Charvel serves up a new HSS Pro-Mod So-Cal shred machine and gives its HH sibling fresh finish, hardtail and fingerboard options in its first 2023 drop

Charvel 2023 electric guitar models
(Image credit: Charvel)

Charvel has announced its first new electric guitars for 2023: an HSS take on its hot-rodded Pro-Mod So-Cal formula, as well as fresh looks and hardtail options for its dual-humbucker model in the same line.

The snappily named Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 HSS FR is the brand-new model for this year, and gets part of that moniker from its pickup configuration, which is a fresh addition to the series.

Seymour Duncan has provided the firepower here, via a high-output Distortion TB-6 humbucker in the bridge and two SSL Custom Flat Strat single coils at the neck and middle.

These are adjusted via a no-load tone control – which functions as a standard tone from 1-9 before removing itself entirely at position 10 – plus a master volume and five-way blade switch.

Built for speed, the So-Cal alder body is bolted to a graphite-reinforced maple neck with 12-16” compound-radius fingerboard in either maple or ebony, while the Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking tremolo seeks to deliver divebombs and wild wails worthy of the Charvel name.

There’s also a handy heel-mount spoke wheel, which makes truss rod tweaks easy – so easy, in fact, Charvel even advocates its use in between songs. Each to their own.

Finishes for the model are dependent on what fretboard you go for. Ebony fans have a choice of Pharaohs Gold, Ferrari Red and Lambo Green, while maple-’boarders get Gloss Black only. Either way, the asking price will be $1,099 when it launches in June.

The Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 HH FR M, meanwhile, is spec’d as above, but comes with a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers – that same Distortion TB-6 in the bridge and a Distortion SH-6N in the neck – and is now available with a maple fingerboard in four finishes: Infinity Blue, Gloss Black, Gamera Black, and Snow White. An awesome shred guitar and you've gotta love the anodized scratchpates on the Snow White and Gloss Black models.

It’s worth noting the price differential on this new maple-fingerboarded model, which clocks in at $999 – $100 less than the existing ebony version. It lands in February.

Finally, there’s also now a hardtail option for this guitar – the Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 HH HT E – which swaps the Floyd Rose for a hardtail bridge. But you probably figured that out already.

There are a choice of three finish options (Candy Apple Red, Primer Grey and Pharaohs Gold since you asked), and its streamlined hardware set makes it the most affordable of the new offerings at $899. Again, it launches in February.

Head over to Charvel for more info on the So-Cal Style 1 series.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.