Having announced the model earlier in the year, Charvel has now officially launched the Pro-Mod DK22 SSS 2PT CM Mahogany with Walnut, and when it releases an electric guitar such as this onto the market it sure does scramble the critical faculties, just for a moment.
Here we have a new high-performance S-style, bearing the name of a brand whose cachet has been built on speed, on servicing the shred demographic, and yet here is this Superstrat in an au natural finish, looking like it is, indeed, really made of wood, and somehow above the practice of stunt guitar. And yet, that is exactly what this guitar is made for.
Like the Pro-Mod DK22 in Pharoah’s Gold we had in for review a couple of years back, this is the respectable face of shred guitar – capable of metal but scrubbing up nice for other styles, and hovering at the grand price point, it offers a more affordable Superstrat platform to similar instruments from boutique brands such as Suhr and Xotic.
Here, Charvel has resisted the temptation to go Floyd and instead has equipped this Pro-Mod DK22 with a Gotoh Custom 510 vibrato. It bears SSS in its designation, suggesting that it has a trio of single-coil electric guitar pickups in it.
• Charvel Pro-Mod DK22 review
A sophisticated S-style that balances a hot-rodded hi-jinks and a shred-ready feel with a tonal range that invokes rock of all decades from the '60s onwards. Bravo!
But really it is only routed for three single-coils and instead deploys a stacked Seymour Duncan Custom Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B humbucker in the bridge, with a pair of Seymour Duncan Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 single-coils in middle and neck positions for tones that will be spookily reminiscent of the Fender Stratocaster that inspired the instrument in the first place.
On that point, the Pro-Mod DK22 has a licensed Strat headstock to complete the look, with only the more compact and contoured Dinky body shape to really put some clear water between both designs.
Like the Strat, the Pro-Mod DK22 should offer a versatile ride, with a five-way blade pickup selector offering a cornucopia of tones, while the 500K skirted Strat-style tone and volume knobs will make it feel like a Strat as you roll a little off the top-end for spanky electric blues. Charvel has dipped into sister brand EVH Gear’s spares cupboard to outfit this with a 500k EVH Bourns low-friction pot.
But speed is still baked into the design. There is a 12”-16” compound radius fingerboard maple fingerboard, topped with 22 jumbo frets. The bolt-on caramelised maple neck will be quick, is reinforced with graphite to make it extra tough, and there is a “shredder’s cut heel” to enhance upper-fret access. The scalloped lower back bout does likewise from on the body’s side of the equation.
Rounding out the spec, we’ve got a Graph Tech TUSQ XL nut and helpfully the truss rod adjustment wheel is located at the top of the fingerboard for easy adjustments. The Pro-Mod DK22 SSS 2PT CM Mahogany with Walnut is available now, priced £1,119 / $1,399. See Charvel for more details.