NGD - Charvel Pro Mod San Dimas Style 2

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by JD27, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    My love of Tele shapes combined with being too poor for an Ash bodied ESP USA TE-II meant I needed a suitable compromise. It’s got very similar features, direct mount pickups, flatmount hardtail, locking tuners, bolt-on neck, and comfortable neck with satin finish. I love my Charvel DK24, so why not add another at a very reasonable price. It’s a solid looking guitar, even if it is plain at the moment. Nice figuring in the Ash, which after some experimenting on scraps, I’d like to possibly try a Shou Sugi Ban burned wood finish on.

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    The Good
    Fretwork is solid, just like my DK24. This has some mild fret sprouts causing sharpness, but no dead spots. No big deal though, I planned on a fret dressing treatment, just as I gave my DK24. Got some DiMarzio Imperiums to drop in place of the stock JB/59 combo.

    The Not So Good
    Setup is not good out of box. Action is a tad high and the pickup height adjusted by a blind man apparently.
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    Bridge pickup was screwed down on bass side almost all the way. 3/32 gauge for reference.
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    The pickup routes are a bit sloppy.
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    Also, the electronics cover is super tight to the point I thought it was glued on for a second, had to pry it off.

    The Bad
    I plug it in to play and I get nothing but a clean tone from the bridge pickup even though I'm playing with a distorted patch on my AX8. Apparently there is a cold joint or something soldered incorrectly. The Neck position works fine. My guess it's on the volume push pull pot. Since I'm replacing them anyway, I'm not going to bother troubleshooting this rats nest. But come the hell on, at least send the thing out of the factory in working order.
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    So overall I dig the guitar just like my DK24, it has potential to become a really nice player. Looking forward to giving it some mods. It sounds very loud acoustically, it's fairly heavy too. Fortunately, I can fix the issues it has without needing to take it to tech, but I would be super bummed if I couldn't and had to spend extra money on this stuff. I don't expect a flawless guitar in this price range at all, but it for sure has some things that could have been checked from a quality control level before leaving the factory. Combined with some of the issues on the DK24, which I also was able to correct, these might be a try in person deal for the average buyer, otherwise you're going to be returning it or spending extra on setup issues. But they do have a lot of value for what you get with them if you can find a good one.

    Charvel Bros
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  2. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    That would look awesome burnt to a crisp! Sucks that it passed through -however many- hands with all those oversights; but knowing how to setup your own gear is priceless, so HNGD and I look forward to seeing the progress.
     
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  3. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    Probably going to be more along these lines with a blue stain applied after burning the grain. Need to experiment first.

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  4. BlackSG91

    BlackSG91 Loves Black Guitars

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    The guitar sure looks nice with the natural wood grain. The Seymour Duncan pups are a nice bonus and I like the positioning of the output jack.


    ;>)/
     
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  5. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    They positioned it the same as the DK24. It’s not bad though I prefer the way ESP did it on my TE instead of angled towards the back.

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  6. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    I love when inevitability strikes, but I prefer it turns out better than this one did. It's good that you're going to do work and replacements to it anyways, but I'd still use it as an excuse to get some money back on the purchase. A non-functioning pickup is worth the cost it would be to have a tech fix it, even if you can do it.
    The refinish idea remains sick. I can't wait till you give this the full JD makeover.
    Up to 50% maple boards. I call that progress. Haha!
     
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  7. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    Probably not a bad idea, maybe I’ll contact customer support and see what they say. I like the grain pattern and I can clean the pickup routes up and fix the mild fret sprout, so I’d rather not exchange it.

    I am a fan of the maple!
     
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  8. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Looks really cool. I have to give it to Charvel, their Pro Series guitars are classy AF.

    Bummer to hear about these things. In my opinion, setup doesn't bother me that much, and fret sprout is usually climate/wood-related, but the pickup issue would bother me, as would opening up the control cavity and seeing that. YUCK!

    Glad you have the ability to do all the fixes. Let us know how you like the Imperiums!
     
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  9. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    It’s just inconsistent. The setup on the DK24 actually wasn’t bad at all, but the fret sprout on that one was mean. This one is very minor on the fret sprout, but the setup is bad. Either way, just wanted to share what I’ve seen on them, maybe it will help someone out when considering them.

    Excited to try the Imperiums. I’ve never had any Dimarzios that I cared much for. I’ve seen absolutely no reviews on the six string version and only a few on the seven. Supposedly Dave asked them to be voiced as close as possible to each other.
     
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  10. StrmRidr

    StrmRidr Hide your Jacksons

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    I never was big into T shape guitars, but they really grew on me lately. This one looks great with the natural look. Too bad about the issues with the electronics. I had the same issue with the covers of my So-Cal. I literally had to push the Floyd back plate out from the front of the guitar, it was ridiculously tight.
     
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  11. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    Tele shapes are my favorite single cut. To me they are much more comfortable than a LP body style. I’m going to sand it down a little so it’s not so tight.
     
  12. ToneLab

    ToneLab Bedroom Playa

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    Nice JD. Perfect mod platform.
     
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  13. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    So I did manage to get some money back from Zzounds since it was not in working order. I explained the issue and customer service was right on it to issue a partial refund. Appears the issue was the push/pull volume pot. I had a spare CTS pot, so I tossed that in. Also it had this new 3 way 4 pole blade with 16 lugs. It’s made by Goldo, essentially a 3 way Superswitch. I wasn’t expecting to see that, so I tossed in an older 3 way I had. Did some digging and found a manual for this so I might toss it back in now that I now how it works.
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    The Dimarzio Imperium bridge is pretty awesome though. First time I’ve found a Dimarzio that l liked. Compared to a Black Winter they are definitely less output, but I don’t find that to be a problem. They are very clear and articulate though, it’s easy to hear notes ring out in chords. Lots of mids the bridge and a good amount of bass, so they can chug and not get flubby.
     
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  14. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    Gave this one some Graphtech String Trees and a Hipshot bridge. Also ordered a Graphtech black tusq but I need to install that. Just as with my DK24 the Hipshot has improved the sustain and clarity. Also tried a new set of the EB Ultra Slinky’s (10-48). They work great for Drop C# or even D Standard. Normally I use the Light Top Heavy Bottom 10-52 set, think I’ll reserve those for Drop C. The Ultra Slinky’s definitely filled a gap in their lineup though.

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  15. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Those Dimarzio Imperiums look great!
     
  16. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    Really cool pickups I like them a lot.
     
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  17. redragon

    redragon SS.org Regular

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    Is the Hipshot a drop in replacement?
     
  18. Glades

    Glades Down in the Everglades

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    Congrats mane! Love me some teles!
     
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  19. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    The Hipshot lines up perfectly with the OEM screw holes. The string holes however obscure about 50% of the existing holes in the body. Still works just fine though. Also the OEM bridge measured 0.173 at the base, however I replaced it with a 0.125 base Hipshot.
     
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  20. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

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    Are the Imperiums as low output as they seem? I’ve heard they’re very clear, but kinda lack balls
     
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