Charvel is a big name when it comes to old school super strat syle guitars. Back in the day when you wanted a shred guitar you got something like this. Something with a roughly strat shaped body and a single humbucker with a Floyd Rose bridge. Charvel now makes more modern style guitars but these super strats are their bread and butter. They have been coming out with Wild Card limited edition models. These are all very 80s designs. This newest one has a bit more modern features to it. This is #8 in the wild card series. The body is made out of alder. The neck is a maple bolt on unit with an ebony fretboard. The fretboard has 22 jumbo frets and a compound radius fretboard. You get a locking nut up top and an original floyd rose bridge. The guitar is finished in a cool flame design. The pickup is an active EMG 81 and the switch is for a built in boost switch. The other control is a master volume.
The playability on this model is great. Charvels are very good players guitars for shred music and metal. The guitar is nice and light. The body is slightly smaller than on a normal strat so it is lighter and more comfortable. The neck is nice and thin as well. The ebony fretboard is super smooth and this combined with the jumbo frets means that you get a super smooth and low action on the strings. The compound radius fretboard is great. It lets you have a comfortable action on both ends of the neck. On the lower end of the neck the radius is rounder so you get a more comfortable action for playing chords. On the high end of the neck the radius is flatter so you can get a low action for solos and bends. This guitar has a pop out battery compartment so you can change the batteries very quickly for the pickups and boost. A lot of battery compartments have screw on covers that make them slow to change batteries. This one just pops out.
Lots of these old school Charvel guitars come with passive pickups. The other Wildcard models I played had Seymour Duncans. Its common for these type of guitars to have JB pickups. This guitar has an EMG 81 in the bridge with an boost switch. By itself the EMG is great. It has the classic EMG 81 tone. It is pretty bright and has a ton of output. These pickups can push just about any amp ever made. This isnt really an 80s sound but its a good overall metal sound. I do not like EMG's with their afterburner boost. The EMG 81 already has enough output so I have never found a good reason to use an extra onboard boost with it. With the active 81 it just seems to add noise. This kind of boost with a passive pickup works well though.
These limited edition Charvels are great guitars. These guitars are made in Japan so the price for them is less than 1000 USD. Being made in Japan the quality and consistancy is great on these models. It is a limited edition guitar so it will hold its value quite well and you probably wont see many other people playing them. The cool flame finish really brings back that 80s style of flashy guitars. If you are looking for a guitar that mixes old school with new school this guitar is great. It has the classic style 80s design with active pickups that work well for any type of modern heavy music.