Predator review by Charvel

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 9.5 (2 votes)
Charvel: Predator

Sound — 8
This is basically a metal guitar. I've played it through a variety of amps (from my room Roland MicroCube to a Vox Valvetronix VT50 and some biga-s Marshalls) and as for effects and distortion, I use a Boss ME-50. The guitar is great for 80's thrash and heavy, since the Bridge pickup is quite HOT and can provide some heavy and punchy tones. The neck pickup, although not very powerful, will give you decent cleans. The pickup selector has 5 positions, allowing for a variety of tones, although I myself mostly use the Bridge humbucker for the heavy stuff and the hum-cancelling positions for cleans. The Jackson pickups can be a bit noisy when playing through heavy distortions, but they are quite decent for stock pickups.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing for about three years now and I play mostly metal. And this guitar will do fine mostly for thrash, heavy and even glam metal, but it can also manage hard rock very well. So it's great for me, althoug I could use a better neck pickup for the cleans. The best thing about this guitar is definitely the bridge, which is a very good one considering it's a Licensed Floyd Rose, and the worst feature is that goddamn volume knob. If it were stolen from me or I lost it I wouldn't get a chance to do anything about it because I'd probably be beaten to death by my friend (who is its real owner). Ok, just kidding. But in all seriousness, I really like this guitar, and of course I take care of it. It's actually one of the best guitars I've played.

Reliability & Durability — 7
The guitar will indeed survive live playing. In fact, I have used it in gigs and I had no problems. The strap buttons are solid and reliable, and the hardware won't give you any problems as long as you take care of it. The only bad point about this is that the volume knob was built in a position where it's very, VERY easy to be turned down accidentally. So you have to be careful and pay attention to it or else you'll turn the volume all the way down without even noticing it if there are other guitars on stage. In my opinion, that's really the only major flaw the guitar has. The finish is thin and will suffer if you don't take care of it, but as I said before, that's not a big problem for me. Uness you break a string I don't see a reason why a gig would go the bad way with this. I've gigged without backups because of space and transport issues, but as I said I had no problems. This guitar was made to survive.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar is like twenty years old and I didn't have it when it came out of the factory so I can't really talk much about the setup and the action. They are fine nowadays, so there's nothing else to say about it really. As for the Bridge routing, well, it's prefect. Again, nothing to complain about here. The Floyd Rose, although not original, is a pretty good one. This bad boy will stay in tune no matter how hard you beat it. I've spent some time doing all sorts of divebombs and stuff and the tuning doen't even drop enough to be noticeable. But of course nothing's perfect and of course there are some flaws in this guitar. There are several small cracks on the finish (and the guitar is a bright yellow, so these scratches are easily visible) and there's big amounts of rust on the hardware, especially on the fine tuners in the Bridge and the screws and the locking nut. But then again, this guitar is old and I guess it has taken some beating since it came out of the factory. I can only assume its previous owner didn't give much of a shit about the finish or the rust, but hey, it's not that it bothers me as long as it doesn't affect playing.

Features — 9
It's not mine actually, the owner is a friend of mine who almost never plays it because he's a bassist. The guitar was a gift from his uncle or something, and since we're in a band and this guitar is better than mine, I use it. Anyway, it's Charvel Predator which was made in Japan somewhere in the 1990's. The superstrat-style body is made of what I believe to be alder and it has a cheesy satin yellow finish. The neck is a maple one and it has a rosewood fingerboard with 22 X Jumbo frets and Dot inlays. The neck is very comfortable to play, actually one of the best I've played, it's very fast and smooth. The Bridge is a Licensed Floyd Rose made by Schaller, and the pickups are two passive Jackson humbuckers (a normal one in the Bridge and an angled single-coil sized one in the neck). The only controls are a 5 position pickup selector and a volume knob, and the tuners are non-locking made by Jackson. The fact that there are no tone controls might not please everyone, but for my style of playing, it's good enough.

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