1976 Carvin CB100

Carvin is one of the more unusual stories among guitar manufacturers. They never sold through dealers but have nonetheless built up a substantial following strictly through mail order (or, in recent years, via online sales). While their popularity today stems largely from offering myriad options on every model, such was not the case before the internet made customization easy and inexpensive. In the 1970s, Carvin offered a range of well-built if largely conventional instruments that reflected the popular trends of the time.

Carvin updated their lineup in 1976. The CM96 guitar was an update on older designs, complete with new humbucking pickups, a phase switch and optional stereo output. The same Les Paul-derived body shape was also used on a totally new matching bass, the CB100. It featured similar wiring to the CM96, but stereo output was standard. A pair of APH-4N pickups was fitted, each with its own on/off switch, volume control, and tone control. A phase switch completed the setup.

Like all Carvin guitars and basses of the time, the CB100 featured a Hofner neck. The catalog specified block inlays, though I have seen several with dot markers like this bass. It seems that Carvin regarded catalog specifications more like suggestions than laws set in stone, as there are many instruments from this period that do not precisely match catalog descriptions. In addition to the fret markers, this bass lacks the bridge rest pictured in the catalog. Some examples have neck plates, while others (like this one) have the screw heads recessed into the back of the body. The body itself and most of the hardware was built by Carvin, and the extensive use of maple created a bass that is heavy but has a sharp, cutting tone.

This specimen is all original and in excellent, clean condition.