Basses

1986 was a banner year for Carvin basses.  One model went away (more or less), and two new ones joined the ranks.  Additionally, new colors were added, as were new hardware options.

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1986 Carvin Catalog Cover

1986 Guitars

1986 Guitar Amps

1986 Bass Amps

1986 Carvin LB60 & LB40 BassesOut with the old, in with the new.  The LB50, which had been around since 1979, was phased out of production.  The catalog did have a tiny blurb stating it was still available, and anyone interested should contact Carvin for specs and other details.

However, it was clear the direction Carvin was heading by the mid 80's.  One word: pointy.  In the age of hair bands, new wave and heavy metal, rounded basses like the LB50 just didn't have the style that players wanted.  So, keeping up with the times, Carvin introduced the LB60.  Re-introduced, actually.  There was a model called the LB60 in 1979, which was basically an upscale LB50.  The new LB60 was a marriage of the LB50 and LB40.  It featured the electronics of the LB50, with the body style of the LB40.  The LB40 (black and white basses in the photo) retained the single pickup with one volume/one tone/coil splitter, while the LB60 (Koa bass in photo) had 2 pickups, dual volume & tone, coil splitter and phase switches.

Both these models came standard in clear gloss, black, white or red finish, chrome hardware, and ebony fingerboard.  Maple fingerboards were no longer available.  In addition to gold hardware as an option, black chrome hardware was offered for the first time.  And for the first time since the beginning of the decade, new colors were offered, in a "Pearl" finish.  For an extra $20, you could order either of these models in Pearl White, Candy Apple Red, Hot Pearl Pink or Deep Pearl Blue.  These options would point the way to the future for Carvin basses - with 8 colors, Koa wood, 3 choices for hardware finish, as well as lefties and fretless, there were many combinations available to suit most any taste and style.

Despite being the replacement for the LB50, the LB60 was actually less expensive.  Base price was $419 (versus $439 for the '85 LB50), and the LB40 also came down in price, to $369 (from $389).  Other options cost the same as detailed below under the V440.  Only the LB60 was available as a leftie, and either were available fretless at no extra charge.

1986 Carvin V440 BassIn 1984, Carvin introduced the V220 guitar, an instrument that was ahead of it's time.  But the 80's caught up quickly with the V220, and by the time MTV was predominated by hair and metal, V220's could be seen everywhere.  It would take 2 more years for Carvin basses to catch up, but in 1986, bassist got their equivalent with the introduction of the V440.

Although noticeably absent from the catalog cover, Carvin gave the V440 a two-page spread inside the catalog.  It was available in all the finishes of the LB40 & LB60, and could be had with black chrome or gold hardware, in addition to the standard chrome hardware, and with a Kahler bass trem (which had dropped in price to $120).  Unlike other Carvin basses, metal knobs were standard.  It featured a pair of Carvin M22B pickups, two volume/one tone control, and coil splitters for each pickup.  Base price on the V440 was $399, and the V440T (with Kahler) was $519.  Koa wood was $40, pearl finishes were $20.  Gold hardware was $40, and black chrome was $20.  The HC20 case was $79.  Left-handed and fretless options were not available.

The DN612 and DN640 were still part of the lineup, and the same photo that had been used since 1982 showed the models.  However, Carvin had moved away from the Schaller bridge/tailpiece shown in the photo, so most likely, and made at this time didn't really look like this.  Although Carvin guitars were no longer using this bridge/tailpiece, it was still offered on the "parts" page, so it's possible some were made with these.  For the first time, a Kahler Pro tremolo was offered on the 6-string guitar necks (presumably on either model).  The prices on these models actually dropped, to $799 each.  Koa wood was $60, gold hardware was $80, black chrome hardware/pickups was $40, and the Kahler Pro trem was $120.  The HC15 case was $89.

1986 Carvin DN612 & DN640 Doublenecks