Bass Amps

1973 saw a rather dramatic change in Carvin's catalogs - in a word, color!  This 32-page catalog featured a color cover, and color center spread featuring the '73 lineup of guitars and basses.  Granted, all the amplifiers were still shown in black-and-white, but it was a step in the right direction.

1973 Basses

1973 Guitars

1973 Guitar Amps

 Click each picture for a larger version.

1973 Carvin Catalog Cover
1973 Carvin ABM850 & BM900 Bass Amps

In 1973, Carvin offered a wide variety of tube and solid state bass amps, with a variety of cabinets and heads.

On the far left is the ABM850, which was a 110W stack comprised of the solid state B2000 head and AL915 cabinet loaded with Altec-Lansing Speakers.  Direct price on this unit was $479.97.

On the right is the BM900, which also used the 110W B2000 head, with a BR850 cabinet that was loaded with dual 18" speakers in a folded-horn enclosure.  Direct price on the BM900 was $429.95.

Also based on the B2000 head, the BM355 was similar to the ABM850, but the TR200 cabinet used standard 15" speakers versus the Altec-Lansing's found in the ABM850.  Direct price on the ABM355 was $339.95.

All three of these amps were also available with the 125W VT2500 tube amplifier.

1973 Carvin B3000 Bass Head

The B2000 and B3000 (above) were solid state heads used with a variety of Carvin bass systems.  These heads featured dual channels, 3-channel parametric EQ, bass boost, and presence control for mid-range boost.  The B2000 was rated at 100 watts, while the B3000 was rated at 200 watts.  The B2000 sold for $189.95, and the B3000 was $259.95.

1973 Carvin BM355 Bass Amp
1973 Carvin FH1400 Bass Amp

The FH1400 folded horn bass amp was also powered by the B2000 head.  The difference between this amp and the ones above was the FH950 cabinet, which featured two 15" speakers reverse-mounted in a folded horn enclosure.  The FH1400 sold for $499.95.

Also available was the SFH2500 Super Folded Horn Amp, which was comprised of one B3000 head and two FH950 cabinets.  Direct price on this unit was $899.95.

The Super Amp series of guitar and bass amps were the top of the line for 1973, and were early forerunners of the modern double-stack.  Bassists were represented by the SABM1800 and SBM1900 amps, both of which were driven by the B3000 200W solid state head.  The SABM1800 included two AL915 speaker enclosures, which were loaded with a pair of 15" Altec-Lansing speakers.  The SBM1900 included two BR850 speaker systems, which were loaded with two 18" speakers each.  The SABM1800 sold for $859.95, and the SBM1900 sold for $749.95.

1973 Carvin SABM1800 Bass Amp
1973 Carvin ST Series Bass Amp Head

1973 Carvin VTR Series Bass Amp Heads

Carvin offered a variety of amp heads in addition to the bass amp heads above.  Notably, the ST series of solid state amps (top left) and the VTR series of tube amps (bottom left).  Although these were primarily guitar amps, they were sold as suitable for bass guitar as well, since both series' featured a separate bass channel.

In addition to the guitar controls, the ST2400 and ST4000 featured bass-specific bass boost control, wide-range treble and bass controls and high and low inputs.  The 110W ST2400 sold for $229.95, and the 200W ST4000 sold for $299.95.

The 125W VTR2500 tube amp also included bass guitar-specific  bass boost, bass, midrange and treble controls, and high and low inputs.  The VTR2500 was optional on all Carvin bass systems (without reverb), and sold for $259.95, or $229.95 with no reverb unit.