Original Charvel 650XL from the 1989 Charvel Import catalogue. List price at the introduction in 1988 was circa $1100.
Charvel toothpaste logo painted over by the previous owner.
Original logo partially visible after sanding.
Original logo saved!
The original, but filled single coil routes emerging.
Original holes for potentiometers and switch blade coming through.
Restoring the original single coil routes, but adding a lip to make the SD Hotrails fit.
The backside almost blue again.
The clearcoat between both J-200's is gone...
Blue... but not satisfied with the result.
Upper horn sand through by previous owner. Restoring the original paint is now impossible. Repaint necessary.
As you can see it started off as an unplayable and neglected guitar. It had a terrible paintjob - they even painted the headstock including the Charvel toothpaste logo.
This is before - unoriginal white paintjob with painted-over head stock, covering the Charvel toothpaste logo. Holes for knobs and pickups have been filled and covered up too.
Back to original paint
My challenge was to restore it without losing the original logo and paint. All turned out just fine......I thought. No problems with the headstock, but the guitar body was seriously damaged. The original paint on the upper horn was sanded away, bare wood was visible, I guess they didn't know how to use a sanding machine.....
After finishing stripping the white paint, I reassembled the guitar to see how things turned out. The frets and the backbow of the neck needed some attention, nothing major, but I could not live with the appearance. A repaint was in place, so I did.
Refitting the single coils
A pair of Seymour Duncan Hotrails could give the guitar a boost since the JE-1200 was missing and would make a good match with the X2N that came with the guitar. I had to reroute the pickup cavities to get the SD's in, they are the newer model which need a wider cavity than the original 200's. It turned out to be a awesome guitar, looks great, plays like a dream, low action and great sound.
Finished! Serial C002233.
More pictures of the finished guitar
Finished. Saved logo with original blue paint.
About the author
Article and pictures by Robert Veldhoven
Visit his homepage www.finnemans.nl
The owner of this 650 is Arjen Rijpma who lives in the Netherlands.