We’d like to introduce you to our latest Music Zoo Exclusive Custom Run, the Charvel Carbonized San Dimas. We are extremely excited about these revolutionary guitars, which were conceptualized after we discovered a source of specially kiln-dried wood this January at the Winter NAMM Show. Our friends at the Charvel Custom Shop, who have been building our Natural Series and Nitro Aged Series guitars for some time, are the perfect choice to realize these unique instruments. Follow the jump to learn about what makes a Carbonized San Dimas.
Kiln-drying is an age-old technique used to season wood for use in building instruments, but this new process takes kiln-drying a step further. The wood is essentially cooking in a pressurized kiln in its own moisture and gasses as they escape. This process carbonizes the wood, giving it this dark rich color and locking the moisture content around 10 percent. This means that the wood will not take on moisture nor release moisture during its life, which keeps it from being susceptible to climate and humidity changes as the seasons change or as the cities change on tour. This equals fewer neck adjustments and playing issues over the lifetime of the instrument. The release of this moisture also greatly reduces the weight of the wood, making for lightweight and ultimately more resonant necks and bodies.
After the carbonizing process, the hard and light wood mills beautifully. The builders at Charvel were extremely excited about how clean and smooth each cut was, and how that translated ultimately to the feel each neck was going to have. In addition, we all noted that the wood had a nice “smoked” aroma about it too; an added bonus. Not all woods react well to this process we are told, but luckily maple does which is of course perfect for our neck. The bodies are done using Abella which is from the walnut family, though closer in tone to alder which is very traditional for guitar making. We decided to build these out with two direct mounted pickups, low friction pots, crown head tuners, a light oil finish and your choice of Floyd Rose or NOS tremolo. Our prototypes literally scream. The ones we’ve seen are well under 7lbs with a deep woody attack off the body and overtones for days. The stability and quality of the wood through this process are on their own ideal for building, but the functionality and sound of the end product is the part we are extremely pleased about being able to offer to our customers. These are currently coming through production and will be available routinely as Music Zoo Exclusive. Please contact us for more info, or to pre-order.