The 1966 Carvin catalog cover featured the #74-BG bass, as well as a #65-SGB guitar, and endorsers/players (top to bottom) Joe Maphis, Larry Collins, Billy Mize, and Hawaiian steel guitarist Pua Almeida.  The 22-page black-and-white catalog included a variety of steel guitars, amps, stringed instruments and accessories.

Click each picture to see the entire catalog page.

1966 Guitars

1966 Guitar Amps

1966 Bass Amps

Beltone Teisco Logos

The 1960's were an interesting time in the world of guitars.  Gibson & Fender dominated the US market, but 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 Arbiter, Audition & Kay in Europe.   Carvin was a part of this, as well, selling a bass that was most likely distributed by Beltone, and was in turn made my Teisco (like the #I-902 guitar).

The #I-906 was identical to this no-named Beltone/Teisco bass.   Carvin didn't put their name on the headstock; they were simply a reseller like many other companies.

For more information, see the Bass Identification Guide

The #73-BG bass that was introduced in 1965 was retired, and replaced by the upgraded #74-BG.  The most obvious difference between these models was the new, full size pickguard and slanted pickups, a feature that was common on Carvin basses and guitars of the era.

The remainder of the features were essentially the same as the '65 model, with AP-6 (adjustable) or APB-4 (non-adjustable) pickups, dual volume & tone controls, and a pickup selector switch.  The Sunburst-finish body and neck were made from maple.  Interestingly, the catalog said: "Perhaps some day you may wish to sell your guitar and the fine sunburst finish will always have a much better resale than a gaudy color."  My, how things change!  But at the time, sunburst finishes were the rage.

Other features included a rosewood fretboard with double-dot pearl inlays, nickel tailpiece, nickel-plated tuners and a steel truss rod.

The #74-BG, with adjustable pickups, sold for $125, and the #84BG, with non-adjustable pickups, sold for $105.  The plush-lined #21-SGC hardshell case was $23.90, and the felt-lined #22-SGC hardshell case was $19.90.

In the sixties, Carvin offered low-cost imports in addition to the instruments made at Covina.  This bass, the model #I-906 (left), replaced the #I-901 that was offered in 1965.  This bass was made of solid mahogany with "dark finish", and had an unspecified wood neck with rosewood fingerboard.  A single pickup with volume and tone controls, adjustable bridge, jumbo tuners, thumb-rest and chrome bridge cover rounded out the package.

Price on the #I-906 was $99.90, and the #I-905 soft case was $29.90.

The model #4-BS doubleneck Spanish guitar/bass (right) retained the same basic shape as it had at the beginning of the decade, but with improved features.  Pickups were available in adjustable or non-adjustable configurations, and the electronics were rounded out by a single tone and volume control, with individual on-off switches for each one, allowing any combination of pickups to be used.

The #4-BS with adjustable pickups sold for $229.90, and the #5-BS, with non-adjustable pickups, sold for $199.90.  A Bigsby vibrato tailpiece could be added for an additional $29.90.  The #6-CBS hardshell case was an additional $29.90.


What a difference 35 years makes!  Back in the 60's, if you wanted to buy a Carvin, there was one way to do it - fill in the order form on the back cover of the catalog.  There was no 800 number - no phone number of any sort.  Just this order form, and a PO Box number in Covina.