Although now built primarily in Mexico and the United States, by the late 1980s Charvel guitars were made exclusively in Japan. Japanese rock guitars from the golden age of shred are praised by a certain breed of players, and Charvel’s new MJ series – which also includes signature models for Guthrie Govan and YouTuber Rick Graham – recalls those heady days while showcasing the evolution of rock guitar. .
Fortunately, there’s no pointy headstock here, but the GM’s huge jumbo frets bring back memories of those jagged guitars from days before the grunge meteor strike sounded the end of hair-metal megafauna. Unusually for Charvel, the neck is wenge and it has a hand rubbed oil finish and a fine C carving similar to the Guthrie Govan model. The graphite neck reinforcement is also noteworthy, which helps keep the neck straight and stable in any climate.
Back in the day, on a guitar like this, a Floyd Rose tremolo would have been a standard issue, but nowadays a Floyd is no longer a must-see. Whammy bar addicts have no fear – the much-vaunted stability and subtle response of our review guitar’s Gotoh locking tuners ensure our double-locking friend isn’t missing, while a carefully thought-out vibrato recess. sculpted allows for generous upward pull of the bar.
The reinforced neck brings slightly increased string tension, meaning our freshly installed .010 gauge string set is a bit heavier due to reduced neck flex. After 15 minutes that initial feeling of tension begins to evaporate, but the factory-set 0.09 was probably a little better suited.
Plugged into a Marshall Super Bass, the Charvel’s dark aesthetic doesn’t translate into its tone, and the combination of an ebony board, mahogany body, and figured walnut top provides healthy clarity and a uniform medium. Despite the name, the Seymour Duncan Full Shred bridge humbucker is a mid-output pickup with a slightly scooped midrange that, when fed by our Screamer tube Marshall, delivers the consumed “brown” rock sound.
In contrast, the Alnico II Pro neck position is a more vintage affair with a lively twang rather than an overdriven or soupy humbucker sound, making it ideal for blues-rock rhythm and lead playing. Intermediate sounds on the five-position switch combine different coils from each pickup, adding additional versatility. Position three (the inner coils of each humbucker) provides an authentic country-rock sound that is great fun, while positions two (center pickup plus inner bridge coil) and four (center pickup plus outer neck coil) provide a Strat-type spanking for some fancy funk workouts.
The MJ DK24 offers a somewhat paradoxical experience. It’s so much fun to play, but its superb build quality and high quality materials and parts are a simultaneous reminder that this is a serious instrument too – and one that offers the kind of versatility demanded by the time pro. modern. This is custom store quality at an affordable price and a supremely balanced yet raucous rock guitar.
- THE PRICE £ 2,039 (with hybrid box)
- THE DESCRIPTION 6-string double cutaway electric guitar, made in Japan
- TO BUILD Mahogany body with figured walnut top, screwed graphite reinforced wenge neck with shredder’s cut heel gasket, 12-16 “radius striated ebony fingerboard with rolled edges and pearl dot inlays, 24 jumbo frets , Graph Tech Tusq XL nut
- EQUIPMENT Diecast Gotoh locking tuners, Gotoh Custom 510 tremolo bridge
- ELECTRONIC Seymour Duncan Custom Alnico II Pro APH-1N (neck) and Custom Full Shred SH-10B (bridge), Seymour Duncan Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 single coil (middle), 5-position blade pickup selector, 500k EVH Bourns low- friction volume control and idle tone control
- LENGTH OF LADDER 25.5 “/ 648 mm
- NECK WIDTH 43.3mm at nut, 52.1mm at 12th fret
- NECK DEPTH 20.6mm at 1st fret, 21.4mm at 12th fret
- STRING SPACING 37.3mm at nut, 52.9mm at bridge
- WEIGHT 3.5kg / 7.72lb
- LEFT HAND No
- FINISHES Natural satin finish
- CONTACT charvel.com
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