1977, there were major changes to Carvin's guitar lineup. The
Strat-style SS66 & SS76 were gone, and the doublenecks were completely
redesigned. The Les Paul-style CM96 was slightly redesigned and
given a new name, and the electronics layout on all models was
changed. Additionally, Carvin steel guitars were gone
completely, marking the end of an era that had begun some 30 years
earlier. The AS55 6-string and AS120 12-string archtop guitars
were not included in the catalog, but there was a note at the bottom
of page 38 indicating these were still available. There was no
mention of the AS51, so it was probably discontinued.
that although this is the 1977 catalog, the cover shows a 1976 DC150
with black pickups, versus the new chrome-covered ones (see below).
This cover is also nearly identical to the 1976 cover, so most
likely, they were shot at the same time.
Click each picture for a larger version.
obvious change on all Carvin guitars and basses for 1977 was the
addition of chrome pickup covers on all AP-series pickups. This
one feature makes it easy to identify a 1977 model - the '76 models had
black pickups (without covers), and in 1978, the new 22-pole M22 pickups
would be introduced. Therefore, any Carvin guitar or bass with
chrome pickup covers is a 1977 model.
In addition to the pickups
covers, a new tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece were put into use in
1977. Although not specified in the catalog, these were most
likely made by Schaller.
moved into 1977 relatively unchanged. It did sport the new chrome
pickup covers on APH-6S pickups, and the new bridge/tailpiece, but it
had the same body shape and neck features. The electronics changed
slightly, with a 3-knob layout (versus the 4-knob layout of 1976) that
included volume controls for each pickup and master tone and updated
splitters and phase switch were standard, as was a 3-way pickup selector
switch and stereo wiring. Lastly, the strap button was moved from
the tip of the upper horn to the neck plate.
was offered in black for the first time (left) with a maple fingerboard
(DC150B) or in clear with a maple fingerboard (right; DC150C).
Either model was $339.00. A left-handed model was offered (DC150L)
which had a clear finish and maple fingerboard, and sold for $349.00.
A Bigsby vibrato could be added for $40.00. The HC10 hardshell
case was $41.00.
CM130 (left) and CM140 (right) were based on the CM96
from 1976. However, these models had the same changes as the
DC150 - pickup covers, a 3-knob layout, and new bridge/tailpiece.
The CM130 used the Höfner #820 neck with rosewood fingerboard, and
had more simplified electronics consisting of a phase switch in
addition to the pickup volume, tone and selector controls. The
CM140 used the Höfner #860 neck with ebony fingerboard and
mother-of-pearl headstock and block inlays. It was stereo
wired (schematic), with coil splitters in addition to the pickup controls.
headstock inlays on these two guitars. The necks on both of them were made by Höfner, and the inlays were the same as the ones
used by Höfner. The CM130 has a decal resembling a sword, with a
decal Carvin logo with MOP dot inlays; the CM140 has an MOP inlaid Carvin logo with the
double-diamond logo that would be used until the late 1980's (and is
still used by Höfner to this day). Essentially, the higher quality
neck with an ebony fingerboard used in the MOP inlays, while the
rosewood fingerboarded-neck used decals.
CM130 sold for $249.00, and the HC11 hardshell case was an
additional $41.00. It could be ordered with a Bigsby vibrato
for an additional $40.00. There was no left-handed model
offered, and it was only available in clear. The CM140 was
$359.00 in black or clear finishes, and was offered in a left-handed
model for #369.00. A Bigsby could also be ordered for it.
DT650 (left) was completely redesigned for 1977. It had
a larger body, and more conventional controls, which consisted of a
master volume and master tone control with phase switching and coil
splitters for each neck. The ebony necks had white binding and
mother-of-pearl block inlays. It was offered in black (DT650B)
for $569.00, or in Birdseye maple (DT650C) for $569.00.
DT650 shown in the catalog is actually part of the Player's Gallery
- click here to see it.
the DT650, the DB630 (right) was dramatically
different than the '76 model. The bass neck was moved to the bottom, so
that the instrument would be better balanced, and the body itself was wider. Each neck had a
master volume and master tone control with phase switching and coil splitters. The
bolt-on maple necks had ebony fretboards with MOP block inlays and white
binding. It was offered in a clear finish on birdseye maple
(DB630C) or black on standard maple (DB630B) - either model was $539.00,
plus $51.00 for the HC19 hardshell case.
guitar in the case (right) is actually a 1976 CM96, but the cases
used in 1977 were the same as this one.
hardware on 1977 guitars and basses was chrome (left), which looked
very classy with the new chrome pickup covers.
picture appeared on the back cover of the 1977 catalog. It shows
Jon Kiesel (left) and Mark Kiesel (right) with an assortment of Carvin
guitars and basses from 1976.