Guitars

In 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.

1977 Basses

1977 Guitar Amps

1977 Bass Amps

1977 Pro Audio

Note 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.

1977 Carvin Catalog Cover

1977 Carvin Pickups

The most 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.

1977 Carvin DC150B Guitar

The DC150 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 knobs.  Coil 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.

The DC150 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.

1977 DC150 Guitar
1977 Carvin CM130 Guitar

The 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.

Note the 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.

The 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.

1977 Carvin CM140 Guitar
1977 Carvin DT650 Doubleneck Guitar

The 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.

The DT650 shown in the catalog is actually part of the Player's Gallery - click here to see it.

Like 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.

1977 Carvin DB630 Doubleneck Bass Guitar
1977 Carvin Guitar Features

The guitar in the case (right) is actually a 1976 CM96, but the cases used in 1977 were the same as this one.

All hardware on 1977 guitars and basses was chrome (left), which looked very classy with the new chrome pickup covers.

1977 Carvin Guitar Features
1977 Carvin Back Cover

This 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.