, and presumably, the available hardware offered by manufacturers changed as the years went by.

1967 Hofner Basses
1970 Carvin Price List

In 1970, only the "retail" price was shown with each instrument, and the actual direct prices were only shown on the price list (left).  The price list and the order form (right) were printed with an unusual pink tint - the first color used in a Carvin catalog.

1970 Carvin Order Form