Featuring caramelised maple necks, a variation of roasted maple that feels and looks more hard-wearing than standard maple, Seymour Duncan humbucking pickups as standard and Gotoh tremolos, the Pro-Mod series of solid-bodied electrics are a phenomenal addition to the company’s rich manufacturing heritage. While some guitars unsuccessfully attempt to occupy space between more traditional models, and result in a distasteful blend of either guitar, Charvel have managed to carve out a space that we never we needed, but that suits players from jazz and blues to rock and metal, with high quality pickups that can provide tones to cover all the ground you might need.
Head to toe, it’s blindingly clear that this Charvel Pro Mod DK24 is built to be played. This might sound like a given, but you’ll understand when your fingers wrap Charvel’s “speed neck”, and chords and leads flow effortlessly along the ‘caramelised’ and seemingly unfinished neck. This neck finish is actually Satin Urethane, and graphite reinforcement secure the 24 Jumbo frets. This special maple finish doesn’t absorb notes quite like more standard maple neck might, and it pairs quite exquisitely with the quilt maple top and oddly-titled, yet strangely-enticing Chlorine Burst finish. The caramelised maple responds with a more specific spank and attack, more closely resembling rosewood, while retaining the feel of maple. This guitar is made in Mexico, and the neck feels fast, but equally great for chugging and heavier playing when need be; it’s a seamless transition between shred and chunk, making the DK24 a great touring guitar. The neck position offers a creamy humbucker option, while the bridge responds aggressively without being overtaken with colour. As if you’d expect any less, but the stock Seymour Duncan take gain and distortion well, offering dynamic and retaining balance, but cleaning up equally well, as if the pickup switching wasn’t enough already!
The scale length of the guitar clocks in at 25.5”, secured at either end by Charvel-Branded Die-Cast Locking Tuners, a GraphTech Tusq Nut, providing the tuning stability and tonal clarity of bone, without the harm to the environment, as well as a Gotoh Custom 510 Tremolo. Neck to bridge, the guitar features a Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro APH-1N and Seymour Duncan Custom Full Shred SH-10B, as well as a five-way pickup selector switch and a two-way mini toggle to flick between series and parallel. Either side of the pickup selector are a single master volume and a No-Load Tone knob, offering a bypassed tone knob when dialed to ten, sending your signal as cleanly as possible to the output jack – which is notably recessed into the back of the guitar’s body. While this certainly adds in the aesthetic appearance and onstage practicality of wearing the Pro-Mod DK24, I can’t help but feel some old-school shredders won’t be a fan of this touch.
All in all, this Charvel specifically, but also any of the Pro-Mod DK24s, in either HSH or HSS configurations, are a phenomenal choice for all players. The neck feels familiar, yet fresh and re-invigorated, while the Seymour Duncan humbuckers offer a myriad of tonal options when blended together, or selected alone. The guitar is comfortable both socially and physically, and features a fairly standard shape and feel that attracts both traditional Stratocaster players and Super-Strat players alike, while offering feel and tone for both. The Charvel DK24 is a jack of most trades, and absolute master of some.