Guitars Amps

There are several banner years in Carvin's 50-year history, and 1976 is one of them.  So many things happened, it's hard to summarize them all.  First, in the marketing department, the 62-page 1976 catalog was printed entirely in color, the first time Carvin had done this.  This was also the first year that a wide selection of PA systems was offered (which may be part of the reason that the return address label on the catalog referred to the company as "Carvin Music & Sound Co.").  The catalog also represented the basic form that would continue for years to come, with an entire page devoted to each model, versus many models on each page.  

1976 Basses

1976 Guitars

1976 Bass Amps

In the Guitar Amps department, there were plenty of models to choose from, in solid-state and tube platforms, in both small combos and full concert stacks.

Click each picture to see the entire catalog page.

1976 Carvin Catalog Cover
1976 Carvin SVT1500-2 Super Concert Stack

Carvin's top-of-the-line tube amplifier was the VT1500 series (left).  Although this was designated as a lead guitar system, it could also be used for keyboards or bass guitar.  This was offered in a single or double stack, both of which were based on the 100W VTR2800 head (see details below).  The SR690 cabinet, with 4 12" Carvin MagnaLab speakers, was the standard cabinet.  The VT1500-1 single stack sold for $519.00, while the SVT1500-2 double stack sold for $749.00. JBL speakers could be substituted for an additional $250.00 per cabinet, which added 2 dB more output.  Altec-Lansing speakers could also be substituted for an additional $200.00 per cabinet.

The Concert LM1200 series of amps (right) were offered in a single or double stack configuration, with the ST2500 or ST4500 solid-state head (see details below).  Like the VT1500 series, it used the SR690 cabinet(s), which had MagnaLab speakers standard, but could be loaded with JBLs or Altec-Lansings.  The LM1200, with a single SR690 enclosure and 125W ST2500 head, sold for $499.00.  The SLM1200-1, with a single SR690 enclosure and a 250W ST4500 head, sold for $569.00.  The SLM1200-2, with two SR690 enclosures and a 250W ST4500 head, sold for $789.00.  JBL speakers could be substituted for an additional $250.00 per cabinet, which added 2 dB more output.  Altec-Lansing speakers could also be substituted for an additional $200.00 per cabinet.

1976 Carvin LM1200 Concert Stack

1976 Carvin VTR2800 Tube Amp Head

The VTR2800 head (above) was the heart of the VT1500 series amps.  This all-tube 100W head had two channels (sustain [lead] and normal), with a 7 band graphic equalizer, master reverb, volume controls for each channel, and harmonic sustain control for channel 1.  It also had a selectable output wattage switch, and a B+ voltage control, which kept the tubes warm while the amp was not being used.  Two output jacks were wired in parallel, and a selectable impedance control was available, allowing 2, 4 and 8 ohm speakers to be used without impedance mis-matching.  The direct price on the VTR2800 was $299.95.

The ST2500 and ST4500 (above) solid-state heads delivered 125W and 250W respectively to power the LM series of amps.  These 2-channel heads had a 7-band EQ, master volume and sustain drive, as well as a 2-band parametric EQ on channel 2, and reverb and vibrato controls on channel 1.  Each channel also had a high and low input.  The ST2500 sold for $290.00, and the ST4500 sold for $360.00.

1976 Carvin SC2000 Power Amp

Carvin offered several other general purpose amp heads in 1976, including the single channel SC2000 & SC3000 (above) and the SV125 & SV250 (below).  These were 125W and 250W amps, and could be used for basic instrument amplification, as well as monitor and PA applications. 

Carvin offered several combos in 1976, including the VT410 (below).  The amp chassis was based on the 100W VTR2800 tube amp, with 4 10" MagnaLab speakers.  The VT410 sold for $439.95.

1976 Carvin VT410 Combo Amp

Carvin offered a pair of 212 combos in 1976: the tube-driven VT312 (right, top) and the solid state ML300 (right, bottom).  The VT312 was based on the VTR2800 head, and the ML300 was based on the ST2500 head.  Both used a pair of MagnaLab 12" speakers.  The VT312 sold for $390.00, and the ML300 sold for $379.00.

1976 Carvin VT312 Tube Combo
1976 Carvin ML300 Solid-State Combo

All Carvin speaker enclosures in 1976 used the same high-quality materials as are in use today.  Cabinets were constructed from solid-core plywood (versus particle board), corner joints were glued and lock-jointed, and internal bracing was used for additional stability.  All cabinets were covered in Tolex.