I’ve always been a huge fan of Charvel Guitars for their unapologetically streamlined guitars geared for high-speed playability, unbridled power and peak performance.
In fact, I actually own two Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 models (because everyone should have at least two), which I frequently use for my Eighties-inspired, “shred-tastic” bands.
Charvel recently released a huge collection of new models and I received the no-nonsense Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH HT M Ash guitar, which is their Tele-shaped model in a hard tail bridge, and now I must admit, I might have to bump up my Charvel collection to three.
The Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH HT M comes with a beautifully grained natural ash body coupled with a two-piece bolt-on maple neck. What’s cool is the body is contoured with a generous belly cut to hug your mid-section, a contour on the cutaway and heel for unfettered access ahead of the 15th fret, and a slick contour behind the lower bout for the output jack.
The guitar’s neck features graphite reinforcement rods (for steadfast stability); 12- to 16-inch compound radius maple fingerboard, 22 jumbo frets, and a thumbwheel truss rod butt-adjust that makes straightening the neck a conveniently quick and easy adjustment. The guitar also includes Seymour Duncan JB TB-4 (bridge) and ’59 SH-1N (neck) humbuckers screwed directly into the body and controlled with a three-way blade switch.
The volume control hides a push/pull coil split and the No-Load tone control operates like a standard tone control until you feel the indent when fully throttled, which effectively removes the circuit for transparent sound. The guitar also features black hardware, a HT6 string-through-body hardtail bridge, and die-cast locking tuners.
The Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH HT M Ash feels like a wild bucking horse because once you strap yourself in, you can’t help but hang on as your playing heads toward break neck speed. It’s mind blowing and addictive how the guitar changes the character of my playing to accommodate fast runs and wicked riffs. Its speed neck profile with a hand-rubbed urethane gel back finish is so smooth it allows your fingers to effortlessly skate across the whole neck.
Charvel was wise to use the darker-voiced Seymour Duncan humbuckers to balance the ash body’s brighter tone characteristics. Here, the pickups have a strong mid-range that makes chords sound chunky when using high-gain amplifiers, while leads have the perfect bite and roundness that slice through the mix. Engaging the volume’s push/pull coil split brightens up the tone for single coil spank. It’s a totally versatile hard rock masterpiece stripped down for dexterous guitar acrobatics.
LIST PRICE $1,199.99
MANUFACTURER: Charvel Guitars, charvel.com
THE BOTTOM LINE: The Charvel Guitars Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH HT M Ash guitar packs a solid punch of super-fast playability and cutting edge rock tones in a naturally stripped down package.