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, it was only 3 pages, but it was a step in the right direction.

1973 Basses

1973 Guitar Amps

1973 Bass Amps

You can also see Carvin's guitar amps from 1973 right here.

Click each picture for a larger version.

1973 Carvin Catalog Cover

The center spread featured all of Carvin's guitar and bass models for 1973.  Notice the wide variation of styles, most of which were similar in one way or another to instruments made by other manufacturers.  On the guitar side, the AS50B, which was similar to a Gibson ES-335.  Next, the CM95, which had obvious similarities to the Les Paul, and the SS75B & SS65B, which were similar to the Fender Strat, all the way down to the headstock.  

1973 Carvin Guitars

The AS50B (far left) was a semi-acoustic guitar, with a bolt-on Höfner neck.  Body wood was not specified, but it was finished in sunburst with "polyester" clear coat (although in 1974 and 1975, it would be clarified as spruce top with flamed maple back and sides).  Amenities included cast aluminum bridge and tailpiece, white MOP pickguard, Kluson tuners, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard on maple neck and MOP fingerboard and headstock inlays.  Electronics consisted of a pair of AP6 humbucking pickups with dual volume and tone controls and 3-way selector switch.  Base price was $189.95, or $219.90 with a Bigsby tailpiece.  A left-handed model was available for $199.95, or in a 12-string version for $189.90.  The AC11 soft case was $16.95.

The CM95 (second from left) was a solid maple, single cutaway guitar with a bolt-on maple Hofner neck.  It was only available in clear satin natural finish, and featured a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, MOP inlays, Kluson tuners, cast aluminum bridge and celluloid pickguard.  Electronics consisted of a pair of AP6 humbucking pickups with dual volume and tone controls and 3-way selector switch.  Base price was $199.95, or $229.95 with a Bigsby tailpiece.  A left-handed model was available for $209.95.  The SC14 hardshell case was $29.95.

The SS75 (second from right) and SS65 (far right) were essentially the same instrument, with the only difference being the construction and finish.  The SS75 was made of solid maple, with a clear satin natural finish.  The SS65 was made of "lighter high quality wood" with sunburst finish.  Both models had otherwise the same amenities as the CM95.  The SS75 sold for $159.95, or $189.95 with Bigsby tailpiece.  A left-handed model was available for $169.90.  The SS65 sold for $139.95, or $169.95 with Bigsby tailpiece.  The SC15 hardshell case was $29.95.

Click here to see the actual catalog page featuring the descriptions.

These are not Carvin guitars, but actually Höfner models from 1967.    However, they are worth looking at.  Notice the near-identical resemblance of these two models to the AS50 above - the body shapes and finish are identical, and the headstock shape and inlay was the same as that used on Carvin guitars in the 1970s -more proof of the relationship that existed between Carvin and Höfner in the 1960s and 1970s.

1967 Hofner Guitars
1973 Carvin DTS90B Doubleneck Guitar

Although the standard guitars and basses got the full-color treatment, Carvin's doublenecks and Hawaiian steel guitars were still shown in black-and-white.  The model shown here is a DTS90B doubleneck, which was a combination 12-string and Spanish guitar, and had been in production under a variety of model names since the early 60's.

The features of the DTS90B were basically the same as the SS75 guitar - that is, Hofner bolt-on necks with rosewood fingerboards,  AP6 pickups with 3-way selector switch.  Additionally, the necks were wired independently of each other, so each neck could be plugged into a different amp.  The 6-string neck was available with or without the Bigsby vibrola.

The DTS90B sold for $279.95, and the DNS98 (without the Bigsby) sold for $249.95.  A left-handed model was not available.  The SC27 hardshell case was $34.95.

Not shown was the DMS95 and DMS95B, which were 6-string guitar/mandolin doublenecks.  The DMS95 sold for $249.95, and the DMS95B (with Bigsby) sold for $279.95.

In 1973, Carvin still offered Hawaiian steel guitars, but their days were numbered.  Within a few years, they would be gone from the lineup forever, but at the time, there were 6-string, 8-string and doubleneck models available, all short scale (22 1/2") instruments.  These were made of solid hardrock maple, with Carvin pickups (which were used on many other brands of steel guitars), ivory tuning pegs, chrome hand guard, and volume and tone controls.  

The PRO-S8 8-string (near right) sold for $89.95.  The PRO-D6 doubleneck 6-string (far right) sold for $124.95.  Also available was the PRO-S6 6-string model for $79.95, and the PRO-D8 doubleneck 8-string, which was $144.95.  A set of telescoping chrome-plated screw-in legs was available for $18.95, and the SC12 hardshell case sold for $27.95. 

1973 Carvin Hawaiian Steel Guitars
1973 Carvin Order Form

Lastly, the back cover contained various ordering information, as well as an order form, which would be a mainstay of Carvin's catalogs for years to come.  Note in red the details of the 10-day trial period, which has been one of Carvin's strongest selling points.