The Webmaster's DN640K

Although shown on my Collections page (where there are additional photos), this DN640K is worth showing off in the Player's Gallery, as well.

This DN640K is the one that started my love affair with Carvin basses.  I ordered this directly from the factory way back in 1983.  Cost was about $1150, which was pretty pricey for back then.  It's made of solid Koa, with Koa set-necks.  Hardware is gold, and the electronics consist of the venerable M22 pickups, with coil splitters and phase switches all around.  It originally had black bezels, but I ordered cream ones about a year after I received it.  It also has inlaid logos on the headstocks.

I've been refitting this one for the past couple of months.  I was luckily able to find original gold plated Schaller tuners for both necks - and they weren't cheap!  The guitar tuners were $80 for a set, the bass tuners were $150.  I haven't been able to find original bridges for either - a got a very close Schaller bass bridge, which looks very much like the original, and a new Carvin bridge for the guitar.  The tailpiece on the guitar is the tough one, but I found a NOS one on eBay that had never been used - got it for less than 10 bucks, which was a real bargain.

This DN640 was also featured in the March 2005 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine - click on the cover to see the article.

Stephen Ayres' DN640
Carvin BBS ID: stevie

There's just one word to describe this vintage 1981 DN640: Wow!  Stephen just scored this on eBay (in fact, look at the bottom of this page, you'll see it from a couple months back when I first saw it).  After receiving it, Stephen replaced the electronics, pots, tuners, knobs, etc, and buffed it back out to it's original 1981 glory.  And it turned out just great.  Look here, and you can see actual restoration photos while the work was being done, and there are more photos of the finished product here.

Here are the original pictures from the eBay auction - notice how much better it looks after Steven cleaned it up.

Josh Finkler's DN640B

This is another great example of a vintage Carvin DN640 - in this case, a "B" model (black) from 1982.  Josh says:

"I saw this up for auction on eBay but for a fairly high opening bid.  After it failed to fetch a bid, I contacted the owner and we worked out a pretty sweet deal off of auction. He was the original owner and sent it to me in mint condition in the original hard shell case with all the original paperwork and original purchase receipt in his name. despite being so mint, I'm viewing this guitar as a player, it's got a great presence to it, I especially like the feel of the ebony fingerboards."

Unknown DN640C

This turned up on eBay towards the end of '05, and is a great example of a DN640 near the end of their production.  This is a '93 model, finished in clear gloss with a quilted maple top and maple body and necks, and even the body has nice quilting.  It also has a Floyd Rose tremolo, Sperzel locking tuners with a de-tuner on the bass, and ebony fingerboards.  The bass has been upgraded with EMG pickups, so the control layout isn't original, but it's still a beautiful instrument.


Chaz Filter's (former) DN640

I stumbled across a very old ad for a DN640 that was for sale, and I contacted the seller to see if he still had it.  Sadly, he had already let it go, but did have the following photos and comments to share.  Since DN640's are so rare, I decided to go ahead and post it, even though it's whereabouts now are unknown.  Evidently, the person Chaz sold it to in turn sold it on E-Bay sometime in 2001 - so, if you're reading this, and this doubleneck is sitting next to you, drop me a line!  Anyway, best guess, based on the headstock logo and J99 bass pickups, is that this is a 1987 model.  Chaz says:

"#1 Ah, all those controls!  Neck volume, bridge volume, master tone knobs; neck split, bridge split, phase on/off switches; pickup select & neck select on/on/on switches.  The neck select switch (guitar/both/bass), just above the screw holes, is a replacement (original failed).  I added the brass thumbrest because there was no good place to anchor my thumb.  The next owner moved it closer to the neck.

#2 Those Schaller bridges were excellent!  The knobs are Carvin-direct replacements, because the gold faded off the originals.  [Over the years, I have spent enough money on Carvin replacement parts on all of my instruments to buy an LB76! :-( ]

#3 Carvin knows how to DESIGN doublenecks!  I have owned SEVEN doublenecks over the years:  BC Rich Gunslinger/Assassin 12/6, Robin Medley 12/6, Cort "Hippie Sandwich" 12/6, Gretsch 6120-612 12/6, BC Rich Bich 8/4, Joe Jem Custom 4/4, and the Carvin DN640 6/4.  [I have usually sold one in order to buy another one!]  The Carvin is the best balanced, easiest playing of the bunch.  Note that the doubleneck fits in a standard sized bass case!!!  Eliminating that unneeded extra body width is the key, but it was still heavier than most... go figure!

#4 The next owner moved the strap pin.  The stereo jacks worked great, especially for a guitar/bass combination.  One cable plugged in mixed the sound; two cables plugged in split the sound.  Very practical!!

#5 Tacky case stickers courtesy of the next owner.  Those ebony fretboards were excellent... smooth, true, and easy to play.

#6 When I played in a classic rock band, I primarily used the guitar to generate synth sounds using a GK-2A pickup, GI-10 converter, and a Kawai GMega synth module.  I heard that the current owner saw this picture and decided to mount a GK-2A in the same place!"

Ernie Smallis' DN640

Here's a great example, from the heyday of Carvin's doubleneck years.  This is an early 80's model in natural maple, with some nice figure, and the inlaid headstock, which only occurred on some models.  Ernie also has a 1978 CM120, which I hope to have up here soon, as well.

Unknown eBay DN640

Wow, here's a real find.  A 1990 or 1991 DN640 in clear gloss on natural poplar with maple necks.  Note that this is the 2nd generation "bass-on-top" design.


Kevin's DN640K

Finally, sadly, there's this one.  This was sent to me by Kevin Simonson, and here's what he said:

"I too am the proud owner of a Koa doubleneck DN640. But there's a small see, long ago I made the mistake of selling it to one of my wife's piano students. He took great care of it, until someone burglarized his home, stole a Nintendo, and PUT THE DOUBLENECK UP AGAINST A BUNK BED AND KICKED IT, SHATTERING BOTH OF THE NECKS. I was totally heartbroken. This happened about 8 years ago. I'm still affected. So much so that I've obtained the carcass and set about finding a good luthier and having it re-built to its original all-koa glory."

Wow, what a drag.  Hopefully Kevin can indeed bring this one back to life...