NAMM 2024: Charvel has unveiled its first new Pro-Mod models of the year, and there is plenty of good news for serious and jobbing shredders looking for a formidable high-performance electric guitar without the formidable price tag.
For one, the relic finishes we have previously seen on the Henrik Danhage signature model are now available for the San Dimas Style 1. And maybe now it is finally time to add that Bubblegum Pink S-style to the collection.
Okay, so we’re not talking cheap electric guitars per se, but in keeping with Charvel’s recent form, these Pro-Mod six-strings stack the specs high.
At £1,049 / $1,199, it’s hard to think of a better statement guitar for the money than the the alder-bodied Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM, which arrives in the aforementioned and retina-threatening Bubblegum Pink, or if that’s not statement enough there is the Malibu Sunset gradient finish.
These finishes might look too loud on any other guitar but there’s something about Charvel’s souped-up Fender aesthetic – complete with licensed Strat headstocks – that makes this work.
There is a distinct possibility that nobody will be able to remember what it’s called. Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM Alder? Yes, we know that this an acronym for the spec – Dinky body, 24 frets, dual humbuckers, two-point tremolo and caramelised maple neck. But it does read as though Charvel name guitars after wi-fi passwords.
Everyone, however, will remember how these look, and with a dual-humbucker pairing of a Seymour Duncan Full Shred at the bridge and a more vintage-voiced Alnico II Pro at the neck, they’ll surely remember how they sound.
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There are a lot of shared specs in this roll-out. As we have come to expect from Charvel, there are compound 12” to 16” compound radius fingerboards as standard. Necks are all “speed” profile C shapes, reinforced with graphite rods, and satin-smooth, with rolled fingerboard edges and Luminlay glow-in-the-dark side markers a nice touch.
The frets are jumbo. The nuts are Graph Tech Tusq XL. Player-friendly touches include the heel-mounted truss rod wheel. The hardware options comprise a double-locking Floyd Rose 1000 Series vibrato or the two-point Gotoh 510 unit, locking tuners, and these come in gold or chrome.
You’ll find the Gotoh 510 on the Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM Alder and chrome hardware.
The Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT EB Alder is ostensibly the same guitar but perhaps for those who fear that Bubblegum Pink is too Bubblegum Pink for their audience. This comes in black and has an ebony fingerboard instead of the caramelised maple of the its louder-finished DK24 siblings.
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Now for some S-styles that look like they’ve been carved out of the deck of an old Nantucket whaling ship. That’s right, the Pro-Mod Relic San Dimas Style 1 HH FR PF is all about the distressed body.
This is a quite a different silhouette to the DK 24, quite a different guitar. You get that super-quick Charvel neck, hand-rubbed with satin urethane but there’s no “shredder’s cut” heel.
The San Dimas Style 1 always comes across as the first evolutionary step in hot-rodding the Stratocaster format – and with that distressed nitrocellulose finish, these do have the vibe that they were there back in the day.
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These relic’d San Dimas models have got the archetypal Superstrat electric guitar pickup pairing, with a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker at the bridge, and a 59 at the neck, and they are offered in Weathered White, Weathered Black and Weathered Orange, the latter a real deep shade of orange.
They’ve got Floyd Rose 1000 Series vibratos. They’ve got pau ferro fingerboards, which is perhaps a little bit disappointing. But if the absence of rosewood is not a big deal for you, £1,259 / $1,599 looks a pretty sweet deal. They look very cool.