2005 GUITARS

The Contour 66 and Bolt guitars were unchanged for 2005, as were all Carvin guitars in the early part of the year. There were some price increases on these models over 2004, of about $50.00 on each model and the tremolo-equipped variants; however, the 2004 prices had dropped from 2003, so the 2005 prices were only about $20.00 more on each model than they had been in 2003. With the $50.00 off special, these models were actually less than in 2004. And, as was fairly normal, Carvin offered half-off on all options and cases, so the C66 and Bolt were still great values for the dollar. The Winter catalog showed a C66C in blueburst on flamed maple with black hardware; a C66 in tobacco sunburst on quilted maple with gold hardware and a center-mounted AP11 pickup; a Bolt-T in black with matching headstock, black pearloid pickguard, black hardware and twinblade humbuckers; and a left-handed Bolt-T in emerald green on swamp ash with matching headstock, black pearloid pickguard, twinblade humbuckers with a C22B bridge pickup with coil splitters and gold hardware. Although still available, the BoltPlus was not shown in the Spring or Summer catalogs due to space restrictions.

The DC127 and DC135 were unchanged from 2004, and had similar "on paper" price increases as other 2005 guitars. Reintroduced for 2005 was the DC145 - a 3-pickup variant of the other DC models, which had been offered briefly (but with a slightly different body shape) from 1989-1992. The catalog showed a DC127C in Pearl White with rounded body sides, Birdseye maple fingerboard, abalone dot inlays and gold hardware; a DC127M in Umber Stain on quilted maple with matching headstock, abalone dot inlays and rounded body sides; a DC135T in Pearl Blue with rounded body sides and twinblade humbuckers; and a DC145 with flamed koa top and matching headstock, rounded body sides, abalone dot inlays and gold hardware. The summer '05 catalog showed additional finishes, on a new lighter background. The largest picture showed a DC127 with a figured walnut top with matching headstock, birdseye maple fingerboard and cream pickups. Next to it was a DC127T in translucent white on swamp ash with a birdseye maple fingerboard, birdseye maple headstock and gold hardware. The DC135T in the center is Sunsetburst on flame with matching headstock and gold hardware, and the DC145 is the same flamed koa model shown in the previous catalog.

The DC727 and DC747 seven-string guitars were unchanged, with the exception of increase in prices. The catalog showed a DC727 with a figured walnut top and matching headstock and Birdseye maple fingerboard; and a left-handed DC747 in classic white with black hardware and mother-of-pearl block inlays.

New for 2005, and rumored since mid-2004, was the Tony MacAlpine TMAC models. Details on these new models were sketchy at the beginning of the year, but they were based on the DC127C (TMAC VI) and DC727C (TMAC VII) that Tony plays. Both had TMAC logos on the headstock. The Summer '05 catalog continued to allude to the TMAC models, without any specifics or ordering info, other than to say that the TMAC guitars had Tony's logo on the headstock. The catalog showed (left to right) a DC727 with a figured walnut top, matching headstock, birdseye maple fingerboard and chrome hardware; a DC727C in Blueburst on quilt with rosewood fingerboard, abalone block inlays and chrome hardware; a DC727C in Ruby Red stain on quilt with black hardware; and a DC747 in Pearl Silver with black hardware.

The SC90 and TL60 guitars were moved to the same page, had slight price increases, but were otherwise unchanged for early 2005. The catalog showed an SC90S in Sapphire Blue with blackburst edges on flamed maple with matching headstock, MOP block inlays and coli splitters; and an SC90S in Antique Brown with blackburst edges on flamed maple with matching headstock and gold hardware. Both SC90's were shown with non-rounded body edges, which was a little unusual - most SC90's shown in the catalogs over the years had optional rounded body sides. The Winter catalog also showed a TL60 in Classic Sunburst on swamp ash with matching headstock and Birdseye maple fingerboard; and a TL60 with figured walnut top and matching headstock and Fishman acoustic bridge with active electronics. The Summer catalog showed an SC90 in Antique Brown on flamed maple with blackburst edges, non-rounded body sides and gold hardware; an SC90 in clear gloss on mahogany with abalone block inlays and chrome hardware; the same TL60 in Classic Sunburst on swamp ash with matching headstock and Birdseye maple fingerboard as the Spring edition; and a TL60T in Blueburst on flamed maple with blackburst edges, black hardware, abalone block inlays and Wilkinson tremolo.

The DC150, which had been shown with the SC90 in 2004, was still available, but wasn't shown in the catalog.

The DC400 returned to prominence in the 2005 catalog, with a two-page spread showing the various DC200 and DC400 models. With the $50.00 off special, the prices remained the same as 2004, as did the specifications. The Winter catalog showed a DC400C in Ruby Red Stain on flamed maple with matching headstock and gold hardware; a DC400W with Fishman bridge and gold hardware; and a DC400A in Umber Stain with Sunsetburst edges on quilted maple. Also shown was a DC200M in Greenburst on swamp ash with black hardware; a DC200M with flamed koa top and matching headstock with gold hardware; and a 12-string DC120 in Blueburst.

The California Carved Top models were once again treated to a two-page spread, although the prices and features remained the same as in 2004. The Winter catalog showed a CT6M in Deep Sunsetburst on quilt with matching headstock, abalone block inlays and gold hardware; a CT6M in Deep Blue on quilted maple; a CT3T in matte satin finish on mahogany; a gold top CT4M with natural body binding; and a CT4M in Cherryburst with natural body binding and gold hardware. The Summer catalog showed a CT6M is finished in Triple-Step Tiger Eye with Cherryburst edges on quilted maple. The CT6C model on the left is Triple-Step Tiger's Eye on flamed maple. Two of the three smaller models were the same as the previous catalog, but the Gold Top model from the spring edition was replaced with a Pearl Silver CT3M model with birdseye maple fingerboard.

The Allan Holdsworth Signature H2 and HF2 Fatboy were unchanged for 2005. Prices increased by $40.00 on each model, but with the $50.00 off promotion, these were actually $10.00 less in 2005. And of course, the Holdsworth models benefited from the 50% off on all options and cases. The Winter catalog showed an HF2 Fatboy in Vintage Yellow on quilt with matching headstock, rosewood fingerboard with abalone dot inlays and coil splitters; an H2T in Umber Stain/Sunsetburst on quilted maple with matching headstock, abalone dot inlays and black chrome hardware; and an H2 in Antique Brown Stain on quilted maple with matching headstock, no inlays, and black hardware.


2005 ACOUSTIC ELECTRIC GUITARS

The AE185 was unchanged. The Winter catalog showed an AE185 with figured walnut top and matching headstock, body binding, coil taps and phase switch and gold hardware; an AE185 in Umber Stain/Sunsetburst on flamed maple with matching headstock, body binding, coil taps and phase switch and gold hardware; an AE185 in flamed koa with matching headstock abalone dot inlays, black hardware and coil taps/phase switches; and an AE185-12 in Sunsetburst on flamed maple with matching headstock, abalone block inlays, body binding, black hardware and coil taps and phase switches. The fall catalog showed an interesting AE185. It was finished in sapphire blue on quilted maple, but had the new California headstock, instead of the traditional 3 X 3 normally found on this model; the CT headstock would eventually become standard. This example also had body binding, a Birdseye maple fingerboard and gold hardware. Also shown were an AE185 in Sunsetburst on flamed maple, and AE185 in Umber Stain with Sunsetburst edges on quilt, and an AE185-12 in figured walnut with blackburst edges.

The AC175, AC275 and Craig Chaquico Signature CC275 models were all the same as their 2004 counterparts. From left to right, the catalog showed a CC275 in standard clear gloss on flamed maple top, eagle inlays, body binding and gold hardware; an AC275 in Umber Stain/Sunsetburst on flamed maple with matching headstock and black hardware; an AC275-12 in Tobacco Sunburst on quilted maple with matching headstock, body binding, abalone dot inlays and black hardware; and an AC175 in clear gloss on flamed maple with matching headstock, MOP block inlays, body binding, and black hardware.

The AC375 and CL450 were also unchanged from 2004. The catalog showed an AC375 in figured walnut with matching headstock and gold hardware, an AC375 in clear gloss on spruce, and a CL450 in Sunsetburst on spruce.

Carvin's Cobalt acoustic guitars were unchanged, and had the same prices and catalog photos as in 2004.


2005 BASSES

Near the end of 2005, bassists were treated to Carvin's most exotic bass ever (up to that point), the Elite Series. Like the Anniversary Series, this was a souped-up LB model, available on an LB70, LB75 or LB76. This bass has a 5-piece maple/walnut neck, walnut body, and a 5-piece body made from a 5A quilted front and back, walnut center, and black phenolic layers. The headstock also had a quilted front and back with the black phenolic layers and matching quilted truss rod cover and gold Carvin logo. A 5-piece maple/walnut neck was standard, as was gold hardware, 18V P-Series electronics with an HB series pickup and an H50N in the neck position. The LB70EP sold for $2299; the LB75EP was $2369; and the LB76EP was $2449. These were also available on the XB series (XB75EP, XB76EP) for an additional $50.00.

Although it wasn't explicitly stated in the catalog, the Custom Shop would add the Elite upgrade to just about any other model, such as the DC747 at the top of this page.

Carvin's bolt-neck basses, the B4 and the B5, were the same as the 2004 models. Like the guitars, they increased in price by $50.00, but with the $50.00 off sale, they actually remained the same in price as 2004. The Winter catalog showed a B4 in Umber Stain/Sunsetburst on flamed maple with matching headstock, abalone dot inlays, HB2 pickup and gold hardware; a B4F in Greenburst; a B5 in Jet Black with matching headstock and HB2 pickup; and a B5 in Ruby Red Stain on quilted maple with matching headstock and black chrome hardware. The newly-redesigned summer catalog showed the same Umber Stain with Sunsetburst edgesB4 and the same black B5 as the winter edition; also shown was a B4 in clear gloss on swamp ash and a B5 in blueburst with a birdseye maple fingerboard.

The LB70 turned 20 in 2005, more-or-less, having been produced in 1976 & 1977, and then again from 1988-2005. However, it and other Carvins based on it, the LB20 and TBS4, were unchanged. With the $50.00 off special, the prices were the same on all three models s in 2004. The Winter catalog showed an LB70P in walnut with 5-piece neck and black hardware; an LB70 in Pearl White with black chrome hardware and HB pickup; an LB20 in Classic Sunburst with matching headstock and black hardware, and a TBS4 in Cherry Sunburst on flamed maple with matching headstock and gold hardware. Although not widely publicized, a bass version of the CT headstock was made available in 2005.

The LB75 and XB75 5-string basses were unchanged for early 2005. The Winter catalog showed an LB75P with flamed koa top, swamp ash body, 5-piece maple/koa neck and black chrome hardware; an LB75 in Classic Sunburst on swamp ash with matching headstock and HB2 pickup; an XB75P with Claro walnut top and headstock, no-show neck, Birdseye maple fingerboard and gold hardware; and an XB75P in Translucent Green on swamp ash with chrome hardware. The Fall 2005 catalog showed an unusual all-maple LB75. In addition to the maple body and neck, this one has a maple fingerboard and black chrome hardware. Also shown was an LB75P in Pearl Blue with a rosewood fingerboard and chrome hardware; an XB75P in trans Emerald Green on swamp ash; and an XB75P with dual HB pickups and a satin-finished flamed koa top and matching headstock.

Like the other basses, the LB76 and XB76 were unchanged for 2005. The Winter catalog showed an LB76P in black stain on quilt with matching headstock, 5-piece maple/walnut neck, abalone block inlays and black chrome hardware; an LB76PF in koa with gold hardware; an LB76 in clear gloss with blackburst edges on quilted maple with matching headstock and gold hardware; and an XB76P in Blueburst on flamed maple with matching headstock and abalone dot inlays. The Fall 2005 catalog showed several other styles of LB76 and XB76. First up, and LB76P in figured walnut with blackburst edges, chrome hardware and no inlays. The black stain LB76P was the same one as in the catalog shown above. Next, a pair of XB76Ps; the first in greenburst on flamed maple with dual HB pickups, and the second in Sunsetburst on walnut with dual HB pickups.

The Bunny Brunel Signature Series basses were unchanged, as well. The Winter catalog showed a BB70 in Umber Stain on quilted maple with Birdseye maple fingerboard, Birdseye maple headstock, HB series bridge pickup and gold hardware; a BB70F in Sapphire Blue on flamed maple with matching headstock, Hipshot detuner, HB pickup and black hardware; a BB75F in Umber Stain on flamed maple with matching headstock, HB pickup and gold hardware; and a BB76PF in Jet Black. As with other models, the BB series had a new design in the Summer '05 catalog. Shown were a BB70F in Sapphire Blue on flamed maple, a BB70P in Umber Stain with cherry sunburst edges on flame, a BB75F in Umber Stain on flame, and a BB76P in Ruby Red Stain on quilted maple.

The Claro Walnut and Anniversary Series basses had some new photography in the catalog, as well as some new models. For the first time, XB model basses were official available as an Anniversary or Claro Walnut model. In the past, an XB bass could be ordered with the features of an A or W series bass, but it wasn't an "official" model. The Winter catalog showed an LB75AP in clear gloss on quilted maple, and an XB75WP in figured walnut.

The AC40 and AC50 acoustic/electric basses were the same as the 2004 models. The Winter catalog showed the AC50 in satin finished koa with matching headstock, body binding and gold hardware; an AC50F with flamed koa top and matching headstock with chrome hardware; an AC40 in Traditional Sunburst on flamed maple with matching headstock and body binding, and an AC40 in clear gloss on flamed maple with matching headstock and body binding.


In addition to the Elite Series, bassists had something else to be excited about at the end of 2005 - the introduction of the Cobalt C450T acoustic bass. This was a jumbo-bodied instrument, with AA spruce top and mahogany back and sides. Gloss finish was standard with a satin neck, and a satin finish was optional on the body. It has chrome hardware, and abalone soundhole purfling. Electronics consisted of a Fishman Matrix pickup with a Fishman Prefix Plus-T module with a built-in tuner. Like the other Cobalt models, this was an imported instrument, with no customizable options, but it was the only true acoustic bass Carvin ever offered.