The 1970's ended with Carvin
expanding their and bass lines, as well as amplifiers.
Although the catalog still focused primarily on pro audio gear, the
instrument and amplifiers departments began an expansion that would
include new models and new features to suit a wide variety of
1979 featured a decent selection of
guitar and bass amps. Not as many as present day, but a good
enough selection to suit everyone from the hobbyist to the
The pictures are from
the 1980 catalog, which had identical photographs as the 1979
catalog. The prices quoted are the actual 1979 prices. Click each picture to see the full
For the pro guitarist, this was the top
of the line Carvin amp to have in 1980: the VTX. Available in a
100W single stack or double stack, the VTX was an all-tube amp
featuring dual channels with 7 band graphic EQ, sustain circuits and
reverb controls for each channel.
enclosures were equipped with 12" MagnaLab speakers or optional
The VTX412-M (single stack with
MagnaLab speakers) sold for $695. The VTX412-C
(Celestion) single stack was $790. The double stack VTX812-M
was $1000, and the VTX812-C with Celestions was $1155.
available was the STX series, which used solid-state amps versus a
tube amp. The 125W STX412-M, which was a single stack
with MagnaLab speakers, sold for $695. The same model with
Celestion speakers sold for $790 (STX412-C). The STX412-M250,
which was a single stack with a 250W solid state head and MagnaLab
speakers, sold for $765. The same model with Celestion speakers
sold for $860. The STX812-M250, a 250W double stack with
MagnaLab speakers, sold for $1040, or $1225 with Celestion speakers (STX812-C250).
The heart of the VTX and STX
stacks was the amp head. The 100W VTX100 tube head was $445. The solid state125W STX125 was
also $445, and the solid state
250W STX250 sold for $515.
Also available were the bi-channel
VTX and STX series of combo amps (left), based on the VTX and STX tube and
solid state amps. The 100W VTX-112 was available with a JBL or
Gauss 12" speaker, and sold for $575 or $625, respectively. The 100W
VTX-212 MagnaLab, with two
12" speakers, sold for $525, or $725 with JBL speakers, or $825 with
Either model was also available
with the 125W solid-state STX chassis for the same prices.
Also available was the dual-channel VT
series of amplifiers. These single or double stack amps were
driven by the VTR2800 100W all tube amp, and were appropriate for
guitar or bass guitar applications.
The single stack Concert
MagnaLab speakers, sold for $625, and the Celestion-equipped Concert
VT412-C sold for $720. The Super Concert VT812-M double stack,
with MagnaLab speakers, sold for $895, and the Super Concert VT812-C
with Celestion speakers sold for $1075.
The 100W VTR2800 head
(left) was a dual channel amp, which featured a 7 band graphic EQ, separate
remote-switchable normal and sustain channels, and B+ voltage switch, was was
essentially a standby circuit, used to keep the tubes warm to avoid warm-up
times. It sold for $350.
Carvin offered other combo amps in
1979, also. The VT-212 (near right) was a 100W tube combo with twin
12" MagnaLab speakers, driven by the VTR2800 amplifier. It sold for $450,
or $650 with twin JBL speakers.
The VT-112 (right, center) was the
same as the VT-212, but in a single-speaker configuration. It sold for
$325 with a MagnaLab 12" speaker, or $425 with a JBL speaker.
shown at the far right is the B-115 bass amp. For specs on
this model, see the 1979 Bass Amps page.
Carvin also offered the more basic
single-channel SC series 125W and 250W power amp (left). The SC series
of solid state amps featured a 7-band graphic EQ, bright switch, sustain control
(for adding distortion) and high and low inputs. These amps were
standard on Carvin's Bass Master amps, and were advertised as good, basic amps
for guitar and keyboards.
The SC2000 sold for
$250, and the
SC3000 was $320.