The Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature Model Electric Guitar Review

The Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature Model electric guitar is an instrument that was built for shredding. When you’re taking your first look at this beauty, all you may see is the price tag attached to this signature model. However, if you take a few more seconds to look beyond the price tag, you will find a world of wonder inside of this guitar.

Just as a quick summary, the Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature model comes built with a Custom MFB humbucker, single- coil, humbucker pickup combo, and a recessed locking tremolo bridge made in the United States. As for the physical appearance, you will notice a dazzling flame maple top that’s a real beauty to look at if you’re into the appearance of natural woods. If you’re into shredding, you’ll really be able to rip apart your solos with the fast neck installed with this guitar; the caramelize two-piece flame neck is supported with graphite reinforcement to help ensure reliability during performances, as well as to encourage increased sustain.

Today, we will be looking at:

  • The overall tone of this guitar
  • Who the Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature Model best suits
  • The materials that created this guitar
  • The playability of the Govan Signature Model
  • The overall value of the Charvel Guthrie Govan for your money

Features:

  • $3,000 (Check out the latest price here!)
  • 5-inch scale length
  • 14-inch fingerboard radius
  • 24 jumbo frets
  • Bone nut
  • Heel-mount truss rod
  • Caramelized two-piece flame basswood body
  • Available with a flame maple top or a bird’s eye maple
  • Comes with two graphite rods to provide the neck with increased stability
  • Ebony ring with maple dot center inlays
  • Charvel Custom MF Humbucking bridge and neck pickup
  • Charvel Custom MF Single coil middle pickup
  • Tone and volume controls
  • Recessed Charvel locking tremolo bridge
  • Five position blades and two position toggle pickup switches

Build

The neck of this electric guitar has an extremely comfortable compound radius that really makes it easy to grip for bending, but still manages to provide users with the speed of a flatter neck that makes it perfect for shredding. While it does physically feel much more rounded than your average electric guitar neck, the roundness feeling doesn’t take away from the smoothness or the speed that it provides users. Also, the neck joint was cut at an angle that makes it super easy to access the higher frets without putting a strain on you.

Sound

The HSH (humbucker, single-coil, humbucker) pickup configuration contributes greatly to the tonal dexterity of this guitar. This instrument comes with three Charvel Custom MFB pickups as well as five-way switching, you’re going to be able to experience a whole new world of customizing your dynamic sensitivity and your tonal range that many other mass-produced electric guitars just don’t give you. There is also a notched master volume knob and a notched master tone knob that have brass position markers that are set up on the body so that you can easily reach them with your pinky.

When you first test out this guitar, I would highly recommend doing so when it’s plugged in. The pickups on the Charvel Guthrie are the best I have ever heard in my entire life; playing around on the tone controls, I was able to get so many different sounds out of this guitar. I achieved an incredibly clear, transparent sound to jazzy and box to strong and well-defined sound.

After playing around with the guitar for a bit, I realized maybe the most wondrous thing about this guitar: Charvel managed to solve the problem that every single other HSH electric guitar I’ve ever played had. This guitar doesn’t have a volume imbalance problem, which is an extremely common problem among low end and high-end HSH (humbucker, single-coil, humbucker) guitars. Basically, every single pickup combination is usable on this guitar, whereas the majority of other five-way switches usually favor only two positions, so the other three positions end up falling to the wayside because they simply just don’t deliver.

Playability

I have a friend that bought this guitar and invited me over to help him unbox it and test it out, as I am the more experienced guitarists between the two of us. Picking this guitar up right out of the case, I was able to play it without having to do any adjustments to the setup. My first mental notes were of how polished and smooth the frets were and how smooth and fast the neck felt in my hand.

Playing on the neck of this guitar is an absolute dream. When playing around on this guitar, I really enjoyed how ‘alive’ the instrument felt in my hands. What I mean by this is that when I was playing on this electric guitar, I was really able to feel the incredible resonance against my body, which was really exciting as I literally was able to feel the music I was creating in physical vibrations in my body.

Other alternatives to consider

Ibanez JEM 77 Steve Via Signature- $1,600

If you’re looking for a rock-friendly or a shredder guitar that’s a bit more on the affordable side, the Ibanez JEM 77 Steve Via is a guitar that was created for fast and precise performances. This electric guitar also has two humbucker pickups and one single-coil pickup, which will really open up all of the different sounds that you’ll be able to achieve on this instrument.

Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas Style Electric Guitar– $800

An even more affordable guitar that’s great to look at if you’re interested in getting your hands on a guitar with a fast neck, a versatile sound, and an interesting cosmetic appearance. This brand is the same brand that manufacturers the Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature Model electric guitar, which is great to know if you’re looking to stay brand loyal or at least close to the brand that produces your dream guitar.

Pros:

  • Comes with a hard-shell case
  • A high-quality guitar that’s perfect for guitarists that enjoy shredding
  • Easy access to higher frets
  • Easy set up when pulled right out of the box

Cons:

  • Many customers have had complaints about dealing with the customer service from Charvel and the length of time it took for their guitar to ship
  • Expensive, especially if you’re only an intermediate who still isn’t exactly sure if you’re going to stick with guitar
  • The basswood body is soft and easily picks up dents and scratches
  • Some users have complained about buzzing when the guitar is unplugged

Conclusion

The Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature model had a lot of attention paid to it during the building process of this instrument; you can tell this because this instrument has addressed a great portion of the small imperfections that you find in a lot of other instruments. While this doesn’t mean that you’re not going to find any imperfections in this guitar, every instrument out there has its own unique features and flaws. If you do decide to invest your money in getting your hands on this beauty, you will be getting your hands on one of the most comfortable and inspiring guitars that’s on the current market.

About the Author Danny Trent

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