The 1980's arrived with Carvin building a head of steam in the guitar and bass arenas.  Although the catalog still focused primarily on pro audio gear, the instrument lines began an expansion that would continue to the present day, and the foundation was being established for a reputation that many would consider to be the finest US-made guitars and basses on the market.  

1980 Guitars

1980 Guitar Amps

1980 Bass Amps

The catalog cover itself heralded the rebirth of the doubleneck line, which went on a redesign hiatus after the 1979 model year.  There were 4 basic models of guitars available (the DC150, DC160, CM140 & CM160), as well as the DN612 and DN640 doublenecks, and the LB50 bass - but the line was about to explode with new models, new colors, new features and many new options.

Click each picture to see the full catalog page.

1980 Carvin Catalog Cover
1980 Carvin LB50BE Bass

Like 1979, Carvin's only bass was the LB50, and it's variants.  This bass would prove to be Carvin's most successful model ever, until the "pointy" movement began to take off in 1985.  It was available as the LB50BE (left), which featured a black body and ebony fingerboard, the LB50CM (right), which featured a maple body and maple fingerboard, or the LB50CE, which featured a maple body and ebony fingerboard.  All models had standard chrome hardware, MOP dot inlays, Schaller #M4 tuners and a 34" scale, 20-fret neck, and M22B humbucking pickups.

Base price on the LB50 CM was $380.00, with the LB50CE and LB50BE models costing $400.00.  All three models were available in lefty versions for an additional $30.00.  24K gold hardware was available for an additional $50.00, and stereo wiring (like 1979's LB60) was available for an additional $30.00

The HC14 hardshell case sold for $60.00

1980 Carvin LB50CM Bass
1980 Carvin DN640 Doubleneck Bass Guitar

1980 saw the return of doublenecks to Carvin's lineup, both of which were entirely different from their 70's counterparts, sporting sleek looks, set necks, and a standard scale 20-fret fingerboard on the bass side. Interestingly, the DN series featured the body style that would be the template for the hugely popular DC200 series of guitars that would be introduced in 1981, and the LB60 bass that would appear in 1986.

The DN640 (left) was available in black or natural finishes, both with ebony fingerboards, MOP dot inlays, chrome hardware and mono wiring, with an input for each neck.  Price on the DN640 was $890.00 (either finish), and optional gold hardware was an additional $100.00.  The HC16 case was an additional $70.00.

1980 Carvin Bass Features 1980 Carvin Bass Features
1980 Carvin Bass Features 1980 Carvin Bass Features

All Carvin guitars and basses featured the same control layout on the 1980 models.  Volume controls for each pickup, a master tone control, master phase switch, dual/single coil splitter for each pickup, and a pickup selector switch.  This layout would be unchanged until 1982, when individual tone controls were added for each pickup (with the exception of the doublenecks, which would continue to have a single master tone control.

Click the diagram to see the entire catalog page.

1980 Carvin Bass & Guitar Control Layout