Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Review & Prices

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Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Review
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  • From Charvel's 2015 Artist Signature series
  • Guthrie Govan Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Flame Maple top
  • Caramelized Basswood body
  • Caramelized Flame Maple neck
  • Caramelized Flame Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Charvel Custom MF Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Charvel Custom MF Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Charvel Custom MF Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Recessed Charvel Locking Tremolo Bridge bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Charvel Speed Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Sperzel Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Charvel's 2015 Artist Signature series
  • Guthrie Govan Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Flame Maple top
  • Caramelized Basswood body
  • Caramelized Flame Maple neck
  • Caramelized Flame Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Charvel Custom MF Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Charvel Custom MF Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Charvel Custom MF Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Recessed Charvel Locking Tremolo Bridge bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Charvel Speed Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Sperzel Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Verdict: is The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple a Good Guitar?

Made in a country with top quality control, which means you should get a high-quality instrument made with good materials and excellent attention to detail. It's a guitar with good playability. It comes with excellent pickups with good sound and provides tons of sustain. It favors playing solos more than chords. You can find other models with valuable features (locking tuners, stainless steel frets, etc) for a lower price. Overall, an excellent guitar.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 80
Sound 82
Build quality 90
Value for money 69
Overall Score 84
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Tap Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

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Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Prices

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Is the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $3600, which means that the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple is around 8% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in United States.

Explore All Charvel Guitars >

Is The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Easy to Play?

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple meets 7 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Scale Length Comparison
Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Neck Profile
Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's neck thickness is approximately 0.77'' (19.6mm) at the first fret, and 0.83'' (21.1mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Charvel website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Fretboard Compound Radius
Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple has a compound fingerboard radius of 12" to 16".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the guitar body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
20'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Nut Width
Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Nut Width

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple has a nut width of 42.9mm (1.688''). This size is also known as 1 11/16'' and it's the most common size. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

Finally, these are stainless steel frets. They're the best fretwire available. This means you won't need to change your frets since they should last as long as your guitar. Some people also feel easier bendings after swapping to stainless steel.

More guitars with stainless steel frets:

Fret Size

Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Fret Size Comparison
Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's frets are Jumbo size. This is a tall fret size that is becoming increasingly popular because it makes it easier to press down the strings cleanly. With this fret size, you won't feel the fretboard when playing, so if you press down too hard, you will get the notes out of pitch. However, this is something you can overcome by getting used to the taller size.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 90
Playability 80

Does the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple

Basswood wood pattern used for guitar building
Basswood Body
Flame Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Flame Maple Neck, Fretboard

Basswood Body: This is a soft type of wood that is very light and easy to work with. It's cheaper than many other kinds of wood used for guitar building, but it doesn't mean it's low quality. In terms of sound, it accentuates the mid-range, which matches the frequencies that a Humbucker produces.

Flame Maple Neck and Fretboard: This wood has beautiful patterns only found in specific types of maple.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Charvel Custom. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's configuration is HSH. Two humbuckers with one single-coil in the middle is a combination that people who love a warm neck Humbucker, but also a high output bridge pickup and cleanliness of a single-coil will appreciate. It gives a lot of versatility, but bear in mind that the middle pickup will have a lower volume, so you might want to adjust its height. The downside to this is that you might touch it with your pick sometimes if you increase its height too much.

More guitars with the same pickups

24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Charvel Custom MF Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Charvel Custom MF Single-Coil Middle Pickup
Charvel Custom MF Humbucking Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Charvel Custom MF Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Charvel Custom MF Single-Coil Middle Pickup
Charvel Custom MF Humbucking Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Charvel Custom MF Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Charvel Custom MF Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Charvel Custom MF Humbucking Neck Pickup

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

It has a Coil Tap option. This will allow you to get a single-coil sound out of your humbucker once you activate the power tap. The way it works is that it cuts part of the power coming from one of the coils, which ends up giving you a more real single-coil sound.

More guitars with the same mods:

Diagram

Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple's switch options

What music genre is the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HSH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 86
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 82

How well is the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Built?

Where is the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

More guitars made in United States

Bridge

Recessed Charvel Locking Tremolo Bridge: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

More guitars with locking tuners:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 85
Features 85
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 90

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Charvel Guthrie Govan USA Signature HSH Flame Maple Specs

General
Brand: Charvel
Year: 2015
Configuration: HSH
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: Artist Signature
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Flame Maple
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Caramelized Basswood
Bridge: Recessed Charvel Locking Tremolo Bridge
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Sperzel Locking
Fretboard: Caramelized Flame Maple
Neck Material: Caramelized Flame Maple
Decoration: Ebony Ring with Maple Dot Center
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Charvel Speed
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.77'' (19.6mm) - 12th Fret: 0.83'' (21.1mm)
Frets: 24 Jumbo Yes
Fretboard Radius: 12" to 16"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 42.9mm (1.688'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Tap
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Charvel Custom MF Humbucking (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Charvel Custom MF Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Charvel Custom MF Humbucking (Humbucker / Passive)