NGD Charvel Govan Baked Ash

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. PBGas

    PBGas Regular

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    Dec 29, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Thx for the review. You took a lot of time to detail things that didn't work for you and it is appreciated! There are some things with the guitar that makes me think yours was built on an off day and other things that I say...yup. I have 2 of from 2015 with Birdseye and a 2017 with the carmelized ash. Both are fabulous. I've had them now for a couple of months. No tuning issues with either that are glaring problems. In any case, one of the most beautiful feeling necks out there.

    This guitar for you was doomed from the start, it would seem and sometimes that happens. I had a similar issue with a Les Paul Axcess modern that I purchased back in Sept and had to return.

    There are several things that I do agree with on your review. One of those being the nut. I really think Charvel could do much better job on the finish of that part. I had to run some Mitchel cord through the nut a few times that I got from StewMac to clean the area up. It wasn't very well done on either guitar. On a guitar that costs this much, you would at least think they would do a better job on it. I completely agree on a roller nut for this guitar and would do it in a heartbeat but I don't think that one would work due to the 12-16" radius on the neck. The roller nuts are designed for 9.5 radius guitars, no? If it can be done, then I am going to do that but I have to check into this a bit more.

    I had a similar issue like you had with the pickup height but the problem was that my pickups were too low on my birdseye version. To me, this means the neck wasn't shimmed back enough. Playability was perfect so my solution was to drop a couple of tiny washers under the pickup legs and that effectively lifted them up to the perfect spot. I could have used some foam but wanted to keep the pickup more connected to the body as designed.

    Like you, I would have just preferred the real non-fine tuner Floyd and if it is the case that they needed a minimum order to do so then what a crock. I do like this inhouse built bar a lot. However, I dislike the rounded locking pads. They can sometimes be a pain when changing strings. The flat pads that the real Floyds use are much better. The trem does the job. Wild and crazy bending will put it out of tune slightly when I am using it, but for those songs when playing live, I use a double locking Floyd guitar for that.

    The routing? Does not bother me nor is an issue for me.

    The control knobs?....they are low resistance. Would probably be a bit nicer if they had a tiny bit of resistance on them but really, a non-issue for me.

    The finish? Yup. Thin and will scratch or dent easily. If you want something different, get a strat with 5 inches of poly on it. This doesn't bother me. If anything both guitars feel far more resonant to me.

    The neck? Absolutely incredible feel and very fast. The stainless frets are amazing. The neck is extremely stable and when I pick up my guitar off of the wall it is in tune. Same guitar goes into case to go to rehearsal or live, it is still in tune. Love the feel of it and how it plays. It is very, very comfortable.

    Tremolo-no? Absolutely hate the thing. I literally took it out of both, ordered a couple of closed Jackson metal backplates and brass claws which fit perfectly. The unit itself is very well built but the intended purpose for me, was what not I wanted it to do. What I did was install some noiseless springs and an ESP arming adjuster in both guitars. Much better stability with the back spring set a bit tighter and when or if (hasn't happened yet) break a string, it will stay in tune so I can finish the tune. For whatever reason, my tuning stability instantly improved when I installed this.

    The pickups? I actually like them. They are alnico5 and thus I am used to that. I use a BE-50 with mine so I don't notice the honk. What I do notice is that they are crystal clear when playing live and my leads are heard nicely through the mix. I love the treble mod as well on the guitar and it keeps nice and clear when I back down the volume.

    This guitar was made for Guthrie, not me. I accept any shortcomings and adjust as needed based on what I have. For me, I buy the guitar for the neck and how it feels. This is what I loved about my guitars. The stainless frets are amazing and the feel and look of the neck is second to none. I've had 4 live gigs with both thus far and they have performed perfectly for me.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  2. mastapimp

    mastapimp Regular

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Karma at work. Troll Guthrie, receive a lemon.
  3. Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Enjoyed by 4 out of 5

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    Nov 12, 2017
    Though the lemon comment was made in zest, I feel I should make clear my judgment of the guitar Guthrie asked Fender to make resemble an autographed cabbage turd:

    Many of the same problems I observed are common to much cheaper guitars, and I am capable of compensating for or eliminating them with minimal fuss. But, because FMIC markets this as a very expensive guitar (I “only” paid slightly more than the cost of a Suhr Modern - Close to half of what the model was MAP’d at upon initial release), I judged a guitar I only liked and did not love to be unworthy of the additional fuss - Hence, I resold it. If I didn’t have guitars that made this redundant and handicapped in comparison, I would have evaluated it with more generosity.

    And I agree with the above gripe against the round string retainer blocks - They tend to force the strings to either side of the saddle.

    Hopefully this thread doesn’t jinx me to have the thing returned; otherwise I’ll have to eat crow and give it a makeover.

    You know when you’re playing with a new puppy, and your old dog is incensed and jealous; so they retrieve one of their toys and make a show of enjoying it in the middle of the room, while pretending to ignore the puppy? That’s what all the glowing reviews of the guitar posted rhetorically in my review thread come off as being.
    Spicypickles and mastapimp like this.
  4. Robotechnology

    Robotechnology Regular

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    Jul 3, 2005
    North NJ
    ALW, I must say I enjoyed reading your review! It made me laugh HARD :rofl:I have both the Suhr and the Charvel GG models. Bought my Suhr used and the Charvel new. Love the feel of the Charvel. Hate the smell of it. The body doesn’t feel small like they say it is. Mine did come well set up though and it’s still in tune 2 months later and I love its tone. Had no idea the pickups weren’t height adjustable until reading your review. I can definitely see how that would suck if the Guitar doesn’t come just the way you like it (like it did in my case). I don’t really have much of an opinion on the tremel-no. They’re installed in both but not utilized much. On my Suhr It’s locked and it does work as a fixed bridge but, I must admit that was by mistake :scratch: I’ve looked at the model in advertisements and videos for the past few years and thought it looked cool. Actually got to play my 1st one in Japan last spring. Played 3 more back here and then decided it was time for me to get one as I loved its tones (the pickups rock for me). Really was close to getting the ash body version that sounded phenomenal but, just couldn’t do it. My eyes couldn’t get over thinking it looked ugly in conjunction with the pickup’s colors. So got a maple/basswood one. I have lots of Floyd guitars and never did the keep the strings on, loosen at the tuners and pull bridge of the post to setup trick except for one time—when I turned the block around on an ESP because a spring kept popping out. So that is a complete no issue for me. I’m very used to doing it the “hard” way for 20 years now. Anyways, I hope you get a ton more guitars so I can read more of your reviews :minions:
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  5. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire Contributor

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Fuck. I need to replace the monitor at work now as it's covered in this morning's coffee :p Excellent review!
  6. cip 123

    cip 123 Regular

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    Jun 4, 2013
    I read this in Andrew Lloyd Webber's voice. Please do more reviews/NGDs.
  7. JoeyBTL

    JoeyBTL Regular

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    Dec 15, 2010
    York, PA
    I had some of these same issues on my Charvel GG. I actually had 2 of them because the first had quite a lot of dead spots in the higher register and the second was much better but still lacking there. Both guitars also had nut issues which were solved by a slight filling and refilling. In addition to that they both had some slight finish flaws. It didn't have the pickup height issue but all of that is more an unacceptable for an instrument of that price and IMO certainly one bearing Guthrie Govan's name. I wouldn't expect an immaculate guitar coming from WMI, but is it too much to ask that a lower production, US made, $3k guitar be perfect from the start?
  8. Overtone

    Overtone Regular

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    Dec 3, 2008
    And here I was thinking that the only issue with this guitar was it having 24 frets instead of 22. For the money I'd rather mod the living fuck out of three mexi-strats.
  9. narad

    narad Regular

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    Feb 15, 2009
    A joke that's almost as good as marcwormjim's latest posts.
    Jason B and StevenC like this.

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