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Perfectly Designed Imperfection

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
1 min read

This is the most exciting guitar deign I’ve seen in a while.


The design is not optimized for hanging on a wall. It’s (very intentionally) optimized in every way for picking up, plugging into anything and sounding great, playing reliably without constant care and maintenance, throwing anywhere (on a stand, couch, floor, etc.), and delivering on the two most important sounds in rock and blues with those pickups. Even volume knob is moved out of the way and acts as a pickup switch when you slap it (it’s also labeled “tone” in a tip of the cap to Eddie Van Halen’s volume knob).

Guitar snobs immediately recognize the type of finish and wood used is top notch. The fret finish is something you’d expect on a guitar twice the price. It’s an unassuming beast in the guise of a pawn shop relic.

Everyone has different constraints when it comes to creativity. When I write, I fuss over format and strategy, when I should be writing. So, I write now in apps that don’t allow for fussing over things that don’t matter.

When it comes to guitar, I fuss over maintenance and tone, when I should be practicing. So, although this guitar may not look pretty to some, it’s intentionally designed for players like me, who need fewer excuses to plug and play. I can see the designer of this instrument had a need for the same constraints I do.

Of course, it takes an bankable artist to demand this kind of guitar be made in the first place — no company these days would take such a risk on its own (which is a shame). This one was designed to the specs of Swedish artist Henrik Danhage and is only available in limited numbers.

Bravo, Charvel!