Features: Made in the USA some time in 2011 this Schecter Solo-Vintage features a 24.75" scale 3 piece mahogany set-neck with rosewood fingerboard. Adorning the fretboard is 22 medium frets, cream dot inlays and a cream binding with black side dot inlays. On the head stock is a set of Grover tuners, what appears to be a black tusq nut, 5 lines of binding alternating (cream-black-cream-black-cream) and the Schecter name and "S" logo showing strong on the head. The body is a solid block of mahogany cut in the edgy Les Paul shape that Schecter has given their Solo series of guitar. Also like the head stock, it features an alternating cream-black binding to match.
The guitar comes in either See-through Cherry, Black or a two tone Sunburst Finish. Though the pictures online typically will not show much of the back of the guitar I can personally testify that at least for the Sunburst finish the burst is made to match on the front, back, neck and rear end of the headstock. Something I see a lot of companies cheating out on and instead just giving their guitars a solid black back side.
Something that is probably a main attraction to people wanting this guitar is it's Bigsby bridge set up. I know most of you will probably be thinking "Hey, how well does it stay in tune?" and I am glad you asked. Having done multiple live shows already with this guitar I am glad to say if your not doing anything fancy while playing this guitar will stay in tune as long as you do. Now say you want to do some crazy bends and sporadic use of the bigsby bar, the Solo-vintage will take what ever you thow at it and still be playable for the next song, though I would never advise passing up a chance to tune any instrument on stage between songs if you can.
Moving on to the pickups the guitar features Duncan Designed HB-102 in the bridge, being modeled after the SH-4 JB pickup, and FG-101 in the neck, which I am sure they will not want say but is defiantly modeled to emulate those classic TV Jones rockabilly sounds made famous by Brian Setzer. In addition both of the pickups are wired to allow for coil-splitting via the push/pull tone knob.
Speaking of controls, this guitar has a 3 way switch traditional of any dual humbucker Les Paul style guitar. Two volume knobs that are relatively independent of each other and a single tone knob between the two, which as stated earlier also functions as the coil splitting inducer.
Though It did not come with this I will recommend that anyone buying the guitar also get the case Schecter makes for it. The last thing I would want is someone to buy a guitar like this and have it ruined because their case was not made to accommodate for a bigsby bridge. It will add to the price, I got mine for $150, but the added comfort that this gem of a guitar is being well protected is well worth the extra price.
All in all I have to say for me personally Schecter has outdone themselves in outfitting this guitar. The only thing that I could possibly say would be room for improvement is individual tone knobs that feature coil-splitters for each one's attributed pickup but this is really such a small thing that it is understandable to have been left out of the design. // 10
Sound: So I am sure after reading all I wrote about what this guitar has to offer build wise all of you are screaming "But how does it sound?" Look no further because you are about to find your answer. So far this guitar has played through many different amps. A Marshall JCM 900 head with a matching Marshall speaker, a Fender Deluxe Chorus 75 watt, a Crate FR15R, and a Line 6 Spider IV. In all cases this guitar has sang strong and beautiful.
Starting with the neck pickup, when I first got this guitar and it's strings were still fresh the sounds that came out of the neck pickup were so pure and defined that I would have put it up against any guitar competing for the same sounds and have not been surprised if the Schecter Solo-Vintage would come out on top. Now that the strings have aged more though the tone is not unexpectedly diminished but is by no means out the same competition discussed prior. The sounds that the neck pickup of this guitar are so good as is that I would say there is no need to change them unless they were to die out and stop sending signal.
As for the bridge pickup, this is your generic rock and roll tone bridge pickup, though generic in this case is not to say bad. On the contrary this pickup is amazing at recreating classic tones from nearly any genre. It may be generic in nature but in function it is amazing at what it aims to do, and what it aim's to do is pretty much everything. I've used this pickup for Grungy rhythm's, Funky chord progressions, Over driven Metal Leads, and Slow Soulful Blues improvisations. Heck, put it in the right hands and I am sure people will be able to find sounds that no one knew existed before.
Though I can't say much on how the guitar sounds for country not having played any myself I can tell you something is magic about this guitar even in that genre because once when I left it with a trusted country loving friend for about half an hour while I had to go help someone, I came back to him literally begging me to sell the guitar because how much he liked the sounds.
Obviously there are things that this guitar can't to, like any guitar, but for how much it can do extremely well I would say it is well worth the $800. For anyone wanting to move up from their first electric into the world of higher end guitars or even anyone already there wanting to add something to their collection, this guitar has something to offer you that you won't regret buying it for. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: As hinted at earlier I got this guitar In the Sunburst finish, and I can't say how good of a job they did on it. In fact I know that the pickguard is there partially to protect the finish but sometimes I really wish it was not there just so I could see the full burst on the top of the guitar. Now something I didn't say about the finish earlier is just how glossy it is. This guitar shines in the moonlight let alone day or concert lighting so just remember to keep a rag or something around to clean fingerprints once in a while as they will build up.
When it comes to the action of the guitar, coming from the factory I would have to say they put the action about as low as they could go for the guitar and though it may sound like an understatement those of you who like low strings may be pleasantly surprised when you get your very own Schecter Solo-Vintage.
As for flaws, when the guitar first got to me there was only one notable case of a flaw and that would be a slight scratch on the back of the neck near the fret board under fret two. Though without harsh lighting on the neck it is near impossible to see. None the less this small spot on the other wise perfectly cut and painted guitar does not affect playing in anyway and could be seen as negligible.
The only other thing that I think should be included here as part of "Finish" is the branding on the head stock. I am not sure why but Schecter's design team made this odd plastic like emblem that appears as though they just glued on the headstock rather than a traditional inlay or painted on logo. For all the work they obviously put into this guitar I don't see why they took this cheap logo route as it is an obvious concern with the guitar that I am yet to meet someone who thinks it looks good on the headstock.
As such I can't give the guitar a perfect score here just because there is no good reason that they should over look a simple design flaw as putting a dull piece of plastic over a shiny black headstock for their logo. // 8
Reliability & Durability: So now that we got past how the guitar sounds and looks it is only reasonable to say how well it holds up for actually playing the thing. Having played with it multiple times live so far I have to say it does a really good job. Though I do have a back up guitar every time I go up I am glad to say I have never had to resort to using it. The guitar as stated earlier stays in tune really well, the strap buttons have not failed me, though do require tightening from time to time, and playing it is really a dream on stage for me as it always just has that "feel good" vibe radiating from it.
Seeing as I have not had to use a backup any time I have gone up yet I would say no you don't need one when playing live with this guitar. That said though if you do want a backup your going to need a pretty good backup to take this guitars place. // 10
Overall Impression: All things considered this guitar has been something of a hidden gem to me as it is such an amazing deal yet I have never heard or seen one prior to actually buying it. The impression that this guitar left on me is obviously great as the guitar convinced me to write a review as there is a lack of them online at the moment for this guitar.
If this guitar were to become no longer in my possession than I would defiantly say I'd get another but whether the replacement would be able to give me the same feelings as the guitar I have now may be best left to question.
As for wishes for this guitar. All I could possibly add is another tone knob and maybe a Hollow body version. Had those been added to the features of the guitar already in place I would have paid any obscene amount as that would be the guitar I have been looking for since I started playing. // 10