In addition to the discontinuation of the Hofner-style headstock and a shift to a standardized 3 X 3 Les Paul-style headstock, the CM120 12-string guitar and the DT650 and DB630 doublenecks were discontinued for 1979. However, new versions of these models would be released in 1980, and would remain into the 1990s, and even longer for the 12-string model.

The CM Series guitars were very similar to the Les Paul (in those days, practically every guitar made by anyone was either an LP or Strat clone). The CM130 was available in two different models, the CM130CM which had a clear finish on maple body and a maple fingerboard, and the CM130CE, which had a clear finish on maple with ebony fingerboard. The CE had a variant, the CM130BE, which had a black finish and ebony fingerboard. The CM130CM sold for $370 (of $400 for a leftie), the CM130CE and CE130BE both sold for $390 (no lefty available). The HC10 hardshell case was $50.

The CM140 was Carvin's flagship single-cutaway model for 1979. The design was the same as the other CM guitars, but had more features, such as mother-of-pearl block inlays and headstock inlay, stereo wiring, and available gold hardware. It was available as the CM140B (black finish), the CM140C (clear finish), and the CM140L (left-handed). The C and B models were $470, and the L model was $500.

The DC150 was also loosely based on a Gibson - in this case, the Les Paul Special Doublecut. Again, this was not unusual at this point in time. In 1979, Carvin's DC150 was available in the same variations as the CM models - black/ebony (DC150BE), clear/maple (DC150CM) and clear/ebony (DC150CE). All three were available in left-handed models (extra $30), and gold hardware was also available for an additional $50. The DC150BE and DC150CE were $430, and the DC150CM was $410.

The DC160 was the top of the line model for 1979, and hinted at things to come for Carvin in the 1980s. This model was an upscale DC150, made from curly or birdseye maple, with abalone block inlays, abalone headstock inlay and 24K gold hardware as standard features. Electronics were the same as the DC150. The pickguard found on all other Carvin models was noticeably absent, allowing the wood to show - a feature that would soon be standard on most Carvin guitars. The DC160, in curly or birdseye maple, sold for $670, or $700 for a lefthanded model.

In addition to the catalog pages actually featuring the available guitar models, Carvin dedicated several pages to "selling" the instruments, with in-depth descriptions of various features, construction techniques, and electronics. Interestingly, the M22 pickup was shown installed in what appears to be a Les Paul, and the description is clear that the M22 can be installed on a Gibson guitar. As had been the case for many years, a wide assortment of replacement parts were also available.


After changing models every year for the past 3 or more years, all the pieces came together, and the LB50 was born. This was the first Carvin bass to feature a set-neck (glued in), which would be one of the major selling points over the lifespan of this instrument. Available in black or natural, this bass featured a standard-scale 34" neck with 20 frets, and the M22 pickups with now-familiar phase switches. It was available as the LB50CM (clear finish/maple fingerboard) for $380, LB50BE (black finish/ebony fingerboard) for $400, or as the LB50CE (clear finish/ebony fingerboard) for $400. It was also available in a lefthanded model for an additional $30, or with stereo wiring for an additional $30. The HC14 hardshell case sold for $60.00.

Carvin also offered the LB60, which was an upscale version of the LB50, in the same vein as the DC160 guitar. In addition to stereo wiring, the LB60 would hint at things to come in the future of Carvin basses, by offering birdseye or curly (flamed) maple bodies with gold hardware and stereo wiring - very exotic for the time. The LB60 sold for $550, and was available in a lefthanded model for an additional $30, and in a fretless model for an additional $10. The LB60 would only be shown in 1979, but since the LB50 would be the anchor of Carvin's bass line throughout the early to mid 80s, it was most likely available on custom order.

The LB50 ad in the catalog gallery at the top of this page is from the May 1979 issue of Guitar Player.