Charvel New USA Production San Dimas Guitars

MrMunky

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,384
Any of you folks who have owned or used one of these for a while, please tell me:

1) How has the neck/fingerboard/setup held up?

2) How has the trem held up after some use/restrings/adjustments?

These guitars sport two things of which I'm always suspicious: oil-finished maple necks and mainland-Asian made locking trems.

Yet I find myself drawn to one.
 

SgtThump

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,887
I have around 20 gigs on mine and it's held up just fine. Other than some grime on the fretboard starting to show and the poly coating flaking off from where I installed straplocks, it looks new.
 

Phil M

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,601
I wish I could answer for you but I don't own one. I've played a few examples and they are great guitars!

The 7th batch of the production models will be released in a few days and they've done some really different ones. That fiesta red with the chrome hardware and rosewood board has my name on it! I wish I could swing it, they are really cool guitars.
 

sleek

Member
Messages
522
That red one in the 7th batch would have been my dream guitar in high school!

I'm kind of a semi-hollow user now, but I am sorely tempted. These look great, and I have always trusted the brand. (Jackson, not so much.)
 

teefus

Member
Messages
8,948
here, here on the 7th run. a couple of new colors, new hss pickup combo and a single hum/rosewood board model. nice. i bought one of the arctic white ones in october and have been gigging it ever since. to answer your questions, the frets are great, the neck feels really good. it is much thinner than my other 4 guitars (hamers) but it holds it's own. the vibrato seems fine. i blocked mine for down travel only and it works great. no tuning issues and restringing is much easier. if you don't want to block it then you might want to look at one of the temporary vibrato blocking devices. no probs or issues with the tuners. i did change the pickups. the dimarzios were way too hot for anything i do. i ended up with wofletone marshallheads in mine. great guitar and tons of fun to play. here's a pic (it's the one on the left)
 

robbph37

Member
Messages
291
I have one that i purchased about 4 months ago. * shows later it is a very reliable guitar. Necks have a great feel to me.
 

NHDave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,253
I have one love it... you can find the tele's for a little as
$500 used if you shop around. (craig's list etc). I don't like
em as much at $875-$1000 for the basic reason that Charvel
is pumping out alot of these (7 batches so far) and there are
alot of them available used. You should be able to find plenty
under that range.

The trem? I've found it serviceable. I like my tele style
axe so much, I've kept it as is. but... You can easily ebay
the trem (check the completed auctions). I think if you buy
a used but clean original floyd you might be able to make the
switch for really short money. good luck.
 

maltomario

Member
Messages
247
i am lucky to own a few nice guitars, but one that always comes out to me on gig nights (4-6x) per month is my charvel so cal (similar to the san dimas model, except diff pups and addition of a pickguard)

here's a pic of mine taken in august, after about 30 shows.


neck feels great and is starting to really show some color as i've put a lot of honest stage hours on this thing. It looks even more discolored now (i actually dig the look of it with grimy neck) after owning it about 10 months and playing about 40-50 shows.

trem is A-OK. i've changed strings probably close to a dozen times in less than 10 months with no issues whatsoever. very stable tuning.

here's a few vids of me gigging it






One thing about the dimarzios is that they are very versatile and clean up really well w/ volume knob roll if you tend to play clean stuff too.

also.. I paid $675 new for mine. While it is a fantastic players guitar, I don't think i'd cough up the full $1099 street price if I had to buy again unless it was a special edition model (like the namm blue flame model. :love:) For ~ $1200 you can get into a used jackson USA or similar and that is a notch above the charvels in some aspects. I own a jackson SL1 and while it is better in many aspects I actually find myself reaching for the charvel more often for gigging.
 
Last edited:

eyeball987

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,393
I wish they had SS frets and didnt have the truss rod adjustment in the heel.
I agree on the truss rod. That is a pain. I don't understand why they did that. Can anyone tell me the benefit of this?

SS frets would rock but they are not very common on production model guitars unless you go with Suhr's, Andersons, or I think the EVH models have them. At this price point, you won't find that.

I have a SoCal and love it. The Tone Zone is a little too bassy but that is going to be swapped soon.
 

teefus

Member
Messages
8,948
wow, i am the only one that thought the dimarzios were way too hot?
ss frets would have been nice but the price would have been a bit higher, no?
has anyone had to adjust the truss rod? with a maple neck i would imagine it would be pretty stable unless you live where temp extremes are common.
 

donbarzini

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,091
I have two right now, replaced them both with original Floyds. I really like the neck profile so that makes them great guitars for the money, for me anyway. Took the Dimarzios out of my SoCal immediately, turned it into a single hum Duncan JB.
 

cvansickle

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,035
I have a San Dimas 1 and a So Cal. As I've said on many other threads and forums, they are better than any shred guitars I had back in the 80s.

The necks are very stable, and playability is perfect. Running your hand up and down these necks is like rubbing the legs of a USC coed!

In the past, I was a never a fan of the JB pickup. But in the San Dimas, it's perfect. The tone of this guitar is spot on, the only upgrade I made was Schaller straplocks.

As for the So Cal, I wasn't wowed by the stock pickups at first. I didn't want to use another JB, because I thought it would sound too close to the San Dimas and I didn't want two guitars with identical sounds. I tried a Duncan Custom 5 in the bridge of that guitar, but that was a mistake. I much prefered the stock Dimarzio Tone Zone to the Custom 5 and returned the guitar to stock. Others have suggested a Custom Custom, so I may buy an Alnico II magnet and switch it into the Custom 5. For now, I'll stick with the Tone Zone. I made a few height and polepiece adjustments, and I think it sounds like I want it to.
 

donbarzini

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,091
I have a San Dimas 1 and a So Cal. As I've said on many other threads and forums, they are better than any shred guitars I had back in the 80s.

The necks are very stable, and playability is perfect. Running your hand up and down these necks is like rubbing the legs of a USC coed!

In the past, I was a never a fan of the JB pickup. But in the San Dimas, it's perfect. The tone of this guitar is spot on, the only upgrade I made was Schaller straplocks.

As for the So Cal, I wasn't wowed by the stock pickups at first. I didn't want to use another JB, because I thought it would sound too close to the San Dimas and I didn't want two guitars with identical sounds. I tried a Duncan Custom 5 in the bridge of that guitar, but that was a mistake. I much prefered the stock Dimarzio Tone Zone to the Custom 5 and returned the guitar to stock. Others have suggested a Custom Custom, so I may buy an Alnico II magnet and switch it into the Custom 5. For now, I'll stick with the Tone Zone. I made a few height and polepiece adjustments, and I think it sounds like I want it to.
In my Style 1, I put a Custom Custom in the bridge and a Pearly Gates in the neck. The new one will get a Duncan Distortion for my 80's spandex fixation.
 

SgtThump

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,887
I have a bunch of videos with me playing my "San Dimas" model too. It's just a killer guitar. I paid full price and don't regret it one bit! :)







I also agree that the JB/Jazz pickup combo is PERFECT in this guitar. I'm not the biggest JB fan either, but for whatever reason, it sounds real fat and smoother than normal in this guitar!
 

tj tapper

Member
Messages
68
Mine is my number one axe.

I replaced the JB with a Bare Knuckle VHII and a pull coil tap and its perfect. Blocked the Trem for down only and added a D-Tuna.


My fretboard is filthy and perfect. The only thing I don't like about it is that I have a hard time getting to the 22nd fret.
 




Trending Topics

Top