Very early pre-serialized Charvels were assembled using bodies supplied by Lynn Ellsworth and manufactured under the "Boogie Bodies" moniker. EVH's first black and yellow Strat was made with this particular body; easily identifiable by the unusually-shaped small control route. By late 1978 Charvel was not only manufacturing their own bodies, but also manufacturing bodies for DiMarzio, which were sold via mail order and bore a woodburn "DiMarzio" stamp in the neck pocket. An identifying feature of these early DiMarzio/Charvel bodies was that they had the traditional small recessed rounded/triangular Charvel electronics route on the back. Oddly, it would seem that the bodies were shaped first with the electronics cavity, and the pickup routes followed sometime later. As evidence, some of the "Traditional Strat" bodies bore both the Charvel electronics route in the rear, as well as the full Strat route in the front. This made for a body with a "hole" completely through from front to back where the two routes overlapped in the electronics area. Actually, this made for convenient access to the Strat's electronics without having to unstring the guitar and remove the pickguard. Where designed for convenience, or the result of the manufacturing process I cannot say for certain, but the feature is unique to some Charvels, and DiMarzio-branded Charvel bodies manufactured during the late '79-to-'80 period. To be perfectly clear, not all "Traditional Strat" bodies manufactured during this period had both the Strat route, and the rear route. Depending on the electronics to be loaded and the body shape, different electronics cavity routes/shapes were used.
Bodies were made with two different finishes in mind; transparent (to show off the figuring of the wood), and opaque (solid paints). Body wood for opaque guitars was generally heavy northern ash, poplar, mahogany, or maple. Often, these "Opaque" bodies were laminated of two pieces of wood.
The transparent-finished guitars were generally very special, and were made of such exotic woods as birdseye'd maple, flamed maple, flamed redwood, Honduran mahogany, and figured ash. Often, an "exotic" guitar would feature a mahogany back and a thick two-piece "book-matched" figured top. The finish would often be "two-tone", with a transparent color on the face, and a natural or wood stain finish on the back and sides. Sometimes the same transparent color would be used over the entire guitar. Some exotics were made of solid two-piece bookmatched woods, other times one piece solid figured woods were used. There were also a number of "Butcher Block" laminated wood bodies made. The 1979 Charvel NAMM booth featured just such a laminated exotic body.
The bulk of early Charvel bodies were made in the traditional Strat shape. An identifying feature that is demonstrated on most genuine Charvel Strats is that the lower horn route is not exactly semi-circular, but rather has an enlongated shape to it, effectively moving the lower horn further away from the neck for greater access to the upper frets. Some top-routed Strats were "Traditional Strat" setups which included a pickguard, while others were routed for one or two humbuckers in the "Super Strat" configuration; other times three singles without a pickguard was used. The configuration most commonly associated with the prepro Charvel would be definitely the one hum/one knob/tremolo configuration. It is almost certain that "oddball" configurations such as hum/single/single and hum/single made it out the door as well. I have personally owned one Prepro Charvel Telecaster that featured a traditional Tele bridge single, and a hot P-90 at the neck. Anything was possible and did happen at Charvel with regards to pickup configuration and options.
Other body shapes included the Explorer, Star, Flying V, Telecaster, and Firebird shapes; both in guitar and some in bass. There were some one-off oddities that did not follow "traditional" Charvel format as well including a neck-through bass, Rickenbacker-shaped neck-through guitar, and "Vic Vergat" flying V shapes. These are mentioned only in passing as they do not adhere to the spirit of Prepro Charvel production.
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