String Trees
Fender "butterfly" style (1979 - late 1980)
Most early Charvels produced between 1979 and late 1980 used
a Fender "butterfly" style string retainer. Initially, two retainers were used, both on the D/G and B/E strings. Later examples typically have a single retainer on the B/E strings. These are identical to those found on Fender guitars.
Brass Rectangular style (late 1980 - early 1981)
This style was used briefly in the late 1980/early 1981 time
frame. These were made from polished brass and had rounded edges, one style was smooth on the top while another had two slight grooves above where the strings were. Both had recesses for the mounting screw. Typically one string retainer was used on the B/E strings.
Aluminum Rectangular style - (late 1981 - early 1982)
Nearing serialized production (October/November 1981)
another string retainer was used, this one similar in style to the rectangular brass version, but black in color and made of aluminum. It was smooth on top with no grooves and a bit "boxier" than its brass predecessor. It should be noted that these black retainers appeared briefly again early in the serialized production era (late 1981/early 1982).
Round Brass style (mid 1980 - current)
In mid 1980 production seemed to center around the round
brass retainer, the same one that was carried over into production. This is the most common style of string tree found on Charvel guitars and is still in use today. This style string retainer generally only appeared in use on the two high strings and was available in both black and chrome (very rare).
Floyd Rose bar style (1983 - current)
This style is found on Floyd Rose equipped Charvels with
non-tilt headstocks, Strat or Tele style necks. The Jackson "pointy" style necks have tilt back headstocks and hence do not require the use of a string bar. Oddly, a few early factory equipped Floyd Rose Charvels with the Jackson (pointy) style necks did have the string bar installed despite not being needed. While rare, these examples date from 1983 at which time Floyd Rose tremolos were newly introduced. I assume the string bar was installed out of ignorance especially since most Charvels at that time were equipped with a non-tilt neck (Strat style) which required the use of a string tree.
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