Charvel Pro Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH FR review

Better shred in red

  • £709
  • $849

MusicRadar Verdict

This is a guitar which very much proves that beauty is way more than skin deep.


  • +

    Superb tone.


  • -

    If we had to nitpick we'd say the review finish isn't all that inspiring.

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This San Dimas echoes the Pro Mod spec sheet - Duncan pickups, neck profile and compound radius, switching arrangement - of the hardtail model, right until you get to the bridge bit itself.

Here, you get a Floyd Rose vibrato with locking top nut, with all the tuning stability and dive-bombing potential that entails. Like the equally Floyd-blessed So-Cal, here the vibrato occupies a recess in the guitar's top to allow you to pull back its arm. That means you can do those accelerating motorbike impressions everyonewith a Floyd did in the 80s.

While the neck is slim, Charvel has boosted its rigidity with a pair of graphite rods. So, wobble the vibrato arm and the neck doesn't flex like on other rock beasts.

It helps with tuning stability and can enhance tone. Speaking of which, these Pro Mod guitars all have a Strat-style 648mm (25.5-inch) scale length, which means you get plenty of twang in the bottom strings. You hear that benefit when you plug in.

That scale length somehow makes big low-string riffs sound fatter, and helps maintain definition if you drop the tuning for serious metal stuff. This Floyd-spec'd San Dimas doesn't quite have the bottom-end girth of the hardtail edition, but don't believe the sourpusses who claim a locking vibrato is a tone killer.

This guitar is proof that a Floyd paired with great pickups can produce immense tone, especially when those Seymour Duncans are direct-mounted to the body.

Okay, the Rocket Red finish won't make everyone twitch with excitement - it actually looks a little more like 'clockwork' orange in the flesh - but there are a bunch of colours available.