Charvel Blog

Warren DeMartini Performs on the Monsters of Rock Cruise West

Posted on October 4th, 2016 by Chrissy Mauck

Charvel signature artist Warren DeMartini joined RATT bandmates, singer Stephen Pearcy and bassist Juan Croucier for a “surprise band” performance on Saturday night on the Monsters of Rock Cruise West. Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo, who played on RATT 2010 studio album Infestation, and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Y&T, White Lion and Megadeth) also joined them onstage.

Watch fan footage below as the band plays RATT’s “Wanted Man” …

Premier Guitar Reviews the Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH FR

Posted on September 29th, 2016 by Morgan Brunner


The Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH FR received a glowing two-page review in Premier Guitar’s October issue, also earning the magazine’s “Premier Gear” stamp of approval.

“For a lot of aspiring shredders, the image of Warren DeMartini’s Charvel San Dimas in Ratt’s ‘Round and Round’ video—with its blood and skull graphic—was about as badass as you could get in 1984,” writes reviewer Joe Charupakorn. “That image helped cement the San Dimas’ place as one of the must-have axes of the shred era. But it was no flash in the pan.”

The San Dimas still stays true to those roots but offers many upgraded features that technical players covet, and Charupakorn’s review offers a deep dive into the newest Pro-Mod Style 1 HH FR guitar’s looks, specs and sound.

“With its transparent, tobacco sunburst, quilted maple top on an alder body, zebra humbuckers, and maple neck, the Pro-Mod version looks sharp, and a lot like an ‘80s shred kid grown up and keeping it classy in middle age. Rather more lurid solid colors like slime green and neon pink are also available for permanent adolescents.”

Charupakorn continues with a detailed tour of the guitar’s construction before turning his focus on the “six pack of sound” that makes this guitar standout sonically.

“You can get great sounds from just about every configuration,” he wrote. “The neck pickup is crisp with a lot of bite, and free of tubbiness. The middle sounded a little glassier than the neck position and inspired whammy-infused, clean melodies (Steve Vai’s ‘Call it Sleep’ riff among them). The bridge pickup is muscular, open, and sounds reminiscent of some of Guthrie Govan’s brash lead tones. For rhythm playing, the tight low end makes Eddie Van Halen-style metal-boogie riffs and percussive djent-type rhythms sound equally tough and clear.”

Charupakorn also praises the addition of the tone knob, which unlocks more tonal options to players.

“Several years ago, I pondered buying a San Dimas, but held off because it didn’t have a tone knob. This edition of the San Dimas finally features that missing knob. But in order to please old-school San Dimas users, the tone knob has a very effective and useful no-load option, which removes the capacitor from the circuit entirely at maximum levels.”

Read the full review, and hear a demo of the Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH FR here.

Watch Chris Impellitteri Live with his Bloodsplatter Charvel

Posted on September 2nd, 2016 by Chrissy Mauck

Los Angeles heavy metal act Impellitteri has been enjoying the festival scene abroad this summer, including slots at Busan Rock Festival in South Korea, Bang Your Head Festival in Germany and Rock Fest Barcelona.

All the while, guitarist Chris Impellitteri has been shredding away on a Charvel Custom Shop Legacy Bloodsplatter guitar.

Watch below to enjoy some fan footage, including a surprising choice for a metal show in “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” in which Impellitteri really shows off his chops.

Watch Kelly Simonz Demo the Pro-Mod Collection at Tokyo Guitar Clinic

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by Morgan Brunner

Charvel artist Kelly Simonz held a guitar clinic last month at the Gakki Center in Tokyo, where he showed off his impressive skills on the latest Pro-Mod collection.

The guitar virtuoso from Japan demoed a Rocket Red Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 HH FR on his song “Future Destination” and a Transparent Black Pro-Mod San Dimas® Style 1 HH FR on “Tales Of The Viking.”

View Simonz’s special appearance at the clinic below.

Watch New Rock Bottom Bros. Video with Charvel Artist Jordan Ziff

Posted on August 8th, 2016 by Chrissy Mauck

Live From the Nest, a YouTube channel dedicated to local Phoenix artists grooving to

Charvel artist Jordan Ziff recently joined Rock Bottom Bros. (a music/social media project based in Phoenix featuring Paul Anthony and Mike Hill) for a new video for a song called “Maurice and Verdine.” Watch below as the trio grooves along to this ode to the legendary Earth, Wind and Fire brothers.

Al Estrada Lights Up Stage at Dana Point Summer Concert Series

Posted on August 3rd, 2016 by Morgan Brunner

Lights, a So Cal band billed for its note for note renditions of Journey’s classic catalog, recently ignited the stage at the Dana Point Summer Concert Series.

Playing a U.S.A. Charvel San Dimas that he modded with stainless steel frets, Lights guitarist Al Estrada wowed with a blistering solo, which can be viewed in the clip below.

Watch G3 in Action

Posted on July 27th, 2016 by Chrissy Mauck

G3, featuring a new lineup comprised by Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and the Aristocrats (Guthre Govan, Marco Minnemann and Bryan Beller), have wrapped their European run, but thanks to some excellent fan footage, everyone can enjoy seeing these masterful guitarists in action.

Prior to the tour, the Aristocrats had this to say:

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Joe and Steve as groundbreaking artists in the world of instrumental rock who continue to bring it year after year. It will be a special privilege to bring our subversive brew of Aristocratic musical mayhem to the G3 stage – and especially the G3 audience. Let the games begin!”

Looks those games included covers of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” the Police’s “Message in a Bottle”  and more.

Watch some of the clips below …

‘I Just Beat My Guitar’ – Gojira’s Joe Duplantier to ‘Total Guitar’

Posted on July 19th, 2016 by Chrissy Mauck

In its July issue, Total Guitar features a lengthy article with Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier.

The piece covers the blood, sweat and tears that went into making new album Magma, including building a recording studio, Joe and sticksman brother Mario moving to New York and the loss of their mother.

“It drastically affected the creative process,” Duplantier said of her passing. “I kinda want to say the entire record is all about that … I’m all about that, I mean, I lost my mum. It’s difficult to explain the reasons behind the art sometimes. You recycle every single thing that happens to you. We’re all confronted by death… that’s what people do. They die! It’s interesting how something like that can be that extraordinary and painful, yet totally normal. Life has all these traps and forces you to evolve, so our music is a good image of what we are – anger, frustration, violence … but also peace.”

Duplantier also provides insight into the band’s gear and sonic approach for the album.

“For me, when it’s time to record, I just run around, try to find my guitar (signature Charvel San Dimas), quickly get it all working and wrestle it into submission.

“But the Whammy is an exciting and cool tool. This was the first time we’ve actually used a pedal. Before that, our noises have been hand-made, like the pick scrape, which came from an accident on tour when I made this sound with strings and thought it was cool. So I did it again the next night and wrote it into some of our songs, along with pinched harmonics and weird bends. People always ask what pedal I use, and I always have to say ‘I just beat my guitar and find sounds!’ I was really proud of that. The only effect for us really has been the distortion of the amp. Now it will be impossible for me to play those riffs without the Whammy!”

Instead of stacking guitar tracks on top of each other, Duplantier said the band went for a more minimalistic approach.

“I wanted to record something that allowed people to hear the texture and tone of the guitars more than ever before,” he shared. “Like the pick attack on the strings. So rather than a wall of sound, it would be at most two guitars. During the choruses I added a Telecaster underneath my signature Charvel— I love the sound of them because they’re very bright and make a big difference even when super low in the mix. It brings a different vibe with the single-coils.”

Click here to purchase the July issue (available via print or digital) to read the full article!

Total Guitar Reviews the Pro-Mod Collection

Posted on July 11th, 2016 by Morgan Brunner

Total Guitar magazine reviewed the full lineup of the new Charvel Pro-Mod guitars in its August issue, honoring each of the three new models—So-Cal Style 1 HH FR, San Dimas Style 1 HH FR and San Dimas HH HT—with a “Total Guitar Best Buy” award.

The five-page spread includes a spotlight on Charvel’s history, a highlight of the models and a side-by-side quick glance spec comparison. The breakdown also includes a stellar rating of each instrument for features, sound quality, value for money, build quality and playability. The So-Cal Style 1 HH FR and San Dimas Style 1 HH FR scored a perfect five-star rating across all categories, while the San Dimas HH HT earned five stars in all categories, save for features and value for money, which received four stars.

So with those excellent ratings, here’s the mag’s final verdict:

“Some guitars choose their new owners, and retro metal guitars such as the Charvel Pro-Mods will appeal to a particular type of player. If you need us to spell it out, we’re talking shredders, metalheads and the hair-metal throwbacks. To us, the wide tonal range, flawless playability and choice of tasteful or retina-melting finishes take us back to a fun era to be a guitarist. It was a time of innovation, and Charvel was at the forefront of that. There are countless rock machines out there these days, but few are better than these well-priced Pro-Mods. They are, as Bill and Ted might say, most triumphant…”

Guitar World Features the USA Select Series at Summer NAMM 2016

Posted on July 6th, 2016 by Morgan Brunner

Guitar World visited the FMIC High Performance booth at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Tenn., for a first look at new products arriving this fall from Charvel, Jackson and EVH.

In the video below,  Charvel’s Jon Romanowski introduces the all-new USA Select models that will debut in August.

Watch the clip below, and click here for more details.

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