Charvel MIJ San Dimas 1 HH Pro Mod

2012_Charvel_catalog-161This 2010 Made In Japan San Dimas Pro Mod one has an alder body, 1-piece quartersawn maple neck with skunk stripe, maple fretboard, 22 frets, 12-to-16 compound radius, 1 master volume with knurled knob, 3-position toggle, Chrome Korean-made OEM Floyd Rose, Grover tuners, and a pair of direct-mount humbuckers as OEM from a big name supplier. This one has the “snow white” finish.

The Pro Mod line was previously made in the US, then made in Japan, and now is currently made in Mexico. I hear different reports on quality from different people, but I can only speak to this one… the MIJ. This one does have the “rolled” neck. I am not sure about the others. Some people find the “rolling” along the edge of the fingerboard to be more comfortable. I think it’s alright, but I don’t find it a deal-breaker and would be fine either way.

Let me get this out of the way, which is the only negative I can find about this guitar. The heel access to the truss rod adjustment. I’m just not a fan of it, given that so many guitars these days have truss access at the nut end. And many of the ones that do have the heel adjustment have much easier access than needing to pull the neck.  Just my opinion.  It does appears that consideration has been addressed on the newer models.

When it comes to the rest of the guitar, it’s a winner. Single knob and single switch, smartly put in positions to reach without being in the way. The stock pickups are fairly common within the guitar world and I’ve swapped them out (you know me! lol!). It has a nice Charvel-branded SKB style hard case.

2012_Charvel_catalog-158The stock trem is the Korean 1000 series that is pretty common as OEM these days.  I upgraded the locking tremolo rig to a full titanium setup, made by TiSonix, right here in the good old US of A.  I can’t say enough about the effect of the TiSonix titanium parts or the incredible attention to detail that TiSonix puts into every item I’ve seen from them.

The pickups that come with the Pro Mod didn’t have any functional issues. With the features (direct mounting) and upgrades (titanium), this is a good test bed for other models.  I tried one boutique model in there for a while, but I ended up with the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop S-Deco set that Custom Shop Manager Maricela Juarez made for me.  Even more so when all the titanium added even more clarity and sustain to the guitar.

I like the guitar a lot. Very comfortable and playable. The design in simple, but details are thought out – for example, using a screw for the pickup mounts that is small enough to leave the mounting holes unmolested. Or the durability of the metal cavity covers. Or placing the output jack just far enough back around so that it’s not in the way when playing while seated.

Lay your peepers on this 2010 era video from Charvel that covers the Pro Mod series:

I am interested in hearing opinions from anyone that has tried the MiUSA or MiM versions of these.

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