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Quite a few months after part-exchanging a lefty Epiphone Les Paul Standard for this Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM, I thought I'd better give it a review. I bought it in Satin Shell Pink, and as I'm left-handed, and this is a left handed guitar blog, I'll be reviewing the lefty version.
Back in the day, Charvel was all about hot-rodding Stratocasters. They' would remove the traditional Fender bridges, pickups, necks, etc., and replace them with badass upgrades like Floyd Rose bridges, hotter pickups, and thinner necks, as well as upgraded hardware.
This was perfect for musicians who needed precision playing and high-performance out of their instruments. They were one of the original custom shops for guitar mods!
These Super Strat guitars were really popular with the fast-playing hard rock and heavy metal players of the time. Guitar legends Randy Rhodes and Eddie Van Halen were both Charvel players, with Eddie also being famous for his own mods.
Nowadays, some famous Charvel players include Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats), Jordan Ziff (Ratt, Marty Friedman), Satchel (Steel Panther), and Jim Root (Slipknott). Left handed Charvel guitarists include Jimi Bell (Autograph).
Check out this video of Jordan Ziff demonstrating some of the different Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 models below:
Anyway, on with the review!
Who is the Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM for?
Charvel has gained a reputation for making highly specified, high-performance guitars popular with hard rock and metal players, and as such, some dismiss these guitars as shred machines, only for playing fast.
This guitar will certainly suit many of those guitarists. However, Charvel's instruments can be very versatile, including these DK24 models.
So, yes, this guitar is definitely an amazing instrument for rock and metal guitarists, but you don't have to be a super-shredder to enjoy what the Pro-Mod DK24 can offer.
Tell Me More...
Let's start by having a look at the Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM's somewhat clunky name. What does it tell us?
- The Pro-Mod series are "modified for higher performance" and are Mexican-made.
- The DK24 part of the name tells us that the body shape is Dinky and this model has 24 frets. The Dinky body is basically a slightly smaller (7/8) Strat body with deeper cutaways.
- HH refers to the pickup configuration of two Humbuckers.
- 2PT refers to the 2-point tremolo bridge.
- The CM stands for Caramelized Maple, which both fingerboard and neck are made of. This is also known as roasted or baked maple.
Now that we know the basic stuff, here are some specs:
$1,399.99 MSRP, Made in Mexico
- STRINGS: 6
- BODY: Alder
- FINISH: Satin Shell Pink, Gloss Black
- NECK: Bolt-On Caramelized Maple with Graphite Reinforcement
- SCALE: 25.5″ (648 mm)
- NECK PROFILE: Speed Neck with Rolled Fingerboard Edges
- NECK FINISH: Hand-Rubbed Satin Urethane
- FINGERBOARD: Caramelized Maple with Pearloid Dot inlays and Luminlay Side Dots
- FINGERBOARD RADIUS: 12″-16″ Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)
- FRETS: 24 Jumbo
- NUT TYPE: Graph Tech TUSQ XL
- NUT WIDTH: 1.6875" (42.86 mm)
- BRIDGE: Gotoh Custom 510 Tremolo
- TREMOLO BLOCK: Steel
- NECK PICKUP: Custom Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro APH-1N
- BRIDGE PICKUP: Seymour Duncan Full Shred TB-10 (Older models use the Full Shred SH-10B)
- HARDWARE: Chrome
- TUNERS: Charvel Die-Cast Locking
- CONTROLS: Volume with 500K EVH Bourns Low Friction Potentiometer, No-Load Tone Control, 5-Way Blade, Serial/Parallel Toggle Switch
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Build Quality and Construction
When I first picked up this guitar, I was really impressed with the build quality, especially the caramelized maple neck. All the frets were well-dressed, with no rough edges, and the rolled fingerboard makes it feel really comfortable to play.
The neck's hand-rubbed urethane matte finish feels so smooth to the touch, making it easier for the hand to glide along, that you end up being able to play faster than you thought you could, and I'm no shredder. The fingerboard's compound radius can also help with this.
The Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM comes with nickel-silver frets. With all the high-quality parts and features that come with this guitar, it'd be nice if you got stainless steel frets as well. Still, they don't detract from what is a marvelous guitar.
The fingerboard features Luminlay glow-in-the-dark side dots, helping you to see where you're fretting even in a dark venue.
The body's matte finish is great too; it looks and feels pretty classy. One thing I would say, though, is that the finish on mine got scratched or scuffed pretty easily on the back. No deep scratches or anything; just a few light scratches, but the gray primer underneath is now visible.
So I'd definitely avoid wearing a belt when playing this guitar!
As for the version with the gloss black finish, I'm not sure if that's the same, as I haven't played it.
The Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM comes with plenty of quality components.
The Gotoh Custom 510 Tremolo is a top-quality tremolo system, with excellent tuning stability, even after some fairly wild whammy action!
It won't stay in tune quite as well as a Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo design, but this is a fantastic two-point trem that can handle a fair bit of abuse before things get a little out of tune.
If, like me, your playing style doesn't include much in the way of dive bombs or really heavy use of the tremolo, then this is the perfect bridge for you. The Gotoh has quite a wide range of pitch control, so if you really wanted, you can do some of those crazy tricks. It's great for pulling off a tremolo flutter too!
The Charvel-branded locking tuners do the job well, adding to the tuning stability of this brilliant guitar during intense playing sessions.
The Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM also comes with a no-load tone control; it's like a regular tone knob from 1 to 9, but when you crank it up to 10, it virtually removes itself from the circuit, as if there was no tone pot at all, so you get the full unfiltered tone of your pickups.
When you turn it up to 10, the tone knob clicks into place, which is a little strange if you're not used to it. I'm one of those players who doesn't really touch the tone knob very much though. It's a nice touch if you don't mind the detent on the control.
It's also got a 500K EVH Bourns Low Friction volume potentiometer, which turns incredibly smoothly and effortlessly, making it super easy to make precise adjustments to your guitar's volume on the fly, allowing you to quickly dial in the perfect level.
It's a pretty cool addition, but when I first got the guitar, I kept on knocking it accidentally, so the volume would turn down very slightly due to it turning so easily. I got used to it though, and no longer accidentally touch it, so no issue there.
Another cool feature, which I think all electric guitars should have, is the heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel. This makes truss rod adjustments so easy to do. No need to remove any screws or truss rod covers; just stick in an Allen/Hex key and turn. No problem!
It's these small features that really add to an already fantastic guitar; another nice touch to the design is that the output jack on the Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM is on a beveled edge, and is also fitted upside-down.
This means that your guitar cable doesn't get in the way and loops nicely around the strap button, so there's little tension pulling at the cable, meaning it's less likely to pull out of the socket. It's a pretty small detail, but it's a really nice touch.
How Does it Play?
Out of the box, my Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM played extremely well. It was, however, set up with quite a high action, but this is easy enough to adjust to your own preference. I've heard other players report that their action was high when they first got theirs too.
I definitely found I could play faster than usual, because of the fantastic neck, as mentioned before. The only other guitar I have that has a faster neck is my Ibanez RG370; it's a thinner neck but doesn't feel as nice and smooth as this.
As said earlier in this review, the hand-rubbed neck finish makes this guitar ridiculously playable. You can't help but love playing it!
It's a well-thought-out design; so comfortable to play with its belly cut, deep cutaways with a scalloped lower back bout, and sculpted heel for full and easy access to the higher frets. Getting up to fret 24 is absolutely no issue!
The Gotoh Custom 510 Tremolo is a beast when it comes to performance and tuning stability and has real smooth and stable operation. You can also play around with a wide range of pitch control, from subtle vibrato effects to crazy pitch bends, making it super versatile. All in all, it's a tremolo system that won't let you down!
It's also a pretty lightweight guitar at around 7.5 lbs (3.4 KG).
How Does it Sound?
The key word with this guitar when it comes to sound is versatility! There are so many tonal options available, with the ability to choose from a few different interesting and useful pickup coil combinations.
This guitar is fitted with a Custom Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro APH-1N at the neck, and a Seymour Duncan Full Shred TB-10 at the bridge. Older models use the Full Shred SH-10B, which has a slightly different spacing of the pole pieces.
For more detail on this, check out this helpful blog post at Seymour Duncan.
Both are direct mount pickups giving increased resonance and sustain!
And then there's the Series/Parallel 2-way toggle switch, giving you twice as many options!
If you've never tried toggling between pickups wired in Series or Parallel before, like I hadn't, then you're in for a nice treat. When it comes to guitar pickups wired in series or parallel, the sound can be pretty different.
Basically, Humbuckers are typically wired in series, which gives them a bigger, louder, and fuller sound.
Combining two single coils, on the other hand, are usually wired parallel, and have a lower output with a thinner, more transparent sound, such as that of a Stratocaster.
Here's what Seymour Duncan's website has to say on the matter:
"When two coils are hooked up in series you have maximum DC resistance of both coils added together. When in parallel, the total DC resistance is less than either coil individually.
When the two coils are hooked up in series you have maximum fullness and output in the pickup. When in parallel you get a nice mid tone out of them.
Using a standard 5 way lever switch on a Fender Stratocaster, the 2 & 4 positions put the pickups in parallel with each other. The 2 & 4 positions are often mistakenly called the “out of phase” position. The pickups are connected in parallel and are properly in phase."Seymour Duncan Blog, October 16th, 2019
You can see the DK24's available pickup configurations below:
As you can see in the diagram above, you can select individual coils, though both pickups are on simultaneously.
What’s Good About the Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM?
There is so much to like about this guitar!
- Seymour Duncan pickups sound great, with a variety of different tones available.
- Series/parallel switching gives even more sonic versatility with a wide variety of tonal options to play with.
- Feels amazing; super comfortable to play.
- Fast neck, but doesn't feel thin in the hand.
- Deep cutaways and the shredder's heel allow for extremely easy access to the highest frets.
- Excellent quality all round! From craftsmanship to the components, you'll not be disappointed.
What’s Bad About the Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM?
As you can probably tell by now, I think very highly of this guitar and can't really see much wrong with it at all, but if I had to, here are some potential cons, though some players might not take issue with them:
- The finish is a little thin, so it's easily marked.
- Easy to accidentally knock the low-friction volume knob.
- Stainless steel frets could have been an option.
- No gig bag included.
Right handed guitarists also get the choice of HSH and HSS variants too. Unfortunately, if you're a left handed guitarist, you won't be able to get any lefty versions of these guitars. HH is the only pickup configuration available to lefty guitarists.
It's good, though, that the series/parallel switch is available for extra sonic capabilities, making this guitar really versatile.
Is The Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 2PT HH CM a Good Guitar?
Yes! Most definitely! The Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM plays like an absolute dream. It'll make you feel like a rockstar!
It's a sleek and modern version of a classic design, with a cool satin shell pink finish that feels both elegant and classy. Also available is a gloss black version.
Ever since buying this guitar, it's become my go-to. I really love playing it, even though I have other guitars that feel great and are easier to play, this has a fantastic balance of tone as well as comfort.
It also strikes a good balance of value vs. quality. The components, build and features are brilliant, with the total package being pretty affordable compared to similarly specified guitars.
It's built with a high-quality alder body and a bolt-on caramelized maple neck, featuring 24 jumbo frets on a caramelized maple fingerboard, which feels smooth and effortless to play on.
The neck has rolled fingerboard edges, which feel buttery smooth making this a dream to play, even during extended use, and the higher frets are extremely easy to access with the sculpted heel.
Pickups are a Seymour Duncan Custom Full Shred humbucker at the bridge and a Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro APH-1N humbucker at the neck, which, coupled with the series/parallel toggle, offers a huge range of tonal options for a variety of playing styles.
Also present is a Gotoh Custom 510 bridge, which provides excellent tuning stability and a wide range of pitch control. This coupled with the locking tuners, ensures the guitar stays in tune even after extensive use of the tremolo arm.
The only minor gripes with this guitar are that Charvel could've fitted stainless steel frets, and they could've provided a gig bag, but these are minor and don't detract from an exceptional guitar that doesn't cost the earth.
Overall, the Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM is an exceptional guitar perfect for players who demand precision playing, high performance, and versatility. Its modern design and high-quality components make it a very nice guitar to own and it can handle any playing style, ensuring it impresses even the most discerning musician.
Summary and Final Score
Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 HH 2PT CM
An amazing guitar; perfect for players who demand precision playing, high performance, and versatility. Super easy and super comfortable to play. Possibly one of the best guitars out there!
A super versatile guitar that offers many different tones with its Seymour Duncan pickups and series/parallel switching. It's easily one of the most comfortable and easy to play guitars out there; it's well-built and comes with some top-quality hardware. A shame there's no case though.
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Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by Chris