The 1957 Model #3-SGB guitar got a new catalog photo to show off the slightly altered body and headstock shape. The new shape notwithstanding, the features and construction was the same as the 1956 model, with hard-rock maple body and 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. Pricing was the same as 1956, with the #3-SGB selling for $119.90, and the #4-SGB, with non-adjustable pickups, selling for $99.90.
The Model #1-SGB guitar was radically changed from 1956. It sported the same style and shape body as the #3-SGB, with the same neck and headstock (the '56 model had a 3X3 headstock, and a different body). 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 in a new configuration from 1956. It used the same tuners 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 pole-pieces, for $69.90.
As in 1956, 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 from 1955/1956.
In addition to their own instruments, Carvin also was an authorized reseller of Fender and Martin guitars in the 1950's. Carvin offered the Stratocaster (with & without tremolo), the Telecaster, Musicmaster and Esquire. Carvin also sold Fender steel guitars (in 2, 3 and 4 neck configurations) and several amplifiers, including the Bassman and Fender Twin.
The Model 607 steel guitar and Model 807 lap steel guitars were unchanged from 1956, although the model 608 was dropped. The model 607 sold for $79.90, and the model 807 sold for $99.90.
As in 1956, the #6DHG and the #8DHG steel guitars were Carvin's entry level models for 1957. 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 model #6606A and #8806A doubleneck steel guitars were also upgraded for 1957. Gone was the white lucite fingerboard, replaced with a black plastic one. The AP series pickups, controls and construction were the same as 1956. The model #88806A had the same changes. The #6606A sold for $79.90 with A-1 non-adjustable pickups, or $94.90 with AP-6 adjustable pickups. The #8806A sold for $99.90 with A-2 pickups, or $119.90 with AP-8 pickups. The #88806A sold for $149.90 with A-2 pickups, or $179.90 with AP-6 pickups.
New for 1957 was the #P-881 pedal steel guitar. This was a doubleneck 8-string model, with 3 pedals on one neck. This instrument had an unusual layout - notice the pickups are near the tuners, and the fingerboard was reversed. The controls were also located above the tuners, making this an easy-to-identify, yet unusual, steel guitar. The #P-881, with adjustable AP-8 pickups, sold for $299.50. With non-adjustable A-2 pickups (#P-882), it sold for $279.50. An additional pedal could be added for $40.00.
The Model #1-MB mandolin was changed significantly from 1956. Like the #1-SGB, the body was redesigned, and the headstock adopted the shape that would remain until 1969. The white pickguard of the 1956 model would be replaced with a black one (also like the #1-SGB), but the electronics (including the AP-4 pickup), control configuration and body materials were unchanged. The #1-MB sold for $99.90, and the #2-MB, with non-adjustable A-1 pickup sold for $89.90. The #1-MA case was $17.00.
As in 1955 & 1956, Carvin offered a banjo, the Model 504T tenor banjo (far left), 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.
As shown in the catalog, Carvin offered other accessories, including the Electromonica harmonica mic, the Kontak Mike, which was a pickup for acoustic stringed instruments, and the 80X Crystal mic. Carvin also offered a wide range of specialized acoustic transducer pickups in 1957. There were models available for ukuleles, mandolins, acoustic guitars and other stringed acoustic instruments.
Carvin made it's name early on with pickups designed and built by Lowell Kiesel for use as replacement pickups in other manufacturer's steel guitars. The AP series of pickups were mainstays of the Carvin line, and would be seen on Carvin instruments all the way until 1977. These Alnico V pickups were offered in 3 different models - the AP-4, which was used in basses and mandolins; the AP-6, which was used in guitars and steel guitars; and the AP-8, which was used in 8-string steel guitars. Also available were the A-1 and A-2, which were non-adjustable pickups used on 6-string and 8-string instruments, respectively.
Just as Kiesel Guitars does today, Carvin offered a wide variety of replacement parts in 1957. Switches, bridges, tailpieces, tuners, necks and much more were offered, as well as all the components (except the body) necessary to build a steel guitar from scratch.