1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

WEIRD Charvel question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Thinker, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. The Thinker

    The Thinker

    Sep 17, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Hi, everyone:


    I came across a bizzare bass the other day. I liked it, but it's WEEEEEEEIRD. It said "Charvel" on the headstock, but I have serious doubts. Maybe you can help me...

    It's a PJ w/P-style maple neck/maple board and a pretty flat radius. Fretboard was 22 or 24 frets and extended beyond the neck and over the body.

    Headstock looks exactly like a Fender, but it does have that Charvel decal on it. :eyebrow:

    Body is P-style. Looks like a custom factory-quality paint job--black body with most of the front orange with gold/black "binding". (Sounds tacky, but looked kind of cool/funky!). Cavity routed in the back. No pickguard.

    Gold hardware. Pickups were cream-colored PJ. Poles looked larger than Fender. Vol/Vol/Tone.

    No "made in" indication. Construction is very good and it looks like a pretty old bass, so I'm guessing it's USA. Possibly Japan.

    The bridge is stamped ESP. :eyebrow:

    I'm guessing this is a "parts" bass. But it sounded great and played great, so I thought I'd look into this.

    My questions are:

    1. Did Charvel every make a bass (or a headstock/neck) like this? (I'm pretty sure Fender never did). Or is it likely some other maker's neck with a Charvel decal on it?

    2. Is this actually an ESP bass with a different neck, or maybe just a different decal on the headstock?

    3. Any other ideas?

    Wow. That was long. Sorry, and thanks for looking!
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Sounds like a pre-lawsuit ESP with the wrong sticker.
  3. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    If you can get some pics up, that would help greatly. In the meantime, did it look like bass this or any of these basses here?


  4. The Thinker

    The Thinker

    Sep 17, 2003
    Chicago, IL

    First, thanks to both of you for the replies. This forum is such a great resource. :cool:

    Spector_Ray: WOW. The bass in question looks like some of the custom P basses on that site. I never knew Charvel did anything other than "pointy" basses. On the site you linked there's a custom P with a flame top that looks a lot like the bass I asked about (other than the finish, of course). So I guess it really IS a Charvel.

    Any idea how much something like that is worth?
  5. kelbrihan

    kelbrihan Banned [Deceiving users with multiple usernames] Banned

    Dec 2, 2004
    Original Charvels were made by Wayne Charvel and had the Fender headstock, until Fender threatened to sue. That was back in the day when Charvel was a custom shop before the overseas manufacturing.
  6. mwm70


    Oct 27, 2004
    Does the logo on the headstock look like a guitar or is it cursive writing?

    Guitar logo would probably be worth something (possible custom shop), cursive writing would probably be mid 90's, overseas, not worth much.

    Also check and see what the neckplate says if it is a bolt on.

    Charvels are great players, killer necks and well made. If the neck is wide with a flat radius that sounds like my 1987 Charvel neck-thru.
  7. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    I've owned a couple of Charvel Model 3 basses and a Jackson Concert that was my main bass for years until they were stolen. The only reason I put down the Jackson is because I made the mistake of playing a Spector and was hooked for life. If you decide to buy it, I think you'll be pleased.
  8. The Thinker

    The Thinker

    Sep 17, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks, all. This is much, much more (and better!) information than I expected.

    Talkbass= :cool:
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    As noted, Charvel did indeed make P-style basses with P-style headstocks. With the ESP bridge you don't know how much of that particular bass is original... maybe the body is also ESP?

    But I loved the wide-flat Charvel necks. My first Frankenbass, assembled in the very early 80's, had a Charvel neck on a Schecter PJ body. There was no logo on the headstock, but the neck itself was lovely birdseye, the rosewood fingerboard was nice and dark, and I loved the flatter fingerboard radius. The skunk stripe and trussrod plug were purplish... I wonder if Wayne Charvel was using purpleheart before it was fashionable?