CHARVEL
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CHARVEL
Instruments currently produced in the San Dimas, CA and distributed by the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation. Instruments previously produced in Korea. The Charvel trademark was established in 1978 by the Charvel Manufacturing Company. Distributed by Jackson/Charvel Guitar Company (Akai Musical Instruments) of Fort Worth, TX. Charvel instruments were previously manufactured in the U.S. between 1978 and 1985. Later (post-1985) production was in U.S., Japan, and Korea.
In the late 1970s, Wayne Charvel´s Guitar Repair shop in Azusa, California acquired a reputation for making custom, high-quality bodies and necks. Grover Jackson began working at the shop in 1977, and a year later bought out Charvel and moved the company to San Dimas. Jackson debuted the Charvel custom guitars at the 1979 NAMM show, and the first catalog depicting the bolt-neck beauties and custom options arrived in 1981.
The standard models from Charvel Manufacturing carried a list price between $880 and $955, and the amount of custom options was staggering. In 1983, the Charvel company began offering neck-through models under the Jackson trademark.
Grover Jackson licensed the Charvel trademark to the International Music Corporation (IMC) in 1985; the company was sold to them a year later. In late 1986, production facilities were moved to Ontario, California. Distribution eventually switched from Charvel/Jackson to the Jackson/Charvel Guitar company, currently a branch of the Akai Musical Instruments company. As the years went by and the Charvel line expanded, its upper end models were phased out and moved into the Jackson line (which had been the Charvel/Jackson Company´s line of custom made instruments) and were gaining more popularity. For example, the Charvel Avenger (Mfg. 1991 to 1992), became the Jackson Rhoads EX Pro (mfg. 1992-recent). For further details, see the Jackson guitars section in this edition.
In 1988, Charvel sent a crew of luthiers to Japan for a year or so to crosstrain the Japanese builders on building methods for custom-built guitars. The resulting custom instruments had a retail list price between $1,000 and $1,300. U.S. custom-built guitars have a four-digit serial number the Japanese custom-built models have a six-digit serial number. Numbers may be prefaced with a "C," which may stand for "custom-made" (this point has not been completely verified).
By the early 1990s, the only Charvel models left were entry level ´Strat´-style electrics and dreadnought and jumbo-style (full-bodied and cutaways) acoustic guitars. In the late 1990s, even the electrics were phased out in favor of the acoustic and acoustic/electric models. During 1999, instruments with the Charvel trademark had ceased production, and Wayne Charvel began building a new line of instruments utilizing the Wayne Guitars trademark.
Jackson purchased the rights to Charvel and by 2002 were producing guitars once again. In the fall of 2002, Fender (FMIC) purchased the Jackson/Charvel corporation. Currently Jackson/Charvel still produces guitars in their manufacturing facilities and these are distributed by FMIC (early Charvel history courtesy Baker Rorick, Guitar Shop magazine; additional information courtesy Roland Lozier, Lozier Piano & Music). The first series of guitars released by FMIC was the Pro Series, which lasted until 2003. In 2004, Charvel started producing their U.S. guitars again with the USA Standard Series. Since Charvel has the longest running custom shop in the guitar industry and most people want to customize their guitars, they discontinued all standard production models besides the Eddie Van Halen and Warren DeMartini models in 2006. Charvel now offers a full line of U.S.-built custom models that are typically available in limited series. In mid-2011, Charvel began a large marketing campaign for Desolation. Visit Charvel's website for more information.

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