Strat-style guitars, particularly of the Super variety, are known for floating tremolos. Think of Charvel and you might picture a neon axe wielded by a whammy-happy guitar hero. But hardtail Strats have a dedicated following, who happily forgo divebombs in return for more sustain.
This DK24 HT showcases the advantages of a fixed bridge. Where Charvel’s San Dimas and So Cal models recall the earliest hot-rodded Strats, the Pro-Mod DK24 is a more evolved design. It reflects the demands of cutting edge players who need a guitar that never gets in the way.
On top of Charvel’s always-speedy neck profile, the DK24 gets an all-access neck joint and recessed lower cutaway for unimpeded access to all 24 frets. The smaller body also offers a slightly lighter and more user-friendly experience.
Charvel have again chosen a pair of Seymour Duncan pickups, and we’re happy it’s a change from the JB/59 combo. While those pickups undoubtedly sound classic in Charvels, the Full Shred/Alnico Pro II pairing here are a great update. The Full Shred has a tighter low end and more scooped mid range than the JB, ideal for the metal riffing you expect from a stealth black superstrat. For leads it offers a sharper, more attacking tone.
The Alnico Pro II, meanwhile, sounds slightly fuller than the 59. There are no push-pull pots, but the 5-way switch offers split coil tones in positions 2-4. We’d have liked the option for both humbuckers at once, but it’s relatively straightforward to rewire the switch if your favourite coil selection isn’t one of the standard five.
The taper on the low-friction EVH volume pot is superbly judged, and both pickups clean up extremely well when backed off. Despite its metal and shred credentials, this Charvel could do a wedding gig with no trouble. The hand-rubbed urethane finish on Charvel necks is always a joy, and the DK24 doesn’t disappoint.
It’s about as smooth a playing experience as a guitarist can have. The recessed neck joint is really well judged, and all six strings are useable right up to the 24th fret. If there’s a lick you can’t play on this, it won’t be because of the guitar. When you hit the strings hard on a floating tremolo, there’s a brief flutter as the trem moves.
The fixed bridge eliminates that, giving a crisper attack and more in-tune sounding chords. It might be the perfect instrument for recording rock and metal rhythm guitars. Playing the DK24 is a lot like looking at it: it’s sleek, built to rock, and has no unnecessary distractions. It’s stylish without restricting you to one genre, making it the ideal canvas for showcasing your own personality.
- PRICE: $949 / £779
- BODY: Alder
- NECK: Graphite-reinforced maple
- SCALE: 25.5”
- FINGERBOARD: Ebony
- FRETS: 24
- PICKUPS: Seymour Duncan Full Shred (bridge) and Alnico Pro II (neck)
- CONTROLS: EVH low-friction volume, no-load tone, 5-way pickup selector
- HARDWARE: Charvel hardtail bridge and locking machineheads
- LEFT-HANDED: No
- FINISH: Satin black
- CONTACT: Charvel