Throughout the 60's, the emphasis at Carvin was
on steel guitars more than conventional guitars and basses. There were
guitars and basses available, as well as amplifiers, but there were also
mandolins and doublenecks, in addition to a wide assortment of steel and pedal steel
The catalog cover showed a model #74-BG bass,
model #65-SGB guitar and a Twin Master guitar amp. The endorsers shown
(top to bottom) were Joe Maphis, Larry Collins, Billy Mize and Pua Almeida.
Click each picture for a larger
The model #35-SGB was a 22-fret,
bolt maple neck guitar, available in Sunburst finish a on maple
body. Like other Carvins of the era, it had a rosewood
fingerboard, MOP dot inlays, and a steel adjustable truss rod.
The tuners, bridge and tailpiece were chrome, but the manufacturer of
these items was not explicitly stated. Electronics consisted of
Carvin's adjustable AP-6 pickups, with volume and tone controls for
each, as well as a 3-way pickup selector switch. The price on
this guitar was $119.90, and the model #21-SGC case was an additional
$23.90. A felt-lined case, the model #22-SGC, was also offered
Also available was the #45-SGB
guitar. This was the same as the #35-SGB, except it used the
non-adjustable A-1 pickups. Price on this model was $99.90.
The Bigsby Vibrato was available as an
option on both these models for an additional $29.90. A chrome
handrest which covered the bridge was also available as an option on
either model for $5.00.
1960's were an interesting time in the world of guitars.
Although Gibson & Fender dominated the US market, import guitars
from Japan, Germany and Italy began to flood the American music
scene. Most of these instruments were made by just a handful
of companies, who licensed the guitars to be sold under a variety of
names in different overseas markets. The Japanese company
Teisco was the king of these companies, selling guitars under such
names as Teisco Del Ray, Beltone, Kingston, Silvertone, and Kimberly
in the US, and under the Arbiter, Audition & Kay badges in Europe.
These guitars were made in a huge assortment or styles, and changed
constantly throughout the 1960's. Carvin was a part of this,
as well, selling the a Beltone guitar as the model #I-902 (and
would be called the #I-909 in 1967).
mid-60's Beltone is very similar to the #I-902. Although the
#I-902 had 3 pickups (and on/off switches for each), a tremolo unit,
and was finished in sunburst, the body shape, pickguard shape,
smaller 12th fret markers and headstock are identical to the
Beltone. Below is another example, this time in natural
mahogany, with the same electronics configuration as the one above.
information, see the Guitar
Identification Guide. For information on Carvin's relation
ship with Höfner, see 1969 and
The model #65-SGB
(left) was based on
the same body and neck as the #35-SGB, but had a different electronics
configuration. This model had 3 AP-6 adjustable pickups with
single volume and tone controls, and an on/off switch for each pickup,
allowing 7 different combinations of pickups. The chrome
handrest, which was optional on the #35-SGB, was standard on this
model. The Bigsby Vibrato was offered as an option. Price
on the #65-SGB was $159.90, and the same cases were offered as on the
The model #10-LSGB
(right) was the same as the
#35-SGB, but in a left-handed design. Specifications were the
same as the #35-SGB, but the Bigsby was not offered. Price on
this model was $139.90.
The #I-902 (left) was a
lower-cost, import model offered by Carvin in 1966 (see sidebar,
far left). The body was
mahogany, with rosewood fingerboard, adjustable bridge and chrome
tailpiece/tremolo. Electronics consisted of 3 adjustable
pickups, with master volume/tone controls, and on/off rocker switches
for each pickup. Price on the #I-902 was $89.90, and the #I-904
soft case was $19.90.
The #I-905 (right) was an
imported, full size Spanish acoustic guitar. Back and sides were
constructed from mahogany, with a spruce top with natural
finish. The #I-905 sold for $35.00, and was offered as the #I-906,
which had steel strings (versus nylon) for $35.00. The #I-907
soft case was $10.00. This would be the last year this model was
The model #1-MS (left) was a
doubleneck 6-string guitar/mandolin combination. The guitar was
based on the #35-SGB guitar, and the mandolin was based on the #1-MB
mandolin. Necks were maple with rosewood fingerboards and the
body was finished in Sunburst on maple. Electronics consisted of
two AP-6 adjustable pickups on the guitar neck, and 1 AP-4 adjustable
pickup on the mandolin neck, with master volume and tone controls, and
on/off switches for each pickup. The #1-MS sold for $229.90, and
the #2-MS, which was identical except for non-adjustable pickups, sold
for $199.90. The #3-CMS case sold for $29.90.
The #1-MB electric mandolin
(right) was built using the same materials and techniques of Carvin's
other USA-made instruments. It had a maple neck with rosewood
fingerboard, bone nut, sunburst finish on maple body with
chrome-plated hardware. Electronics consisted of a
fully-adjustable AP-4 pickup with master volume and tone
controls. Natural finish was also available at no extra
charge. The #1-MB sold for $89.90, and was also available as the
#2-MB, with non-adjustable pickup, for $79.90. The #1-MA
hardshell case was $19.90.
Carvin had as many models of steel
guitars in 1966 as the did "regular" guitars. In fact,
in those days, they were probably better know for steel guitars than
At the far left is the model #6DHG-5B
six-string lap steel guitar. This instrument was constructed
with the same high-quality materials and techniques as Carvin's other
instruments - in this case, Eastern hardrock maple with sunburst
finish, ivory tuning pegs and metal cast heat-hardened nut and
tailpiece. Electronics consisted of an AP-6 pickup with single
volume and tone controls. This model sold for $49.90.
The #8DHG-5B (near left) was an
8-string version of the #6DHG-5B. Features were the same, except
this model used an AP-8 pickup. The 8-string version was $69.90.
Also available was the #6DHG-6B
and #8DHG-6B, both of which were the same as the above models,
but used the A-1 or A-2 non-adjustable pickups. Prices on these
models were $39.90 and $59.90, respectively.
Available options for these models
included chrome-plated telescoping legs ($19.90) and the #484-B
hardshell case ($19.90).
Carvin also offered doubleneck steel
guitars in 1966, as they had for many years. The #6606-D
(near right) was a double six, with the same features of it's
single-neck counterpart. The electronics were also the same,
with a pair of AP-6 pickups and master volume/tone controls. The
#6606-D sold for $89.90, and was available as the #6606-E with
non-adjustable A-1 pickups for $75.00.
The #8806-D double eight was the
same as it's single-neck counterpart, and had two AP-8 pickups.
Price on it was $119.90. The #8806-E, with A-2
non-adjustable pickups, sold for $99.90.
Above is the 8-string model #61 Pedal Guitar.
The 6-pedal assembly could be connected in a variety of ways, but it's basic
function was to allow the player to sharpen or flatten the pitch of any string
while playing. The body of the guitar was made from natural-finished
maple, with chrome hardware, and an AP-8 pickup. Price on this model was
$349.90, and the #100 case was $35.00. Not shown was the model #41 Pedal
Guitar, which was the same as the #61, but with 4 pedals. It sold for
The model #81 Doubleneck Pedal
Guitar (above) was similar to it's single-neck counterparts, with two
8-string necks and 8-string pedals. Construction and features were the
same as the others, and this model carried a direct price of $499.90.