Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center
Travis

Reassembled the Charvel (Gravelin review)

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

This project took me a bit longer than anticipated or intended. A couple of months ago, I pulled my old Charvel 650xl out of storage. Decided it was time to breathe some new life into the old girl. Started with polishing the frets, then conditioning the fretboard. Put a fat brass block on the Schaller trem. Then, the best part: installing the new Gravelin pickups I had Josh wind for me. A 14k A5 Mongoose and a pair of 6.4k single coils for the the neck and mid slots. 

I had some time Friday afternoon while my son was napping to start the assembly and wiring process. I don’t normally do this kind of work on the island in the kitchen but it’s got the best lighting and I had closer proximity to the beverages...

 

4FEF6D8A-EC07-452D-BDFE-6F7BE2067A4F.jpeg

6A4760AA-DBD2-415E-AC2F-A4E1D1DA1EE0.jpeg

Edited by Travis
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3EBB54C7-B18A-4A08-9710-357E13AF1D67.jpeg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1F8C0233-A388-479C-B3A3-213DA2095E14.jpeg

C79139F7-FE75-4C59-86CB-CCFE7A6DBA6C.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4D1D5993-6FD5-4328-A269-BF6DB46C86CA.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

C3FC643E-C3A3-4AEE-9EE3-C97045D0CDF8.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a few minutes Sunday morning before my son woke up and we had to go to a 1-Year old’s birthday party to plug her in. Low volume test just to make sure I wired up the bridge pickup up correctly (with a push/pull coil tap)  first impression: holy crap...

this thing sings, harmonics jump off effortlessly. Can’t wait to get the single coils wired up and give it a full volume run thru. 

Thanks, @JGravelin you do amazing work. 

 

PS, sorry for the multiple posts. Until I figure out how to resize or stop posting from my phone, this is all I know how to do...

BB5F2257-118A-47DB-8A9A-15F13AF2791E.jpeg

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a sexy guitfiddle!  Nice job! Love these bench threads!

Murkat, JeffR and BCRGreg used to post these more frequently. Now we have to get our bench fixes from Shishkof's page.

It looks as though you could almost fit an Orig Floyd in there- might be a camera angle but I'd say that cavity could accept an Orig Floyd Rose' longer string bolts. Were it not for the OFR having a .3mm wider base plate, you could have upgraded to an OFR, LockMiester or Gotoh bridge.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, diablo175 said:

 

It looks as though you could almost fit an Orig Floyd in there- might be a camera angle but I'd say that cavity could accept an Orig Floyd Rose' longer string bolts. Were it not for the OFR having a .3mm wider base plate, you could have upgraded to an OFR, LockMiester or Gotoh bridge.

The angle might be a bit deceiving. The Schaller on this Charvel is top mounted as opposed to recessed. It’s got the back route to allow for extreme pull ups but would definitely accept the longer string bolts. I had toyed with the idea of putting an OFR in there years ago but the Schaller has held up so well I never got around to it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Travis said:

The angle might be a bit deceiving. The Schaller on this Charvel is top mounted as opposed to recessed. It’s got the back route to allow for extreme pull ups but would definitely accept the longer string bolts. I had toyed with the idea of putting an OFR in there years ago but the Schaller has held up so well I never got around to it. 

I see what you're saying. Schallers are solid, dependable units depending on which version you have- some of the earlier one's with the die cast base plate had trouble with screw holes stripping out so you couldn't properly adjust saddle distances and intonate the guitar. Some of the early Hamer stamped Schallers were susceptible to this.

I have a few Schaller Floyds still on some Hamers; they're still there ONLY because they still hold up and perform as well as some of my OFRs.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a super-schweet Charvel, Travis. An, "indictment of an era", in the best way. Dig the finish, inlays, binding, etc. The import Charvel/Jackson, Kramer, Robins and ESPs from that era are quality guitars, very underrated and under-valued. Play it with much, "squeeeeee...!"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, RobB said:

That's a super-schweet Charvel, Travis. An, "indictment of an era", in the best way. Dig the finish, inlays, binding, etc. The import Charvel/Jackson, Kramer, Robins and ESPs from that era are quality guitars, very underrated and under-valued. Play it with much, "squeeeeee...!"

Thanks. It was my first pro level guitar. It’s an ‘89 with an ‘88 serial number, bought new in ‘92 when I was 14. It’s the guitar that got me into the Japanese Charvel model/toothpaste logo series, of which I have had many over the years. But this one stayed. There’s just something special about it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Travis said:

Thanks. It was my first pro level guitar. It’s an ‘89 with an ‘88 serial number, bought new in ‘92 when I was 14. It’s the guitar that got me into the Japanese Charvel model/toothpaste logo series, of which I have had many over the years. But this one stayed. There’s just something special about it. 

I love those old MIJ Charvels for playing metal. I had two different Model 2 Charvels and later, this Fusion which I refinished and applied an old school logo (Heresy!).

 

 

20160417_214343-1.jpg

Edited by Biz Prof
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Biz Prof said:

I love those old MIJ Charvels for playing metal. I had two different Model 2 Charvels and later, this Fusion which I refinished and applied an old school logo (Heresy!).

 

 

20160417_214343-1.jpg

Were Fusions shorts scale like the 650XLs?

Gotta say, that Fusion, feature-wise is even sexier than the OP's 650XL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The model series and the majority of the toothpaste logo charvels were 25.5”. 

The exception was the 750xl which was basically 24 fret les Paul construction that looked like a super strat. Mahogany body, maple top, glued in short scale neck. I believe the fusion was also short scale. 

My 650xl is 25.5” so it’s a seemlwss transition between it and my Mirages & Talladega. In fact, since selling my Vector, all of my remaining guitars are 25.5”. 

Edited by Travis
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Travis said:

The model series and the majority of the toothpaste logo charvels were 25.5”. 

The exception was the 750xl which was basically 24 fret les Paul construction that looked like a super strat. Mahogany body, maple top, glued in short scale neck. I believe the fusion was also short scale. 

My 650xl is 25.5” so it’s a seemlwss transition between it and my Mirages & Talladega. In fact, since selling my Vector, all of my remaining guitars are 25.5”. 

I stand corrected- I thought they were short scale. Sunnovabitch.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, diablo175 said:

I stand corrected- I thought they were short scale. Sunnovabitch.  

Yep. Gibson scale. Wide, skinny neck. Needs better pickups, frankly.

I applied a Color Shift metallic finish (Green/silver/purple), but that's probably way too tame for a guy like you. 😆

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Biz Prof said:

 

I applied a Color Shift metallic finish (Green/silver/purple), but that's probably way too tame for a guy like you. 😆

Not necessarily. I have room for tastefully restrained in my harem. Hard to beat the simple beauty of black w/ some ivory trim or this one: green stain over quilted maple.

image.png

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Burrito of yours has such a nice quilted top, I didn't really want you to burst the perimeter. Still looks killer, though.

You should consider a color shifting finish at some point. It's about the only category of finish not represented in your stable.  The metallic lavender/silver really pops on mine when the light catches it as it shifts from green (and yes, I know that's not the proper logo for a pointy headstock Charvel). 

IMG_20140412_220953_382.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Travis:  Your Charvel reminds me a lot of Carlos Cavazo's Jackson Soloist from "The Wild and The Young" video. Fast-forward to 1:20 unless you like bad acting, Wink Martindale as a dictator, or the type of futuristic APC that Bjork might be seen driving in her own techno music video. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Biz Prof said:

That Burrito of yours has such a nice quilted top, I didn't really want you to burst the perimeter. Still looks killer, though.

The builder had to burst the perimeter because that's a big ol' slab of quilted maple on top of an alder body. Short of binding (which was NOT an option) there's no easy way to disguise/hide the confluence of veneer with body edges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got the Charvel all wired up, adjusted the truss rod and set the intonation.  Had a chance to run it through the amp uninterrupted for a little over an hour as well. It’s wired to a 5-way superswitch with a master tone (.022 cap) and a master volume push/pull which will split the bridge pickup. That way I can pair the middle single coil with either the full humbucker or just the slug coil. 

The A5 Mongoose @JGravelin wound for me fits this guitar perfectly. It’s hot but not too much to overpower the single coils. Harmonics are effortless. Great crunch for rhythm work and the leads just sing. Rolling off the tone while on the bridge pickup gives me some near neck pickup sounds. 

The single coils are super clear and articulate. Great strat tone and super quiet when pairing the neck and middle pickups together. They handle clean duty with ease and work really well with some light gain as well. 

Pushing the amp with medium to high gain and then rolling off the volume on the guitar, the guitar cleans up perfectly. May never need more than a single channel amp with this guitar. 

Someone else said in a different thread that if you don’t have some of josh’s pickups in at least one guitar, you’re doing something wrong. I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Josh, you did a fantastic job on these pickups and I can’t wait to decide what I’ll have you wind for me next. Thanks again and thanks for the tech support. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2019 at 8:39 PM, Travis said:

 

The A5 Mongoose @JGravelin wound for me fits this guitar perfectly. It’s hot but not too much to overpower the single coils. Harmonics are effortless. Great crunch for rhythm work and the leads just sing. Rolling off the tone while on the bridge pickup gives me some near neck pickup sounds. 

Someone else said in a different thread that if you don’t have some of josh’s pickups in at least one guitar, you’re doing something wrong. I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Josh, you did a fantastic job on these pickups and I can’t wait to decide what I’ll have you wind for me next. Thanks again and thanks for the tech support. 

+1

I've got Josh's p'ups in 75% of my herd now. Mostly Mongoose or slight variations on the Mongoose. Likely, that percentage will climb as I've yet to hear a production p'up that sings as sweetly or crunches as fully as his p'ups. I've always marveled at how musical his Mongoose sounds in my Cali LE's. They just hit all the right spots on the tonal spectrum IMHO.
 

 

Edited by diablo175
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Travis, thanks for the tone report and I'm really happy to know that you're pleased with the end-results! That guitar is in such excellent shape, looks great, and I'm proud to be a part of it - thank you!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/30/2019 at 1:06 PM, Biz Prof said:

(and yes, I know that's not the proper logo for a pointy headstock Charvel). 

IMG_20140412_220953_382.jpg

I'm confused about this statement... what's wrong with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dave Scepter said:

I'm confused about this statement... what's wrong with it?

I think he means that it should be the "toothpaste" logo-

image.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...