San Dimas Custom Shop review by Charvel

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8 (9 votes)
Charvel: San Dimas Custom Shop

Price paid: $ 1400

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Sound — 10
My particular style is based on 80's Hard Rock and Heavy Metal and this guitar is perfectly suited for such. I had it plugged into my Marshall Super Lead 100 watt head and ran it through my board (which features a Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay, MXR EVH-117 Stereo Flanger, MXR Phase 90, Dunlop Original Crybaby Wah Pedal, Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, Boss OC-2 Octave, and a MXR Custom Smart Gate Pro) and into my full stack power packed with Celestion 12" speakers, and it sounded magnificent, better than any other guitar I own. You can achieve a perfect Van Halen sound with this guitar, and have a fun afternoon living like its 1984 all over again. This guitar is also very good for hard rock such as AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and Montrose. There is no noise with this guitar as well as it is very versatile and gives a sweet bright tone on the cleanest of channels. The passive pickup is machine wound and has great warmth to it. I do not know how this guitar handles other styles like jazz and such, but its good with Metal, good with the blues, and good with classical (I was ripping Toca Fuege before I decided to write this article).

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is a perfect match for someone who wants to bring back a piece of the 1980's and fits the type of music I play. I have no regrets with this guitar and it is easily my favorite. My other guitars are mostly Strat and Super Strat shaped as well with a V or two in there and none of them have a comparable sound and feel. This guitar is the perfect balance between a killer tone and a perfect feel. If this guitar were stolen I would find the thief and cut off his ears ala Reservoir Dogs. I would search to get this guitar back. Before I bought I, I spent a good two hours in Sam Ash trying to find the perfect guitar, I played Gibsons, Fenders, Hammers, Ibanez, and none could quite top this guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar without question withstands live playing. I have gigged multiple times a week with this guitar and she never lets me down. The hardware is built to last and have had no problems with it. The strap buttons are the ones Wayne Charvel designed himself and are very tight and work well with my strap. This guitar is completely dependable and would gig without a backup, I do however always have a backup because it is no fun having a broken string and to make the crowed wait while I change it. My playing is subject to much whammy bar abuse and strings break quite easily. The finish is also very solid and there to last, it hasn't shown any of the signs of buckle burn yet.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I can not say how the guitar was set up from the factory, as I am not its first owner, but from the retailer the guitar was in perfect shape. No dings or flaws of any kind, I did not have to readjust anything. It came with 9-42 Ernie Ball strings when I bought the guitar.

Features — 10
This guitar is a 2008 Charvel San Dimas Standard Custom Shop, which I had bought from Sam Ash used. According to the salesman, the previous owner was a collector and never played it. The whammy bar was still in its sealed bag along with all of the user guides. As stated before the guitar was built in 2008 in Corona, California, USA in the Fender factory (as Fender owns Charvel). There are 22 Jumbo frets on an unfinished maple neck which is of the through neck design, affixed with a back plate. The body is a Strat shape made from ash wood, which in combination with the maple neck gives an immensely bright sound. The finish is laminate, which on my particular Charvel is a red and green almost peppermint type of swirl, which is continued on the headstock. This guitar is equipped with a double locking original Floyd Rose tremolo system and one Seymour Duncan passive humbucking pickup in the bridge position. As there is only one pickup, there is only one volume knob, that is all. Included with this guitar was a lovely hard case.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    There are 22 Jumbo frets on an unfinished maple neck which is of the through neck design, affixed with a back plate.
    through neck design, affixed with a back plate.
    affixed with a back plate.
    As there is only one pickup, there is only one volume knob, that is all.
    Man.. I've looked at the picture for like 20 minutes and I keep seeing two pickups. o_o
    I played Gibsons, Fenders, Hammers , Ibanez, and none could quite top this guitar.
    The hardware section of Sam Ash.