1979 was the year when the modern
Carvin guitar really took shape. The wide-at-the-top headstock
was replaced, and Carvin's own set-necks were being used on Carvin
bodies (versus Hofner necks on Carvin bodies, or Hofner necks on
Hofner bodies assembled by Carvin), making this the first truly fully
made by Carvin guitar.
Although there were only two body
styles (the Les Paul-style CM series, and the Gibson-inspired DC
series), Carvin was already beginning to offer a good selection of
options and finishes - but this was just the beginning...
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The CM series of guitars were very
similar to the Les Paul (in those days, practically every guitar made
by everyone was either an LP or Strat clone). The CM130 was
available in two different models, the CM130CM (left) which had
a clear finish on maple body and a maple fingerboard, and the CM130CE
(right), which had a clear finish on maple with ebony
fingerboard. The CE had a variant, the CM130BE, which had
a black finish and ebony fingerboard. The CM130CM sold for $370
(of $400 for a leftie), the CM130CE and CE130BE both sold for $390 (no
lefty available). The HC10 hardshell case was $50.
The CM140 was Carvin's flagship single-cutaway
model for 1979. The design was the same as the other CM guitars,
but had more features, such as mother-of-pearl block inlays and
headstock inlay, stereo wiring, and available gold hardware. It
was available as the CM140B (black finish), the CM140C (clear finish),
and the CM140L (left-handed). The C and B models were $470, and
the L model was $500.
The DC150 is a model that's still around
today. In 1979, the DC150 was available in the same variations
as the CM models - black/ebony (BE), clear/maple (CM) and clear/ebony
(CE). All three were available in left-handed models (extra
$30), and gold hardware was also available for an additional
$50. The DC150BE (left) and DC150CE were $430, and
the DC150CM (right) was $410.
The DC160 was the top of
the line model for 1979. This model was essentially an upscale DC150, made
from curly or birdseye maple, with abalone block inlays, abalone headstock
inlay and 24K gold hardware as standard features. Electronics were the
same as the DC150. The pickguard found on all other Carvin models was
noticeably absent, allowing the wood to show - a feature that would soon be
standard on most Carvin guitars. The DC160, in curly or birdseye maple, sold
for $670, or $700 for a lefthanded model.