Price paid: $ 260
Purchased from: Crazy Dave's Music
Features — 7
The guitar is a 2013 model, made in China. Overall the features are very nice. 3 way switch, volume, tone, 24 frets, rosewood fingerboard, locking tuners and a very slick thin neck.
- Body: Mahogany
- Neck: Rosewood
- Number of Frets: 24
- Fret Size: Jumbo
- Position Inlays: Abalone "Keystone"
- Fretboard Radius: 12" to 16" Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)
- Neck Material: Mahogany
- Neck Finish: Oiled
- Nut Width: 1.650" (42 mm)
- Scale Length: 25.5" (648 mm)
- Color: (586) Blue Smear
- Pickup Configuration: HH
- Bridge Pickup: Active Desolation Humbucking
- Neck Pickup: Active Desolation Humbucking
- Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup
- Hardware: Black Nickel
- Bridge: Charvel-Jackson Compound Radius Compensated
- String Nut: Plastic
Sound — 4
The guitar is advertised for metal and I have been playing metal for about 20 years. I feel that although you can play decent rhythm and lead parts it is not your traditional metal axe. It is better suited for rock or a style where all out gain is not required. Lead playing on the high frets is a bit of a chore. Bending at the 22nd fret is a little awkward and reaching the 24th fret is not easy due to the cut on the body or lack thereof. The main detriment is the set of Charvel Active Pickups. The pickups are very very bland sounding. For the price I paid I am not complaining but for a guitar retailing at $400-500 I expect a little more. Clean tones sound weak which is surprising because when looking at the guitar it gave the impression that it would sound very full - more towards a Les Paul sound.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This is where the guitar shines. It is absolutely gorgeous. The fit, finish, paint, style etc. is impeccable. I commend Charvel for the design and craftsmanship of this instrument. Just a shame they didn't dedicate the same attention to the sound of it. How well was the guitar set-up at the factory? (How was the action?) The guitar came setup perfectly. No string noise, low action, intonation was spot on. Neck was straight etc.
+ How well were the pickups adjusted? Pickups sound horrid no matter how you adjust them.
+ Properly bookmatched top? Properly routed bridge? The bridge, top and overall craftsmanship are top notch.
+ Did the guitar contain any flaws? The guitar did not contain any visible flaws.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The guitar seems reliable but being that it feels so light and tiny I worry a bit about it. Not to mention, it is such a good looking guitar that I wouldn't want to risk dinging it.
+ Will this guitar withstand live playing? I believe it would.
+ Does the hardware seem like it will last? The hardware seems very high quality and will probably last just fine.
+ Are the strap buttons solid? Strap buttons are solid and the guitar is very light and comfortable to play for long periods of time.
+ Can you depend on it? Would you use it on a gig without a backup? Never play without a backup.
+ Is the finish good enough to last, or does it seem thin and easy to wear off with lots of playing? The fit and finish are absolutely perfect and seem to be of very high quality.
Overall Impression — 5
I have seen pretty positive reviews on the guitar, and while I think it's a decent guitar, I will respectfully state my discontent. It's a looker for sure, but overall, I wouldn't be choosing this guitar for metal. Any similarly priced LTD, Ibanez, Schecter would be better suited. For the price I paid for it, I have decided to go ahead and sell it. I am pretty sure I can recuperate the funds and probably make a little bit of money in the process. If it were stolen I would definitely not replace it with another. An easy fix to the sound of the instrument would be to gut the electronics and replace them with a passive setup. But that would probably cost more than what I paid for the guitar.