Poll: Charvel v EVH Wolfang Special v Ibanez RG550 - for a non-shredder

Which axe would you pick?

  • Charvel Pro Mod DK24 (Baked Neck) HSS - more stratty

    Votes: 17 22.7%
  • Charvel Pro Mod DK24 (Baked Neck) HSH - more rocker

    Votes: 8 10.7%
  • Charvel So Cal Style 1 - Ebony Neck HH / pickguard

    Votes: 11 14.7%
  • Charvel San Dimas Style 1 - also Ebony

    Votes: 17 22.7%
  • EVH Wolfgang Special

    Votes: 16 21.3%
  • Ibanez Genesis RG550 (not a heavy contender for my style, so please explain)

    Votes: 9 12.0%

  • Total voters
    75

1973Marshall

Member
Messages
6,775
After a lot of searching I've found Charvels and the EVH Wolfgang knock my socks off. The challenge is I can't have them all. Also, I can't decide which model of Charvel is best for my purposes.

I want a shredder, but I am not really a shredder so all-round usability would be cool as well.

The Charvels:
  • Pro Mod DK24 (HSH/HSS) with baked maple necks have been pretty amazing, esp the HSS (the ones I've played seem to really sing. Not sure it's the pickups, maybe just luck). The Gotoh is a departure from a Floyd Rose, but damn it feels nice. Full shred bridge pickup. These are 24 frets.
  • So Cal Style 1 - love the classic look both with pickguard. These have ebony fingerboards. They come in metallic purple! Duncan distortions are pretty heavy pickups - not sure I am ready lol.
  • San Dimas Style 1 - similar to the So Cal but no pickguard. Similar to the above.
Clearly I am impressed by the Charvels.

Then there's the EVH. The pickups sing and the thing sounds classic. I hate the headstock, but the body has a cool and unique shape and the guitar feels sort of compact and plays like butter. Not sure how much I'd like that shape playing it for hours. Never owned one, but very impressed. I'd look at the Music Man's but they are too pricey.

Lastly, there's the IBZ RG550. Not sure I can handle having a pointy headstock or going a completely different direction like this, but they are truly great guitars. TBH this is lowest on my list and not a likely contender. Frankly, I don't know if any gig I play would be cool with it lol.

Again, remember I am NOT a shredder, but I've been known to rock faster than the average bear.

What are your thoughts and experiences? Please vote!
 

lns

Member
Messages
403
I can recommend the Charvel DK24 HSH BUT I would buy a set of staggered locking fender tuners (drop in replacements) at the same time so I could disengage the string trees & have a proper angle behind the nut - because mine wouldn’t return to pitch after tremolo usage.

Might’ve preferred the HSS version - rarely use neck pickups with gain anyway.

If I were you I’d go for the Charvel DK24 HSS kr HSH. HSH will probably more versatile though
 

OotMagroot

Member
Messages
7,912
I'm not a shredder at all, but I really love the RG. Just don't know if I could play on that neck all the time, but for some things it's great. If you have small or medium sized hands and play barre chords alot - great neck for that sorta thing. If you're hamfisted and play blues with your thumb wrapped over - YMMV. MO, of course.

Plus, the RG stock pickups sound really nice.
 

anuj

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
843
DK24 HSS or RG. Play them both and pick. I'm a pretty hardcore Ibanez guy and among others, have a bunch of RGs - and a Charvel Model 4. Since I have the RG ground covered, I'd probably approach the Charvel first - but that's also because it's the most like an Ibanez AZ in your list. So yeah, check one of those out too - the 2204 or 224 would suit you well, depending on your budget. :)
 

s2y

Member
Messages
19,218
The RG550 is good. I might snag one at some point. I recently picked up an AZ2204f and an RG754MQM last year. Both are great guitars.

The RG plays a little better. The stock wiring is nice, but it lacks a nice bridge single coil simulation. The AZ is far more versatile. It plays better than most traditional guitars, not quite like an RG. The AZ arrived with wiring issues and an abysmal stock setup. My dealer has addressed these issues.
 

rjpilot

Member
Messages
2,496
Charvel San dimas or SoCal
Can’t go wrong with either but my votes in for the San Dimas.

I personally don’t like the look of the soloist body with a strat headstock. Needs an old 80s pointy headstock but that’s my opinion. I prefer 22 frets also. I would also stick to an HH configuration. The Wolfgang is a close contender though. I like that body shape too. It has played well when I’ve sat down with one.

If the RG550 came in an HxH config (RG552?) I would take a good look. I know they’re pointy but they play so nice and I kind of don’t care if it’s too pointy. I just feel the middle single takes away the lovely bridge/Neck sound.
 

Blue Lizard

Member
Messages
770
Used EBMM Axis can often be had for a bargain price, compared to new. A Super Sport has an excellent non-locking trem and has a lot of tonal flexibility for a twin HB format (the Axis Dimarzios clean up very well too)...
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,180
Used EBMM Axis can often be had for a bargain price, compared to new. A Super Sport has an excellent non-locking trem and has a lot of tonal flexibility for a twin HB format (the Axis Dimarzios clean up very well too)...
True - I noticed that for 2019 EBMM Axis models are up to $2,500 MAP; it seems like they've had a big price jump each year over the last 2-3 years. Used they are bargains - back 10 years ago they were about the same new as a Fender American Deluxe.
 

monty

Member
Messages
22,024
The Charvels are sweet but I love the Wolfgangs even more. Lot of spec crossover with both but I would suggest the WG because of the down only trem and the pickups are great for a lot of styles of music.
I play mine for hours without being uncomfortable.
 

neil99

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,717
Picked up a slime green so-cal last fall, loving it so far. Reliving my 80s metalhead days!!!
Got a pair of Duncan’s to change out the stock high output ones.
 

anuj

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
843
If the RG550 came in an HxH config (RG552?) I would take a good look. I know they’re pointy but they play so nice and I kind of don’t care if it’s too pointy. I just feel the middle single takes away the lovely bridge/Neck sound.
I'd say HH (520 in the golden age/genesis nomenclature, 652 now) isn't quite as versatile for a non-shred/metalhead scenario as HSH or HSS, to be honest.
 

MkIII Renegade

Senior Member
Messages
7,815
I dig the hell out of the Striped Bumblebee EVH Special and the Wolfgang USA pickups. Although if you want to be more anonymous and/or can't get over the headstock, I'd look first at some 22 fret San Dimas models with ebony board.

I had been lusting over the Washburn N4 Bettencourt idea, although I didn't feel like laying down two grand for one, so I picked up an Ash/ebony Charvel and will swap in a Wilde L500XL. The slick, thick ebony board and perfect frets, full (by shred standards) and raw maple neck, and unfinished ash body are drop dead SEXY!! The fretwork is beyond reproach, and all of the materials and hardware are premium. My only criticism of the entire guitar is that it has a vintage correct neck plate, i.e., basically a BUICK in your way as you climb the fretboard instead of a thinner All Access neck style neck joint like the Pro Mod DK24s have. But there is no doubt that you loose some neck tone quality going from 22 to 24 frets.

 

SDR

Member
Messages
399
The one thing you’ve not mentioned is what fretboard radius you prefer? Do you like a super flat fretboard or something with more curve to it?

I’ve played all the models above and own the Ibanez if that says something. Most of the Ibanez have a fretboard radius of either 400mm (15.7 inches) or 430mm (16.9 inches). Over the years I’ve learned that the flatter the fretboard the easier it is for me to play. When friends come over (strat/SG guy’s) they all start to marvel at the fun of playing on a flatter fretboard (assuming the guitar is well set up).

If you already have other traditional model guitars, the Ibanez are always nice to have for a change of pace. Don’t limit yourself to the 550 Genesis model. There may still be some RG655’s out there which are a step up but not necessarily in price. Either way, get a made in Japan model if you go that route.
 




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