Charvel mutt but what parts are genuine?

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by jseconds, Dec 7, 2017.


  1. jseconds

    jseconds Member

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    hello all,

    Longtime lurker but this is my first post. I have an eye on this instrument from a pawnshop. They have been very honest and advertise it only as a Charvel but actually asked me for additional info. Being a big fan of the brand I hoped I could offer them more thorough info but there seems to be some closer details I'm overlooking so I'm turning to you for assistance.

    I thought it was a modded model 1a but those did not have bridge humbuckers and the trem and locknut on their guitar does not match the original. I know the maple neck is desirable and worth what they are asking for the whole guitar. All components work etc. but the seller was forward enough to state they do not know the pickup brand and the trem system is unmarked. The back of the neck has two holes for mounting for the lock nut. I own a Model 4 and Model 4M which I rehabbed to an awesome seafoam green :)

    Any info would be great. Again, I think the well-preserved maple neck alone is worth what they're charging for the whole instrument.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  2. jseconds

    jseconds Member

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    apologies, I do not know how to upload personal photos. can anyone lend a hand?
     
  3. Registered User

    Registered User Member

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    There's not much mystery with those models, so it should be easy to identify it and its parts.

    Do you have photos on a host website? If not, using Imgur is very easy
    https://imgur.com/
     
  4. jseconds

    jseconds Member

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    I could just post the online link....but someone could snipe my possible purchase ;P
     
  5. cram

    cram Member

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    Hey now - I have the same sort of search.. I have an old charvel which served me well in the early 90's and I'd love to find the replacement parts for the vibrato/kahler setup within - in my case the poles down into the body have cracked at the top of the head.
    I found this site which lists some historical points through each version -
    http://www.charvelusa.com/identify_model_series.html
     
  6. jseconds

    jseconds Member

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    that link has been an invaluable resource to people over the years. good job posting for noobies. I think this instrument has a lot of questions surrounding it so I am hesitant but it's always helpful to gain additional insight if I'm missing something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  7. Registered User

    Registered User Member

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    Hmm, interesting. There are others on here who know a lot more than I do, but....
    Firstly, it's fair to say that the front has been painted. ;)

    My best guess is the similar to yours: that it's some type of 1A that came with a vintage trem and standard nut that's been modified for the Schaller trem and locking nut. I can't see any marks near the nut that suggests another type of Charvel/Jackson or Kahler locking nut has been removed

    It would be easy enough to cut the pick guard for a humbucker, or get another guard cut.

    I wonder why the tuners don't have Jackson printed on them. I guess it's easy enough to change tuners.

    According to this website, the serial number states that it's no older than 1988.
    http://audiozone.dk/index-filer/charvel-japan-import-guitars.php

    I figure it's most likely one of the 1989 1A models with a pick guard on this link, perhaps the 1A3S, because they came with the 3 knobs, but I might be wrong.
    http://www.charvelusa.com/charvel_models/charvel_1988_1989.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    FiestaRed likes this.
  8. Registered User

    Registered User Member

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    Some Model 1A3S Charvels came with the Strat-type control knobs, like the one in your photos

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  9. jseconds

    jseconds Member

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    The above info makes sense. The underneath red finish is correct because the catalog for the 1A3S indicates stock colors as red or black. Perhaps the neck is stock but what I love is the condition of it and there seems to be a nice grain pattern on the board.

    The bridge was routed for a humbucker and a Schaller (?) trem system was installed. This trem unit is better than a stock vintage type so if installed correctly it would be an automatic upgrade. Seller still unaware of what bridge pickup it has. I think this could be a go based on the fact it has a nice maple neck in good shape, upgraded trem. I am unsure about the tuners but I don't see anything jumping out suggesting the neck is a bootleg. This probably wouldn't be a flip as the market for this rerouted guitar would be too small but to keep it and have professionally painted a sick green color with the option of a humbucker of my choice sounds tempting.

    Can anyone chime in on with their opinion? How do you feel about the trem system?
     
  10. Drew816

    Drew816 Member

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    This is of course a non-US Charvel neck, there’d be no reason to make a “bootleg” version of that. Hard to say if this beastie is original, body and neck together; there were a lot of options in that market and it was hard to keep up.

    I don’t know what they’re looking to charge but I wouldn’t pay much for it even with a better FR knock-off bridge, etc. That’s just me, I’d rather save up and get one of the recent US models used and really know what you’re getting. I had a model 375 for a short while and sold it pretty quickly; US model parts and guitars weren’t much more money at the time. Today you can still find original Charvel/Jackson’s for a good price (if you look around), let alone the recent reissues.

    $200-250 for a parts goof guitar, maybe. Again just my opinion... good luck!
     
  11. Registered User

    Registered User Member

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    Ah, it's fun reminiscing about old guitars. ;)...... Someone humour me. Ha.

    After some Googling, I've figured out that the similar guitar I had for a short time was a 1986 Model 3, exactly like this one below, complete with the Kahler 2520. It had a great neck, and I regret selling it. I'll get another one one day. I mainly sold it because I was desperately trying to get money for another guitar, which, for memory, was the US bolt-on Jackson I bought it about 1991, and still have

    I can still just about feel the neck, :D and I remember playing it in the shop for days before I bought it, wondering why such a cheap guitar felt so good (it was used). I'd previously had a later Model 3 -- no pick guard and the Jackson trem -- which I wasn't too enamoured with, so I was reluctant to buy another one, but I eventually pulled the trigger on it.

    Anyway, the bloody Kahler 2520 wouldn't quite stay in tune, which was obviously a problem playing live, and I didn't particularly like the Jackon pickups, so, when the U.S. Jackson came up, I got rid of this one in a rush sale to a guy I knew.

    I believe that these earlier models had slightly different-feeling necks to the later pick guard-less models, but it's a fuzzy memory. Maybe the necks were a little narrower than the later ones, because the Kahler 2520 might've had narrower string spacing.

    Probably the only other guitar I've had with a nicer neck is my mongrel '80s San Dimas Charvel.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  12. jseconds

    jseconds Member

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    I can chime in too, since I started this thread ;)
    Best neck I ever touched(besides my wife's) was my '87 neck-thru Jackson Soloist USA. Frets were so big it was impossible to make any mistakes and the whole feel was like driving a well-handling sports car. More classic styled instruments felt, umm, dated to me? I eventually sold it for more than I paid due to the happy buyer digging the Patrick Nagel graphic. I am sure I could get more now thanks to the renewed interest but I know for a fact it went to someone that would take darn good care of it. I still don't really regret it because it was a single pickup and not very versatile but what it could do, it did very well. Pickup was crisp and rarely fedback, even under hi-gain tube amp paces.
    Second best neck is my '88 Charvel Model 4m which I rehabbed to a gorgeous seafoam green and I happily rocked it for my wife at our wedding!

    My father was guilty for renewing my interest in these as he practically stole a blue Model 4 sharkie with original case from a pawnshop. The thing was good to go straight upon arrival. It's funny because he plays classical/flamenco music on it! Being an older guy, the frets and neck feel makes it easier for him to continue playing longer. I wonder if the neck was a special order or something because the back is bare wood, no oil and feels interesting. The instrument was in un-molested condition with only a small blemish on the body. and of course, the original chainsaw case did not have all the locks intact. Talk about a design flaw! ;p

    I'm probably going to pass on what I inquired about because who knows how the rerouting was done and what pickups are in it, and the tuners are not correct. That being said, I'd probably jump on a Charvel Socal in slime green once the time and funds are in line with each other :) Despite great owner reviews, I see a lot of them for sale on the second market. thanks everyone! feel free to keep posting stories.
     
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  13. Registered User

    Registered User Member

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    That's interesting about the unfinished neck; I wonder if a previous owner sanded it himself, like I did to my early '80s neck. Like many people, I don't like full lacquer because of sweat.

    I'll put my other Charvel "fireside" stories on the 'Charvel Goodness' thread soon.
    I'll probably get carried away and write a small novel, so I need to set aside an hour. :D HA.
     
  14. Registered User

    Registered User Member

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    Is this a real Charvel? Is there a thread for possible non-genuine guitars being sold?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Charvel-Re...744373?hash=item213546aa75:g:IpQAAOSwHUhaBQUq

    I could be wrong, but it doesn't look like a Charvel neck to me (no skunk line, and the 12th fret dots are too far apart), and the body looks odd, especially from the rear.

    I'm no expert, and, as far as I know there were some relatively rare Japanese models made in the early '90s

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  15. Ayrton

    Ayrton Member

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    Nothing on that guitar is Charvel.
     
  16. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Member

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    My guess was the neckplate. Not an early 90s MIJ.
     
  17. jseconds

    jseconds Member

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    Hey all,

    I never pulled the trigger on that one but decided once the time is right start looking for a Charvie pro mod so cal. Found a used one for 500 and it seems, despite all the positive reviews that there are plenty available on the used market. I like the coil tap features and I have been speaking to wolfetone about a handmade t-top type humbucker to throw in there. Again, one day.... what i’m Happy about is that charvel continues this series because they seem to be a great value. I have played mij and Mim and despite so much debate, they seem quite similar. Owners talked a lot about the rolled fret edges but if you’re patient and detail oriented, that is something you could get DIY with.

    Have not played the USA selects but careful research shows there was little difference between those and the mij. If this is in fact true, I don;t see how they justify the price difference. I also see a lot of USA selects unsold online. I continue to enjoy my vintage model 4m and can bang around on my father’s model 4, too. I would be hard pressed to find necks that feel better than those, aside from my sold 87 Soloist.

    Thanks for the insight and reading. Happy holidays to all
     
  18. jseconds

    jseconds Member

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    Oh, and to the member with mc5 in their screen name....i’m Friendly with Wayne Kramer and had the pleasure of meeting him and working with him on more than one occasion. Helluva player and had a lot of insight on social justice issues. Check his non-profit, Jail Guitar Doors USA. Great guy!
     
  19. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Member

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    I've met WK a few times. Familiar with his recent projects.
     

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