A huge part of guitarist community often ask the same question: are Charvel guitars good? If you’re not familiar with this brand, it’s an American company that manufactures instruments since the 1970s. Their gear was particularly popular in the era of superstar musicians such as Eddie Van Halen, Richie Sambora or Randy Rhoads. Although their golden days are long gone, they still offer and sell a lot of interesting guitars. But are they actually worth the money in comparison with other affordable brands such as Ibanez, Fender or Epiphone?
The answer is.. yes! Charvel may not be as popular as in the 80’s, but they still offer top quality guitars for all-level guitarists. The company manufactures electric guitars (mainly Superstrats), bass guitars and accessories for guitar players. Although their gear is not cheap, it’s definitely an interesting alternative for a lot of musicians.
What is so special about Charvel? Well, there are a lot of factors that contributed to the overall success of this brand over the years. Let’s find out why so many professional players decided to choose their guitars.
From Fender To Charvel
The company was founded by Wayne Charvel in 1974. The guitar builder worked at Fender in the early 1970s and after three years at the company, he decided to open his own workshop. It all started as Charvel Guitar Repair, a small shop focused on repairing old Fender instruments. Since the shop started getting a lot of recognition and respect from the guitar players, Wayne decided to start building guitars from scratch. Although his business was not a failure, a few years later Wayne Charvel was bankrupt and he sold his business to Grover Jackson, one of the most famous American luthiers who founded Jackson guitars.
To be honest, the company was much more successful under the guidance of Grover. The company was growing and he made valuable connections with such companies as DiMarzio, Schecter, Music Man and BC Rich. What’s more, in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Charvel popularized their own rendition of the Stratocaster design. These modern Strats, often referred to as Superstrats, were particularly great for 1980s heavy metal and rock. That’s why they were so popular among various metal virtuosos.
Nevertheless, in 1989 Grover sold Charvel to a Japanese manufacturer IMC (Intertnational Music Corporation). For a few years the guitars were made exclusively in Japan and in the end, the company came back to America. What’s interesting, the brand is currently owned by FMIC (Fender Musical Instruments Corporation).
Trusted By The Best
Charvel guitars made a significant impact on the music industry in the 1980s. There were a lot of professional players who used their gear for live gigs and studio appearances. The list includes:
- Eddie Van Halen
- Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi)
- Randy Rhoads
- Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne)
- Joe Duplantier (Gojira)
- Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister)
- Vinnie Vincent (KISS)
- Angel Vivaldi
- and many, many more!
As you can imagine, great guitarists do not use crappy guitars. There is a reason why these people chose Charvel – it’s the exceptional quality. Feel free to check out this rare footage below of Eddie Van Halen and his Charvel guitar.
Charvel really knows how to manufacture good guitars. In my opinion, their guitars are generally better than guitars by such brands as Ibanez, Washburn or Cort. It’s tough to compare the company with Fender or Gibson, because they don’t specialize in Superstrat guitars. Still, in terms of quality, Charvel is one of the leaders in the music industry. Their instruments can be classified as mid-shelf and top-shelf guitars. As a result, prices of their guitars are not the cheapest on the market, but they’re totally worth it. Their attention to detail is remarkable!
Which model is the best? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re considering a purchase of their guitar, I prepared a short list of three best guitars created by Charvel. I also included a few sound samples, so make sure to grab your best headphones! Let’s jump into it.
Top 3 Charvel Guitars
|1.||Charvel Pro-Mod DK24||See on Amazon|
|2.||Charvel SoCal SC1-2H||See on Amazon|
|3.||Charvel Pro-Mod DK22||See on Amazon|
1. Charvel Pro-Mod DK24
The Pro-Mod Series features some of the most popular guitars manufactured by Charvel. This mahogany model (with a caramelized mahogany fingerboard) looks and sounds absolutely fantastic. There is something really cool about that natural look. Still, this guitar is made for rock and heavy metal. It’s equipped with the HSH Seymour Duncan pickup setting and a tremolo bridge. The guitar kind of reminds a classic Strat on steroids. Undoubtedly, it will be perfect with shredding, especially with these legendary pickups. I highly recommend checking it out!
Here’s a quick demo.
2. Charvel SoCal SC1-2H
Another absolutely great Series of guitars – SoCal. This model is slightly less expensive than Pro-Mod, but it still holds an exceptional value. The guitar really reminds of a classic Stratocaster created by Fender, although it’s definitely more aggressive. It has a lot of power thanks to the two Seymour Duncan humbuckers. On top of that, there is a recessed Floyd Rose tremolo. Certainly, this model will be perfect for heavy riffs and fast solos. If you’re into metal and Strats, you should definitely give this model a chance.
Check out this short sound demo below.
3. Charvel Pro-Mod DK22
Another spectacular model for lovers of versatile guitar playing. This model is not as satanic as previous guitars – instead of humbuckers, it has three single-coil pickups, just like any classic Fender Stratocaster. Don’t get me wrong – you can still shred with that beautiful thing! Pickups by Seymour Duncan used in that model feature an amazing sound quality. On top of that, the guitar has an ultra-slim neck designed for the most demanding players. It’s really tough to find any disadvantages of this guitar!
Here’s a fantastic sound demo.
As you can see, Charvel is a really interesting guitar brand. Although it’s a bit forgotten nowadays, it still has a really good reputation among the guitar players. It may not be as popular as Fender, Gibson or Epiphone, but it still offers a remarkable quality and attention to detail. Whether you’re an amateur or a more advanced player, getting a Charvel guitar will always be a good choice.
Thanks for checking Best Guitars Now! I hope that today’s article was helpful to you. What do you think about Charvel guitars? Leave a comment in the section below. I’m really curious! Additionally, if you enjoyed this blog post, you may also like: