Charvel guitars is named after original company founder Wayne Charvel. Though the line has born his name for over 30 years, Charvel actually sold the company in 1978 to his employee Grover Jackson (of Jackson Guitar fame) and didn’t really have much to do with the guitars that bore his name after that.
The company came to prominence during the 1980’s and was endorsed by such artists as Eddie Van Halen, Jake E. Lee, Warren DeMartini, and George Lynch. The company is known for its “Super Strat” style guitars that generally feature fast, easily playable necks and humbucker pickups as opposed to the traditional Stratocater single coils.
With the rise of “Grunge” in the 1990’s, the company fell out of favor, and most of its instruments were cheap, low-quality imports, an unfortunate turn since the company’s Japanese-made instruments of the 1980’s (especially the Charvel Model 4 and Charvel Model 6) were considered very high quality imports.
In 2002, the company was bought by Fender Musical Instruments and is once again producing very high quality American-made guitars, including a new Eddie Van Halen model and the acclaimed San Dimas series.
While the company has had its share of ups and downs, it’s also safe to say that the Charvel guitar company is back with a vengeance. Given the solid backing of Fender and its critically acclaimed new models, Charvel is a name that can be once again associated with quality electric guitars.