Vintage Carvin SS65

Vintage Carvin SS65

Ah Carvin, purveyors of finely crafted, American made, pointy-ass, wank-rock guitars. It seemed that back in the 80’s all my friends got the Carvin catalog in the mail, yet I only knew one kid who actually owned one. It was pointy and kind of lime green but actually played great. They were kind of what you’d get if you wanted a decent guitar to shred on but didn’t have the money for what you really wanted. Sitting in my room back then, contemplating the different degrees of ugliness I was looking at in the catalog, I had no idea that the company dated back to 1948! That’s right, Carvin founder Lowell Kiesel started making lap steel guitars in the late 40’s under the brand name Kiesel and by 1950 had changed the name of the company to Carvin. Carvin made their bones selling steels as well as being one of the only companies out there selling parts to the do-it-yourself luthier. This is the reason that Carvin pickups often turn up on weird, old, hillbilly guitars. Speaking of pickups, Semie Moseley famously used the Carvin AP-6 in the early Mosrite guitars. Anyhow, around 1955, Lowell Kiesel, who had been selling Fender Tele’s and Strats in his catalog, figured he could make more money by building his own guitars and that’s just what he did. He introduced the first ones in the ’55 catalog. The Fender influence is undeniable on these early models. They were made out of solid maple and available only in a natural finish. They are cool guitars with a very primitive vibe. A friend of mine who once played my 1961 Carvin described it as a guitar built by a master luthier in prison. Over the years, features were added and dropped, model names were changed and the option of a sunburst finish was added to the natural maple. Not a whole lot changed in the world of Carvin until 1975 when Kiesel’s sons took over and turned the company into what we know and love (or hate) today. This is a 1972-1974 model SS65. It features two AP-6 Pickups, which more and more people are discovering to be one of the best sounding pickups ever built! Seriously, they’re incredible! They stopped production of the AP-6 in 1974 and the SS65 was the last guitar offered with them. There are some scratches and dings all over the guitar as well as some finish checking and belt buckle rash on the back. It is certainly used but in no way abused. The neck is perfectly straight with good frets. The action is low and fast the whole way up the neck. Knobs are replacements as are a few of the pickguard screws and it is missing the pickup selector switch tip. Besides these few small things, the guitar is all original. Soft case included.

Price: Sold