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CAD$549 (USD$433) for Japanese Pro-Mod San Dimas Wildcard #4 (no case)? Yay or nay?

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  • CAD$549 (USD$433) for Japanese Pro-Mod San Dimas Wildcard #4 (no case)? Yay or nay?

    I think this is a Japanese Pro-Mod San Dimas Wildcard #4 (Dead Calm Aqua). My guess: Made in 2010 or 2011? Correct me if I am wrong.

    At a quick glance I like the specs (typical of what I'd expect) except the trem is a FRTO2000 and the Dead Calm Aqua top might a decal, not a real quilted top...? Can anyone shed any light on these idiosyncrasies? Real maple top and OFR would have been nice.

    CAD$549 (USD$433) + tax at a local consignment store. No case, and the store will not include one for the price. Original black whammy bar missing, but the store will include a chrome whammy bar that fits.

    I think I already know the answer (pass on this guitar) which is why I wasn't going to post this topic, but then I saw the tasty video below and I'm now seeking opinions. Picture of the actual guitar is below too. Deal or no deal? Can't specifically find Wildcard #4s on eBay's Completed Listings, but a Wildcard #3 (damn that is just about a perfect-looking guitar) sold for $CAD1,296.52 + CAD$84.03 shipping, and a Wildcard #7 sold for $1,002.54 + CAD$79.46 shipping.

    Last edited by Number Of The Priest; 04-24-2016, 02:32 PM.

  • #2
    Please don't take this personally but.......

    Are you friggen crazy?
    Jump all over that thing for $433 usd! lol

    All kidding aside, if it's in good shape and not banged up, it looks awesome.
    The top is real quilt, the necks on the MIJ are among some of the best you'll ever find without paying thru the nose.

    If you don't like the tremolo, screw it, get a Gotoh..... done!

    You will have to test drive it first hand, but I wouldn't blink on a Gakki Pro-Mod.... ever!

    Truth is, if I didn't just buy an NOS 2014 American 60th Anniversary Fender Stratocaster, I'd be trying to find that badd bitch for myself! lol

    That looks and sounds like a winner to me, IMHO


    • #3
      Holy crap Batman.....


      • #4
        Seems like a great deal to me. If I found a pro mod at a price like that, chances are it would be coming home with me if it were in good condition.


        • #5
          Thanks for the input. Did Pro-Mods come with cases in the early 2010s? If they didn't, maybe that explains why the seller didn't include one in the consignment deal.

          I was primarily holding out for a USA one since a previous post I made ( had a reply that said the USA ones can be purchased for around the same ballpark price as the Mexican ones.

          I'm patient, but Charvels overall are quite rare in my area. We have plenty of import Jacksons though.

          I'm familiar with the nice build quality of Chushin Gakki guitars (Japanese Jacksons/Charvels) as I've owned a mid-90s KE3 Professional and recently bought a likely-1988 Model 1C so I have no doubts this Wildcard #4 will be well-made.

          This particular Wildcard #4 has been sitting in the local consignment store for at least a month and a half (at least that's when I first checked their website after a long hiatus of not playing/buying guitars). I originally didn't pay much attention at first, but it recently caught my eye again since I've been exploring an interest in import Charvels.

          The reason why I questioned the quilt top is because I can't find an official list of specs (since the guitar is discontinued and no longer mentioned on the Charvel website) and saw the mention of "aqua decal" on the MusiciansFriend site:
          Last edited by Number Of The Priest; 04-25-2016, 08:06 AM.


          • #6
            Yeah, they came with SKB cases with Charvel branded on the outside, I have one with my MIJ San Dimas and I'm here to tell ya the SKB-66 is just as nice; if not nicer because it has more internal room.

            USA's typically run around at least twice the $$$$ as what you're looking at, unless you find a crack head seller, lol

            Never heard of any "aqua decal" before, unless maybe they're talking about the blue/green "Charvel" on the headstock; I doubt the body is like the old "photoflame" Fenders from the 90's. I think they learned their lesson in Japan long ago there.

            But dude, you're over thinking this one.
            If ya got the cash, go down there, check it out, play it and don't screw around & buy it.
            I'm serious, you're lucky it's not on craigslist in Florida, because I'd be on my way to get it right now, lol

            Good luck!
            Last edited by jspeed; 04-25-2016, 11:01 AM.


            • #7
              I overthink all my posts revolving around "yay or nay" secondhand purchases.

              Thanks for reminding me about the Charvel headstock logo being aqua. Yes, that must be what MusiciansFriend meant.

              I certainly don't need another Jackson/Charvel with HSS pickups but I'm planning to see the Wildcard #4 during my lunch break. Even though the consignment store won't include a case, I'll see if I can charm them into throwing me a gig bag at least. I'd need to get the guitar home safely somehow.

              I'll report back afterwards. Stay tuned.

              edit: Saw/played the guitar.

              The good:
              -No clearcoat or paint missing.
              -Electronics in proper working order.
              -Frets seem to be practically indistinguishable from new condition.

              Minor complaints:
              -No case.
              -Couple of dings on the quilt face, but nothing that penetrates down to the paint level.
              -Some buckle rash and miscellaneous scratches on the back of the body.
              -Action needs to be lowered dramatically but this is minor since I'm experienced with setting up Floyded guitars.
              -Volume knob is stiff to turn.
              -There's an area behind the nut and underneath the string tree that is is darker and shaped to suggest that a truss rod nut would be hiding there. Upon closer inspection, PSYCH! No truss rod nut! GOTCHA! Decoy. Truss rod nut is at the neck heel inside the pocket.

              Potentially major complaints:
              -Neck seems shifted towards the bass side of the neck pocket (less fret area for the high E). Pocket seems tight; not sure if there is any more wiggle room to shift the neck towards the treble side of the pocket.

              -Did not get to try any whammy bar abuse to test trem stability.
              -Played reasonably well despite high action and less-than-fresh strings.

              The store had an ESP superstrat that caught my eye for CAD$349. The headstock said ESP Custom, and it had real Seymour Duncans (Blackouts, I think), but the 12th fret said M-50 and it had a Wilkinson trem. Even though I am not too familar with ESP, I thought there was no way a true Japanese ESP would sell for that low a price, considering the store had an ESP KH3 for CAD$1,599. I looked up "ESP M-50" on my phone and I kept getting LTD search results. I looked at the headstock and the logo and headstock face didn't look quite right, like it was a sloppily-added headstock cap. The staff confirmed it was an LTD with a false ESP logo. Pass.
              Last edited by Number Of The Priest; 04-25-2016, 12:54 PM.


              • #8
                So, are you gonna get it?


                • #9
                  Because of the neck pocket alignment being askew and not knowing how serious it was, I wasn't going to buy it earlier today.

                  This evening I researched the issue and found the following easy remedy. I'll sleep on the decision.


                  • #10
                    Wow! If this was anywhere near me, it would already be hanging on my wall. Buy a case and you're still way ahead of the game. New black trem arm is no big deal either. Surprised this is still even available...
                    My Charvel/Jackson Family


                    • #11
                      About a week or two ago, I noticed the price on this Wild Card #4 dropped from CAD$549 (USD$421) to CAD$499 (USD$383) + tax (using today's CAD-USD conversion rate).

                      Then a USA So-Cal was listed on a classified ad and I bought that this past Monday. The same day, I sent the link to the consignment store's listing of the Wild Card #4 to someone, so I know the guitar was still listed/active as recently as that.

                      Today I looked for the guitar again on the consignment store's website and it's gone. So I can only assume it sold either yesterday or today. Whoever got it for CAD$499 + tax got a pretty good deal if he/she is able to fix the string alignment issue and also find a case for the guitar.

                      I realize practically everyone in this thread was surprised at my hesitation in considering whether or not to buy this guitar. In the end, I don't regret taking the slow approach and eventually losing out.
                      Last edited by Number Of The Priest; 05-25-2016, 08:42 PM.


                      • #12
                        U suck


                        • #13


                          • #14
                            Did I let the lack of an included case affect my decision to decline purchasing this guitar? Perhaps a little bit. I know I was ridiculed for it before.

                            I discovered the consignment store actually did have a generic CAD$40 used hardshell case available, but they neglected to mention it at any time when I was discussing inclusion of a case with the Wild Card #4.

                            They could have AT LEAST said, "We won't include a free case, but we do have a used one for $40 if you would like to add that to your tab". Nope, I had to SPECIFICALLY ASK about USED CASES on my most recent visit to the store (after the Wild Card #4 sold) before I even knew they stocked used cases.

                            Given the apathetic and passive vibe of the store's staff in general, I can't blame them for not actively trying to convert me into a customer who would buy the Wild Card #4 plus used case.

                            I hate pushy store staff but these consignment store guys were the total opposite. It was like they didn't care whether anyone bought anything! The funny thing is that I purchased three guitars (with free cases) from them in the early 2000s and I remember the store being great back then! Two of those guitars were nice mid-1990s Professional Series Japanese Jacksons.

                            I now have a new appreciation for knowledgeable store staff who will creatively think of ways to meet my buying needs.

                            I made a recent post ( detailing how I scooped up two great used cases at a guitar market this past weekend. After I made that post, a local seller sold me a used case for CAD$20 later that evening, which is not pictured in that post.

                            For a couple months I had searched so hard for just one decent used case. If you're keeping count, I bought THREE cases in ONE DAY on Sunday. When it rains, it pours. Two of them are empty and begging to be filled with guitars. This Wild Card #4 would have been right at home.

                            I really don't need any more guitars, but I think I'll not hesitate on USA and Japanese Pro-Mods at fair prices if they are in good shape. Maybe CAD$1000 or less for American, CAD$600 or less for Japanese. Even less for the Model Series, perhaps CAD$400 or under.

                            NOTP's secondhand purchasing adventures to be continued...
                            Last edited by Number Of The Priest; 06-01-2016, 08:12 AM.


                            • #15
                              Sort of OT: I know the exact store you are talking about...yes, there has been a significant decline in the attitude there. I always pop in though as they usually do have some stellar gear. I have bought (and sold) a lot from there over the years.

                              In fact they let go of one of the most knowledgeable people I know, especially when it comes to weird old stuff (especially pedals) but man, this guy has literally had his hands on everything...luckily I know him well enough I can still consult with him on anything out of the ordinary.