Charvel have presented their new lineup for 2016, and – what a surprise – it is inspired by the ‘80s! Following on from the resurgence ‘classic’ shred guitars have enjoyed over the last few years, this year’s collection includes some super-hot neon colours and better hardware than previous models.
Wayne Charvel caused a revolution back in the day with his back to basics ’80s Strat-based shred machines. They had gone out of vogue but in recent years have come back again with a vengeance! The Charvel So Cal and San Dimas are both classic guitars and deserve their place in guitar history in my opinion.
The new range sports upgraded Floyd Rose trem systems and USA Seymour Duncan pickups, and also include a push-pull Volume knob, a ‘no-load’ tone control and three-way switches. This puts extra tonal options at your fingertips when compared to previous models.
The makers have placed the access to the truss road at the base of the neck where it is adjustable via a spoke wheel. This is always a good thing in my opinion and I prefer this type of access to the truss rod on my guitars. It just makes life easier.
I have to say I really like the look of them and the neon colours really complete that ’80s vibe. The whole Charvel stand looks pretty good this year, as do the videos released online. The company has been making some really great playing guitars the last few years in my opinion.
The style won’t be for everyone and I get that. Personally, I enjoy a quality Super Strat. They can be a lot of fun to play as the necks are unfinished, giving a really interesting feel. Add the jumbo frets into the equation and the whole package makes for a good vibrato while string bends become a breeze. Although I haven’t played this year’s new models yet, I have played plenty of the previous models from the last few years and have found them all to be very consistent in quality terms across the different models. I’m a fan of their necks, in particular.