Other Guitars

carvin again


Well found this site since I am again trolling for a 1960s Carvin 6/4 doubleneck. I say check out all this killer stuff -- especially the huge amps... where did they all go?



Yeah, poor Carvin. Apparently never caught a clue as to how to effectively innovate. Always borrowing the great bulk of their ideas, features, shapes, and specs from other brands - at least on the guitar side of the equation.

And you really gotta question their market sense - particularly in the 60s and 70s. The first Carvins I was aware of were from the late 70s and early 80s, during their Gibsonesque phase - and those were great guitars with pretty smart borrowings from others. But if they were really trying to flog those Japanese-by-way-of-Russia guitar designs clear into the late 70s...what were they thinking?

I had a DC-150 like the one at the top of the linked page, though mine was black. All-maple set-neck and heavy, faultless build, brass nut and sustain block, ebony board, sci-fi low action, those brutal 22-pole humbuckers. There was no distinctive character whatever in its clean tone (it was even more PRS than PRS), but it was best control surface for high-gain and endless sustain I ever had.

An MX-1608 mixer, circa 1980-81, was the centerpiece of my first studio. Simple, apparently bulletproof, and it sounded fine. Never gave me a second of trouble. As it lacked a 2-channel L/R master output section (I guess they thought the 8 buss outs were enough...), I had a local shop make an outboard double-slider master section in a black anodized aluminum panel that matched the slope of the mixer's top, with matching VU meters.

In the process, I got to see inside the board. It wasn't the prettiest wiring I've ever seen, but there was a gob of point-to-point action in there. And no separate channel modules under the hood; as I recall, it had 4-channel PC boards. I believe all the back panel connections (XLR & 1/4" ins x 16, a 1/4" send-return pair and a direct out for each channel) were individually soldered to points on the board. LOTS of soldering.

All in all, an odd combination of competent and even smart (but not inspired) design, good-enough components, a compromise between full modularity and all P-T-P, and labor-intensive build.

There was no magic in it, but it was a decent workhorse with more channels (especially the 8 output busses) for the money than we could find from anyone else at a price that would let us build a studio. As the studio "business" and my personal situation changed, I carted it from location to location well into the 90s before replacing it with a Mackie 24•8, then sold it to a home-grown gospel church in the wilds of southern Indiana. It's probably still working.

So yeah, Carvin amplification. Workmanlike, robust, and competent. Just nothing very exciting. But at least you can't kill an amp/PA line with ugly product design. Not so with guitars!


Well just making that 10 pound 6/4 with a freekin Bigsby in 1960s makes up for all their heavy metal meandering in later decades.

Home grown gospel churches whether Indiana or my way in Virgina still have gobs of cool Hammonds, Leslies, tube PA amps, horns, etc stashed in basements and back rooms. I have saved few unwanted Hammond M3s from the dumpster.


I had a DC150 stereo, all maple dbl cutaway (just like the pic). Wish I still did but traded it away for a Ric bass which I then traded for something else. I remember the sustain over anything else. Great guitar.

Owned a few amps. Real brutes. Two 50 watt combos and a 100 watt head/half stack. Assorted EV and JBL speakers (still have an EV12L I swapped out). Never cared for their Drive/Harmonic Sustain circuit but the 7 band graphic EQ was cool (til they had problems). That was the Achilles heel of Carvin amps. So many OEM parts and weird value components. Impossible to source for repairs, even directly from Carvin.

Traded the big amp to a buddy 30 years ago who still has it. Sold the 50 watt 2x12 combo to a kid down the road who still has it. With the JBLs and EVs I always thought the cleans were the best part. Didn’t sound like a Twin (which I can’t stand) but big and ballsy. And really really loud.

Did you sell that double neck we worked on?


I am going to Vintage Guitar Hell -- because I sort of hacked that doubleneck after the body came back from you. That was the first of my many Demented Projects to come your way. Finally here we're doing an amp over the long term, long overdue.

But guitar ideas that were So Important to me then aren't important now. Actually I just posted the cleanest of the 4 Dano 3923 doublenecks I have ever had ( and for serious dough) so in case one of those Carvin 6/4s shows up again I can get it....and leave it stock. The first doubleneck was best.


U see it -- I'm on the lookout


carvins best

their ap-6 pickup

somewhere between a danelectro lipstick and a p90

used on early mosrites


ps- curtis novak makes a repro!

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