Charvel Star HH review

A contemporary version of one of Wayne's lesser-known innovations

  • £1649

MusicRadar Verdict

Options such as a single humbucker version start at £1,599 in the UK, with a similarly-spec'd option with a vintage brass vibrato priced at £1,499; but if you can stretch to buying this Ferrari red version, you should.


  • +

    Rocking shape. Versatile tonal performance.


  • -

    The significant price requires careful consideration.

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The Star is a lesser-thumbed chapter in the Wayne Charvel/Eddie Van Halen story, as the San Dimas builder was inspired by Ed's own saw-work to his Ibanez Destroyer.

It was Charvel's first foray into shapes for general consumption and this contemporary reinvention stays close to the originals from early 1983.


Although the unique body shape makes the guitar somewhat clumsy to sit down with, the use of alder ensures that it's not overly heavy. The eye-popping Ferrari red finish is pure eighties. The neck is quite wide, although counteracted by a suitably thin feel, and the 22 frets are enormous. Both Seymour Duncan humbuckers are controlled by a single three-way toggle and volume, and the input is located on the inside of the lower rear cutaway.


Surprisingly the Star offers a very vibrant tone that reacts well to outrageous amounts of gain without ever losing clarity, equating to a rock tone of subtlety and definition. You can hear all the strings in any chord perfectly while solos cut very efficiently indeed. The neck is a thing of wonder and, with an ideal set-up, this is a lovely guitar to both play and hear.


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