Price paid: $ 950
Purchased from: Japan
Features — 10
It is made in Japan, at 1990 era, they are last guitars from real Japan Gakki Guitar Fab. Its name came from initial letter of San Dimas and Tremolo. - Strat type. - Made in Japan. - HSS style coils, all coils are stack-coil and noiseless, output is medium. It is vary from 7,2 to 7,4 k-ohms. - 2 piece Solid Ash Body, solid colours in ST Deluxes, natural on ST Customs. - 22 frets. - Maple neck and fretboard - Tremolo system. - Passive electronic - Kluson Type Tuners. - 5 way switch with 3 way mini switch. - High quality hardcase.
Sound — 10
It can be used for hard-rock to heavy-metal and blues also. It is not suitable for thrash-death metal or metalcore. Coils are medium-output, she can sing clean as well as can handle very high-gain without buzz, hum or noise. It's sound is really rich, little bright because of ash body but the sound is definitely full. The pickups are noiseless single-coil type. It reminds me DiMarzio HS3 YJM type pickups, It has got low output but It can handle very huge gain with it. Also you may wire 3 way switch out of phase or more beefy serial style for humbucking. I play mostly blues to hard-rock. I try it with Marshall JCM800 and Vox AC30 also. It fits to both of them perfectly. This guitar is real gem.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I really don't know the factory set-up. I bought it in second hand. But the auction can be adjusted easily. The hardest part is truss rod adjustment because The truss rod is between neck and body. It has got very low auction. It reminds me some high model Ibanez. It is really smooth and flat fretboard. I think it is 12" radius. No fret-buzz. You can shred with it easily but It is medium jumbo style like Fender's. It is D shape neck. There are no flaw in guitar. It is swimming pool design in body. You may change pickups to HH or HSH.
Reliability & Durability — 10
If you have got this guitar, you don't need any guitar also. Because it is very solid. If you like tremolo system guitars and if you like Fenders, you fall in love to this guitar. I'm a big Fender Strat fan but I never like its auction. It is always high auction. But Charvel is very low auction. Tuners are good which are Kluson type. Tremolo system is good also, I haven't seen any problem with it. It is little heavy guitar because of ash but not heavy as Gibson's. Frets are also very solid. I didn't see any wear and I've used for 10 years.
Overall Impression — 10
I've used this guitar in my recordings for 10 years also I've got Fenders, Gibsons and some old' Charvels. I want to add that this guitar is not known very much because the Charvel Fab. Was closed at 1991 after these guitars are released. It was sold for very high price when it was in market. You may find in eBay or Craiglist, if you're lucky. I saw them some people sell it for 700-800 USD and some sold it for 500 USD. But these are real low price for this guitar. If you think that 78 area Fender USA Strat are sold for 2000-2500 USD in Craiglist. If it had been stolen, I had been very upset. Because there are very low number for it. It is a real gem. It is definitely better than my Fender 78 USA Strat.