Charvel Blog

8 Custom Shop Masterpieces Built by “Red” Dave Nichols

Posted on January 25th, 2018 by Ryan Chadwick

With years of experience to draw upon and an endless wealth of creativity, Charvel Custom Shop Master Builder “Red” Dave Nichols went above and beyond for the NAMM 2018 Custom Shop event, bringing 8 one-of-a-kind masterpieces to the auction.

Go ahead and drool over all of the stunning, master-built guitars below. We sure did.

San Dimas® Style 1 HS White Angel Dust

This San Dimas® Style 1 HS is clear as the driven snow with its immaculate White Angel Dust finished alder body. To fit with the exquisite theme, Red Dave threw a beautiful 12”-16” compound radius flame maple fingerboard with 22 frets on top of the quartersawn maple neck. This heavenly guitar is topped off with gold hardware, including a Floyd Rose™ Original tremolo bridge and Gotoh tuners, and white DiMarzio Super Distortion and Seymour Duncan Flat Start pickups.

San Dimas® Style 1 HSH FR M 3-Tone Sunburst

As bright as the morning sun, the San Dimas® Style 1 HSH FR M’s 3-Tone Sunburst gradient brightens a cooked basswood body capped with a flame maple top. A light relic job and chrome hardware give this axe vintage style while the worn-in Charvel Custom pickups, Floyd Rose™ tremolo bridge, and 24 jumbo frets come together for a hard-rocking machine.

So-Cal Style 1 HSH FR M Daphne Blue Relic

This righteous rig screams Southern California thanks to the ocean vibes stemming from its Daphne Blue finish. The heavy relic’ing reveals the So-Cal Style 1 HSH FR M’s natural alder wood body, giving it an awesome vintage vibe. The bolt-on quartersawn maple neck’s fingerboard is scalloped between the 22 jumbo frets for fast action and playability. Despite its chilled beach-vibe, this guitar rocks hard thanks to its HSH layout, which utilizes a pair of Seymour Duncan™ humbucking pickups and a RWRP Flat Strat single coil pickup in the middle position.

San Dimas® Style 1 HSH FR M Black and Green

With its wild but understated Black and Green finish, the custom-built San Dimas® Style 1 HSH FR M is in your face without being obnoxious. The roasted quartersawn maple neck is topped with an ebony fingerboard, scrupulously hand-scalloped by Red Dave. Green DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups and an inverted headstock complete the “out there” ensemble.

San Dimas® Style 2 HT M QM Antique Burst

Style 2 fans will be stoked to see the San Dimas® Style 2 HT M QM custom shop build from Nichols. Like a fine piece of art, this single cut guitar’s Antique Burst finish preserves the pristine quilt maple top that sits above its alder body. A roasted maple neck is met with a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard.  The solid playing machine is powered by dual DiMarzio D Activator humbucking pickups, and is finished off with a Hipshot hardtail bridge and Gotoh tuners.

San Dimas® Style 1 FR M HSH Relic Surf Green

Nichols’ San Dimas® Style 1 FR M HSH Relic looks like it was pulled from a beachside shipwreck. The cooked basswood body and flame maple top peeks through the Surf Green veneer courtesy of some expert Charvel Custom Shop relic’ing. A bolt-on roasted maple neck and reverse matching headstock take this incredible guitar to new levels.

San Dimas® DK HT M QM 1H Dark Trans Amber

This gorgeous San Dimas® DK H FR M QM is the only Charvel custom guitar at this year’s NAMM showcase to feature a single pickup design. A powerful DiMarzio® Super Distortion humbucking pickup lives within the alder body, topped with quilt maple. The Dark Trans Amber paint gives off a honey-like appearance that is matched nicely by a bolt-on maple neck and a 12”-16” compound radius roasted maple fingerboard that leads to an inverted Tele headstock. A Floyd Rose™ Original hardtail bridge, Gotoh tuners, EVH high friction 250K pot, and chrome pickup bobbins finish off the custom build in sleek style.

San Dimas® Style 1 HS Sustainer FR M Orange/Red Stripe

The speed-demon San Dimas® Style 1 HS FR M Sustainer is slashed by a slick looking Orange and Red racing stripe paint scheme. Matching its quick looks, the alder body is met with a bolt-on quartersawn maple neck with a 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets for fast fingering. For a truly unique sound, the custom build incorporates a Sustainer Driver neck pickup and an EMG 81 bridge pickup. Wow!

A Look at the All-New Charvel Pro-Mod DK24

Posted on January 23rd, 2018 by Chrissy Mauck

In the blazing Charvel video demo below, get an up close look at all of the all-new Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 models — powerful tone machines built for the harder side of rock.

The DK24 is offered in both hardtail and Floyd Rose options, along with a variety of body & wood fingerboard options, including quilt maple tops.

Each DK24 features a sleek Dinky™ body, bolt-on maple neck with graphite reinforcement, hand-rubbed urethane gel back finish for sublime and speedy playability, 12”-16” compound radius fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and offset dot inlays, heel-mounted spoke wheel, Seymour Duncan® Full Shred bridge pickup and Seymour Duncan Jazz neck pickup.

Steel Panther’s Satchel Unveils His New Signature Charvel Pro-Mod DK Model

Posted on January 22nd, 2018 by Ryan Chadwick

When Steel Panther axe man Satchel met up with Charvel for an exclusive video interview, he covered all things guitar including his early guitar roots, some of his favorite players growing up, and most importantly, how his new Charvel Signature Pro-Mod DK model came to be.

After an unsuccessful attempt at football, Satchel began playing guitar at the age of 10. Over the years, he found inspiration from a myriad of different guitarists and styles including David Gilmore and Buck Dharma. Satchel eventually landed at the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, where he connected with his glam rock Steel Panther bandmates.

For Satchel, Charvel was always number one. “In the ‘80s, Charvel was it,” said Satchel. “All the cool guitar players were playing Charvel. It’s always been a goal of mine to have a Charvel model at some point and I think I’ve achieved that.”

That box has been checked in 2018 with the introduction of his brand new Satchel Signature Charvel Pro-Mod DK model. The axe is a bright burst of fluorescent yellow finished off with a striking Bengal pattern that is matched only by the rockers personality. With two Fishman® Fluence Classic pickups and a Floyd Rose® 1000 series tremolo, the guitar is built with metal in mind.

“Fishman® pickups are the best pickups on the market as far as I’m concerned,” said Satchel. “They sound heavy metal. You can probably plug it in to your grandmother’s refrigerator and just turn the refrigerator up to 10, and it would sound like a modded Eddie Van Halen on Van Halen 1.”

Want more details about his new sig axe? Watch the full interview by hitting play on the video below.

The Jackson® and Charvel® Custom Shop Promotes Joe Williams to Master Builder

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Ryan Chadwick

Jackson and Charvel are excited to share the news that Joe Williams has been promoted from an apprentice to Custom Shop Master Builder.

“Given his diverse talents as a builder, outstanding work ethic and enthusiasm, Joe Williams is an invaluable asset to the Custom Shop,” said Jackson/Charvel Vice President of Category Management Jon Romanowski. “As a player and true fan of hard rock and heavy metal himself, Williams also brings a unique perspective and key insight into the exacting needs of modern guitarists. We couldn’t be happier to have his firepower in the shop as we continue to build upon our storied Jackson and Charvel brands.”

Williams has trained over the last decade under the expert wing of Master Builder Mike Shannon, earning the prestigious guru’s full endorsement and stamp of approval.

“Joe is probably one of the most valuable people in the building, one of very few people who can do every process — from the mill all the way to final assembly and figuring out some of the most difficult wiring issues that we have,” said Shannon.

Williams has contributed to many high-profile Custom Shop projects, including management of the relic process, assembly and setup for the Randy Rhoads Tribute Concorde Replica models, and initial conception and design of the B7 and B8 models.

He also built the first Jackson “multi-scale” instrument. In what he good-naturedly referred to as “a beast of a build,” he created an eight-string Soloist model with an innovative 27.75”-25” scale length and asymmetrical five-piece neck.

Williams’ passion for tinkering with guitars dates back to his teens when he first started out playing the instrument. Assuming it was only a phase, his parents got him an inexpensive Squier® beginner instrument. An enterprising teen, Williams quickly taught himself to modify and improve his $100 guitar to sound and feel like his friend’s high-performance Charvel.

He later leveraged those skills with a paying gig at a vintage guitar shop, where he repaired and set up used guitars. Upon joining Jackson in 2005, he continued developing his skills in final assembly, handling wiring and setup work. His attention to detail caught Shannon’s, and Williams was subsequently given sole responsibility for custom assembly work.

During the last 10 years, Williams attended school to learn CNC programming and Manufacturing Technology, while also training aside Shannon in the Custom Shop, slowly working his way backward through the production process—from final assembly to buffing and polishing to mill work.

“Working as Mike Shannon’s apprentice for nearly a decade has pushed my skills to a level I didn’t know they could reach,” said Williams. “When I started in Jackson, Mike opened my eyes to a lot of things in the overall aspect of the guitars we make. I was a savvy tech and assembler, but Mike didn’t hesitate to challenge me for the better. Matching the quality and craftsmanship of someone with over 30 years of experience and immense talents is a challenge. In addition to learning to make an instrument to his standards, I’ve also been able to apply my insight as a player.

“The road to the position of Master Builder has been long but rewarding, and I’m both honored and humbled,” he continued. “The path doesn’t end here though. I look forward to carrying on the tradition of what has made Jackson and Charvel great — pushing the limits of quality, innovation and playability.”

Contact a global authorized Jackson/Charvel Custom Shop dealer today to get in line for an early work from this rising star.

Get Your ‘Adrenaline’ Pumping With Angel Vivaldi’s Latest Video

Posted on January 10th, 2018 by Ryan Chadwick

Angel Vivaldi unleashed an incredible playthrough video of latest track “Adrenaline” off new album SYNAPSE last week. The album’s opener features all of the incredible guitar work that you’ve come to expect from Vivaldi and includes a solo from the equally talented Julian Cifuentes.

Sure to turn the heads of his gear obsessed fans, Vivaldi is rocking a prototype of his seven-string signature Charvel that features an inverted Strat headstock, 24 frets and gold hardware

If you want to know more about the new axe, be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes demo below.

Subscribe to Vivaldi’s YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE.

Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 Featured in Music Radar Review Round-Up

Posted on December 18th, 2017 by Ryan Chadwick

Music Radar posted a stellar review of the Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH HT in a new round-up that focused on solid-bodied electrics.

In looking for a guitar that could shred while still having a softer side, our Style 2 ended up with a 5 out of 5 in “Best for Shred,” with Music Radar noting that it had the most bang for your buck.

“The Charvel with its gorgeously-sculpted heel and body, and discreet input jack, is incredible,” said Music Radar. “It makes playing easy, but for our money – and yours – that pickup configuration, gives it the edge, with heaps of pro-quality tone on tap.”

If you want to know more about the “Best for Shred” Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH HT CLICK HERE.

The Beat Keeps Coming with Lari Basilio and her Guthrie Govan Signature Charvel

Posted on December 15th, 2017 by Ryan Chadwick

Brazilian guitarist Lari Basilio recently dropped a quick, but cool video of her putting a Guthrie Govan Signature Charvel to work with some incredibly clean licks.

A former lawyer who opted instead to pursue her true passion as a guitarist, Basilo has incredible technique and versatility and has shared stages with music greats Paul Gilert and Hamilton de Holanda.

Check out the video of the ex-attorney-at-law below and watch the fancy finger-work yourself.

Basilio is always dropping new videos on her YouTube channel, which you can subscribe to by CLICKING HERE.

Check Out John Mayer’s Skateboard Inspired Custom Shop San Dimas

Posted on December 11th, 2017 by Ryan Chadwick

Acclaimed guitarist John Mayer recently posted his latest Charvel Custom Shop guitar to Instagram and it is incredible. The Charvel San Dimas® model is based on an old Powell Peralta “McGill” skateboard deck that Mayer owned in the late ‘80s. Combining both California skate and metal cultures that inspired him while growing up, Mayer’s axe evokes the look and style of a worn out board.

“This guitar has been a dream of mine for a decade,” said Mayer.

With artwork hand-painted by guitar-art legend Dan Lawrence, the relic’d beast uses EVH Wolfgang humbucking pickups and features blue speed knobs styled after urethane skateboard wheels.

This one-of-a-kind guitar is definitely a site to be seen. Catch John Mayer and the custom axe on tour as he travels around the world with Dead & Company. CLICK HERE for tour dates.

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Rise of the Northstar Recording New Album with Gojira’s Joe Duplantier

Posted on December 7th, 2017 by Ryan Chadwick

French rockers Rise of the Northstar have announced that they are currently underway recording the follow-up to their debut record Welcame. For the new effort, the crew even flew to Silver Cord Studio in New York to work with fellow Frenchman and Charvel signature artist Joe Duplantier from Gojira.

Everyone involved sounds fired up with the collaboration.

“If touring in Japan was always our goal, making an album in New York, one of the most influential cities in the world, with Joe Duplantier producing, is one big challenge,” said Rise of the Northstar. “We’re here to enhance our blend of metal and rap and to take it to the next level.”

Duplantier also shared his thoughts on working with the up-and-coming thrashers.

“I’m excited to contribute to this album — Rise of the Northstar is badass,” Duplantier said. “Their approach of music is so direct, and they drive their career the same way. Definitely a great experience for me.”

Stay connected with what ROTN is doing by following them on Facebook HERE.

Angel Vivaldi Tears Through His Guest Solo in New Scale the Summit Video

Posted on November 28th, 2017 by Ryan Chadwick

Charvel artist Angel Vivaldi is featured in the latest video from progressive metal band Scale the Summit. The talented guitarist takes his Charvel Limited Edition Super Stock DK24 guitar to the next level as he tears into a new dimension during a guest solo on “Witch House”.

Vivaldi is currently on tour with Scale the Summit through the end of December. If you want to catch the Guitar Collective 2017 tour, CLICK HERE for the remaining tour dates.

Watch the full “Witch House” video by clicking play below.

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