Guthrie Govan Discussion :: View topic - NGD! Finally, the Charvel GG Signature Model
Help support this site by shopping at Amazon through our link.
Guthrie Govan Discussion Forum Index

Guthrie Govan Discussion
The Official Guthrie Govan Discussion Board

www.GuthrieGovan.co.uk

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

 

 
NGD! Finally, the Charvel GG Signature Model
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Guthrie Govan Discussion Forum Index -> Guthrie Tones and Gear
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:28 am    Post subject: NGD! Finally, the Charvel GG Signature Model Reply with quote

A guitar just showed up at my door today. The good folks at Fender/Charvel sent me the long-awaited Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature Model without even notifying me so this is a very, very pleasant surprise. What a cool gear weekend as I received the new iPhone 6 Plus yesterday. And here are the first pics of this masterpiece of a guitar taken with the new giant iPhone. I'm not good at taking photos but it seems one can't go wrong with this phone's camera.









I've always been a "superstrat" kind of guy - was never really interested in "traditional" Fender Strats, Teles or Les Pauls and their various knockoffs. I certainly wouldn't mind owning a few of these classic guitars but I'd rather own many other things first. Smile

And I can honestly say that this is by far the best "superstrat" kind of guitar I've ever played, heard and now own. It's virtually perfect - from the looks with the slightly downsized and narrower horns, the super sleek 24-fret neck with the best high-fret access I've felt on a bolt-on guitar, the awesome Strat headstock on which the Charvel logo just looks totally right, and the huge stainless frets that make playing effortless across the entire range of the fingerboard to the best non-locking trem I've used and a super resonant body...

Haven't even had the chance to plug it into my Axe-Fx rig but will do so soon. This will definitely make my wait for Marco to bring back my Strandberg Boden 8 from the Satch tour much easier. Laughing I have a Boden 6 coming as well and it'll be really interesting to compare that and this Charvel GG side-by-side. Totally different beasts but since they're both 6-strings, it'll be a more equal kind of comparison than comparing it to the 8-string.

Been too busy configuring the iPhone 6 Plus to the way I want it since I need to use it right away for work but I'll get to thoroughly testing this amazing guitar through the Axe-Fx/CLR rig soon - probably most of tomorrow. It's beautiful and understated while seeming totally tricked out at the same time. Can't be happier. This is the ultimate superstrat I've always wanted - ever since I saw Steve Vai with his mongrel green Charvel on a Carvin ad some three decades ago. It's so cool that Guthrie is now a Charvel signature artist taking that concept to the max! Very Happy
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.


Last edited by alexkhan on Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
terje_t



Joined: 16 Aug 2014
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, this is not helping my long wait until mid-january!!

It looks absolutely gorgeous, Ed. Thanks for sharing your first impressions. Looking forward to hearing more about it when you've played it more!
_________________
Terje
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been insanely busy with my "day job" working on getting thousands of guitars shipped to the stores per day with it being the holiday selling season and all. Really haven't had as much time as I'd like with this awesome new axe but things will slow down soon and get back to normal.

That being said, I've still had a good amount of time getting to know the guitar whenever I could take a break over the past few weeks and I absolutely love it. At this level of materials and workmanship, it's really a matter of personal taste and subjectivity. I can only state my personal opinions and how I feel about it.

Looks-wise, a Charvel "superstrat" is something I've wanted ever since I saw this ad back in the mid-80's - yes, nearly three decades ago.



This was just around the time that Steve joined the David Lee Roth Band and a year or so before he hooked up with Ibanez to announce the Jem model. But, for me, this mongrel Charvel that Grover Jackson personally built for Vai was the superstrat for me.

So, looks-wise, I just can't ask for more than this Charvel GG with the slightly redesigned and downsized Strat body to accommodate the super sleek 24-fret neck with the proper Strat headstock and the cool Charvel logo. The Birdseye Maple top looks great without looking ostentatious. The caramelized neck is heavily flamed but also looks very classy. As mentioned before, I've completely lost taste for the heavily figured Quilted Maple tops. I loved it in the past but actually have a disdain for that kind of look now. This Charvel just looks right.

Playability-wise, I have never played a guitar as smooth and easy-to-play as this one. The neck feels absolutely amazing. It's by far the best oil finish job I've ever felt in my hand. It feels super slick but old and broken-in at the same time. The edges are nicely rolled in and the back shape feels perfect - not thin or thick with just the right amount of heft where you need it as you move up the neck.

The stainless steel frets are huge. I believe it's the 6000 size. It makes fast playing (especially for legato and tapping runs) so effortless and smooth. The radius is a very comfortable 12~16" compound radius. The brand new Charvel-designed bridge matches the flatter radius perfectly.

The upper fret access is the best I've felt on a 24-fret bolt-on guitar. I remember Guthrie feeling it on an early prototype and saying, "The heel just isn't there." At the same time, there's plenty of wood of the body in contact with the neck so the transfer of the vibrations from the strings on the neck to the body is substantial and very solid. The access is as good as one can expect. With the frets much closer to each other in that area, you'll have your thumb up over the neck and still be able to cover 8~10 frets anyway.

I did do some tweaks and one of that was to get rid of the Tremol-No system. I don't need it. It's not like I'm touring with just one guitar and need to do a few drop-D songs during every gig. I prefer the feel of the trem without the system installed and it really does feel great with just the three trem springs. It's very smooth and works beautifully for subtle vibrato kinds of stuff as well as for more extreme dive-bombs and pull-ups.

I'm still tweaking things but the tuning stability is around 98% there. I got the bridge plate to sit perfectly parallel to the surface of the body and that helped a lot. It came from Fender with the bridge leaning back slightly. I also fiddled with the truss rod and the action slightly and am still breaking the guitar in. I'll work on lubricating the nut slots next and I'm quite certain that I'll be able to get the guitar to stay in tune virtually 100% or as good as a double-locking system. I've done it in the past. Almost there with this one... The trem simply feels great. It's the best non-double-locking system I've used. It feels so good with the just the right balance between soft sensitivity and stiffer resistance.

Now, sound-wise, and this is where it's really the most subjective, this is one FAT sounding guitar! Every individual note across the fingerboard is so beefy sounding and punchy - especially the notes in the high register. It's fat but definitely not tubby. It has all the articulation and definition you need. The transient attack is very fast and the notes just pop off the fingerboard. For chords, there's excellent string separation and everything sounds big and super solid.

The Charvel MFB pickups (from Michael Frank-Braun, Fender's Custom Shop chief pickup and electronics guy) sound great. The bridge pickup is hot but not super hot. It's got a lot of mids but isn't muddy at all. The neck pickup sounds like the vintage PAF variety - sweet and warm yet clear and defined. The three in-between single-coil sounds are all very usable if not exactly like three standalone single-coil pickups in a Strat. The pickups complement the acoustic character of the guitar very nicely.

I really can't say enough good things about this guitar. It just has everything I could ever want in a superstrat. It's got the perfect looks, feel, playability and sound. I actually ended up removing a cool feature (Tremol-No) which I don't have a need for. It's simply the best "normal" solid-body electric guitar I have ever owned or played. To me (and I assume for Guthrie as well), it's the best of its type - extremely playable with a distinctively fat yet punchy sound with great versatility in a tasteful and very attractive package - from the choicest woods to the headstock and logo to the good-looking and super functional bridge... This guitar just has it all. Guthrie and Charvel/Fender have really delivered the ultimate superstrat solid-body guitar. Kudos to the team who designed and are now producing this masterpiece. It is a pure joy to play. Smile
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Charvel GG is breaking in real nice now. I've lubed the nut slots with pencil lead and what Guthrie called "the unfortunately named" Nut Sauce Laughing and it really helps - especially the often problematic G string. The trem springs also need some breaking-in time to settle in to return to the 'zero' setting consistently. Except after some extreme dive-bombing and pull-up maneuvers, all the strings are coming perfectly back to pitch. I'm confident that, eventually, the guitar will stay in tune no matter what I do with the trem. It'll take some time of tweaking and things breaking in.

I really recommend that all players learn to do their own setups because only you can decide what works best for you. That means tweaking the truss rod on a regular basis because the neck eventually moves with climate and humidity changes. I check it and tweak it at least once a week, even if I tighten or loosen it with 1/8th or less of a turn on the truss rod. It makes a big difference in assuring optimal playability across the neck. Normally, I can feel it right away and that forces me to hold the strings down at the 1st and the 24th fret and eyeball the gap at the 7~8th fret area. Depending on what I see, I'll loosen or tighten the rod slightly until it feels just right.

Although I've been trained to use a ruler for measuring the string and pickup heights in 1/64" increments and mechanics' feeler gauges for measuring neck relief and nut heights in thousands-of-an-inch increments, I almost never use them and rely on how a guitar feels in my hand when testing it and to make tweaks. Even for my day job doing QC work on low-end acoustics, I can pick one up and feel right away if a nut slot height is .004" (four-thousands of an inch) too high. Ditto for neck relief or if the action is 1/64" too high.

I have to communicate these things when I visit the mass-production factories in Asia. It's very important that even a $100 acoustic is easy to play for a kid beginner. I emphasize that all the time whenever I go there and work with the final assembly workers and tuner-testers. What makes it easy for me is that I speak the language with many of the factory members there and I'm also just as comfortable with the metric system as I'm with inches, feet, yards and miles, etc. I know that 1/64" is 0.4mm and that .002" is .05mm. I don't need to do conversions in my head. I just think metric when I'm in that part of the world just the way I speak Korean instinctively with the Korean managers and workers there. Obviously, that helps a lot in the communications.

Anyway, I can't emphasize enough the need to learn to do setup work on your own guitars. Guthrie does it before every show. He changes the strings himself before each show and tweaks everything very carefully. He doesn't use a ruler or feeler gauges either. He tweaks the truss rod or adjusts the action until the guitar feels right in his hands. I've been on tours with him and we'd have stops where there'd be techs around who offer to change the strings and set up his guitars but he always refuses. He prefers to do everything himself and I think that's really cool. What works for a certain tech isn't going to work for him or for you either. I have a trusted repair tech I frequent when I need more demanding things done but I always find that I need to tweak the setup on my own afterwards. The tech isn't you. Only you know exactly how you want the guitar to feel and play.
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JohnnyFavorite



Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you got a nice one, Ed!

Any pictures of the back of the guitar?

alexkhan wrote:
The stainless steel frets are huge. I believe it's the 6000 size. It makes fast playing (especially for legato and tapping runs) so effortless and smooth. The radius is a very comfortable 12~16" compound radius. The brand new Charvel-designed bridge matches the flatter radius perfectly.


Are these bigger than the jumbos on the Suhr GG signature models?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyFavorite wrote:
Looks like you got a nice one, Ed!

Any pictures of the back of the guitar?

alexkhan wrote:
The stainless steel frets are huge. I believe it's the 6000 size. It makes fast playing (especially for legato and tapping runs) so effortless and smooth. The radius is a very comfortable 12~16" compound radius. The brand new Charvel-designed bridge matches the flatter radius perfectly.


Are these bigger than the jumbos on the Suhr GG signature models?


I'll get a few photos of the back soon.

Yes, these are bigger than the jumbos on the Suhrs - definitely wider although the height may be around the same. Not sure what the exact measurements are on this. I think the Suhr jumbo is equvialent to the Dunlop 6100 and the fret size on this Charvel GG is equivalent to the Dunlop 6000. Feels super slick and is great for tapping and doing high-speed legato runs.
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As promised, some photos of the back of my Charvel GG Signature Model guitar. Please note that I removed the Tremol-No unit on mine. I may just end up removing the trem backplate altogether, which is what Guthrie normally does.











The feel of this neck is really amazing. It's the sleekest and the fastest playing neck I've ever felt but it has enough girth to feel great when wrapping your hand around it to bend strings or play chords. Just beautiful. Very Happy
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JohnnyFavorite



Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks fantastic, Ed.

Is the basswood stained at all?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyFavorite wrote:
Looks fantastic, Ed.

Is the basswood stained at all?


It's stained since natural basswood is whitish and pale with no distinctive grain patterns but it looks almost like alder on the Charvel GG.
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
terje_t



Joined: 16 Aug 2014
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty disappointed today.

After drooling over your gorgeous pictures of the GG Charvel, Ed, I've been notified that mine won't arrive until the start of March.

It was ordered in June, with an initial delivery date of start of December. That was pushed back to mid January and now it's the start of March.

I understand they're having problems keeping up with the demand and it's probably a matter of the shop here in Norway (http://sound1.com) not being a high priority for Fender. Andertons in the UK and Thomann in Germany will have it in stock right about now as far as I know.

Still. Just needed to air my disappointment!
_________________
Terje
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Terje,

Sorry to hear about the delays. I do know that the demand has been overwhelming for this much-anticipated model and that the Charvel USA Custom Shop has limited capacity to meet that demand.

Well, just hang on tight a little longer. I can certainly understand the disappointment when you've been waiting for so long. I felt the same but that disappointment will turn to elation when you finally do receive the guitar. It's unbelievably good and will have been worth the wait. Very Happy
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JohnnyFavorite



Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed, do you know what the story is with the little brass dots that were located beside the volume and tone controls on Guthrie's prototypes? They don't seem to have made it to the production models.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyFavorite wrote:
Ed, do you know what the story is with the little brass dots that were located beside the volume and tone controls on Guthrie's prototypes? They don't seem to have made it to the production models.


True. I did notice that but didn't even bother checking with Fender about it because I don't find it necessary personally. It's a nice touch but perhaps they decided it's not worth the cost and the hassle. I'll find out.
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
terje_t



Joined: 16 Aug 2014
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sorry to hear about the delays. I do know that the demand has been overwhelming for this much-anticipated model and that the Charvel USA Custom Shop has limited capacity to meet that demand.


Thanks for that Smile

Looking forward to getting it!
_________________
Terje
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terje_t wrote:
Quote:
Sorry to hear about the delays. I do know that the demand has been overwhelming for this much-anticipated model and that the Charvel USA Custom Shop has limited capacity to meet that demand.


Thanks for that Smile

Looking forward to getting it!


The Charvel GG is awesome. As far as I'm concerned, it's the final word on superstrat-style guitars.
_________________
Ed Yoon
Certified Guthrie Fan-atic
BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
Guitar Center Inc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Guthrie Govan Discussion Forum Index -> Guthrie Tones and Gear All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group