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…”
The axe is based on the distinctive white “Charvel-ized” instrument the former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist has played ever since he bought it new back in 1975.
“If you’ve been a fan of Jake E Lee, then this part guitar is a no-brainer,” said Riario. “But if you just like a no-nonsense guitar that is performance enhanced, this is the model to check out. It’s certainly one of my faves.”
The Charvel So-Cal Style 1 landed on MusicRadar‘s recent list for the top guitars in the world under $1,500, coming in at No. 11.
When MusicRadar originally reviewed the So-Cal Style 1 in 2009, they gave it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
“The hotrod vibe, thanks to the stripped-down look and candy finishes, is front and centre and, as we’ve said, the necks are truly things of wonder, the feel of which belies what is certainly a modest price tag,” wrote MusicRadar.
“This ticks all the boxes for rock and pop styles, especially all-out wang-bar madness. Go wail!”