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Help ID San Dimas 1985

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  • Help ID San Dimas 1985

    Hi everyone!

    Hope you're all doing fine with the lockdown.

    I'm interested in buying a Charvel San Dimas from 1985.
    I've seen this ad, it seems an original one. Actually the ad is very detailed and provide a lot of pics and info.

    https://reverb.com/ch/item/33860260-...-san-dimas-era

    Anyway, I'd like additional opinions about this guitar.

    Thanks!


  • #2
    title says it is original
    description lists all of the changes, so how is it original?

    it had a kahler but was changed to a floyd
    and then says it uses the original kahler trem claw... did they use trem claws?

    Comment


    • #3
      If it was a Kahler with a spring claw, it would have been one of those fulcrum tremolos like they used on the early Model series guitars.
      I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by toejam View Post
        If it was a Kahler with a spring claw, it would have been one of those fulcrum tremolos like they used on the early Model series guitars.
        the photos indicate it had a kahler 2300 (normal top-mount cam style) by the deep top route and original screw holes visible

        Comment


        • #5
          Ah, good eye. I didn't even check all the pics that closely to notice the extra holes.
          I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's all very confusing. I'm intrigued by the claim that the Floyd was installed at the Charvel factory, the routing just looks a bit sketchy. He makes the claim about the powder coated black Floyd and the factory but refers to a website there doesn't seem to be a link to. HSH must be quite unusual for that era too. Not saying it isn't a San DImas charvel, I'm not an expert, but I think it's been monkeyed around with a bit more than he suggests, and I'd want to see more proof that those were factory modifications. Someone somehwere will know no doubt...

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with HSH being unusual, also the body finish and the birdseye neck unusual also. Also, if you look at the pic of the rear spring cavity, the routing for the metal control cavity has a big gap between body and plate. None of my three USA Charvels from ‘’86/‘87 are that sloppy, and none have those type of screws holding the cover. Regarding the Kahler, if you look at the headstock pic you can see two filled in holes where the Kahler behind the nut stringlock was, so the floyd nut is a modification.

              Another major discrepancy is the three switches, I have never seen any Charvel or Jackson of the ‘80s have them spread out that far apart. The switch closest to the bridge looks like the type used back in the day, but the other two don’t, they look like add on’s.

              The volume knob looks too far forward to me.

              As mentioned, the routing for the floyd and spring cavity looks very amateurish, I don’t buy the “Charvel did it” story.

              Why is the seller not mentioning the “Steve Vai” autograph on the back of the headstock and the illegible scribble on the body?

              There is so much about this that is not original, I would say it is not worth the asking price.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MountainDog View Post
                Why is the seller not mentioning the “Steve Vai” autograph on the back of the headstock and the illegible scribble on the body?
                It's 2020 in Switzerland.
                Who the hell is Steve Vai.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In the other post the other day, didn't that fella from Oh Canada just tell us that only early US Charvels had those divots on the inside... until we determined his guitar was a Peavey


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey, thanks a lot for all this info.

                    I actually contacted the guy yesterday with a compendium of (almost) all questions & points provided by you. Here are the answers:



                    “…

                    The guitar is an original San Dimas with some modifications, as specified in the ad description (i.e. electronics and bridge). I bought it in 2001 from the original owner.

                    While the original bridge was a kahler, an original German Floyd Rose was installed at the factory. I don’t have any written proof of this, this info was provided by the original owner. It sounds legit to me as it’s the Floyd bridge matches with the one Charvel was using at the time, but again, no hard proof of it.

                    HSH configuration is unusual, but seen in a few models. When I swapped the original pickups, which I still have and will provide with the guitar, it seemed like the original routing. The single coil pickup is the original one.

                    The three switches are quite a common configuration on San Dimas models. I don’t find any difference with others I’ve seen, but it could be depending on the model. Same for volume and tone knobs. The three switches are not original as well, as they were replaced along with the electronics to allow a custom wiring.

                    I don’t know about the divots, but two clues for the body:

                    1.- the neck pocket edge is painted with black marker to mask a bit the thin line of bare wood visible between the neck heel and the body right at the joint

                    2.- the lower horn is not exactly circular, but with a slight elongation in the center to allow easier access to higher frets.


                    About the neck, Birdseye maple it was not the most common, but regularly used. Charvel was probably one of the firsts to start using this wood regularly for the necks. The Charvel logo in the headstock also matches the year and the neck heel width is 2 -1/4’ (see pictures below)

                    You can find all this info in usacharvels dot com. Check both sections “prepro history” and “id info”. There are other web sites that corroborate most of these details, as well as the fact that it’s not an exact science because the manufacture ways were different at that time, and also they didn’t have a specific production model, so many of the guitars were made by request. That’s why I also tend to believe the bridge was installed there, as claimed by the original owner.

                    The Steve Vai signature… I can’t stand this bullshit you see every other time where people thinks than a signature doubles or triples the guitar price. That’s why I haven’t mentioned. The faded signature on the body is also from Steve. I have pictures to prove it, including one with the man himself ;-)

                    …“



                    He also sent a few additional pictures, including the neck heel.

                    I’ve been checking the site he mentioned, for me everything matches. I’ve just put some stuff for sale as I think I’ll go for it, maybe try to negotiate a bit the price. Just curious if you have feedback on this before I press the button

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Only you can decide if it's worth it to you. USA Charvels of that era are rarer in Europe than the US. If we work on the principle that the Floyd conversion isn't factory it's a question how much that knocks off the value for you, compared to the extra cost and hassle of importing a better condition one across from elsewhere.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If the seller wrote "The three switches are quite a common configuration on San Dimas models. I don’t find any difference with others I’ve seen", that's a joke.
                        I have never seen such a layout for 3 switches. Here's what they should look like :
                        www.usacharvels.com/charvels/1202/index.htm
                        www.usacharvels.com/charvels/1277/index.htm
                        www.usacharvels.com/charvels/1754/index.htm
                        The volume and tone knobs position looks weird as well.
                        What's more the work order number shoud be written in the neck pocket. There are too many red flags for me on this particular guitar.
                        Even if it was legit, the price is too high for so many modifications.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NFT View Post
                          Even if it was legit, the price is too high for so many modifications.

                          So, you think that a 1985 USA Charvel (which are pretty rare to begin with) in Europe (which makes it even rare) is too expensive?
                          If you think about it, it is probably the only one in all of Switzerland.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pianoguyy View Post


                            So, you think that a 1985 USA Charvel (which are pretty rare to begin with) in Europe (which makes it even rare) is too expensive?
                            If you think about it, it is probably the only one in all of Switzerland.
                            It's my opinion. If it was all original, the price would be OK for me, but it's not. Indeed old Charvel guitars are quite rare in Europe but they appear from time to time. I used to own a 3 tite 1983 pointy head (serial # 2005). I sold it for 1500 euros in France about six years ago. It wasn't all original since I've had a refin et a fret job made on it but there were no structural changes.

                            Maybe I'm wrong and on today's market the listing price on the one in Switzerland is OK. After all, I've seen 2008-2009 pro mods listed for more than 1600 $ wich is crazy according to me.

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