1983 GUITARS

The DC200 Koa got an updated photograph to show off the new bridge, but otherwise, it was unchanged from 1982, including the price. The DC200 Koa came standard with chrome hardware, MOP dot inlays, stereo wiring and the same electronics of the DC160. Gold hardware was a $50 option, and abalone block inlays were a $60 option. The base price of the DC200K was $460, and the HC11 hardshell case was $60. The DC160K was unchanged as well, but also used the '82 photograph, despite the new tailpiece. The DC160 Koa remained at $685, and the HC10 case was $60.

The DC200 was also unchanged, except the bridge, but did get a new picture, showing a black and white model. The base price of the DC200, in clear, red, white or black, remained $495, and the HC11 hardshell case was $60. Gold hardware was an additional $50, and MOP dot inlays reduced the price by $40. It was also available as the DC120 12-string guitar, which had a base price of $495.

The DC100 also sported a new tailpiece, but without the fine-tuners of the DC200 (dubbed the B6 tailpiece). Base price of the DC100 increased to $329, and the HC10 hardshell case was $60. The DC150 got updated photos for 1983, ending the pastel backgrounds that had been used for several years. It still had 3 different model configurations - the DC150BE, which had a black finish and ebony fingerboard, and sold for $435; the DC150CM, which had a clear finish and maple fingerboard and sold for $415; and the DC150CE, which had a clear finish and ebony fingerboard, and sold for $435. Red or white finishes were an additional $20, and gold hardware was available for $50. A left-handed model was offered, at $30 additional to the model desired, and natural koa was also offered for an additional $40. The HC10 hardshell case for all DC1XX models was $60.

Also unchanged from 1981 and 1982 were the CM130 and CM140. The only new feature was the bridge/tailpiece (fine tuners on the CM140, but not on the CM130). These Les Paul-style singlecuts were essentially the same instrument, with the CM140 offering stereo wiring and abalone block inlays, while the CM130 was mono with MOP dot inlays. They had the same options, at the same prices, as the DC150. Prices remained the same as 1982 - the CM130CE and CM130BE were $395, and the CM130CM was $375. The CM140CE and CM140BE were $485 (a "CM" model was not officially offered) and a left-handed version was $515. The HC10 case for any of these was $60.

The SH225, made with Hofner parts, but assembled by Carvin, was unchanged for 1983. The photograph was the same, as well - it had the new tailpiece in 1982. Standard features on this semi-hollow electric were dual M22 pickups, dual volume and tone controls, pickup selector switch, ebony fingerboard, abalone block inlays and natural finish. Also offered was the SH225S, which featured stereo wiring, and coil and phase switches. Gold hardware was an addition $50, and a black laminated pickguard could be added for $15. Base price on the SH225 was $620, and the SH225S was $670. The HC18 form-fitted hardshell case was $79.

There was no change in the photo, price or specs on the DN612 (6-string/12-string guitar) and DN640 (6-string guitar and 4-string bass). Standard feature were black or natural finish, MOP inlays and chrome hardware. Electronics were the same as the LB50 (bass) and DC150 (guitar), with the exception of 1 tone control versus two. Both had two output jacks; one for each neck - therefore, stereo wiring wasn't available. The base price on the DN612 was $895, while the DN640 was $865. It could also be ordered in red or white for an additional $40, or in Koa wood for an additional $80. Gold hardware was available for an additional $100. The HC15 hardshell case sold for $75.

Curator's Note: 1983 was when I ordered my first Carvin instrument, a DN640 doubleneck, in koa with gold hardware. As equipped and shipped, the total cost was $1160, which was a huge amount for a guitar for someone in high school. I still have this guitar, and it's pictured in the banner at the top of this page.

1983 BASSES

1983 saw the introduction of a new model, the LB40. Reminiscent of the DC200 guitar, this bass featured the more pointed style of body (versus the rounded LB50). Despite being a new model, it was still considered an "entry level" bass, while the LB50 represented the flagship line. The LB40 had a single M22B bass pickup, single volume and tone controls, and a dual/single coil switch. The body and set-neck were made of Eastern hardrock maple, and was also available in koa. Other standard finishes were clear gloss, black, white or red, with no upcharge for red or white as on the '82 LB50. A fretless model was also available, but not a left-handed model. The base price of the LB40 was $369, or $409 for the Koa model. The only option other than the finish was gold plated hardware, for an addition $50. The HC14 case was $68.

The LB50 was identical to the '82 model, and the photo in the catalog was also the same as the previous year. There was a slight price increase, with the LB50CM (clear finish/maple neck) going for $399, and the ebony-fretboard models going for $419. Red or white was still an additional $20, and Koa was an additional $40.

To showcase the various finish options of the LB40, the '83 catalog featured a nice full-page spread. Although the 80 page catalog only had 4 pages devoted to basses, the was the beginning of something big in the Carvin bass community. Compare the photography of the LB40 to the LB50 below (from the '82 catalog). The '83 photos represented a more high-end, artistic look, and probably enhanced the boutique appeal of the instrument. Soon, all Carvin basses would have a similar presentation.

The DN640 below is owned by the Curator, and appeared in Vintage Guitar in March 2005. Click the picture for a larger version.