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NOS DiMarzio Branded Strat. Charvel? School me!

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  • NOS DiMarzio Branded Strat. Charvel? School me!

    Hey Folks, first post, happy to be here. Hoping to get an education on the DiMarzio branded necks and bodies from the early 80's. I come from vintage Japanese guitars- Tokai, Greco/Ibanez, Fujigen, Matsumoku, that is my usual grounds.

    I am a professional Illustrator for things like D&D and Magic the Gathering. And I obsess about guitars when not painting. And sometimes I paint ON guitars like this 3A!
    IMG_8496 by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

    So at Goodwill I found DiMarzio Branded Strat that was never fully assembled. Never had a pickguard or even a jack plate screwed to it. From back when DiMarzio was selling parts that other manufacturers made. Charvel, Esp and more.

    236704428124915elns by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

    I have shown to this to a few folks, and I can't get confirmation or hard evidence either way, that it is or isn't a Charvel made guitar body. I am hoping for pics from y'all!

    Understand I am fine if it isn't Charvel! This thing is rad as hell. It is a dimarzio strat and I will love the hell out of it. But please enlighten me, because I'd like to know where it came from!

    I agree that there is little chance the NECK is Charvel. (Though let me know if you know who made it!) For one thing it is dated Feb 1982. DiMarzio actually pointed me to Spector as they were making necks for Dimarzio up till late 82. Another suggestion is that is is ESP because it is a pretty strong V that tapers to almost a C at the heel. Feels so cool! I am waiting to hear back from Spector on if they made it.

    But I am confused about the body because of the donuts. By 'donuts' I mean that in the neck pocket, there are two donut looking rings around the left two screw holes. It has to be a manufacturer tool marking, as even with a normal drill press the drill chuck could never meet the flat surface of the pocket because it would hit the wall first.

    The thing is guys, I see those marks on almost every USA Charvel body from about 1981 to 1984. (Not the earlier stuff) Yes I know Charvel would have stopped making bodies for DiMarzio by then, which is why I am so confused. ( Could it be old stock after '81?)

    Neckpocket by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

    And the the donuts... I could provide way more early 80's Charvel photos with them that the comparison above. It doesn't matter what shape the body is, they are there on USA Charvels. (But not the 80 and earlier.) Now before you tell me they are on many guitars I am telling I don't see them elsewhere. Certainly not in the numbers that the USA Charvels have them. In fact the only other manufacturer I can find that does have those tooling marks is Tokai, and they are always on all 4 holes and are a little more precise. (This body is not Tokai.) I've looked at every other manufacturer I know of that produced for DiMarzio and I can't find a match. I've actually looked at every manufacturer I can think of, period, and I can find no match.

    The other thing is the pickup routs. They are rounder than most I see. I am sure that could be an identifier of some maker?

    So I am hoping someone here can please tell me why these donuts appear on so many Charvels, and pretty much only Charvel's. And because of that. who made this body if not Charvel? So I can finally rest and stop looking at early Charvel Photos!

    Again, I am fine if it is not Charvel! I come from japanese guitars so I will still do a little dance to have a Japanese made DiMarzio strat! (And I will go to Dunkin Donuts cause I am really craving a donut about now.) I've already sourced NOS Dimarzio Kluson replacements, a NOS Dimarzio brass tremolo tip, and a nos dimarzio round string tree. And not NOS, but a nice DiMarzio branded tremolo.

    Thinking HS-3 or sds-1 early Dimarzios for it. What would you go for? Trying to keep it as Dimarzio as possible.

    Anyway I appreciate any assistance! I have way more pics if you want to see them.

    IMG_0496 by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

    IMG_0514 by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

    IMG_0517 by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

    IMG_0529 by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

    Just slapping a few things on it to dream here.
    IMG_0545 by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

  • #2
    Donuts my friends. Always on the left two screw holes. Not on any other manufacturer (certainly in any quantity) that I can see. Only on USA Charvels from about 81-84, and maybe newer. Granted some are more pronounced than others. But I stopped looking at 84. And there are MANY more with the marking than without. Quite a few I found on this site.

    Am I crazy that whomever made these marks, made my body?

    If someone can show me this many examples of that specific tooling for another brand I am all eyes! Free me from this rabbit hole I've gone down, lol!

    Better Pics if you want to zoom.

    AllonOne by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr


    • #3
      You found a guitar body at a Goodwill ?!
      8 strings? Because 6 is too easy?


      • #4
        WOW, all I can say is that is SO LEGIT.. SO LEGIT! you found a holy grail son.. these are as coveted as NY street ESP's and the USA Charvels with strat necks, the old ones, maybe not as valuable as those but its in that era for sure..

        YOU scored big time, just get as much Dimarzio parts from the 80's as you can and complete it.. these were DIY's you ordered all the parts and built it yourself as you already know.. so cool tho

        no one responded to you cuz they are bone jealous, prolly got it fora song too right? WOW History at goodwill... so cool

        you do good art work too, ever commission guitar body art?


        • #5
          also if you want to sell that body and neck let me know.. maybe trade it? I have a lot of guitars even some old Charvels, I have one I will trade you for, forgot the model but its a mid 80's Charvel with a pick guard.. HSS.. really ROCKS!


          • #6
            Originally posted by DeanIversenGreen View Post
            WOW, all I can say is that is SO LEGIT.. SO LEGIT! you found a holy grail son.. these are as coveted as NY street ESP's and the USA Charvels with strat necks, the old ones, maybe not as valuable as those but its in that era for sure..

            YOU scored big time, just get as much Dimarzio parts from the 80's as you can and complete it.. these were DIY's you ordered all the parts and built it yourself as you already know.. so cool tho
            Thanks man! I will do my best. All Dimarzio so far, but the pots are modern stamped DiMarzios. And I took a risk on the round string tree (seller thought it was a Strap button.) But alas it is clearly for a bass. That thing is huge! Might have to substitute some modern DiMarzio things while I wait to source the OG parts. And though I will be sure to keep the pickups DiMarzio- even if reissues, they will be ones that were available in the early 80's. (But hopefully I will get legit cream bottoms.) I figure anything that would be on a PrePro would be at home here too. For instance I've read that CRL 5-way with the brown disk would've been on the Prepros.

            I am itching to play this thing. The question will be, will impatience get the better of me as I wait for the original parts to come up? But when the right parts come up it will be easy to swap them in regardless. Grabbed a NOS in bag Dimarzio pickguard, but it too is more modern. Finding the super thick 1-ply plastic OG Dimarzio pickguard is not easy.

            I think sourcing the tuners in NOS condition was one of the toughest hurdles. Klusons were on it when I got it and this would be the only 'Dimarzio' option that would not require drilling.

            PartsHorde by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr

            Tuners by da12c5acb43eb6d8a5cc7de0d28b865c, on Flickr


            • #7
              wow, should be an artifact when you are finished, nice score..

              my goodwill would have put it in the firewood stack... yikes!

              you will keep us updated right? not every day you see an old DiMarzio kit build from maybe even the 70's? I know I'm jealous!

              yea man I would jsut install with what you have and replace when it comes in, the tuners are gong to be a bizitch for sure.. I have seen some new old stock mighty might was it on reverb, pots and switches, good price too thats era correct and good to go? an old ESP, Seymor Duncan, Charvel USA parts will work nicely, maybe an old Keyhole brass Charvel tremolo bridge! there is one out there for $275 I believe, real nice on that guitar..

              they were kits so guys would put all sorts of stuff on these, anything USA form the Era is good to go IMHO, late 70's early 80's..

              put it on the scale yet?

              Last edited by DeanIversenGreen; 06-25-2020, 12:12 AM.


              • #8
                Originally posted by DeanIversenGreen View Post
                put it on the scale yet?

                Slapped it on the scale with the loose parts and that baby is 6lbs 14oz.

                When I add the wire, the pg screws, stringtree, input jack, I am guessing it will hit just over 7lbs. Sounds perfect to me!