The LB20 and LB70 were the standard basses of the Carvin line in 1990. As today, they were basically the same instrument, with the LB20 featuring passive electronics, and the LB70 sporting the upgraded active electronics. Both were available left-handed or righty, and included options such as a Kahler bass tremolo, fretless fingerboard (with or without fretlines), and an upgrade from the standard chrome hardware to gold or black chrome. Standard colors on these (and all other 1990 basses) were black, white, red, pearl white, pearl red, pearl deep blue, clear maple, and tung oil koa. Surprisingly, there was no upcharge for tung oil koa, despite the increasing cost of koa wood. The base price of the LB20 was $519, and the LB70 started at $599.
Carvin also offered quite a few custom translucent finishes. For an extra $40, you could get Sapphire Blue, Vintage Yellow, Emerald Green or Cherry Sunburst. An extra $200 would get you a grade A flamed maple top with this, or a clear finish on flamed maple. For $300, you could get any of these finishes on a AA flamed maple top. Gloss koa body sides with maple neck cost $80, and solid koa neck and koa body sides was an additional $100. Headstocks could be painted the same as the body for an additional $30, and a flamed maple headstock painted to match the translucent colors could be had for an additional $80. Other headstock options were the "arrow" headstock, reverse inline headstock, and traditional "2 by 2" headstock. Mother-of-Pearl block inlays could be added for $70, or abalone block inlays could be added for $200. Surprisingly, most of these options have come down considerably since 1990, and the base prices have only gone up slightly, hence:
1990 LB70, black, abalone block
inlays, black chrome hardware, matching headstock & case:
So, a new LB70, moderately loaded, is actually less than a 1990 model with the same options. And now, there are 3 or 4 times the options available.
In 1990, 5-string basses were still considered somewhat avant-garde. But Carvin had been making them for a couple of years, and was one of few mainstream manufacturers to offer this feature.
The LB75 (below) offered all the same features and options of the LB70, including fretless models, lefties, Kahler tremolo and all the colors and woods. Base price on this $649.
The LB80 & LB85 were Carvin's "high-end" models in 1990. This was basically an LB70 (or LB75), with certain options standard. Any of the available translucent colors with a bookmatched grade A maple top was standard. Other options were available, including lefties, fretless and so forth. An interesting feature of this was a built-in headphone amp, so you could plug headphones directly into the bass. Base price on the LB80 was $799, and the LB85 was $849.
There was no real mention of the doubleneck basses Carvin offered in 1990. The catalog showed the DN612, and mentions the availability of the DN640 and DN440, but sadly showed no photos of these. If these had been big sellers, then presumably they'd've been featured in the catalog, but evidently, this was the beginning of the end for Carvin doublenecks. All three doubleneck models sold for a base price of $1149. Of note, the price list (below) indicates that on the DN640, the bass was only available on top, versus on the bottom, as the 80's DN640's were.
Below is the control layout and technical specs on the A500 active electronics for the '90 models. Click on the picture to view the entire catalog page with a complete description of the A500 active electronics package.
Finally, to see the complete price list for guitars, basses, options, accessories and so on for 1990, click here.