Charvel's bold entry into the bass category continues with the brand-new San Dimas Pro Mod. These sleek instruments combine throwback Charvel DNA from the company's earliest bass models with modern appointments for a high-performance bass built to do more. Designed for those who defy the status quo and want even more from their bass, these models come loaded with a deeper body cutaway for effortless upper register access and a super-thin bolt-on caramelized maple speed neck. Here's Rodney McG to tell us more.
The Charvel San Dimas Pro Mod bass brings classic design into modern and Pro Player tone and function. Very obviously the Charvel takes it's cue from the legendary precision bass, a favorite with many players from countless genres. But from there, things start to change up.
Some limited series from legacy companies and some standard models from boutique builders have started to use a combination of a Precision style body with a slimmer Jazz style neck. The Charvel brings this stock. This gives a balance of the even and centred feel of a Precision bass body with the slimmer and faster feeling Jazz fretboard. The nut is 1.5, definitely making it smaller than the traditional Precision.
The body and neck also combine two classic wood combinations being Alder for the body and a roasted maple neck. This is where the Charvel begins to stray from tradition. The roasted maple is a newer option offering rich blond colour, and some would say increased stability and tone. On board are traditional style tuners with large vintage keys, but they aren't of massive weight allowing the bass to balance perfectly.
Next up is the high-mass bridge. Another newer addition. The bridge is an upgrade from the usual classic bent plate style design giving it a more solid feel and sustain.
Getting to the electronics, the pickups are a DiMarzio P & J combination. A favourite for decades as an aftermarket option, the DiMarzio PJ are a legendary set that has been used as an upgrade for countless basses. A true stand-out for the Pro Mod bass is the combination of the DiMarzio and the onboard active preamp. DiMarzio pickups aren't usually thought of as ones integrated into active preamp setups. The Charvel preamp definitely has its own colour even at flat settings. It greatly enhances the tone of the DiMarzio, offering punch, clarity, and great note separation. Also included in the three preamp is a 3-band EQ. All the eqs are set flat at a centre detent and have boost and cut available. The sweep on the EQ is fairly wide allowing for large adjustments to the sound before hitting the amp or going to the board.
A final touch is the luminary side dots that glow in the dark, offering a little extra visibility for dark stages. A final touch for the neck is that it features a compound radius that flattens as you travel towards the body making upper register playing easier. On a functional note, the addition of a spoke wheel style truss rod adjustment at the bottom of the neck where it meets the body is a great bonus, allowing for quick access to make adjustments to the instrument without having to remove a truss rod cover or need for special tools.
The Charvel Pro Mod bass lives up to its name. It provides classic design based on the popular tradition of the staples of bass design, while adding modern combinations that someone making a professional and personal preference upgrades would do aftermarket, all brought stock. Swapping out a Jazz neck, some aftermarket upgrades to the DiMarzio, a preamp, and a more substantial bridge are all options seen on many players modded instruments to give their own personal touches to. Charvel gets all of these options brought out off the shelf. A working man's bass brought into modern options, decked out with the frills of custom upgrades and modification.
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