Charvel instruments are known to be simultaneously precise, vibrant and armed with a killer tonal palette. Popular amongst hard-rock and metal players, the brand’s formidable legacy as a game-changer remains intact and as colourful as ever!
History of Charvel
In the early 1970s, Wayne Charvel ran a guitar repair shop in Azusa, California, upgrading and customising guitars, but gradually expanded into building whole guitars as demand increased.
The company was handed over to Grover Jackon, and under his watch, they pioneered the ‘Superstrat’ concept; a Strat-shaped guitar boasting a single high-output humbucker pickup, a floating tremolo and an unfinished maple neck. This style of instrument became a staple amongst hard-rock and metal players, brandished by the likes of Ritchie Sambora and Eddie Van Halen. They faced a downturn as the ‘90s set in due to the popularity of grunge and other genres; the hard-rock and metal scene had to adapt to survive.
Fast-forward to 2002, and Charvel was bought by Fender in the face of a renewed interest in metal music. They were restored to their former glory, and continue to produce new and formidable models to this day, wielded by the likes of Guthrie Govan and Joe Duplantier (Gojira) among others.
The Charvel Range
The Charvel range boasts a mixture of tonewoods, pickup configurations, colour schemes and hardware options, but the ethos remains the same; precision, speed and attitude in equal measure.
Pro Mod Style 1
This is the Superstrat. Available in two main configurations (San Dimas and So Cal), each one comes armed with high-output Seymour Duncan pickups, with 3-way switches and coil tap capability. This unlocks what Charvel call the ‘6 pack of sound’. You’re also guaranteed excellent tuning stability, with the option of either a Floyd-Rose locking tremolo or the Charvel Compensated hardtail bridge.
Pro Mod Style 2
This is their Tele-shape design, again featuring their signature ‘6 pack of sound’ configuration and excellent hardware options. You also have a few extra tonewood options, including the particularly bright-sounding Okoume option, not to mention a neat selection of beautiful finishes.
The Artist range is their selection of signature models – our particular favourite is the stunning Guthrie Govan HSH, boasting gorgeous flame maple or caramelised Ash finishes! They also offer the USA Select range, with specs dating back to the original models that put them on the map, including non-recessed Floyd-Rose bridges, compound radius fingerboards and 80s-style body perimeters!
Where are Charvel guitars made?
Charvel guitars are built across the world in Mexico, Japan and the USA depending on the model range.
Do Fender own Charvel?
Yes they do. Charvel are geared towards Shred and '80s style, in stark comparison to the classic Fender traditional vibe.
Who plays Charvel guitars?
Artists on the Charvel roster include Steel Panther's Satchel, Joe Duplaniter from Gojira, Guthrie Govan and Angel Vivaldi to name a few.
What music styles are Charvel guitars suited to?
Charvel guitars are ideal for rock and metal. Rock players will naturally gravitate towards Charvel for their styles, but they're also equipped with fast thin necks for heavy riffing and solos, as well as high output pickups able to handle driven tones.