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.
You can click each photo for a larger
'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.
the various finish options of the LB40, the '83 catalog featured a nice full-page spread
Although the 80 page catalog only had 4 pages devoted to basses, the was
the beginning of something big in the Carvin bass community.
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.
(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.
left is the back cover of the '83 catalog. This
shows a Koa LB50 very prominently, as well as the new LB40.