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Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wanting a Jackson/Charvel with a non-locking trem so that I can use those wimpy 7-38 Billy Gibbons signature strings in E standard on a guitar with a trem (Floyds snap .007 strings like crazy).

So, look what showed up on eBay recently!









The was the lowest-end model in Jackson's very brief and unsuccessful attempt to revive the Charvel USA brand in 1995-96. The higher-end models all had mahogany or Koa bodies, birdseye necks, and pao ferro boards, but this one's just a maple/rosewood/alder plain jane, which is exactly what I wanted. Oddly enough, the Standard might be the rarest of the bunch, and they apparently only made 200 or so.

The guitars in this series were great, but they didn't appeal to the old-school Charvel types, because they all had Dinky (rather than strat) bodies, and because J/C couldn't use the proper Strat headstock prior to the Fender buyout. Ultimately, the higher-end versions were the inspiration for the Phil Collen signature Jackson.

The Standard has a few quirks. It's the first USA J/C I've ever seen with plastic cavity covers. The other models in the San Dimas series all had metal covers with the smaller San Dimas-style control cavity. This one has the bigger Ontario cavity, even though nothing about the electronics requires a larger cavity.

Also, the body contours are slightly more rounded than the other guitars in the San Dimas series.

The neck is the classic Charvel profile, with the typical huge slab fretboard, and it doesn't have a hard finish.

It original came with Dimarzio pickups (PAF, and two SCs), but the previous owner replaced the PAF with a Duncan 59. I'm thinking a Pearly Gates, instead. The Dimarzio SCs are okay, but I might put some Duncan STK-S4s in to deal with the hum.

The previous owner also replaced the original very basic two-point trem with a Wilkinson VG300. I'm not sold on the bent-steel saddles on the VG300--a bit too much ring--and will probably replace the trem with a Gotoh 510TS, like on Suhr guitars. Fortunately, the stud spacing is correct for the Gotoh.

Overall, I think it's a pretty killer deal for $600.

Here are the catalog scans of the entire '95-96 San Dimas series, for your guitar porn pleasure.

1995 Charvel San Dimas ‹ Guitar Gallery
 

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Premium Member
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That is a very sweet guitar for $600. I dig it. :yesway:
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Cool as hell, man. I bet I'd dig this one too. Is that some sort of Wilkinson/Gotoh?
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Nice! \m/

BTW, if you are in the market for single coils I have some I got from Max that I intended to put in one of my soloists (ended up selling the guitar) that I never got around to trying out. Dimarzio Heavy Blues I think? Might be your thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool as hell, man. I bet I'd dig this one too. Is that some sort of Wilkinson/Gotoh?
Yeah, it's the Wilkinson VG300, which is made by Gotoh. It's the same as the regular VG100 (the Wilk you see most often), except that it has bent steel saddles in order to sound more like a vintage Strat. The previous owner installed this bridge to replace the very basic two-point trem it came with originally.

I'm not sure who made the original bridge, but it might have been an earlier Gotoh effort. You can see it in the catalog I linked to. All of the Japanese J/Cs with a two-point trem used that same bridge during this era. The higher-level guitars in the '95-96 USA San Dimas series came with Wilkinson VG100s.

The VG300 is high quality and stays in tune very well, but the saddles give too much of a bright and "ring-ey" sound for what I want to do with this guitar. I could replace it with a VG100, but I'll probably try the Gotoh 510T-FE1 instead, which most people seem to prefer over the Wilkinsons these days.

Nice! \m/

BTW, if you are in the market for single coils I have some I got from Max that I intended to put in one of my soloists (ended up selling the guitar) that I never got around to trying out. Dimarzio Heavy Blues I think? Might be your thing.
Thanks for the offer. I'm looking at various hum-cancelling options for the moment, since it's likely that I'll use the neck pickup for driven sounds as much as for clean sounds.

Right now, I'm leaning towards Suhr pickups, with a DSH+ in the bridge. This guitar is meant to be my main fusion/shred axe, and I want a warm, round tone with it.
 

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Slow Money
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FWIW, those ones I sold to garret ARE hum cancelling.
 

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I measure things
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That's a nice looking axe! Congrats!

That headstock looks familiar - I have the same shape on my Charvel (but I think my Model A is 2002 or so).
 

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Dream Crusher
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The DSH+ and FL (or ML, they're the same thing) neck/middle would sound *awesome* in that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
FWIW, those ones I sold to garret ARE hum cancelling.
Good to know! Garrett, hold onto those for a little while if you can. I'll get back to you on them shortly.

That headstock looks familiar - I have the same shape on my Charvel (but I think my Model A is 2002 or so).
Yeah, it's the same headstock. You also see it on Jackson's Phil Collen sigs made before Fender bought Jackson/Charvel. It was J/C's attempt to make a headstock that kinda sorta looked like a Strat headstock, but without incurring the wrath of Fender's lawyers. Some love it, some hate it. Personally, I think it's one of the least offensive of the various trademark-friendly strat headstocks out there.
 
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