Where are Charvel Guitars Made?

If you’re a fan of high-quality guitars, then you’ve undoubtedly heard of Charvel. These iconic instruments are known for their amazing tone and professional quality. But where are Charvel guitars made? Have you ever wondered if they’re manufactured in the United States or some other country?

In 1986, Fender bought the Charvel company, and since then, the majority of Charvel guitars have been built in Fender’s facility located in Corona, USA. But today, Ensenada Mexico, and Japan are also involved in manufacturing Charvel guitars, which has helped to keep this iconic brand alive and well.

where are charvel guitars made

History of Charvel Guitars

The company was started in 1974 by Wayne Charvel, and at the time, he only offered repair and refinishing services for Fender guitars. Being a Fender employee for three years prior had helped him to provide exceptional services that were essentially factory approved. Shortly after, Charvel began also offering guitar parts for sale that were of great quality.

Unfortunately, because of their success, Asian companies began copying the Charvel parts and selling them at a discount. In order to keep his business alive, Wayne began making complete guitars which included the quality hardware. But in 1978, Wayne Charvel was unable to make ends meet and sold what was left of the company to Grover Jackson.

Under the ownership of Jackson, Charvel became a well known brand, with many artists who loved their guitars. Today, Charvel is owned and operated by Fender after their acquisition of Jackson in 2002.

Does It Matter Where Charvel Guitars Are Made?

Many players feel that American-made guitars are of higher quality when compared to instruments from Japan or Korea. Some argue that American-made guitars are high quality because of their manufacturing location. 

Some Charvel guitar models made in the USA, like the “San Dimas” for example, have been proven to be better than those from overseas in countries like Japan. 

However, the fast-neck Charvel models made in Japan have been gaining popularity for their great sound quality at an affordable price. Many guitarists who have tried these guitars have been impressed with their tone and overall performance.

So while the quality of Charvel guitars is not always dictated by where it is made, it does play a role. But there are plenty of guitars made overseas that are of excellent quality.

American Made Charvel Guitars

Artist Signature Series

Charvel Artist Series

The Artist Signature Series from Charvel is a line of guitars that have been designed in collaboration with some of the world’s top musicians. These artists have helped create instruments that are tailored to their unique playing styles, and they sound absolutely incredible when played through the right gear. 

From Rick Graham to Joe Duplantier, these artists have all helped put Charvel on the map as a top choice for guitarists everywhere.

If you’re a guitarist who wants to play their favorite hits on an instrument that was designed in collaboration with some of the world’s most famous musicians, then this is the perfect opportunity. 

Charvel has been working closely with major names in the industry to create these one-of-a-kind guitars, which are now available to the public. 

The Artist Signature Series offers a wide range of options for guitar players, as each one has been signed by its famous designer. Prices vary depending on who made them and what level of customization is available, making this series a great way to get the perfect guitar for your needs.

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USA Select Series

The USA Select Series from Charvel is made in their custom shop in California. These guitars are handmade with incredible attention to detail and feature 3 models:

  • San Dimas
  • So-Cal
  • DK24

The San Dimas and So-Cal are made with the same specs and methods that they use to use decades ago. This means you get an old school Charvel touch with each guitar that was loved by players like Eddie Van Halen!

The DK24, on the other hand, tailors towards modern players who have discerning tastes and need speed and performance. The ability for technical playing is made possible by this line and the great fingerboard features and neck.

If you are looking for great American quality, then the Charvel USA select series will give you that. Not only can they take a beating, but they sound and perform great! Just be prepared for the high price.

Mexican Made Charvel Electric Guitars

Pro-mod Series

Charvel pro-mod series

Pro-mod Series guitars are known for their ease to play and high speed. The action on these guitars is incredibly low, making them perfect for shredding solos. For example, the So-cal models are built with this in mind, and they definitely live up to the hype.

You can easily recognize a So-Cal because of its pickguard and Floyd Rose double-locking bridge, which are both unique to this guitar model. So-Cal makes the best guitars in terms of raw sound and sustain. Their HH or HSH pickups configuration from Seymour Duncan is top-notch.

You can use the push-pull volume knob to find your favorite single coil configuration for some variety in your sound. Whether you’re looking for vintage or modern metal-sounding tones, these pickups have got you covered.

Also, the 3-way blade is connected to a push-pull knob, so you can split the single coil pickups for even more options. It will cost you around $1000 to get one of these guitars.

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Japanese Made Charvel Guitars

MJ Series

Charvel MJ series

The MJ Series recaptures the quality and feel of Charvel 1980s guitars, which were some of the best in their time. These guitars were often ahead of their time and set the standard for what many American guitarists wanted from their instruments.

The MJ Series SD24 guitar is the clear winner in its class due to its impressive history and unique design. It has a unique input tone that is professional, but also carries with it a distinct touch that can’t really compare to anything else out there today. 

Its Basswood body is perfect for those who want a durable and reliable guitar that can take a beating. The 24 stainless steel jumbo frets make it easy to play any song you want without worrying about running out of space.

The SD24 guitar has two mini toggles that allow you the option of simulating a single coil in either the bridge or neck position. The pickups on this guitar are able to produce a wide range of tones with the five-way switch. 

The MJ Series guitar is a versatile and reliable instrument that is perfect for any musician. Its various features and benefits make it a great choice for anyone looking for a guitar that can handle any type of music. The MJ series is the way to go if you’re exploring a guitar that can do it all.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an American-made guitar that is of high quality, then a Charvel is the perfect choice for you. But, with manufacturing facilities located in the USA, Mexico, and Japan, Charvel has something to offer everyone looking for an amazing guitar experience.

The best part is that the Charvel USA-made guitars are produced under the well-known Fender’s Factory located in Corona.

It definitely matters where your guitar is made, as it will affect the overall quality of the instrument. American-made guitars are usually of higher quality, as they are subject to strict QC standards.

But, this doesn’t mean that Mexican and Japanese-made guitars are of inferior quality. In fact, many guitarists believe that the Japanese-made Charvels are actually better in terms of overall playability and sound quality.

FAQs

Where is the Charvel DK series made?

Charvel DK series are constructed in Corona, California USA.

Where are custom shop Charvel guitars made?

Custom shop Charvels are under Fender’s umbrella of products and are produced in their Corona, CA factory in the USA.

How do you date a Charvel guitar?

If you own a Charvel Pro-Mod Style 1, Style 2, DK24, Artist Series, or USA Select guitar manufactured from 2013 until the present day, the manufacturing year of the instrument can be determined from the first two digits in the serial number.

For example, if the first two digits of the serial number are “13,” then the guitar was manufactured in 2013. But, there is no indication on the USA and Custom Shop guitars about the year it was made.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear.I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!