History of the Charvette Brand
Charvette was a trademark used on Korean made guitars in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the Jackson/Charvel Company. In 1985 the International Music Corporation of Fort Worth, Texas (IMC) had acquired a major interest in the Charvel/Jackson Company, and began dedicating more time and interest in the higher end guitar market. The Charvette brand was introduced to cover the budget end of the market.
IMC had plenty of experience in the import and marketing of budget Korean instruments with their own budget brand Hondo. The Hondo brand went into mothballs around the same time as the Charvette brand was introduced.
The name itself is a blend of Charvel and the French suffix "-ette" which is used to form nouns meaning a smaller form of something. Thus Charvette is meant to convey a smaller or lesser Charvel.
According to the United States Trademarks and Patents Office records the "Charvette" trademark was first used commercially by Jackson/Charvel on the 27th of October 1988 and by 1990s there was a full range of Charvette electrics as well as acoustic guitars and bass models.
Charvettes were powered by Charvel pickups and some models were equipped with the same hardware used on Jacksons costing several times the price of a Charvette.
As the popularity of the super-strat style of guitar began to wane in the 1990s, IMC started to use the Charvel name on lower quality instruments, trying to compete on price rather than quality. With the introduction of these Korean made Charvels the Charvette trademark became increaslingly pointless and by 1993 IMC had stopped using it.
The United States Trademarks and Patents Office assigned the "Charvette" trademark as dead in 2001, having been unused for a number of years.