CHARVEL 750 XL
From the 1989 Charvel catalog:
750 XL - Mahogany set neck construction with arched tops make the 750 XL a sonic knockout. Capable of the traditional sustaining roars associated with set neck mahogany instruments, this guitar also offers today's brighter tones. Inverse Jackson inlays and bound rosewood fingerboard and matching headstock accent the 750 XL's appearance.
Snow White, Pearl Blue, Turqoise, Magenta, Platinum Sparkle, Desert Crackle, Metallic Black.
Finish options for flamed tops:
Transparent Cherry Sunburst, Transparent Red, Transparent Amber, Transparent Purple.
$1169.95 - 1395.00 (figured wood)
24.750" Gibson short scale, maple set neck, 24 frets, bound rosewood compound radius fingerboard, inverse Mother of Pearl Jackson inlays (sharkfins).
Advertised as Mahogany body with maple arched top. Reports from several users that have stripped the paint off of their 750 XL bodies, strongly indicates that solid colored models did not have mahogany bodies, but basswood or alder instead. Having a basswood or alder body is not necessarily a bad thing, but the misadvertising is.
Either String-Thru JT-390 or Tremolo: JT-590 non-recessed (Schaller), stamped "Jackson" or "Charvel".
2 humbuckers, it seems that multiple pickup-pairs were used through the production run (all Jackson pickups):
J-80C bridge / J-80C neck
J-80C bridge / J50B neck
J50C bridge / J50B neck
1 vol, 1 tone, Jackson 5-way super switch.
One of the finest Charvel import guitars ever made by the Japanese Chushin Gakki factory, has got to be the Charvel 750 XL Professional.
Charvel 750 XL Transparent Cherry Sunburst finish. Photo by Dana.
Having a mahogany body, capped with an arched maple top, short scale neck and set neck construction, it had a highly unusual set of features for a Charvel guitar back then. In fact, it had a lot of the same construction features found on a Gibson Les Paul. No wonder it was nicknamed The Les Paul Killer.
The Charvel 750 XL ended up being a very rare and sought after guitar. Not only because of the high build quality and the Charvel name, but also because it was built in limited numbers.
The Charvel 750 XL was produced for just over 1 year:
late 1988 » early 1990
This is derived from studying the serial numbers. The earliest one reported is C806075 (1988). The latest one reported is C000358 (1990). During 1990 the model had the specifications changed - most noticeable was a slimmed down body and was renamed Jackson Professional Soloist Archtop.
Charvel 750 XL Trans Amber finish. A beauty. Photo by Stephen.
Charvel 750 XL Serials
I have been collecting serial numbers and pictures from several sources and digging up old info from my archives, to be able to present here, a concise Charvel 750 XL Serial List. The list also holds info on most of the features showing the evolution of this model. You are very welcome to Email me, if you would like your 750 XL included.
A Charvel 750 XL refinished in Pearl White with EMG pickups. Deep horn bevels and 360° knob recesses nicely visible here. Serial C903977. See more photos and info on this particular 750 XL.
Sources and contributors
Most of the sparse info on these guitars comes from owners around the world and this article is based on that - input from 750 XL owners. Striving to make this article complete, I have summarized all my personal notes on this guitar and dug through lots of old posts on Internet forums. Furthermore, forum users Greg Crowe and dg let me add their words in the following, which makes this piece of information of great value. Thanks for sharing.
As we all know, the Charvel 750 XL was made for one "production" year only, 1989. In 1990, the model was slimmed down and renamed the "Jackson Professional Soloist Archtop". The original Charvel 750 XL's have super thick bodies, basically a standard Soloist with a very thick carved maple cap added on top. The Jackson Professional Soloist Archtops were slimmed down so that the added maple cap brought the guitar up to the thickness of a regular Soloist. As you can imagine, being made out of mahogany, a 750 XL is a fairly heavy guitar.
C8xxxxx = 1988
C9xxxxx = 1989
C0xxxxx = 1990
The earliest 750 XL found so far is my serial number C806131 which was actually built at the end of 1988 and so far the only one the JCF has found with an 88 serial number. I just received 750 XL serial number C906332 from fellow JCF'er Bodawgone which is the latest 750 XL serial number found by the JCF so far. There are quite a few differences in the 2 750 XL's. It looks like the 750 XL was continually modified by Charvel Japan all throughout its single production year.
 Three newly reported 750 XL's have C0xxxxx serials, which is a surprise (reported 2010). This strongly suggests that the model was still being produced in 1990. Only 3 out of circa 100 reported guitars have C0xxxxx serials.
 Several earlier examples have since been reported and added to the 750 XL Serial Chart.
Trem route recess / pull-up route
The very early 750 XL's had a trem route cutout however, the trem was not recessed into that route. It looks like the trem route was done away with quite early, between C900579 and C901549.
Early 750 XL's had much smaller cut access areas into the flame maple in the two horn areas (referring to the cut like on a Fusion). Later models had larger cuts, more like on the 1990 Jackson Professional Archtops.
Knob recesses 180° or 360°
The carved out area for the 2 knobs varies with early models having only like 50% of the circle around each knob carved into while later models have the area carved around 100% of each knob.
The earlier 750 XL's had plastic "Jackson" pickup covers and completely different (larger) pickup rings. Later models did not have the covers and used smaller pickup rings. This appears to have changed later, between C904112 and C905091.
Early 750 XL's had Schaller stamped Schaller Floyds while later versions had both Jackson and Charvel stamped Schaller Floyds.
Tremolo pull-up route. Notice that some models have no pull-up route and others have a "semi" pull-up route. Both trems sits equally high on the body, so both are considered non-recessed.
Upper and lower horns carved out area (bevels). The size of the bevels changed during the lifespaan of the Charvel 750XL. The early ones had relatively small bevels, whereas the later built guitars had larger bevels.
Two different recesses were used for the knobs. The first batch of 750 XL's had a partial carved out area of 180 degrees and the later ones had a full 360 degree recess. Please note that the leftmost guitar has non-original pickup rings and the rightmost guitar has been refinished.
Shown here are the differences in body thickness, between a Charvel 750 XL (left) and its successor, the Jackson Soloist AT Pro (right). Photo by Model 88
Frontal shot of the body thickness, Charvel 750 XL (left), Jackson Soloist AT Pro (right). Photo by Model 88.
Desert Crackle. A very rare finish found on a Charvel 750 XL.
Photo by Jakki
I'm sure they vary but my earlier 750 XL is heavier than the later one. Mahogany tends to vary wildly in weight depending on the density (place from the tree) of the wood.
Pickup Covers vs. No Pickup Covers: If the pickups are positioned correctly, there really isn't much of a difference in the sound. I think people have overblown this. The height of the pickup is HUGELY!!! influential to the sound, about 1000% more influential than the covers. When I received the new 750 XL, the bridge pickup was set very high, about as high as you could get it without it touching the stings. The sound was quite muddy with poor high end definition. Lowering the pickup dramatically changed the sound and brought everything back into balance and clarity. I can now hardly tell any difference between the 2, one with covers and one without.
I wouldn't call them "chunky". I have 2 Model 5A's and 1 model 5FX. Both 750 XL's have the same feeling neck, pretty close to all the Model 5's I have. They just feel a bit differently shaped than an SL-1, a little more rounded and not as flat. I actually find the current SL-1 to have thicker necks than the mid 80's to mid 90's models.
I noticed that there have been some questions about 750 XL necks, so while I was doing some routine maintenance on my guitars yesterday I broke out the calipers and took some neck measurements. I measured my Model 6 for comparison. As far as thickness goes, they are extremely similar up to the 12th fret or so, with the Model 6 just a hair thinner. Above that point, the 750 XL neck thickens more as it tapers to meet the body.
When people refer to the neck as thick or "chunky", I think they're probably thinking about the upper-fret region. Even so, I consider this to be about the most playable set-neck I've ever tried. In terms of width, they are basically the same, with a slight difference probably more due to the binding than the wood. The fretboards have about the same radius. Pretty flat, but not quite as flat as newer Soloists I've played. As far as backshape, the 750 XL neck is a bit more round, without the noticeable flat spot that the Model 6 has. I think this may explain why the Model 6 neck feels thinner to me even though the actual measurements say it really isn't by much. As always, your results may differ since these guitars tended to vary.
* For comparison, the 2003 catalog shows the SL1 neck to be .790 at the 3rd and .850 at the 12th.