1983 was a good year for Carvin basses, and was a year that would start to open up the available models and options offered to the bassist.  Prior to '83, basses took a backseat to guitars, with usually only one or two models available.  '83 would signify the beginnings of a bass line comparable to the guitar line in terms of models and options - and even though there were only two models in '83 (plus the venerable DN640), it was indicative of the direction Carvin was going with their bass models.

1983 Guitars

1983 Guitar Amps

1983 Bass Amps

 You can click each photo for a larger version.

1983 Carvin LB40 Bass

'83 saw the introduction of a new model, the LB40.  Reminiscent of the DC200 guitar, this bass featured the more pointy style of body (versus the rounded LB50).  Despite being a new model, it was still considered an "entry level" bass, while the LB50 represented the flagship line.  The LB40 had a single M22B pickup, single volume and tone controls, and a dual/single coil switch.  The body and set-neck were made of Eastern hardrock maple, and was also available in koa.  Other standard finishes were clear gloss, black, white or red, with no upcharge for red or white as on the '82 LB50.  A fretless model was also available, but not a left-handed model.  The base price of the LB40 was $369, or $409 for the Koa model.  The only option other than the finish was gold plated hardware, for an addition $50.  The HC14 case was $68.

1983 Carvin LB40 Bass

To showcase the various finish options of the LB40, the '83 catalog featured a nice full-page spread (above, right).  Although the 80 page catalog only had 4 pages devoted to basses, the was the beginning of something big in the Carvin bass community.

Compare the photography of the LB40 to the LB50 below (from the '82 catalog).  The '83 photos represented a more high-end, artistic look, and probably enhanced the boutique appeal of the instrument.  Soon, all Carvin basses would have a similar presentation.

1983 Carvin LB50 Bass Guitar

The LB50 (left) was identical to the '82 model, and the photo in the catalog was also the same as the previous year.  There was a slight price increase, with the LB50CM (clear finish/maple neck) going for $399, and the ebony-fretboard models going for $419.  Red or white was still an additional $20, and Koa was an additional $40.

There was no change in the photo, price or specs on the DN612 (6-string/12-string guitar) and DN640 (6-string guitar and 4-string bass).  Standard feature were black or natural finish, MOP inlays and chrome hardware.  Electronics were the same as the LB50 (bass) and DC150 (guitar), with the exception of 1 tone control versus two.  Both had two output jacks; one for each neck - therefore, stereo wiring wasn't available.  The base price on the DN612 was $895, while the DN640 was $865.  It could also be ordered in red or white for an additional $40, or in Koa wood for an additional $80.  Gold hardware was available for an additional $100.  The HC15 hardshell case sold for $75.

1983 Carvin DN612 & DN640 Doublenecks
1983 Catalog Back Cover


On the left is the back cover of the '83 catalog.  This shows a Koa LB50 very prominently, as well as the new LB40.