C-1 Blackjack EX
jpnyc, on january 04, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 399
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: I got this guitar because I've started playing again after taking extended time away from the guitar. I like to tune WAY down and don't want to deal with setups on standard guitars so I just use this and step up with a capo. The guitar usually sells for around $700 but I got a crazy deal due to xmas and Schecter changing its lineup.
The C-1 are Schecter's Strat derivatives. This guitar is LOADED for what it costs. Mahogany body with a maple set neck, smooth locking tuners, a graphite nut, tappable passive Seymour Duncan pickups, string-thru body with a Tonepros bridge. All the pearl and abalone inlays on top of the hardware make it worth the money just to look at.
The only weak feature is the manual. I got mine from the Schecter online support (the store had not kept it) and there isn't a specific manual for the EX model. Given how little information is available about Baritone guitars this one really needs to come with a special manual just to answer obvious questions. // 9
Sound: The Blackjack EX is an incredible sound machine. The wood and construction give it a thick, warm, molasses tone. It sound great clean, although you have to turn the volume down because these pickups are HOT. Pull up the tone knob and you get a sweet sparkly single-coil sound that's perfect for jazz, blues, or country. Add some fuzz and it's great for deep renditions of classic rock.
Open up the volume, apply some gain and the Blackjack EX roars like a beast from the pits of hell. If you want to play downtuned heavy music this guitar makes a great weapon of choice. But be aware that you'll have to EQ it very differently; you can't just plug it into an amp that's configured for a standard guitar. Use it with a modeling amp and give it its own preset channel or buy an EQ pedal to make life easy.
You can have a lot of fun playing with the hot pickups and heavy strings. They open up all kinds of options for playing with percussive muting and scraping with the pick. The downside is that you'll have to tweak the EQ to hide flaws in your technique when you rock out, but that's not hard if you just let the midrange muffle it. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: Schecter inspects and does setups in the USA. This guitar came with a perfect setup for the strings it came with (D'Addario), although it probably had some help from the store floor staff as this was used on the floor in GC. The action is as low as it's going to get with no buzz, not even with the sixth string at the twenty-fourth fret.
The craftsmanship is excellent. The finish is perfect, the pegs and knobs work smoothly, every fret is flush with the neck, the nut is just right, etc. It's one of those guitars that just feels lovingly crafted. When you play it you play better not because it's no good but because it just makes you care more. It's hard to believe it came out of Korea and not the USA or Japan. // 10
Reliability & Durability: The excellent craftsmanship and quality parts should make this guitar hold up to some really nasty treatment. You could gig without a backup. The clearcloat is pretty thickif you use this guitar enough to wear it down, you're a professional and can afford to replace it. // 10
Overall Impression: If you want to play Baritone, this guitar is a great option at a nice price. If you find one on sale jump on it. // 10
C-1 Blackjack EX
unregistered, on november 23, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 420
Purchased from: Rattle and Drum music
Features: I bought this guitar second hand, and it has great features for the price paid. It features a strat-style solid mahogany body with a set-in 24 fret maple neck. This guitar is a baritone, so naturally has a long scale neck to retain clarity when drop tuning. The neck joint is Schecter's Ultra access heel, which makes playing right at the top of the neck a breeze. The finish is gloss black, which looks great and contrasts well with the cream binding. It also features dark pearl dot inlays, Grover non-locking tuners, a tonepros bridge, 1 volume and 1 tone control, a 5-way selector switch, (coil split) a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker at the bridge and a Seymour Duncan 59' at the neck. // 10
Sound: I use this guitar with a 90's Peavey Bandit 112 (which I'm soon Marshall TSL 602) and a Dunlop Cry Baby wah, with no other effects.
I play in a covers band wich plays anything and everything from Snow Patrol to Green Day to Guns N Roses, and I myself prefer things in the classic rock/hard rock vein, aswell as blues, and whatever else takes my interest. This guitar handles them all pretty well, some better than others.
The JB humbucker is fantastic for overdrive, it has Crunch, bite and sizzle wich combines with the Mahogany body for a powerful tone with great sustain. Some say this pickup is slightly messy sounding due to the highoutput, but I find it easy to produce a tight overdriven sound, great for palm muted riffs. It can do classic rock crunch, but can also growl nicely a la GNR. Its also easy to get a decent metal tone out of it if you tweak the settings. However, the JB's clean tone is quite harsh, and lacks real character, although the singlecoil bridge position sounds better for clean.
The 59' Humbucker has a thick, warm sound best suited to classic rock and cleans up nicely for blues. It does sometimes sound slightly wooly, but this can be helped if you tweak the settings. I suspect this also is largely because of the Peavey I'm currently using it with. The clean tone is beautiful, clear, glassy and smooth, probably my favourite clean sound from this guitar. The neck singlecoil position has an almost acoustic quality, with a nice twang when you dig in, very responsive to dynamics. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: I really have no complaints on this front. It was serviced and set up by the shop I bought it from, with no problems at all really. The action was great, just how I like it, and all the frets were nicely filed. There are no imperfections in the finish other than the light scratches, buckle rash etc from the previous owner. // 10
Reliability & Durability: This guitar will, and has withstood the test of live playing. I've used it for several different gigs/performances and it hasn't let me down yet. All the hardware seems solid, and built to last. The only sign of wear is the black finish on the hardware, which has begun to rub away, particularly on the bridge, but this is just cosmetic. The strap buttons are also rock solid, but I still like to give everything a routine tighten up before every gig though. The finish also seems like it will last, I estimate it will be years for the finish starts to wear away. I have gigged this guitar without a backup, and will do again, as I have no other giggable guitar. Overall, I'm confident in this instrument. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall, this is a great guitar for the price I paid, it does everything I ask from it, although I may consider swapping out the neck pickup. My favourite features are the killer playability and great sounds, although some areas of its tone could be better. If it were lost or stolen, I don't think I'd get this guitar again, simply because they're no longer in production and therefore difficult to get hold of. Originally, I planned on a Fender Blacktop Strat, but eventually settled on this guitar because of the killer spec and great price. // 9