New USA Charvels
During this week’s 2016 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Tenn., Charvel is unveiling its new flagship USA Select series with the San Dimas® Style 1 HSS FR, San Dimas Style 1 HSS HT, So-Cal Style 1 HSS FR and San Dimas Style 2 HH FR models.
Each gorgeous guitar taps straight into original-era Charvel DNA for a sleek, ferocious model with “old-school throwback” specs our high-performance players have been clamoring for, including ’80s-style body perimeters, finely shaped neck profiles, fast compound radius fingerboards with rolled edges, non-recessed Floyd Rose® bridges, and more.
Available in August, the new USA Select models will be offered in Pitch Black, Satin Plum, Snow Blind Satin and Torred.
Stay tuned to charvel.com for more product details.-----------------------
So, if I were to give a very subjective assessment from what we can see so far:
* Holy mashed potatoes Batman, the first guitar looks like the Kramer Pacer I drooled over from the 1987 Kramer catalogue having returned from the grave!
With modern Kramer mostly being a non-entity (it amazes me how little Gibson manages to make of it) this is very much a blast from the past, where a lot is being done right.
* Non-recessed, Original Floyd. Contended issue, I know, but I prefer them.
* Rosewood necks. Maple might be the more common choice, but it is nice to have the option. Still, we don't know how many different variants these will be made in, so there might be maple boards too.
* I'm a bit disappointed that the spoke wheel thruss rod, which I haven't used but which seems like a good idea and has become standard on their newer models, isn't included.
* "finely shaped neck profiles"? That could mean anything, but given the throwback, shredder style language used elsewhere in the ad I suspect it means that the neck will be too thin for my liking.
* Why is the volume knob at such an unapproachable place? I actually thought I was seeing the tone knobs until I looked closely at the fourth guitar. It is almost as though they are inviting us to drill our own, if the routing will allow it. Is accidentally rolling off the volume such a problem that the volume knobs by general agreement now have to be hidden away?
In conclusion I am intrigued, but not entirely convinced. If these are going to be US instruments it will probably add a bit to the price tag, but I might in fact consider the pickguard model if the neck feels right. I don't get the placing of the volume knob at all, but on the pickguard model it can be fixed without too many problems.