Price paid: £ 499
Purchased from: Machinehead, Hitchin
Features: I'm entirely sure what year this guitar was made. The guitar was much in China (which filled me with fear) and set up in the States, the fairly standard east Asia/USA shuffle which Schecter are famous for.
- 24 jumbo frets
- Quilted maple top
- Mahogany body and neck in a bolt-on configuration with a rosewood fretboard.
- Apocalypse finish with stressed chrome fixtures
- Superstrat style body with a string thru bridge
- Passive Schecter Alnico + pups
- Coil taps
- 2 Tone, 1 volume and 5 way pickup selector on the body
- Non locking Schecter tuners
I nearly didn't buy this guitar but just couldn't resist once I'd tested the coil taps. Otherwise, fairly standard for the price range. // 7
Sound: Recently I've been playing alot of Steve Vai's back catalogue and jamming out nothing but scales and music theory noodling. In general I'm likely to play thrash and heavier. I also needed a guitar which could scratch the Pink Floyd itch whenever it came up.
I'm running this guitar through a Marshall VS100 at the moment as I'm between amps. Should be running it through a either a Spider Valve MKII or Blackstar Stage 60 within the month. The sounds I can get with this combination are limited due to the nature of the amp. I can say however that the pickups get dirty pretty easily and the coil tapped clean sound is pretty special with a bit of reverb. I've been using the amp with a Boss MT-2 which is just near awful. Admittedly I recently reached an age where I realised I could dial back the gain on the pedal and that has helped a fair bit sound-wise.
Disregarding all that I have played the guitar through some good quality tube amps and am surprised by the breadth of sounds it can achieve. It's not going to rival much above its price range but in it's price range I can't see much else that can compare. The pickups are rich and quiet and harmonics come out nicely. The string thru body gives it great sustain as well. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up fantastically in terms of action and the finish was very nice. It took a pretty nasty fall yesterday due a post coital spasm, it did more damage to the wall than the wall did to it. The pups were adjusted fairly well with the pickup covers being a bit loose. This is minor but I like everything to be solid.
The must frustrating thing was a constant and incessant buzzing on the the G string. It had nothing to do with the action and typing buzzing G string into google supplied some particularly exciting responses. After much frustration I found that the tuning peg was loose, easy fix. This may have been an easy fix but in the hands on someone a little less experienced this could have been an ongoing problem. // 6
Reliability & Durability: The guitar once reset is pretty much spot on for what I payed. The guitar would definitely withstand live playing. It keeps tune well once set up correctly and the hardware seems decent. The strap buttons are solid as a rock but I wouldn't trust strap buttons in general for live playing.
I wouldn't depend on it without a back-up purely because, despite fixing the issues on set-up, the fact that they were there leads me to believe that minor problems will surface. // 7
Impression: The guitar is fairly diverse thanks to the coil taps and I never feel that I'm missing anything other than a tremolo. I've been playing for about 10 years and for the price I'm impressed. The neck especially is delicious. Jumbo frets with a nice slim(ish) neck just screams HOT lead. It's not quite as fast as an wizard neck but it's close while still keeping the mahogany flare.
If it were lost or stolen I would go straight for the C-1 Classic without a second thought. Unless they put a Hellraiser FR in front of it, then I'd have a question to answer.
I love the guitar for the price but even now I have some doubts about how long I'm going to love it. I compared this guitar an RG prestige that was set up by a someone without fingers. Not much of a comparison, I would have liked to play the Classic and a range of Jacksons first but unfortunately couldn't. Great for the money as long as you own a basic set of tools. // 7