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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.