1980s Charvel San Dimas (Red, Modified)

Gary received this guitar sometime in the early 1980s together with another white Charvel, both of which were modified later on by his guitar tech Keith Page.

The red guitar in its original state was a Stratocaster replica with three single-coil pickups with an addition of a Floyd Rose tremolo and a locking nut.

Bottom row, second from the right side. The guitar right next to it, the white Charvel, was also modified with an EMG pickup at some point.

Sometime in 1985 Gary’s guitar tech took out the three single pickups and installed a single EMG 81 in the bridge position. The pickguard was of course also replaced to feature a single cutout above the humbucker cavity, while the empty neck pickup cavity was likely used to house a 9V battery for the EMG pickup.

Gary used this guitar from around 1986 to 1989, although he did seem to prefer the white one since he used it more often.


GroundGuitar counts on your criticism and feedback. In case you notice anything wrong with the information posted on this page, or you have knowledge of something that you would like to share, be sure to leave a comment below.

In case you want to talk to me directly and privately, please use the Contact Form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. (Dan)

Notify of
1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

There’s a bit of discrepancy regardin the EMG pickup used in the white and red Charvels. Apparently, started with a EMG 58 (not 85) which was EMG’s take on an active P90 and eventually put a quieter 81 in one of them (I believe the white one). Then, he fitted an 81 in the bridge of his signature heritage and a PJ Marx on the neck. I understand that he also fitted EMGs on the bridge positions of his two PRS and never used the neck pickups live due to the output difference ( I guess they must have been 81s in this case because the 58 is only a bit louder than a passive).

Great page btw. Thanks for the hard work compiling all this info. I’m loving it! :)