All-new for 1956 was the Model #3-SGB guitar. This solid-body guitar was constructed from hard-rock maple, with a bolt-on maple neck. The neck had a rosewood fingerboard with a bone nut and sealed nickel-plated tuners. Electronics consisted of Carvin's AP-6 adjustable-pole pickups, with individual volume and tone controls, and a standard 3-way selector switch. The #3-SGB sold for $119.90, and was also available as the #4-SGB, with non-adjustable pickups, which sold for $99.90.

Also new for 1956 was the Model #1-SGB guitar. It was similar in construction to the #3-SGB, but with a single AP-6 pickup with dual tone controls and a single volume control. It used the same tuners (although in a 3X3 configuration) as the #3-SGB, and the same A-40 cast bridge and A-3 molded tailpiece as the #3-SGB. The model #1-SGB sold for $79.90, and was also offered as the model #2-SGB, with non-adjustable polepieces, for $69.90.

The Model 140 Spanish electric, Model 6 Spanish electric, solidbody Model 1515 and Model 44 Spanish electric hardtop were all unchanged from 1955. These were almost certainly outsourced instruments, made by Teisco or another company, and badged with the Carvin logo. The specs, pricing and catalog pages showing these models was also unchanged.


The Model 608, Model 607 and Model 807 steel guitars were unchanged from 1955. These had a maple neck with walnut body, ivory tuners, AP-series pickups, single volume and bass and treble controls. The Model 607 six-string sold for $79.90, the Model 807 8-string sold for $99.90, and the Model 608 with DeArmond tuning changer sold for $109.90.

Carvin's main lineup of steel guitars were unchanged from 1955. The Model 6606A double six; the Model 8806A double eight; the Model 88806A triple eight; and the Model 888806A quadruple eight had the same specs, pricing and catalog pages as the previous year. All these were constructed from Eastern hard rock maple with lucite fingerboard, and all had single volume and tone controls. The 6606A sold for $79.90, the 8806A sold for $99.90, the 88806A sold for $149.90, and the 888806A sold for $209.90.

The #6DHG and the #8DHG steel guitars were Carvin's entry level models for 1956, and replaced the 1955 Model 606 and Model 608, although they were not actually new models; just renamed from the previous year. They were both constructed from maple, with a lucite fingerboard, ivory tuners, single AP pickup with volume and tone controls. The #6DHG-1, with single non-adjustable A-1 pickup, sold for $39.90. With an adjustable AP-6 pickup (#6DHG-2), it sold for $49.90. The #8-DHG-1 with single non-adjustable A-2 pickup, sold for $59.90. With an adjustable AP-8 pickup (#8DHG-2), it sold for $69.90.

The Student Deluxe Model #3-SHG was changed in 1956, to a hardwood-bodied six-string model with single non-adjustable AP-1 pickup and single volume and tone controls (it was plastic covered wood in 1955). It sold for $29.75, or could be combined with the #10A amp for $69.90.


Right in step with Carvin's new 1956 solid-body guitars was the new #1-MB mandolin. This innovative new instrument took it's design cues and construction techniques from the SGB series of guitars, with a solid maple body, and AP-4 adjustable pickup with dual tone controls and master volume control. The model #1-MB sold for $89.90. The catalog page showed Agnes Kiesel playing one of these mandolins.

The Model 6512 electric mandolin, which had a single pickup, with volume and tone controls, was probably a rebadged instrument made overseas. This instrument sold for $59.90, and the Model 1735 non-electric mandolin sold for $35.00. Case for either was $7.00.

As in 1955, Carvin offered a banjo, the Model 504T tenor banjo, which had a curly maple body with resonator and rosewood fingerboard with inlaid position markers. It sold for $49.90, and was also available in a non-tenor model, the Model 504, for the same price.

The back cover of the '56 catalog had a basic ordering form (note the 3% California sales tax), the new Covina address, and customer testimonials. Of interest is the customer comment from Honolulu, T.H. (Territory of Hawaii) - Carvin was doing business when there were only 48 states!