rich menga books search contact

***Secret FSR Fender guitars? Yes, they exist, and they're right here

Amazon links are affiliated. Learn more.

Japan HSS Strat goodness for cheap - Charvel CX290


Early '90s HSS Strat style goodness for cheap, and it was made in Japan.

The Charvel CX290 is a guitar that existed from 1992 to 1995. The body is basswood, and yes the pickups in most of them are Jackson branded, so if you see a Jackson logo on the pickup covers, that does not mean the pickups were swapped out. The exact pickups used in most were the Jackson J-55 humbucker and two Jackson J-110 single-coils.

CX290 is a fast player with a super-flat 15-inch radius fingerboard, and being this is an early '90s guitar, the fingerboard material is real rosewood.

The electronics are simple. 5-way selector with no push/pull anything, with output jack on the side.

For some, this is a fantastic "mild Super Strat". You've got the 25.5" scale length with a bolt-on neck with flat fingerboard, and very easy traditional style bridge/tremolo system. Also note that you only get 2 knobs for volume and tone. The volume knob has been thoughtfully placed, as it is lower and away from the bridge side pickup compared to a Fender or Squier Strat.

Some CX290 guitars can be found with "no-holes" pickup covers, which just look cool. But the ones with the exposed poles also look great, especially now with the aged plastics that have darkened over time to a nice darker cream color.

How's the tone? Think of it as Strat-like with some boost from the humbucker. On the single-coil-only positions, yes the Strat "quack" is there. On the humbucker, it rocks out like it's supposed to. No surprises here.

Does the volume do the drop-off-a-cliff thing when switching from humbucker to single-coil? Unknown, but it's safe to assume that's a yes, as this is well before the days of balanced volume outputs on guitars with HSS electronics.

The CX290 is a great buy for cheap money.

If you don't feel like dealing with an old guitar, the modern equivalent of this is the Yamaha Pacifica.

Best ZOOM R8 tutorial book
highly rated, get recording quick!

Popular Posts
Recent Posts