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Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar   

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The Desolation DS-1 ST has a single-cutaway mahogany body with a carved top and neck-through-body design. Features include a bound mahogany neck with...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

An entirely new design from Charvel with mahogany woods, a carved top, and Seymour Duncan pickups.

The Desolation DS-1 ST has a single-cutaway mahogany body with a carved top and neck-through-body design. Features include a bound mahogany neck with scalloped heel, compound radius (12-16) rosewood fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and abalone inlays, abalone body and headstock binding, dual Seymour Duncan® Blackout„¢ active humbucking pickups with three-way toggle switching, Charvel bridge specially designed for compound-radius fingerboards, black nickel hardware, three-on-a-side locking Charvel tuners, and solid and trans finishes (flame maple veneer on trans finishes) with matching headstocks.

Magnificent Desolation. The Charvel Desolation series introduces entirely new designs not previously seen in Charvel' 30-year history, offering more tonal and stylistic options for discerning players everywhere. Devastating tone, killer looks and high-performance playability separate the Desolation series from all others. It' a whole new series of Charvel guitars for a whole new world of players.

Case sold separately.

FEATURES
  • Model Desolation DS-1 ST
  • Mahogany body with carved top
  • Through-body fast neck with tilt-back scarf joint head stock
  • Abalone "Keystone" position inlays
  • Mahogany neck
  • Oiled neck finish
  • H/H pickup configuration
  • Seymour Duncan AHB-1B bridge pickup
  • Seymour Duncan AHB-1N neck pickup
  • 3-position toggle pickup switching
  • Charvel - Jackson compound radius compensated bridge
  • Case sold separately

Get great playability and massive tone with this fresh-looking guitar. Order today.

SPECIFICATIONS

Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar

  • 24 jumbo frets
    12" to 16" compound neck radius
    1.65" nut width
    25.5" scale length
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
CharvelDesolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar
 
4.7

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (14)
  • Fun to play (13)
  • Good pick up (13)
  • Solid electronics (13)
  • Good tone (12)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Jamming (12)
  • Practicing (12)
  • Rock concerts (11)
  • Recording (10)
  • Small venues (9)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

One Great Guitar

I've been researching replacements for my old Gibson Les Paul that was liquidated years earlier to purchase a Gretsch 6120. Anyway, I came across the Charvel Desolation SD-1 and figured I'd take a...Read complete review

I've been researching replacements for my old Gibson Les Paul that was liquidated years earlier to purchase a Gretsch 6120. Anyway, I came across the Charvel Desolation SD-1 and figured I'd take a gamble. My first really pro caliber guitar was a Charvel 3DR, which my dad bought me back in 1991; so, I felt good about the company. Charvel, Jackson, and even Gretsch are now subsidiaries of Fender Inc., and anyone who has played these modern incarnations knows these are some fine instruments.

So, a week ago a went out on a limb and ordered the SD-1 via musiciansfriend. I have been playing guitar for approximately 24 years and have purchased many guitars; however, I have never purchased a guitar online, as I prefer to play the instrument before buying it. The problem was that there were know Charvel dealers within a 150 mile radius of my location; so, I took a chance, and I'm glad I did. The Musiciansfriend representative was very helpful, and when I requested a working coupon code she gave me one, which resulted in a $100 discount….awesome!!!

The guitar arrived a couple of days ago, and I've since had the opportunity to put it through its paces. First, the trim, fit, and smear blue finish are flawless (simply beautiful). The neck is fast, and I really like the natural finish on the back. There was absolutely no fret buzz whatsoever. The intonation is accurate right out of the box, and in fact, it was already in tune out of the box. The nickel plated hardware is sharp. The Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups are excellent, and this guitar has sustain all day long.

I'm a Fender and Gretsch kind-of-guy, but I really wanted something in my arsenal that could cover LP tones when I want or need them. The SD-1 delivers and does so in a way that far exceeds its price point. For well under a grand you get a solid mahogany carved top, neck through design, gorgeous trim, binding, and finish, and superb Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups. What's not to love?

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

great concept/poor quality control

I got this as the stupid deal of the day....and was amped up,couldnt wait...well it showed up on time,the box looked good,it was packed well enough. Opened...Read complete review

I got this as the stupid deal of the day....and was amped up,couldnt wait...well it showed up on time,the box looked good,it was packed well enough. Opened the box and WOW this git looks awesome.....glossy finish,see through stain, black,flame top, and the abalone inlay is really nice in the binding and the neck inlays....catch he light and look sweet. Plug it in and Wow,powerful,responsive,active electronics and great tone,action is great,the neck feels good except mine has a flat spot,or depression where my thumb rides between the 5th and 6th frets. so being torn I decided to wait as it was a great deal,a guitar like this is hard to find for even 5-600$...well as I looked it over more,I saw more flaws....the finish had a stain issue near the cut out,it had a white line along the edge as there is no binding there...the next day in daylight,I noticed the neck had a split/crack about 6-7 inches long up the back of the neck in the 12th to 8th fret areas....now was un happy...MF was out of black for an exchange but offered red,I dragged my heels and now red is not an option unless I wanted to wait a month or more for a replacement...the stupid deal of the day was not really that good applied to other gits as MF was not offering four bills off anything else in this price range....so they took care of it,and Im happy enough..dont drag your feet when exchanging, the replacement might be gone....So I have an awesome guitar with flaws,but It didnt break the bank. I reccomended it as a gamble,roll the dice and you may get an awesome ax,or maybe not so much...MF will be there for you......if your persistent.

Reviewed by 19 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Can't beat it for the money

By Andrew Bell

from Undisclosed

Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

First off this is a great guitar for the money. All these options for this price is hard to beat escpecially for a neckthrough. The guitar looks really nice and the the abalone inlays are an eyecatcher for sure. From the binding...to the matching headstock...to the carved top eveything is put together very nicely. I love the oiled neck and this was my first guitar that had a compound radius neck (12"-16") and I definitely don't have any complaints about it. However this is a foreign made guitar (obviously from the price) so I wasn't surprised that the frets were not exactly level but still after getting that taken care of the guitar is still worth the price. Also you get name brand pickups! Granted I am not the biggest fan of active pickups but I will say the SD blackouts do have a nice sound and are quite versatile (I was really surprised at the sound of the neck pickup tone especially through a clean channel). Overall great options and from a great brand with a lot history, I think Charvel is now owned by Fender so I assume standards are fairly high from both companies even though made in china (do not let that scare you from buying this guitar).
Hard to beat for all that you get!

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

2014 New Charvel Desolation

By CharvelfromLP

from New Jersey

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Rock Concerts
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

    I bought a charvel San Dimas about 5 years ago and that started my transformation from Les Paul guitarist to Charvel. I still love my LPs. They have the sustain and power unmatched in some areas, but I was really feeling my leads could be more "shreddish" if I just had a better neck and feel of a guitar made for shredding. All my idols, mostly, didn't play Les pauls. You got Eddie VH, George Lynch, Warren DeMartini.. all these guys were not les paul players and I wondered why I was stumbling to play there super fast licks on a piece of furniture strapped over my back...

    DING! Light bulb goes off! GET A SHRED GUITAR!

    Now at times I do miss that really thick bottom only a les paul can do and of course the thinner guitars/lighter, you DO GIVE UP SOME SUSTAIN, don't let anyone tell you differently...

    Now I own 4 charvels, a Custom guitar I bought for 3000 that is of Desolation design and now to DS-1 guitar, one the Pro Stock and now my latest in this review, the 2014 Desolation.

    I just have to say the neck the playability is just incredible. These are cheap-ish guitars but don't sound like it. I think Charvel could charge up to 1000 for these guitars and still sell. But the 650 retail is a way to get younger, less experienced guitarists into the market. These guitars are made for people under 6ft tall, I'm one of these people and think younger guitarist will enjoy the feel and neck..

    The days of strapping on a piece of furniture are over. As well as paying 1500+ for a Gibson name...

    Check out Charvel. Some people say these new Desolations are NOT really charvels since they are not the San Dimas/So Cal designs... they are living in 1985 and need to wake up. Good guitars at a great price sums it up

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    One Great Guitar

    By CJ

    from Pensacola Florida

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Rock Concerts

      Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

      I've been researching replacements for my old Gibson Les Paul that was liquidated years earlier to purchase a Gretsch 6120. Anyway, I came across the Charvel Desolation SD-1 and figured I'd take a gamble. My first really pro caliber guitar was a Charvel 3DR, which my dad bought me back in 1991; so, I felt good about the company. Charvel, Jackson, and even Gretsch are now subsidiaries of Fender Inc., and anyone who has played these modern incarnations knows these are some fine instruments.

      So, a week ago a went out on a limb and ordered the SD-1 via musiciansfriend. I have been playing guitar for approximately 24 years and have purchased many guitars; however, I have never purchased a guitar online, as I prefer to play the instrument before buying it. The problem was that there were know Charvel dealers within a 150 mile radius of my location; so, I took a chance, and I'm glad I did. The Musiciansfriend representative was very helpful, and when I requested a working coupon code she gave me one, which resulted in a $100 discount….awesome!!!

      The guitar arrived a couple of days ago, and I've since had the opportunity to put it through its paces. First, the trim, fit, and smear blue finish are flawless (simply beautiful). The neck is fast, and I really like the natural finish on the back. There was absolutely no fret buzz whatsoever. The intonation is accurate right out of the box, and in fact, it was already in tune out of the box. The nickel plated hardware is sharp. The Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups are excellent, and this guitar has sustain all day long.

      I'm a Fender and Gretsch kind-of-guy, but I really wanted something in my arsenal that could cover LP tones when I want or need them. The SD-1 delivers and does so in a way that far exceeds its price point. For well under a grand you get a solid mahogany carved top, neck through design, gorgeous trim, binding, and finish, and superb Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups. What's not to love?

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Desolation DS-1 ST Blue Smear

      By John

      from Nashua, NH

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Small Venues

        Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

        After seeing the Charvel Desolation and its price I was interested in getting one knowing full well its made overseas in China. Let me say that you shouldn't let that fact stop you from buying this guitar. Its well put together, the pick ups are fantastic and I love the feel of the neck especially being unfinished. Its lighter weight makes it very easy to play for long periods without feeling like your shoulder is going to fall off!

        The Seymour Duncan Blackouts are really great. Very clear and powerful. I have a set of ZW EMGs in my bullseye LP and they are not as clear and defined as the Blackouts. I never tried Blackouts until now and I'm impressed! Love them.

        The finish on this guitar is amazing. I have the blue smear and it looks great! Haven't seen any flaws. The grain top comes from a maple veneer.
        Although I'm a firm believer in a thick slab of maple married to a mahogany back for looks but most of all tone, this guitar with its mahogany body and maple veneer top sounded amazing through my Mesa Dual Rectifier. The tone was great and the clarity and definition was really impressive.

        Again, don't let the made in China thing decide your purchase. Just a great guitar for the money, sounds great and is well made. Very happy with it. Also want to thank MF for their customer service as I ordered this on Columbus Day weekend and using the chat box got my holiday discount. Order processing and delivery is always prompt, Thank You MF and Charvel!

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Nice Guitar!

        By Slicknick

        from Artesia, NM

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone
        • Solid Electronics

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Recording
          • Rock Concerts
          • Small Venues

          Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

          I got this because it was a stupid deal of the day. It is a quality guitar for the money. I love the charcoal finish and inlays. With Grover tuners and a mahogany body and neck, it's great. I wasn't sure about active pickups, but SD Blackouts are incredible. Full, heavy sound. You could play nearly any style on this guitar. It also cleans up well. The only gripe I have about this guitar is that a tone knob was not mounted. Still wired, but loose. Second, it appears that the fretboard has a couple of dings/scratches. I contacted support and I could not get it exchanged, which frustrated me. I did not return it because these are minor problems and for a guitar with active pickups, I really can't complain. The sound is still great. But at the same time, Musicians' Friend should not have misled me by listing this guitar as new when it clearly was not.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Superb quality

          By Spook76

          from Belleville, MI

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts
            • School Bands
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

            I will keep it simple.

            1)This Guitar is top Quality & beautiful.
            2) Active pickups are great! Even though it took a little time to get used to their responsiveness. Not a fault in the product, I just hadn't used them before.
            3) the Neck feels great. Smooth unfinished back and thin, fast feel.
            4)The transparent finish is gorgeous. The bindings and inlays look great.
            5) It's very ergonomically designed (IMO). Light and balanced.
            6) I got this on sale but it really showed me that the quality earns it's regular price tag.

            I am generally a rhythm, punk, rock, etc player and I do believe this guitar is designed with the metal player, in mind. That said, I have found it fits my needs well too and I would highly recommend the Desolation series.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Nice guitar

            By Himmy Jendrix

            from Belly of the Beast San Francisco

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Fun To Play
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Solid Electronics

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Practicing
              • Recording
              • Rock Concerts
              • Small Venues

              Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

              I have many guitars. My main guitars are Gibson SG and American Telecaster. But, for some reason I keep picking this guitar up far more than my others. The neck is small and fast. The active pickups can produce everything from tele clear to boogie crunch. And the weight is, well, a heck of a lot better than a Gibson Les Paul I had.
              To sum it up, the guitar is just fun to play and sounds great. The craftsmanship is as good as any other guitar I own. It's just sweet.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              I'm on my Honeymoon!

              By Guitar Harls

              from Florida

              About Me Professional Musician

              Ask me a question

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Recording
                • Rock Concerts

                Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

                Since I am a full time guitarist, I always take 3 guitars to a gig. 1 acoustic, 1 strat, and 1 humbucking based guitar. I used to play my '73 LP Custom, but can't tkae it to gigs anymore. So I have a Epi SG w/ Gibson 490 P/U's, an Epi Wilshire, an Epi '57 re-issue LP Jr., a Fender Showmaster Scorpion, and now the DS-1 to choose from. The DS-1 is light but sustains like my old LP. The Seymour P/U's are louder than any of my other guitars. The intruments' "stage presence" is amazing. People are always coming up and asking about the guitar! I might have to store my other guitars for awhile during my honeymoon with the DS-1.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                I absolutely love this guitar

                By Paul Primeau

                from Northern Ontario Canada

                See all my reviews

                Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

                I tried one of these guitars out recently while testing amps. I had no intention of buying a guitar but I fell in love with the playability and went back and bought it the next day. I suppose it's the compound radius fretboard but for me, the neck has an amazing feel. Now for the sound...absolutely killer Seymour Duncan active pickups (I personally prefer the sound to my active EMG's) and the guitar is beautiful to boot. Do not be dissuaded by the fact that this guitar is foreign made...For my money you could pay double and not get a better instrument. The only reason I don\t give it a 10 is the access to the 22nd fret and beyond is somewhat limited.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Desolation SC-1

                By brett jennings

                from Tennesse

                Comments about Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar:

                The finish on the guitar is just amazing! the back of the neck has a natural finish which is the way I like em ,so that was a pleasant suprise. The active blackout pickups sound amazing! The compound radius fretboard works with a new tail piece that make intonation perfect! It's just an all around exellent guitar! Anybody out there wanting les paul looks with an agressive metal sound,this guitar is deffinately worth your dough!
                I got this guitar for about half retail because the neck pickup was cutting out. Once I received the guitar,I was able to track down the problem and fix it. These are really great guitars! I now prefer my Desolation to my Gibson les paul by a wide margin. Charvel really hit it out of the ballpark with these,I couldn't be happier! Thanks to all the people at Musician's Friend that made this great deal possible!
                Besides the small short in the neck pickup,the guitar is flawless in every way!
                Considering I got it for about half retail,this is a no brainer!

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