Guitar Amps

The 1970's ended with Carvin expanding their and bass lines, as well as amplifiers.  Although the catalog still focused primarily on pro audio gear, the instrument and amplifiers departments began an expansion that would include new models and new features to suit a wide variety of playing situations.

1979 Basses

1979 Guitars

1979 Bass Amps

1979 Pro Audio

1979 featured a decent selection of guitar and bass amps.  Not as many as present day, but a good enough selection to suit everyone from the hobbyist to the professional musician.

The pictures are from the 1980 catalog, which had identical photographs as the 1979 catalog.  The prices quoted are the actual 1979 prices.  Click each picture to see the full catalog page.

1979 Carvin Catalog Cover
1979 Carvin Double-Stack Guitar Amp

For the pro guitarist, this was the top of the line Carvin amp to have in 1980: the VTX.  Available in a 100W single stack or double stack, the VTX was an all-tube amp featuring dual channels with 7 band graphic EQ, sustain circuits and reverb controls for each channel.

Speaker enclosures were equipped with 12" MagnaLab speakers or optional Celestion speakers.

The VTX412-M (single stack with MagnaLab speakers) sold for $695.  The VTX412-C (Celestion) single stack was $790.  The double stack VTX812-M was $1000, and the VTX812-C with Celestions was $1155.

Also available was the STX series, which used solid-state amps versus a tube amp.  The 125W STX412-M, which was a single stack with MagnaLab speakers, sold for $695.  The same model with Celestion speakers sold for $790 (STX412-C).  The STX412-M250, which was a single stack with a 250W solid state head and MagnaLab speakers, sold for $765.  The same model with Celestion speakers sold for $860.  The STX812-M250, a 250W double stack with MagnaLab speakers, sold for $1040, or $1225 with Celestion speakers (STX812-C250).


The heart of the VTX and STX stacks was the amp head.  The 100W VTX100 tube head was $445.  The solid state125W STX125 was also $445, and the solid state 250W STX250 sold for $515.

1979 Carvin STX Series Guitar Amp Head
1979 Carvin VTX Series Combo Guitar Amps

Also available were the bi-channel VTX and STX series of combo amps (left), based on the VTX and STX tube and solid state amps.  The 100W VTX-112 was available with a JBL or Gauss 12" speaker, and sold for $575 or $625, respectively.  The 100W VTX-212 MagnaLab, with two 12" speakers, sold for $525, or $725 with JBL speakers, or $825 with Gauss speakers.

Either model was also available with the 125W solid-state STX chassis for the same prices.

Also available was the dual-channel VT series of amplifiers.  These single or double stack amps were driven by the VTR2800 100W all tube amp, and were appropriate for guitar or bass guitar applications.

The single stack Concert VT412M, with MagnaLab speakers, sold for $625, and the Celestion-equipped Concert VT412-C sold for $720.  The Super Concert VT812-M double stack, with MagnaLab speakers, sold for $895, and the Super Concert VT812-C with Celestion speakers sold for $1075.

1979 Carvin VT Series Guitar Stack
1979 Carvin VTR2800 Guitar Amp Head

The 100W VTR2800 head (left) was a dual channel amp, which featured a 7 band graphic EQ, separate remote-switchable normal and sustain channels, and B+ voltage switch, was was essentially a standby circuit, used to keep the tubes warm to avoid warm-up times.  It sold for $350.

Carvin offered other combo amps in 1979, also.  The VT-212 (near right) was a 100W tube combo with twin 12" MagnaLab speakers, driven by the VTR2800 amplifier. It sold for $450, or $650 with twin JBL speakers.

The VT-112 (right, center) was the same as the VT-212, but in a single-speaker configuration.  It sold for $325 with a MagnaLab 12" speaker, or $425 with a JBL speaker.

Also shown at the far right is the B-115 bass amp.  For specs on this model, see the 1979 Bass Amps page.

1979 Carvin VT Series Combo Guitar Amps

1979 Carvin SC Series Guitar Amp HeadsCarvin also offered the more basic single-channel SC series 125W and 250W power amp (left).  The SC series of solid state amps featured a 7-band graphic EQ, bright switch, sustain control (for adding distortion) and high and low inputs.  These amps were standard on Carvin's Bass Master amps, and were advertised as good, basic amps for guitar and keyboards.

The SC2000 sold for $250, and the SC3000 was $320.