1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Bringing your older offset back to life.
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SignoftheDragon
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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by SignoftheDragon » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:45 am

trushack wrote:Did Charvel ever do a Surfcaster like that in production?
Nope.

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by PoppaPopp » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:40 am

very impressive work...
"...if you can't punkify a Mustang then something ain't right in the world!" (UlricvonCatalyst)

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by jingle_jangle » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:39 am

SignoftheDragon wrote:I've been waiting for this thread ever since I caught wind of your project- She looks AMAZING all dressed up vintage-style! That burst & tort combo really suits the feel of the guitar's heritage, (really brings out the Fender side of the family) and it's nice to see a restoration/changeup done so well.

The grain in the basswood under the burst looks amazing too- nice and subtle. I don't know why they had to cover that up on the originals, as it looks great from what we can see under the transparent areas. Beautiful job on the finish!

I currently have 4 Surfcaster12s- they've been my main guitar for years. (actually #5 will be arriving tomorrow!) All of mine are factory stock with no mods, and are strung in the traditional order with the smaller strings on top. I've heard of a couple where they were re-nutted for ric-style string order, but always as an aftermarket modification. It would definitely be strange if yours came like that from the factory.

So, I'm curious, Jingle_Jangle- coming from the Ric player side, how do you like the playability on these?
Interesting that it would have the strings in Rick order, and would end up with a guy (me) who is a Rick fan. Even more interesting is that I didn't notice it until I was restringing it post-resto. Duh.

Playability:

Body is between a Rick solidbody (400 or 600 series) and semi-hollow (Rick 300 series) in terms of footprint. Heft is greater than both, due to thickness (about 2") and mostly-solid construction. Neck is a tad wider than a Rick (except for a 660), flatter, and originally had jumbo frets, but I refretted it with smaller frets. Neck is thinner front-to-back than newer Ricks, but close to older ones. Neck feels beefier.

Action is nice and low (my preference) and tension is just right with Ernie .011s.

...which is what I'd say about the whole guitar, as a general impression. Doesn't feel like a Rick solidbody, which are really body-thin and body-light without being too neck-heavy due to shorter scale and proportions. Doesn't feel like any of my Rick semi-hollows, either, with the exception of the WB (double-bound) 12s. It's closest to those in solidity and weight perception. I'll have to weigh 'em all and see where it stacks up.

The Kent Armstrong lipsticks are good for jangle with the Rick string order and playing style. Not Rick-sounding but definitely appropriate. I'm not a fan of humbuckers on 12s, for the most part. Too many harmonics! The phase switch is a big plus to me.

Thanks to everybody for the kind remarks! This one was offbeat and fun.

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by scott_va » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:38 am

I paid $220.00 for it
That sound you hear is my jaw slapping onto the floor. For me, a Surfcaster XII at that price, even in crap shape, would be the find of a lifetime.

But you did a beautiful job with it, and the burst finish really works. Also, after seeing this I don't think I can stand to leave the mono-buttocked spray-can paintjob on my Kapa 12.

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:21 pm

Looks beautiful. As others have said, like two worlds colliding (in a good way).

The 'how does it sound compared to a Ric' question is obvious enough; here's the other obvious question: how does it sound compared to a Danelectro DC12, also with lipsticks? Not that it really matters, given the scarcity of Surfcaster 12s, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's curious.

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by antisymmetric » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:41 pm

UlricvonCatalyst wrote: The 'how does it sound compared to a Ric' question is obvious enough; here's the other obvious question: how does it sound compared to a Danelectro DC12, also with lipsticks? Not that it really matters, given the scarcity of Surfcaster 12s, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's curious.
I found this clip the other day, sounds pretty impressive IMO-
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... fcaster+12

jingle_jangle, do you know the DC resistance of those pickups? I've just fitted some Artecs (4.1 & 4.2kΩ) to my guitar, I also have a Kent Armstrong that I've never tried that's about double those readings- wondering if your guitar sounds like the one in the clip, and whether low or high wind would produce those tones?
Watching the corners turn corners

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:33 pm

antisymmetric wrote: I found this clip the other day, sounds pretty impressive IMO-
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... fcaster+12
Hmmm....kinda hard to glean much from the German (?) guy's demo as he's playing a style of music that sets my teeth on edge and the guitar's going through some sort of stadium rock multi-fx.

Those things were surely invented for the jingle-janglys, not the meedly-meedlys. :wtf:

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by antisymmetric » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:52 pm

True, but there's a bit of cleaner, jingly jangly stuff near the end of the clip. Still sounds a bit processed, but still an indication.
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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by Slogaze » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:12 pm

UlricvonCatalyst wrote: Hmmm....kinda hard to glean much from the German (?) guy's demo as he's playing a style of music that sets my teeth on edge and the guitar's going through some sort of stadium rock multi-fx.

Those things were surely invented for the jingle-janglys, not the meedly-meedlys. :wtf:
yeh totally...check out Grasshopper-Mercury Rev (early...Boces era)
or maybe it wasn't a 12r, i dunno, i think so, but don't quote me on that,
and didn't Belinda Butcher have one too?!
but anyways, they can sound beautiful and piano-y and then
lush with a deep growly grind with full-on chords thru a rat or big muff-
Last edited by Slogaze on Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by SignoftheDragon » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:35 am

UlricvonCatalyst wrote:The 'how does it sound compared to a Ric' question is obvious enough; here's the other obvious question: how does it sound compared to a Danelectro DC12, also with lipsticks? Not that it really matters, given the scarcity of Surfcaster 12s, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's curious.
I'd say that the dano gets reasonably close to the surfcaster's tone- for the price. They lack the heft of the surfys, and I think the tone is a little weedier as a result. The Surfcaster's got more guts if you need them- It'll push some great overdriven and distorted growls through if called upon, something that I wouldn't be confident with from the Danelectros. I would compare their sound closer to Fender's Strat XII- as they don't quite have the chime-y-ness that I'm looking for in a 12. Starting at $300ish though, it would be a good first step or 'dabble once in a while' 12-string. They are well put together and smooth-playing far beyond their price range.


Jingle_Jangle- any chance of seeing pics of the blueburst pics from before the decision to go sunburst? I'd just like to see it to calm my imagination down.

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by jingle_jangle » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:59 am

I didn't do any pics of the Blueburst, fortunately. They would have set your teeth on edge, though. I took one look and decided that the old girl needed NOT to look like a Huntington Beach Whooer, so it was sand it off and rethink. When it was blueburst, I shaded the neck to match. Baaad idea. Vomitous. The combo now gives it presence, nostalgic vibe, and like that.

The Armstrong lipsticks are hotter than stock Danos. I haven't measured these, though. Maybe next time it's apart--if ever. Right now it's just hangin' out.

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by Slogaze » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:26 am

SignoftheDragon wrote: They lack the heft of the surfys, and I think the tone is a little weedier as a result. The Surfcaster's got more guts if you need them- It'll push some great overdriven and distorted growls through if called upon, something that I wouldn't be confident with from the Danelectros. I would compare their sound closer to Fender's Strat XII- as they don't quite have the chime-y-ness that I'm looking for in a 12. Starting at $300ish though, it would be a good first step or 'dabble once in a while' 12-string. They are well put together and smooth-playing far beyond their price range.
+1
yeh...totally! SignoftheDragon's got it in a nutshell

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by Slogaze » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:33 am

jingle_jangle wrote: The Armstrong lipsticks are hotter than stock Danos. I haven't measured these, though. Maybe next time it's apart--if ever. Right now it's just hangin' out.
mmm, that's interesting- would love to hear the outcome of the difference between the 2 types.

whilst we're on the subject- in comparison - have any of you ever tried/heard one of these, in real life that is, not youtube ( ;D !) ?
Squier Venus XII,
Image
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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by scott_va » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:37 pm

Don't ask questions, just snarf it while you can. :)

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Re: 1991 CHARVEL SURFCASTER 12

Post by SignoftheDragon » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:41 pm

Slogaze wrote:
jingle_jangle wrote: The Armstrong lipsticks are hotter than stock Danos. I haven't measured these, though. Maybe next time it's apart--if ever. Right now it's just hangin' out.
mmm, that's interesting- would love to hear the outcome of the difference between the 2 types.

whilst we're on the subject- in comparison - have any of you ever tried/heard one of these, in real life that is, not youtube ( ;D !) ?
Squier Venus XII, it's in the local free-ads
Image
Pick it up if it's under $400. They usually go for around $500 on eBay, so you could turn it around if you find it not to your liking.

I played the 6-string version of this when it came out, trying to decide if I wanted to order it in as a 12. felt, played, and sounded terrible so I didn't bother. I'm sure with a proper setup it could be passable, but MAN that thing sucked. Felt... cheap is the only way to describe it.

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