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Charvel Spectrum Epidemic!

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09tipdrop logofacebook481I thought you may be interested to see this.

A high end guitar collecting friend of mine has a guilty pleasure. Collecting Charvel Spectrums!

His addiction has been satisfied for the time being, with the arrival of a black model from Australia, although he is making noises about the lack of maple necked models.

He has also persuaded a few collecting friends of his to indulge too, and between them the Spectrum collection is now in double figures.

So what's all the fuss about?

The reason is, these are great guitars... versatile, with an extra tone eq pot and great for gigging with.

They have an 80's vibe about them (don't get too near that pointy headstock!), and the quality of the construction is undeniable.

Seven Charvel Spectrum Guitars

The sparkle finish model (top left) is a special order, but the rest are all original.

These are still pretty cheap guitars, in the £300-500 price range, but prices are steadily climbing, probably due to my mates hoovering them up at a rate of knots!

If this style of guitar is of interest to you I'd start looking soon. As always, I'd recommend going for originality and  good condition to help safeguard future values, but I'd be quick, because as soon as funds allow I'll be out there looking for an orange one too!

In the meantime, here's a little bit more information about Charvel Spectrums.

Collectable Guitars pt 25 – Charvel Spectrum

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481The Charvel Spectrum was a Superstrat type guitar made from 1989 to 1991 in a variety of wild colours.

The series was inspired by a custom model made for Jeff Beck.

The model was a part of Charvel’s Contemporary Series, and was possibly named after the veritable rainbow of bright colours it came in – including bright orange, dark blue, teal and magenta.

For the uninitiated, Superstrat guitars are so named because they take Fender’s classic Stratocaster design and update it, deepening the cutaways, putting in high-output pickups, often adding a Floyd Rose tremolo or one of its derivatives, usually having 24 frets as opposed to the 21 or 22 employed by the Fender.

Charvel Spectrum Guitar

More expensive Superstrats often have neck-through construction and seven-string versions are not uncommon.

This design of guitar is still made by Charvel, adding to the numerous models made by Ibanez, Jackson, BC Rich, ESP and Washburn. The whole genre of guitar was popularized by Eddie Van Halen with his famous “Frankenstrat” guitar.

The Spectrum differed to the usual Superstrat template in various ways, having 22 frets, occasionally a maple fretboard, and a scratchplate based on the old Fender Precision Bass design. They also employed bolt-on construction as opposed to the neck-thru designs of more expensive Charvels. Many sources I have seen state that the body wood is poplar, although there isn’t much concrete info on this.

The neck is maple and the fretboard usually rosewood, although some versions have maple fretboards. The three pickups appear to be single-coils, but are in fact “stacked” single-coil sized humbuckers with an active tone circuit with a wah function.

I have been fortunate to play a couple of examples of this very nice guitar, and I think that any fan of the Superstrat design would like the Spectrum. They are quite collectable now, as not many were made and there are a wide variety of different and unusual finishes.

They don’t tend to command prices out of reach of most players, however.

Collectable Guitars pt 15 – The Charvel Surfcaster

Charvel SurfcasterThe Charvel company, which spawned the famous and reputable brand Jackson Guitars, is also well known for their very high-quality superstrat models and for a while was the chief supplier of Eddie Van Halen’s guitars. In 1992 Charvel launched their biggest break from their usual superstrat tradition (the company also dabbles in Telecaster-shaped models and four-pointed star-shaped models).

This new model was called the Surfcaster.

It was unusual in that it was shaped more like a Fender Jaguar, and had Danelectro-style lipstick pickups and was available in bright and colourful finishes- aqua, sunburst and orange.

It was also of semi-hollow construction, like a Gibson ES-335. It also spawned very rare and collectible bass and 12-string versions. Surfcasters are of very high quality and have a typical Telecaster/ Rickenbacker-style jangling sound.

The Surfcaster was just too different to the guitars played by Charvel’s usual customers and was met with little success.

It was discontinued in 2005, despite efforts to bring in a wider audience with a three pickup solidbody version. Surfcasters are rare now, and are worth between £800 and £2000 when they come up for sale.