Hands-on demo: Charvel Joe Duplantier Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 and Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2 guitars go head-to-head

Cast your minds back to a simpler time, a time when we could travel halfway around the globe to check out the latest guitars the industry had to offer. 

Winter NAMM 2020, as ever, played host to some lovely new electric guitars, but none caught our eye more than the Charvel Joe Duplantier Signature Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH in Mahogany. Its blend of block inlays, Tune-o-Matic bridge, natural Mahogany finish, DiMarzio Vintage PAF and Joe's signature Fortitude humbuckers had us all a-quiver. 

It felt new and yet familiar all at the same time, albeit taking design cues from across the guitar manufacturing spectrum. This heavy as nails T-style guitar looked the part, but how did sound and play? Well, we finally managed to get one in, and not only that, we got to pit it against another Charvel newbie, the Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2 24 HH HT CM. 

While both the San Dimas and So-Cal Style 2s appear to be similar, their looks are where the similarities end. While the Duplantier San Dimas has one thing on its mind, low-end heft, the So-Cal has more than a few more tricks up its sleeve in the tone department.

Equipped with Fishman Fluence humbuckers with coil-split and Vintage/Modern voicing options, the So-Cal can turn its hand to anything you want to throw at it. Combined with a finely sculpted alder body and you have the perfect recipe for a proper do-it-all guitar.

If that's not enough for you, Rob managed to match up with Joe on a video call to chat about his new signature model. If you are short on time then you can fast forward to 00:23:41 to see the interview in full.

Both guitars have a projected street price of $899.99 and if you want to find out more, check out the Charvel website from more info.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.