1950s Carvin 1-SGB Solidbody Electric Guitar

This guitar has bumped-around a bunch in recent memory online so there's a nice picture-trail of what's gone on with it. In its present state, it's gotten closer to the original intention of the build, however, though it's one of those "is it still the same hammer if XYZ has been replaced?" kind-of instruments.

The body, neck, and posts for the the bridge appear to be the only original parts left extant on it. The pickguard is a nice replacement in the original style and the wiring harness is new. The neck has been refinished (though it's very close to an original Carvin finish -- we've had a number of period Carvins through in recent memory) and the body was oversprayed, apparently.

The frets are newer. Its tailpiece is non-original (but '60s) and I know I've seen this whammy-style tail somewhere (Teisco?) but I can't place it. It's like a low-rent version of a Hagstrom tailpiece. The knobs look older and are quite snazzy. The bridge/saddle looks correct but it's a modern, 3-wound, 3-plain version of a Bigsby saddle so it's a (very functional) replacement. The tuners are modern Gotoh Kluson-a-likes that we put on because it came with cheesy '70s Japanese ones on it. The strap buttons are new Gibson-style ones we just put on.

The pickup is an original AP-6 single coil, though, which is nice. The body was routed for a P90 or something at some point, though, so there's a filled cavity under the pickup and you can see it. The owner suggested making a surround or ring for it but I found the history a little charming and the fill job inoffensive so I left it. I can make a black one to fit under it if desired by the next owner -- just let me know!

Our work here was light but it did turn it from an OK-playable instrument into a spot-on one. It's quite a nice old guitar and has that "cool '50s vibe" in spades. It does have a big old neck, however, so be prepared for that. The center-pickup mount makes it an ideal "all-arounder" guitar -- pick near the neck for a mellow, clean, sweeter sound and pick near the bridge for a snappy, surfy, twangy, country sound.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, minor adjustments, and setup.

Weight: 7 lbs 8 oz

Scale length: 25 1/8"

Nut width: 1 3/4"

Neck shape: big D

Board radius: 12"

Body width: 11 7/8"

Body depth: 1 3/4"

Body wood: maple

Bridge: Bigsby-style non-adjustable

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: maple

Pickups: original Carvin AP-6 single coil

Action height at 12th fret: 1/16” overall (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 46w-10

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-narrow

Condition notes: please see my description above for details on all the parts-swapping and changes since it was new. The bottom line is that it has had much of its parts shuffled-around and changed, but overall is in good shape. The finish looks authentic despite being reworked a bit.

It comes with: sorry, no case.

Consignor tag: DC


Unknown said…
Cool! Would a Bigsby B5 fit on this or do the pickguard/controls fall in the Bigsby footprint?
Jake Wildwood said…
Yeah, you'd need to recut the guard a bit to fit one.