Review: Charvel Angel Vivaldi Signature DK24-7 Nova

Charvel adds another string to its bow with a signature seven-string for an American prog-metal virtuoso.

Review Overview

Our rating


Our verdict

If extended-range instrumental metal is your bag, this flamboyant rock machine is well worth investigating.

Charvel recently welcomed metal-fusion shredder Angel Vivaldi into its ultra-exclusive artist fold. For those not familiar with him, Vivaldi’s chops are as striking as the bling-tastic green and gold seven-string behemoth that bears his signature. But does it sound as sharp as it – or indeed he – looks?

Shred is the order of the day with Mr Vivaldi’s musical stylings, so it comes as no surprise that the DK24-7 Nova’s design caters for that style. As with the whole of the DK series, it features the slim sculpted heel that first introduced itself on the Guthrie Govan signature model, aiming to provide freedom of access to the upper frets. The Nova, however, has taken things one step further by sculpting the lower horn to such a degree that it’s almost possible to play barre chords on the 22nd fret!

Charvel Angel Vivaldi
The 24-fret maple fingerboard has cascading black dot inlays, a 12-16-inch compound radius and practically unrestricted access.

An earlier (likely Custom Shop) version of the Nova with which Angel is often pictured features a Floyd Rose, but for the production model, a custom seven-string Gotoh 510 vibrato is preferred. Those who have used the six-string version of this bridge will testify to it being ultra-stable and very expressive and in this reviewer’s opinion, it’s one of the very best units of its type on the market. We are pleased to discover that the seven-string version is equally reliable and a much-needed addition to the very small number of non-locking seven-string vibrato systems currently available.

In use

Even as far back as the pointy headstocked 1980s, you knew if you bought a Charvel, you’d be getting a sumptuous-feeling, perfectly shaped neck. This neck on the Nova isn’t your typical Charvel, however – and initially, it seems to have more in common with Ibanez designs of the 1980s.

Charvel Angel Vivaldi
The reverse headstock has gold Charvel die-cast locking tuners.

That’s because it’s slim – very slim. Even from a technical player’s viewpoint, we’re a little sceptical as to the advantages of super-slim neck, but after spending some time with this guitar we begin to see the logic behind the carve. When playing wide stretches or scalic lines, your thumb falls naturally behind the neck into the optimal position.

The DiMarzio Air Norton humbucker came to prominence on the early incarnations of the Music Man John Petrucci signature and as such, they are much lauded when it comes to complementing basswood bodies. Due to the Petrucci association, these units always surprise us when they reveal themselves to have a lower output than we anticipate.

Charvel Angel Vivaldi
The pickups are a pair of DiMarzio Air Norton 7 (neck and bridge) with gold covers and versatile switching options.

Consequently, the Nova covers a lot of stylistic ground, from blues rock to prog metal and the guitar offers a wonderful clarity when playing open chords and a dynamic responsiveness for single-note lines. We’re big fans of these pickups.

While it proves to be a versatile guitar, as you might expect, the DK24-7 Nova really excels at high-octane metal and technical styles. It should be considered a worthy competitor to the EBMM seven-string models, though you may require sunglasses when you reach for this Charvel.

Key Features

  • PRICE £1,139
  • DESCRIPTION Solidbody double-cutaway electric 7-string guitar. Made in Korea
  • BUILD Basswood body, bolt-on maple neck with graphite reinforcement, reverse headstock, maple fingerboard with cascading black dot inlays and 12-16″ compound radius, 24 jumbo frets
  • HARDWARE Gold Gotoh Custom 7-String 510 vibrato bridge, Charvel die-cast locking tuners
  • ELECTRONICS DiMarzio Air Norton 7 (neck and bridge) with gold covers, volume, tone, 5-way blade pickup selector switch (bridge, both inside coils, bridge and neck, full neck pickup in parallel, full neck humbucker)
  • SCALE LENGTH 25.5″/648mm
  • NECK DEPTH 19.4mm at 1st fret; 20.8mm at 12th fret
  • NECK WIDTH 48.3 mm at nut; 60.9 mm at 12th fret
  • STRING SPACING 64.5mm at bridge; 42.1mm at nut
  • WEIGHT 3.6kg/7.9lb
  • FINISH Satin Sage Green only
  • CONTACT Fender EMEA charvel.com

Like this? Try these

Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR £1,049, Sterling By Music Man JP70 John Petrucci Signature £768, Ibanez UV70P £1,159

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