- Jan 23, 2009
- Reaction score
I'm with you on the Hot Rods, there were the real ideas and mods and then there were the let's make it better and more appealing, a swing and a miss to me but it's ok, like you, I still have that passion for the old ones and know what it was all about, I still long for the ones that got away but am grateful I had them and know what they wereI don't have any issue with Mexican manufacturing and I hear great things about the Mexican Charvels, so much that I wish I could want one. But I can't stomach the design changes made in the last few years.
Charvel of ten years ago:
Charvel of today:
There are small differences and big differences. Small differences are easily and seamlessly modified if desired (and it being a Charvel, the original hot rod guitar, modification and customization is practically tradition). The big thing that completely puts me off of the Mexico Charvels is the recessed Floyd Rose. To me, a recessed Floyd on a Charvel is blasphemous. It's historically inaccurate on a guitar that was created to exemplify the most popular features from the pre-pro custom shop days in a mass produced guitar. It's the equivalent of Les Paul Traditionals only coming with Kahler trems, it's antithetical to what the guitar is supposed to be.
More annoyingly, Charvel used to be the one brand where the Floyds weren't recessed. That's what set them apart from Jackson, ESP and all the other metal guitars. Recessing the Floyd feels like an attempt to appeal to the metal kids who don't understand why there isn't a huge chunk of wood taken out from the body of the guitar, who don't understand that the recess wasn't part of the Floyd Rose design and that it was a modification that took off almost a decade after the Floyd hit the market. And it obviously can't be easily modded out, you're stuck with the big ugly hole in the guitar.
I also have an issue with the control scheme but this only applies to the San Dimas since changing it on a So-Cal is just a matter of changing the pickguard. I just prefer the classic one volume, one toggle layout. Again, I feel the ethos for these guitars should be basic, with more customized features being added by the customer. But that isn't a "they've ruined it!" complaint.
And I know what you're saying. "But Ben, what about the USA Select line? They've got non-recessed Floyds and are made in America!" Yeah, and they also cost over twice as much. And they have weird bullet truss rods.
I'm a simple man, I like simple things.
To me, this is what the ideal Charvel looks like:
I get that the 21-frets and brass hardware is a little too unconventional for modern tastes. And I get that everyone bitches about the heel-adjust trust ross. That's why I don't care that the Pro-Mods are 22-fret models and the hardware is black/chrome and the dots are black plastic instead of rosewood/brass. I don't even care that they added the spoke wheel to the neck. I mean EVH does it, and for my money the EVH Striped models are the best Charvels out there right now... except you can only get them in a fanboy paintjob which is so. Fucking. Frustrating.
I'm not a super stickler, I'm just particular about a few specific things.