Dating a guitar
Serial numbers can be of some help in narrowing down the possible guitar models available for any given year, but the most accurate method of making the determination, particularly on a guitar where the serial number is not known, is by looking at the woods, hardware, and headstock, and then seeing what models from what year fit that criteria.
Serial number information for Carvin instruments is scarce, and bass guitars were serialized right along with guitars: Extrapolation of serial numbers is practically impossible, and the numbers themselves have no logical order.
Unlike most other manufacturers' serial numbers, there are no hidden "codes" in a Carvin serial number that indicate year or month of production, or anything else. Carvin serial numbers can be located in several different places.
As with all Carvin guitars and basses, the presence (or absence) of a specific feature does not guarantee the year of manufacture.His two sons, Josef and Walter, joined their father's company in 19, and they successfully expanded Hfner's worldwide market, enabling them to survive the years of recovery following World War II.Carvin's relationship with Hfner began in the mid-1960's, and would last until the late 1980's.Carvin guitars and basses from 1964 until 1978 had bolt on Hfner necks, and the SH225 was made by Hfner and sold under the Carvin name.
The headstock on the left is from a late 80's Hfner Nightingale. Although the headstock shapes are different, there is no mistaking the inlay in the center.For example, there are some set-neck guitars (circa 1987) with the block logo (which wasn't "officially" introduced until 1988).