Head to head
And the finest versatile solidbody of them all is...
With its round-up rivals each drawing inspiration from its design (to some degree), the Stratocaster Deluxe is a logical place to start any comparison. Like the Charvel, it is carved from alder, assembled in Mexico and shares a headstock profile. Also like the Charvel, it is a little different. The Deluxe’s pickup configuration isn’t so avant garde: think Adrian Smith, Iron Maiden – but with the coil-split it lets you have it both ways. With the neck or middle pickups selected you’ll find classic Stratocaster tones – mother’s milk to those who spend their playing time working the blues and pentatonic scales. The bridge single coil is all American trebly snap; with the humbucker, it bulks up nicely for classic rock and metal. While the Stratocaster Deluxe feels and sounds oldschool the Charvel is an 80s design that’s still ahead of its time. Its svelte, ergonomically forgiving neck, anointed with a urethane gel finish, is seriously quick, the T-style body perfectly balanced. The power in its pickups effortlessly accommodates huge metal riffs and pyrotechnic leads, but when you strip back that tonal bulk via the coil-split the Charvel sharpens up, all bright and punchy. It’s a trick the Schecter Banshee-6 Extreme knows well. The Banshee’s bridge humbucker is similarly at home with high-gain but via a coil-split it can be turned into an all-single coil electric. Its mahogany body with maple top gives it a little more warmth and thickness than its rivals’ tone, while it gives the Charvel a run for its money with regards shredability. The Pacifica has more of a classic feel but, at every price point, the Pacifica is a lot of fun to play, and this is definitely no exception. The Custom 5 pickup in the bridge is hot, harmonically rich, and a great foil for the soapbar single coil in the neck. Like the Stratocaster Deluxe, its stable vibrato and locking tuners is a set up that offers fuss-free wobble.
At every price point the pacifica is a lot of fun to play, and this is no exception
Harmonically-rich tones fromtheCustom5pickup
Charvelpickupssuit big metal riffs