#1
Schecter Hellraiser Special C-8
"The Criminal"




The Backstory
For those who are interested

I've been listening to Meshuggah for years, but for a long time my dream guitar was a BC Rich WMD Warbeast, which was Mahogany made with a nice Floyd Rose, going for around $700. But with not having money, I never bought it. Earlier in 2011, I started getting interested in two handed tapping, and as the year went on I discovered various djent acts like Periphery, Tesseract, and Animals as Leaders, and since then, I've been craving an 8 string. With such a guitar, I'm pretty much limited to choosing between the various Agile models, a few Schecters, and a few ESPs. I ran across the Special C-8, as it had the specs I was really looking for (basically mahogany body, a quilted maple top, and 24 frets), so I became interested.

Later in 2011, I found out the price dropped from $750 to $550 for the see-through black model, and luckily enough, a local Guitar Center store had one in stock! I went to the store 3-4 times to play it every few weeks (through a Mesa/Boogie Double Rectifier too ) until they finally moved it to a hanger near the ceiling. I was pumped and fell in love with the guitar, and decided I would buy it once I got the money together.

Christmas comes around, and I get the money together, through gift cards and otherwise. I use a Christmas coupon code and BAM the guitar is suddenly $450! What a steal! I ordered that sucker and decided I'd rather have it shipped than pick it up in-store, because I had a feeling they would just throw the floor model at me if I picked it up in store. So I chose to ship it to my door (although it saying it was shipping from that store anyways) and I eagerly awaited for it to arrive. However... The store gave me a call the next day. "All we have is the floor model (of course ) and we wanted to know if you'd rather wait for a new one" "Herp derp I want a new one" "Kbye". The case came to my door a few days later, and I sat on my ass and waited, as the store cancelled my order (which seemed fishy...).

A week and a half roll by. I'm curious as to how long I'll be waiting, so I send the store an e-mail when they think it might come in, but I receive something not-so-pleasant in response. They told me they were expecting a shipment from Schecter a few days before Christmas, and it could be coming any day now, so they're not entirely sure when the shipment will arrive. They said they attached the gift cards I used to a support ticket and to call the warehouse to reserve one. Instead, I'm thinking to myself great... Schecter is backordering their shit and noone knows whats going on. Oh well, I'll just wait.

Another week rolls by. I noticed online they had a backorder date, January 13th. Thats not too bad, right? But I grew impatient, so I started e-mailing every store in the country that had the guitar in stock, to see if anyone had one new in box. I recieved many, many replies saying floor model, floor model, floor model... it seemed hopeless, so I just waited. The 13th rolls by, and the backorder date is pushed back to the 20th. The 14th rolls by, and the backorder date is pushed back to the 21st. The 15th rolls by, and the backorder date is pushed back to the 22nd. I'm getting antsy and I finally decide I've had enough, and that I'll just go pick up the damn floor model. After all, it was in great condition and I'm an impatient bastard.

So, I call the store and after some talking they decide since it's already on sale, they can't lower the price anymore. I'm already saving $300 from the original price, so I say **** it, I'm just gonna go pick it up anyways. It's in great condition, so I've got nothing to lose. I get to the store and play it some more through the same beautiful Mesa/Boogie, and I decide I want it. The guy runs through the usual cleaning up and ringing up of the guitar. I had printed out the invoice and told them the gift cards were attached to some support ticket somewhere, and they said alright. They make call after call to corporate Guitar Center trying to get these gift card numbers, and after a nice 45 minutes, they finally get it all situated out and I'm happy because I ruined their day (well worth the lack of discount on the guitar). They throw the guitar at me and I throw it in whatever box they had lying around and cruise an hour to my girlfriend's house to grab the guitar case (it was originally supposed to ship there).

Then, after another hour-or-so drive back home, I get pulled over for speeding. Hence, the name "The Criminal". The officer was nice enough to let me go with a warning

Specifications

  • Mahogany Body
  • Quilted maple top
  • Set 3-piece mahogany neck
  • 26-1/2" scale
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • 24 extra-jumbo frets
  • Graph Tech Tusq nut
  • Pearloid dagger inlays
  • EMG-808 humbuckers
  • Individual volume knobs
  • Tone knob
  • 3-way switch
  • Schecter Hipshot bridge
  • Schecter tuners (larger than usual string holes too, so I've been told)
  • Black chrome hardware
  • D'Addario .074/.064/.052/.042/.030/.017/.013/.010 stock strings
  • Manufactured in South Korea


The only difference between the "Special" C-8 and the "Regular" C-8 is the "Regular" is twice the price, has locking tuners, gothic cross inlays, and abalone binding. Also worth mentioning the Schecter Diamond Series Molded SGR-1C case fits the guitar nicely, for $100 or so.

Sound samples!

I didn't bother changing the strings or messing with the intonation or action, and after messing around for a few hours I put together this:

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/RPGoof/music/all/play1077919

Please don't assume it will sound like this. I'm not 100% happy with the tones, the production, or the pedal used. I'm sure it would sound much better with higher quality equipment.

It starts out with a "djenty" tone I recently dialed in (and some post-EQ), then at 0:46 it cleans up and gets funky. At 1:38 it's completely clean, and I came up with some two handed tapping sloppyness that runs throughout the rest of the song.

I'm running the guitar through a Digitech RP250 using tones I had from before (minus the djenty one) without post-processing (minus the djenty one) and I ran that through an M-Audio Fast Track MKII, straight into my computer. I mixed it with Acoustica Mixcraft 5 and used Superior Drummer's Metal Foundry set. I intended on seeing how the guitar would sound through my Devi Ever Hyperion fuzz box, but for some reason didn't. Oh well

EDIT:
I just recently put together a video with some better tones and such:

http://youtu.be/CVV-HjOYPuE
Last edited by RPGoof at Feb 4, 2012,
#2
Pictures!

Keep in mind this is the floor model, despite it looking brand new

"The Criminal"


Body shot


Sexier body shot


Quilted maple


Le bridge
Last edited by RPGoof at Jan 16, 2012,
#4
A vague idea of the neck thickness


Fret marker detail


I like nuts


The head (I like head too )


The head-ass
Last edited by RPGoof at Jan 16, 2012,
#5
Tuner detail


Note the enlarged hole


The case


The innerds


Yep


Basic impressions/Review

I'm not going to claim I have a wide knowledge of guitars, and I'm not going to claim I know where this guitar stands in relation to other 8 strings (let alone all other guitars) and I've only owned it for a few hours, but I'm going to give my general impressions on a few aspects of the guitar, ala UG's review headers.

Price paid: $ 466 after tax

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound

This guitar has a monstrous sound. I played a few other guitars at Guitar Center after playing this, and the Schecter compared to other guitars is like comparing a Les Paul's heaviness to a strat. It's just balls out, in your face, and punchy. The EMGs are very bright (which I'm amazed by, especially compared to my previous guitar), tight, far from muddy, and are very responsive and hot. I was pretty amazed at the sounds coming out of it too. Recently, I haven't been very happy with my Digitech RP250 multi effects pedal, but after plugging in the Schecter, I'm reconsidering jumping the gun and buying a new DSP. All the tones I had before are alive and fresh. For those looking for a "djent" capable guitar, this one pops well along those lines too. It sounds great with cleans, as well as distortion. Looking forward to seeing how it handles the fuzz! My only disappointment is that I'd like a smoother, mellower neck pickup.

Action, Fit & Finish

I'm not sure I can comment on the factory setup -- it is a floor model and I'm sure the store made some modifications while it was there. However, it's pretty good. The action is extremely low (albeit some fret buzz on the thicker few strings) and makes for effortless two handed tapping. The neck joint feels alright, but reaching the 24th fret on any string isn't totally effortless. I would prefer a neck-thru, but this is probably the best a set neck will ever get (besides the SG, best neck joint ever). The thickness of the neck is good too. Many think Schecter makes baseball bats, but I disagree. I don't have big hands by any means, and I have no problem riffing away with my thumb wrapping around the other side. I'm quite happy with the girth it presents, it's not too thick nor too thin. Also worth mentioning is the scale length. Most other 8 string models have either fanned frets or a 27"+ scale length, and this guitar has neither. There aren't any problems with intonation that I can tell, but I'm sure the tension and sound would be better if this were different. I'm not complaining, but it's something worth considering. I tune the lowest string to an E usually, so I'll have to buy a .80 to satisfy my tension desires, but I'm not yet sure if it'll be tight enough at this scale length, and I don't think I can buy much thicker.

The binding is solid around the body, headstock and neck. Some have a problem with the volume knob being so close to the pickup, but I haven't encountered any issues with it as of yet. The finish is black on the back and sides, however the top on the body and headstock is a "sunburst" style grey-black. It looks nice, however it doesn't show off the quilted maple top as much as I'd like (the Black Cherry finish is not "sunburst" style, however, and looks much better IMO, but I wasn't up for paying an extra $200 for such). The truss rod cover is also attached somewhat unhappily, though it looked better before the Guitar Center sales rep screwed it in more. Not sure what the issue is here, I'll look into it later.

Also worth mentioning the guitar has some weight to it, but it is very balanced. I haven't tried it with a strap yet, but I expect it to yield good results once I install my locking strap. When carrying it in the case, it is neither front nor back heavy, something I did not expect- my previous guitar was very top heavy, which can be a tad frustrating when carrying the case. However, this problem does not occur with this guitar or case.

Reliability & Durability

This guitar feels solid as can be. I haven't had it for long, but I've got high hopes. The jack itself feels sturdy when plugging and unplugging the guitar, which gives me the impression it is quite reliable. The tuners aren't locking, but they're definitely quality. It spent an hour in the backseat of my cold car in a box bouncing around while I drove to get my hard case, and the only strings that were out of tune were the ones where the tuners bumped against the sides of the box. After another hour of traveling in the hardshell case, no tuning was necessary (it was a tad sharp, but it was universal across the strings -- I [innacurately] tuned it by ear at the store).

Overall Impressions

I like playing a wide variety of genres, and I feel like this guitar will be able to suit me well. It sounds good over a variety of tones, and it plays excellent. I might have a few complaints, but it turned out much better than expected and I got one helluva deal. I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering an 8 string guitar in this price range.

I hope you all enjoyed my overview of the guitar. It's quite the beast and I'm going to have one helluva time taming it.

Last edited by RPGoof at Jan 16, 2012,
#6
thats a whole lotta nut

happy new snowboard day!

thats all i got.....

sexy 8 man, enjoy
Quote by kangaxxter
The only real answer to the SG vs Les Paul debate is to get a Flying V and laugh at all the suckers who don't have one.


Quote by Blompcube

if you embrace inaccurate intonation it can be quite arousing.


I <3 TWEED
#7
Wow, that is how to do a NGD.


Now go do your laundry and make your bed.

Voluptuous beast you got there. Happy new guitar day!
#8
Nice ass
Quote by FEngHLyan

She will join the prom.

She insists to wear this lights.

I don't think so.

How can I persuade her?
#10
HNGD man!
Join the 7 String Legion!

RG7420 with Dimarzio Crunchlab + Liquifire set
Peavey Vypyr 75 with Sanpera I
Digidesign Eleven Rack
Sennheiser HD280 headphones
Behringer FCB1010 with EurekaProm

Call me Eddy
#11
HNGD, playah!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#13
I could park my truck on that fretboard...

HNGD man, and 8-string for <$500? Nice....
Quote by Pan-Tallica
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
But theres no reason why i cant be free like a raspberry stuck to the back of a horny elephants ass.

This is maybe the worst comparison in the history of comparisons.
#14
That's one glorified ironing board you've got there, man. I bet the midwife will be pleased.

HNGD
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend