There were a few new interesting features for 1986, some of which remain to this day.  Notably, black chrome hardware was offered for the first time, as well as black M22 pickups.  Although not pictured in the catalog, new pearl finishes were added - pearl white, candy apple red, hot pearl pink and deep pearl blue. Even though these finishes weren't shown in the '86 catalog, soon, they'd be shown everywhere. 

Lastly, a new model, the DC125, was introduced, and the single cutaway CM140 was retired.  Some of the catalogs were the same as in previous years, but there was some new eye-candy to enjoy, as well...

Click each picture for a larger version.

1986 Carvin Catalog Cover
1986 Kahler Tremolos

1986 Carvin Pickups


As previously mentioned, the M22 series of pickups (right) were now offered in black.  Prior to 1986, only cream pickups with a cream bezel or black bezel was offered.  The new black M22 and M22SD pickups, combined with new black chrome hardware, gave Carvin's guitars and basses a classy, monochromatic look.

The Kahler Flyer tremolo was also offered as a more affordable option than the Kahler Pro, and the Kahler Heavy Arm kit, with heavier springs and bar, was also available.

1986 Carvin DC100 Guitar

The DC100 (left) got a new catalog photo, to show off the new black standard pickups and hardware.  Base price of the DC100 remained at $329, and the HC10 hardshell case was $60.  The DC100F, with Kahler Flyer tremolo, was $399, and the DC100T, with Kahler Pro tremolo, was $449.  Black chrome hardware was $20.

The DC150 (right) had the same catalog photo as it had since 1983.  It was available as the DC150M (clear finish/maple fingerboard) for $409.  The DC150 with ebony fingerboard (any finish) was $409.  The Kahler Pro trem was $120, koa was $40, and black hardware was $20.

1986 Carvin DC150 Guitar

The new DC125 Lead Guitar was designed for the guitarist that wanted a no-frills, straight-ahead rock-n-roll guitar.  Other manufacturers had some success selling similar stripped down models, but none offered the high-quality materials or craftsmanship of Carvin.  The body and set neck of the DC125 was hardrock maple, and the fingerboard was ebony with MOP dot inlays.  The DC125 also borrowed the headstock from the V220, for a more lean, aggressive appearance.  Electronics consisted of a single M22SD pickup, single volume control and coil splitter.

Base price on the DC125 was $329, with the standard FTB6 bridge.  The DC125F, with Kahler Flyer tremolo, was $399.  The DC125T, with Kahler Pro tremolo, was $449.  Pearl finishes were an additional $20, and black chrome hardware was also $20.  The HC11 hardshell case was $60.

1986 Carvin DC125 Guitar
1986 Carvin DC200 Koa Guitar

The DC200 Koa (left) was unchanged, but did rise slightly in price, to $469 with dot inlays and FTB6 tailpiece, $519 with abalone block inlays and FTB6 tailpiece, $589 with dot inlays and Kahler Pro tremolo, or $639 with block inlays and Kahler Pro tremolo.  The catalog showed the same photo that had been in use since 1984.

The DC200 was also unchanged for 1986, and had similar minor price increases as the DC200K.  It also used the same photography that had been in use since the 1984 catalog.

The DC200 was also available as the DC120 12-string guitar, which had a base price of $499.

1986 Carvin DC200 Guitar

1986 Carvin V220 Guitar

1986 Carvin V220 Guitar

The V220 had it's 3rd new two-page spread photo in as many years, this time, decked out in the new black hardware and pickups.  Black pickups were now standard, but cream pickups could be ordered as an option.

Base price on the V220 was a very reasonable $399.  The price with the Kahler Pro tremolo dropped to $519, and the price with the Kahler Flyer was $469.  Koa wood was an additional $40, and curly maple was an additional $125.  Black hardware was $20, and gold hardware was $50. The new pearl finishes were $20. The HC19 hardshell case was $79.

The DC200's that had been featured at the beginning of the guitar section was now replaced with the V220, sporting the new black chrome hardware and black pickups.  This particular photo (left) would also be seen in ads in many guitar magazines in the mid-80's.

1986 Carvin SH225 Guitar

The SH225 got a new catalog photo for 1986, showing a traditional model, as well as an ultra-cool model in white with black hardware and pickups and Kahler Pro tremolo.  Although it had been advertised as available in black, white or clear finishes for several years, this was the first and only catalog that would show any finish other than clear.

The SH225 dropped in price to $599 for the basic model, in black, white or clear.  The SH225S, with stereo wiring and coil and phase switches, dropped to $649.  The Kahler Pro tremolo was an additional $120, gold hardware was an additional $40, and black hardware with black pickups was an additional $20.  The HC18 form-fitted hardshell case was $79.

1986 Carvin DN612 & DN640 Doublenecks

The DN612 and DN640 were unchanged for 1986, but the base prices dropped dramatically, to $799 for either model (versus $895 for the DN612 and $865 for the DN640).  Options also dropped - koa wood was $60, and gold hardware was $80.  Black hardware and black pickups were $40, and for the first time, the Kahler Pro was offered for $120.

1986 Carvin DC160 Guitar

The DC160 was unchanged for 1986, but it was moved to the end of the guitar section, versus right at the beginning as it had been since it's introduction. The price of the DC160 dropped slightly to $679, or $709 for a left-handed model.  The optional Kahler Pro tremolo was an additional $190.  The HC10 hardshell case was $60.  Like some other models in 1986, the catalog showed the same photo that had been in use since 1984.

1986 Carvin Endorsers - Conrad Lozano

1986 Carvin Endorsers - Cesar Rosas

1986 Carvin Endorsers - Jan Kuehnemund
1986 Carvin Endorsers - Craig Chaquico

Carvin continued to have an impressive group of endorsers.  Some, like Craig Chaquico (left) would be synonymous with Carvin throughout the 1980's and beyond.  Others, such as Jan Kuehnemund from Vixen (above, far right) would be seen playing Carvin gear off and on during the height of their careers.  Still others, like Conrad Lozano (above, far left) and Cesar Rosas (above, center) from Los Lobos would play Carvin gear sporadically.  Note that Conrad's LB60 and Cesar's left-handed CM140 are both finished in Deep Pearl Blue, which was first offered in 1986, but only shown in these two photos.

For more endorsers, see 1985 Guitars.