Neck Plates
Brass - No Markings
The solid brass neck plate was commonly found on pre-serialized (prepro) Charvel guitars that were manufactured between 1979 and late 1981. In fact, the majority of Charvel prepro guitars manufactured, used this style neck plate.
These plates were polished only on the exposed side and then cleared (lacquered). The back of the plate was not finished and typically appears raw and generally quite oxidized. It is common to see the lacquer chipped (worn) around the edges of these neck plates.
Black - No Markings
One of two types of neck plates used by Charvel which had no markings. This style of neck plate is found on pre-serialized (prepro) Charvel guitars dating from early 1981. This neck plate style is far less common than the brass neck plates and appear
to have been only used in early 1981. These plates often have the black coating either partially or completely worn away, leaving the appearance of a smooth, slightly-polished steel neck plate.
5-Digit Serialized Plate
First style of Charvel neck plates to have a serial number stamped onto the plate. In addition to the serial number, the Charvel logo and the San Dimas address were also written on the neck plate. All the text was in raised lettering giving
these neck plates a 3D look. These 5 digit neck plates are very rare and appear to have been used only intermittently for a month or two commencing around April, 1981. After that time the plain brass neck plates were once again used until the introduction of the 4 digit "serialized" neck plates in late 1981. The 5 digit neck plates are very similar to the neck plates used during the "serialized" (production) era, differing only in a FIVE versus FOUR digit numbering system.
4-Digit Serialized Plate
This neck plate is found on all Charvels manufactured during the "serialized" Charvel era, 1981 to 1986. The serial numbers used a FOUR digit system that started with number 1001 and ended with 5491. These plates had gold plating over a black
base and featured the Charvel (logo) and address (P.O. Box 245 San Dimas, CA 91773) in raised lettering. The serial number was stamped into a small raised rectangular area located between the "Charvel" logo and the address. Note that the early (serial numbers) neck plates were made using a weaker metal alloy and as a consequence many of these early neck plates show warpage and cracking around the neck screw holes.
Engraved Plates - Jackson Custom Orders
This neck plate style can be found on custom shop Charvels made at Jackson in the mid to late 1990's, in addition to being found on the mid 1990's produced Charvel San Dimas Traditional model guitars. The Traditional model guitars bore
little resemblance to the originals and used a pseudo shaped Strat headstock shape similar to the Jackson Phil Colleen signature model. These neck plates were typically black in color (a few chrome ones are known to exist) and both the Charvel logo ("Made in USA" underneath) and the serial number was simply engraved. A SIX digit serial number system was used with the first two digits indicating the year of manufacture.
3D Charvel Plate - Ontario Address
This style neck plate was used briefly in 2002 - 2003 and was cast to resemble the original "serialized" 3D plates. These neck plates were considerably thicker than the originals, and have the Ontario, CA address. A FOUR digit serial number starting
with serial number 6000 and ending with 6050 was used. The bulk of these neck plates (serial numbers 6011 - 6041) were used on the 2002 Limited Edition Charvel Bulls Eye Reissue guitars. A few custom shop Charvel guitars ordered at the same time as the Bulls Eye RI's also have this style neck plate. Note most of these plates had the Ontario, CA address lettering painted black NOT gold.
NAMM 2004 Style Neck Plate
These neck plates were used very briefly in 2004 and are found mostly on the Charvel guitars displayed at the 2004 NAMM shows. The neck plate is chrome in color and simply has the Charvel logo (no "Made in USA" under the logo) and the
serial number etched (engraved). There is no address on the plates. Noting how few NAMM Charvels were made for the 2004 shows, these neck plates are probably the rarest of all Charvel neck plates. Charvels made after NAMM use the same style neck plate but have "Made in USA" (under the Charvel logo) and the San Dimas, CA address engraved.
25th Anniversary Neck Plate
Used on the 25th Anniversary model which was produced in 2004, these neck plates feature the Charvel logo (no "Made in USA" under the logo), a two digit serial number and the words "25th Anniversary". The neck plate is chrome and all writing
is engraved into the plate. Only 86 "25th Anniversary" Charvel guitars were made and these were the first Charvels to feature a Fender licensed Strat Headstock neck since 1986.
Bulls Eye Reissue Plates
While the Bulls Eye Strat Head was a limited run, no special serial numbering was used. In fact, the neck plate used on these guitars is the same as those found on regular production Charvel guitars and have the Charvel logo ("Made in USA"
underneath the logo), serial number and the San Dimas address engraved on them.
EVH Hand Striped Neck Plates
Chrome colored neck plate having the Charvel logo ("Made in USA" underneath the logo), EVH logo, words "ART Series" and the serial number engraved in them. It is important to note that these neck plates look similar to the neck plates found
on the normal production EVH ART Series Charvel guitars. The only difference is the serial number sequence, 3 digits for the EVH hand striped and played guitars and 4 digits for the production EVH ART Series guitars.
EVH Art Series Neck Plates
Chrome colored neck plate with the Charvel logo ("Made in USA" underneath logo), EVH logo, words "ART Series" and the serial number engraved. Serial number uses a 4 digit numbering system with the first digit denoting year of
manufacture, example serial number 4004, 4th guitar built in 2004. Note that the EVH hand striped and personally played guitars have a very similar neck plate but used a 3 digit serial numbering system.
Charvels made in 2004 and early 2005
These chrome colored neck plates have the Charvel logo ("Made in USA" underneath logo), four digit serial number and a San Dimas, CA address etched (engraved) into them. Two different postal addresses were used, P.O. Box 215 San Dimas,
CA can be found on plates having serial numbers ranging from approximately 6060 - 6100 ish. Later serial number plates (serial numbers 6100 and up (approximately) had the original postal address, P.O. Box 245 San Dimas, CA address. These plates were phased out when Jackson introduced a new 3D (raised lettering) plate similar to the original San Dimas era plates (chrome over black as opposed to gold over black) in 2005.
New 3D Charvel Plates
Similar to the original serialized era 3D (raised lettering) neck plates, these new plates are thicker and feature chrome plating over black versus the originals which have gold plating over black. These plates were introduced in 2005 and have the
Charvel logo ("Made in USA" underneath), serial number and San Dimas, CA address in raised lettering. these plates are basically copies of the original "serialized" neck plates used from 1981 - 1986.
Production USA Charvel Neck Plate
6 digit serialized 3D chrome neck plates with San Dimas, CA address introduced in June 2008 on the U.S.A. Production Model Series Charvel guitars. The new line consisted of three models in standard black: San Dimas Style 1 (2 hum rear
loaded Strat body shape with Strat Head neck), San Dimas Style 2 (2 hum rear loaded Tele body shape with Strat Head neck), and So-Cal Style 1 (2 hum, front loaded Strat body shape with Strat Head neck with pickguard). Each model was available in its own extremely limited custom color that changed every three months or so. These guitars were released on July 15, 2008 with a MSRP of $999 (price included a Charvel gig bag).
Neck Plate Cushions
Early in 1984 (approximately serial number 3000 and up), Charvel started to seat neckplates in a plastic cushion. Prior to this the neck plates were bolted directly to the guitar body (no cushion). These neckplate cushions were bought from Fender and all neckplate cushions from this era has the Fender part number molded into it.
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