Damien Elite-7 Review

manufacturer: Schecter date: 07/13/2015 category: Electric Guitars
Schecter: Damien Elite-7
This is a 10 guitar. It is a lefty model, 7 strings, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were one of the first leftys of this model to roll off the line.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.3
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (2) 28 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.2
Damien Elite-7 Reviewed by: beneharris, on february 23, 2010
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 549

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is a 10 guitar. It is a lefty model, 7 strings, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were one of the first leftys of this model to roll off the line. I did order it mid January. The guitar was made in South Korea. It has 24 x-jumbo frets, and when i bought the guitar, it was advertised to me as a 26.5" scale, but now on Shecter's website, it claims it is a 25.5". It is a Mahogany body, with a quilted maple top, and a maple fretboard. The fret inlays are a "stained cross" basically just the gothic cross look. It comes with Grover tuners, which work well. They keep in tune very well, and they don't turn easily. You have to deliberately move them, so bumping them on the wall, or your desk will not turn them and get you out of tune. The finish on this guitar is very nice. it is a crimson red. You can tell that is not just something painted on there, it is actual stained wood, and it looks VERY nice. The only problem I notice with it is things show up easily on it, like finger prints and such. There is not necessarily anything wrong with that, it just takes more upkeep to make look nice. I believe this is the first year that Schecter has put the EMG 81/85-7 combo (active) in their guitars. I have to say, that it sounds really well with them in it. There is a string-thru body construction on this. I have the model without the Floyd Rose, just a normal bridge. There are 2 knobs, and 1 three-way switch. One knob for volume, one for tone. Nice and simple. There was not much in the way of extras that came with the guitar. There was a cord, but it couldn't have been more than 3 feet long. It sucked so bad that actually I forgot it on the bench at guitar center. Woops. // 8

Sound: This is definitely a metal guitar. No butts about it. The wood used gives a nice resonance when that you can hear when the guitar is not plugged in. This guitar is a screamer for sure, because these pickups are hot. It is hot enough in fact, that I am going to need to work on the cleanliness of my playing. With the 81/85's it sounds about how you would expect it to. They are nice pickups. With gain pumped way up, it does not get overly muddy, and on clean, it is very clear. I prefer the sound from the neck pickup on clean, because the bridge is really bright. It is like that even on a 6 string i have with the same pickups. Say what you will about EMG's products, but they are famous for a reason. They do a great job with clarity. The bottom string sounds just as clear as your bottom "E" string does, and that's a good thing. Even in drop tunings, the bottom string still rings clear. It starts to muddy up in heavy power chords and such of course, but it does a great job of minimizing that. I can get a good variety of sounds depending on which amp settings I am using. It will do lots of nice squeals, even on the higher strings and frets, and i can get lots of great ones on the low "B" string also. I am running through a Line 6 Spider IV 15 watt, or a Crate GLX121 120 watt. Both are solid state. There is definitely a noticeable difference between my Jackson with the same pickups (6 string) and this one. I would say that more than anything, this can be attributed to the wood types used. So basically, with the pickups, everything you expect from the 6 string versions, comes through in the 7 string versions. I would say they are a step above the EMG 707's. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I would say that the factory setup was good when I got it. The biggest problem I had with it was that they used giant string gauges right out of the box. I have never played with a string size this big, and I do not know why anybody would want to. I do not know which strings were put on here from the factory, so they could be junk. I kind of feel that for a 550 dollar guitar, they can afford to put quality strings on when they ship it out. But other than that, the action was fine, I adjusted it for my personal preference, but it was definitely playable when I pulled it out of the box. There is no real fret buzz or any extraneous noise to be worried about. The pickups were adjusted just right, I probably could not have set them up better myself. There were no flaws with this when it came to me. The finish is flawless, no marks or dents; even on the neck. Everything looks like it was set up carefully, and it was shipped carefully to keep it that way. Even the screws holding the body cavities closed were on tight. So props to them for attention to detail on this one. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is HEAVY. I can tell that it is built with quality wood because of that. The body and neck are balanced well, so you do not have any of that tipping when its on a strap, which is great. Speaking of strap, the strap buttons seem very nice, they do not allow much slippage of the strap, but I will be putting strap locks on eventually anyway, but it is not because of a defect of the stock ones. This will withstand live playing. I would probably gig without a backup too. Only because this is definitely built well, and strong, so if something goes wrong with it, it is because I was not taking good care of it, not because of a design flaw. The finish is not going anywhere. The clear layer on top might wear down, and lose some lustre, but the actual finish of the guitar is stained into the wood, so it will probably look very nice in a few years down the road. // 9

Overall Impression: I play metal, and this guitar is perfect for that. I can do Dream Theater, Trivium (yeah, yeah), Nevermore, and things like that. It suits all of those bands very well. You can play clean stuff with this guitar. It is not a replacement for an acoustic of course, but the cleans are just fine, and will work with that type of music if you really want it to. There are guitars better suited for that sort of music out there, but this one is not aimed towards that. I would say that the biggest problem I have with this guitar is the body cutaway. They obviously did not design it with a person with big hands in mind, because my fingers are scrunched up at the 24th fret. It is still playable, it will just take some adjusting, and from the amount of playing I have done with it so far, I believe that it will be enough adjusting to where my playing will suffer until I can get used to it. I think that if your going to throw 24 frets on a guitar like this, then there needs to be a cutaway that everybody can use easily, plus it looks cooler that way. If I were to lose or get this guitar stolen, I would replace it, assuming that my price range was still the same, and all that. Hands down this is a good guitar for the price, and I would recommend it for sure. // 8

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overall: 9.8
Damien Elite-7 Reviewed by: Xelorh, on november 24, 2010
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 549.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I picked this little Beast up at my local guitar center... and I must say.. OMFG! This sucker is the sexiest seven string I own! The gothic cross inlays are gorgeous along with the metallic black finish. The maple neck is smoother than a tube of KY! The best thing is that no matter how long or brutally I play it, it NEVER goes out of tune, unless I bump the tuners on accident but yeah. The darn Tune-O-Matic bridge really does its job. I love the EMG 81 and 85 active pickups. Really resonant tone on the low end notes. I recommend putting EMG 707X's on this bad boy though to get the absolute best sound out of this puppy. The jumbo frets are great for power chords and all that shredding stuff you kids love to do. And bend away at that G-string, for it shall not untune! I also really like the metallic black hardware, leaves a nice finsh. // 10

Sound: I play a lot of metalcore and nu metal so this guitar is a phenomenal addition to my arsanel of axe's. I'm playing through a simple rig; Ibanez TBX150 head through the Ibanez IS412CA cab with it, I have all the knob s turned up :P, and its sounds great to me. It's a very quite guitar due to the fact the innovative genius's at Schecter stocked this baby with active pickups. Has a very full and broad Spectrum of sounds and tones-truly a versitile guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Seeing as Schecter inspects and sets up EVERY, SINGLE, STINKING guitar that comes through them, it was perfect. Tuned up, cleaned up, and ready to shred. Pickups were set up just right and no factory flaws whatsoever. Bridge was good to go. Neck looked a bit dry but all it need was a little massage in lemon oil. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I play in a pretty active band, and I've poured sweat out onto this sucker, and jumped around, and even bumped into things with it, and nothing! Still just like new! None of the hardware's finsh is fading or oxodizing under so thats great. As long as you properly maintain this guitar (i.e. Clean the neck, polish the neck, Shine it up ect..) it'll last forever. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said, I play metalcore and nu metal (sometimes jazz), and it plays like a dream. I've been play for six years now and own 5 other electrics. The first time I saw it I knew by the end of the day one of two things would happen; I would buy that guitar, or I would be in jail for burglery. I compared this guitar to Agile, ESP, and some other brands but I liked this one WAYYYYYYYYY more. The only thing more I wish it had was maybe EMG X's but I can't complain. All in all, an axe truly sent from the heavens. // 10

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overall: 8.6
Damien Elite-7 Reviewed by: wylde1994, on april 16, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 630

Purchased from: Jaywalk Guitars

Features: Made in South Korea and I believe this is a 2010 model. Maple neck with a 24 jumbo frets and a rosewood fretboard with Abalone Gothic cross inlays and a 26.5 scale length. Body/Finish is Mahogany w/Quilted Maple in Crimson Red in the Strat shape. It comes with a Tune-O-Matic bridge and the classic combination of an active EMG 81-7 (N) and 85-7 (B) with a master volume and a master tone with a 3 way toggle switch. Tuners are non-locking mini Grovers. It didn't come with any accessories which is quite annoying, however the nice guys in Jaywalk soughted me out with a nice hard case for this beast. // 7

Sound: This suits my style and taste in music right down to a T. I mainly use this guitar for metal (All the typical stuff Metallica, BFMV, BLS etc) and having recently got into the Djent genre that aswell, so I play a range of stuff from Trivium to TesseracT since both bands use 7 strings this guitar suits those bands very well (Here I will admit I bought a 7 string partially due to influence from both those bands and I wanted to play similar stuff). I use a Marshall MG50 and a Peavey 6505+ 112 with an MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive. The EMG's certainly live up to their rep of being very clear and bright on the clean channel, however I noticed that when I switch to the Neck p/u there is a noticeable increase in volume. I was very surprised at how wide a range of sounds that could be created from this thing through the clean channel on both of my amps. I could use this guitar for Blues or Jazz with the neck p/u and with the bridge I can also get the classic Texas Blues sounds from the likes ZZ Top. Maybe if it had a coil tapp I could get some cool Hendrix sounds from it but I'm not to fussed with that. But its through the overdrive channels on my amps where this guitar starts to shine, I mainly use it for rhythm sections of a song as I myself am a rhythm player (so usually I tend to use the bridge p/u more than the neck) and having the 7th string means that some pretty heavy riffs can be played on this beast. But when I fancy doing the odd solo now and again this guitar can scream like no other IMO. Since I got this guitar I've used it in all kinds of tunings for all kinds of bands like: Sabbath, Black Label Society, Trivium, Slipknot, Metallica etc and it can cope with them easily. I think if this had a coil tap it could very well be one of the most versatile guitars out there. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Prior to buying this guitar I had read a great many reviews on Schecters and was encouraged by the quality of their set-ups before they left the factory. I can safely say mine was almost perfect when I played it for the first time in the shop. Small things like the pick up hight needed slight adjustment, there was hardly any fret buzz and that was due to new strings that needed playing in and it needed a quick tune. All the hardware is solid the machine heads imparticular are excellent, there were no flaws in the finish etc. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've gigged this a couple of times and it holds up fine, the finish is almost Bullet proof, I've knocked it against mic stands, my desk at home and there no dings in the finish at all. If the hardware doesn't last I'll be very surprised, it seems very sturdy and robust and can certainly take a beating. The strap buttons seem to be holding up, since I like to move around a bit on stage I put some Dunlop strap locks on to be safe. Well since this is my only 7 string I have no choice atm but I always have Faith in it. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar is perfect for my playing style and my taste in music. I've been playing for nearly 5 years now and I own: B.C. Rich Warlock NT, Epiphone Les Paul w/Gibson p/u, Dean V, Fender Stratocaster. I can't really compare it to my other guitar because they're all 6 strings but its a nice addition to my collection. If it were stolen I'd either get another one like it or I'd look at the Hellraiser or Blackjack series. Since I was on a bit of a budget when getting this I had to rule both of them out. But for the amount I spent, IMO you really are getting quite a lot of guitar for just over 600. Especially if you compare it to a company like Ibanez. But being a lefty what really drew me to Schecter was the fact that almost all of their guitars are available in left-handed and a small extra cost. My advice is to any lefties out there it you want a good quality 7 string then look no further than the Schecter Damien Elite 7 string... My only wish was that is had a coil tapp option, other than that this guitar is just short of perfect. // 9

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overall: 8.4
Damien Elite-7 Reviewed by: an.interloper, on july 13, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 330

Purchased from: Local shop

Features: My particular model is a 2012 by the serial, made in South Korea, and it's the FR Elite. Specs include a mahogany arched top body with a low-gloss black finish that's got just a hint of a metal fleck to it - very attractive and classy without losing any of its more aggressive appearance while not venturing into the realm of the tacky/gaudy. It's got a 3-piece maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard at a 26.5" extended scale length with 24 XJ frets, and their "stained cross" inlays, which are, again, attractive and not to the point of being overbearing, which some Schecter models are, to my taste. It's got a fretboard radius of 16", and a thickness of .787" (20mm) at the first fret, and .866" (22mm) at the 12th Fret. Neck shape is "thin C," and it's topped off at the end with Grover tuners. It comes equipped with two EMG 7-string humbuckers - an 81-7 and 85-7 at the bridge and neck respectively, and a Floyd Rose Special bridge. Simple controls with a three-way switch (Br H, Both H, NH configuration), and master volume and tone knobs. For those into specifics, it's got a two-way adjustable truss rod accessed via the headstock behind the nut, and using a 5/32" (4mm) Allen wrench. 9v battery compartment is located at the rear butt of the instrument. There's a case available and made specifically for the guitar, but it is sold separately and was not something included or sought out in my transaction. It all suits my needs well, but I can't give it a ten because the obvious improvements would be locking tuners, a flamed or quilted top (if that's your thing), and though the inlays aren't horrid, my own preference is for a clean fretboard. // 8

Sound: I play a myriad of genres, but most commonly I'm playing metal/progressive metal, so this suits my needs fine. The EMG set give plenty of bite and percussive quality, though not quite so much punch or clarity as, say, a Bare Knuckle Nailbomb or Aftermath. They're very harsh on your playing, however, and any mistake is amplified due to the nature of the pickups themselves. The pickups are pleasantly silent barring the obvious (nearing a monitor or TV, etc), and the volume/tone are smooth and even in their control of tone. I'm playing through a Peavey XXX 2x12 currently, and I haven't found much need to change, unless I'm going for broke, in which case I'd be magically able to afford a 6505 and a 4x12. However, this amp does the job well enough, and the Schecter compliments it well. Both pickups together give a rounded but clear tone, the neck alone is fat and percussive at mid-gain settings, and clean and thick on the clean channel, depending on your EQ. Generally I find myself muting it a bit by rolling off the tone knob a touch, but that's personal preference, and it does quite well without it. The bridge pickup is classically an EMG 81, but engineered to take the low B's frequencies better. It's a biting pickup, high in the treble, and I actually found myself rolling the highs down on my amp a touch to compensate for it. Though I play primarily progressive metal, this guitar does most genres competently, though it is obviously geared towards metal and harder-edge music. I have little difficulty conjuring up a bluesy overdriven tone or a fat, slappable one, and it shines in a well-rounded clean tone particularly with both pickups active. I wouldn't feel uncomfortable playing most styles of music on this, and I could definitely use it as an all-around when it comes to a seven string guitar. Country might be a stretch, though. Other than that, it's got strengths and weaknesses, but can do sufficiently in most. My only gripe might be that the 81-5 is a bit too abrasive in the higher frequencies for me, and I'm considering swapping a 707 in the bridge to test it out. Otherwise solid. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought the guitar second hand, so the set-up was done before hand at the shop I got it from. They had it a bit high on the action, and the neck was a bit straight for my taste - I prefer a guitar with a little bite-back when I play, and flat-set racetrack necks don't do that for me. All the routings are sound, save for the bridge, which has a small chip out of the corner from what seems like improper care of the bridge during re-stringing, but it could have a tad more room between the edge of the bridge blade and the body itself to safeguard against this. As it sits now, it's a snug fit. The same can be said for the direct-mounted EMGs. They're measured nearly to a paper-thin width from the body, and I'm almost dreading taking them out to swap for a 707. This is the primary reason for the lower score in this category. Fretwork was done nicely - there was no issue with gaps or wire rising out, and one of the first things I did was try to slip a piece of paper under the fretwire to test for smaller nuances in the settling wood, but found none. The neck was dirty, but straight and undamaged, and the body was well cared for. The neck is seated properly in the pocket, and all the electronics are snugly in place. Knob rolling is smooth and easy with a good amount of tightness to prevent that loose sort of motion they get over time, and the bridge was in good condition, made even better after a good cleaning. The pickup selector was clean and quiet, as were the knobs, and once I cleaned and re-seated the jack, it was silent as well. All things expected of setting up a used guitar. // 7

Reliability & Durability: As far as reliability, I'm a bit finicky and paranoid about second-hand gear, so I played on this for probably forty minutes before I even called the salesman back. I spent a good fifteen minutes or so running up and down the neck acoustically before I touched an amp, and the guitar is both well built and resonant. I would take it gigging, and intend to, without hesitation, and the hardware seems to be holding up well and of good quality. As far as gigging without a backup, I'd hold off on it until I've spent much more time with the guitar, and even guitars I've had for upwards of ten years have a backup, so that's not a complete comment on this guitar specifically. The finish seems sturdy enough, but if I'm honest it's the least of my concern. Guitars wear over time - that's part of loving and playing them. The hardware seems as if it'll hold up, however, and I have no concerns about that. I can't give a ten because I haven't gigged with it yet, and so it hasn't been fully fire-tested. // 9

Overall Impression: As a progressive metal player with over ten years of experience, this guitar satisfies all of my needs, and I can honestly say I was floored by it. I expected it to be a decent guitar, and that it would be something I used for a while until I could eventually afford better. The experience, however, is that I enjoy this guitar so much, the next six string I buy will be a Schecter as well, and this is coming from someone who played Ibanez almost exclusively (save for my Strat). Were this guitar stolen or lost, I would absolutely replace it assuming I could find the same model, but my only gripe about it is the tremolo. Not that it's bad. On the contrary, it's quite good. My preference at this point is a hard-tail, and that's what I had set out to buy. This was such a good deal though, and I found that I liked the guitar enough to overlook the trem. In short, this guitar does everything I need without complaint, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it or buy another. This is the only category I'm going to cheese and give a direct 10 to, because it not only blew me away for the price and when compared directly to comparable competitor's models (Ibanez RG/S models, ESP models, Jackson models), but it does exactly what I want without problem. // 10

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