Stiletto Elite-5 review by Schecter

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (2 votes)
Schecter: Stiletto Elite-5

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features — 10
Schecter produced this bass briefly around 2009-ish, near as I can tell. Bought mine brand new when the model was fresh. It's an Indonesian guitar, but pay that no mind... This is a fine piece of hardware. Bang for your buck, this guitar would cost twice as much if it said Made in USA on it. 35" scale, ebony fretboard, 5-piece maple/walnut neck-through, split bridge with string-through, active EMG HZ40 pickups, mahogany wings with a quilted maple top. Mine is transparent red, and it's beautiful.

Sound — 10
I play pretty much the entire gamut of rock and quite a lot of metal (power, thrash, melodic death). Basic fiddling with your EQ knobs and pickup pot will produce any tone you want. I'm not especially skilled although I've been playing for years... Kind of a working-man's bassist, I guess. I play with a pick, but can play with my fingers in a pinch. I can't slap/pop worth a damn, so I avoid the style. However, every fellow musician and friend who's picked the bass up can make it sound however he wants. Typical comments include how great the action is and how playable the guitar is in general.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Out of the box, the neck was straight and flat, and very little adjustment was required in the bridge for intonation or action. It was damn near dead-on. I adjusted the B-string saddle up a hair to take some ring out around the 4th fret. However, the PC board on my EQ pot was bad. I originally thought the guitar just had a nasty habit of chewing up batteries in a hurry, but after it quit me one night on stage, I sent it back to Schecter for repair. The took care of it fast and I had it back in a week, all shipping paid for. Points deducted for workmanship and materials, but points awarded for speedy customer service. Been great every since, and that was almost 5 years ago. It actually takes countless hundreds (I'm assuming) hours of playing to deplete the battery. The finish was flawless and all other components worked beautifully from day 1.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has seen a couple dozen live gigs (I haven't played live much in the last 3 years), and after I had the EQ pot repaired, there have been zero incidents. It stays in tune even after being walloped on all night. The OE strap buttons are fine, but I put quick-release Dunlop straplocks on it anyway. Would I use it without a backup? No, that's a sucker's bet. Never know if you're gonna pop a string (unusual on a bass, but I've had it happen) or if your EQ battery will give up the ghost (a chance everyone using active pickups might take, if they forget to change their battery before a live gig). But I think if it was the only guitar I brought and I took appropriate precaution, it'd get me through the night every time. My finish has held up beautifully over the years, and it used to get played something around a dozen or so hours a week at a minimum.

Overall Impression — 9
I felt compelled to write this review as the only other I found on the site was... not well informed. And honestly, this is a great guitar and deserves all the praise that can be mustered for it. If you can find one for a reasonable price, buy it. For whatever reason, Schecter tanked this model a couple years ago. I don't know if they felt the price point was too high for their Asian Diamond-Series guitars or this bass was so good it was edging in on their American-made custom-shop guitars for a much lower cost. I'm not selling mine, though... Not only do I love it, but it was an anniversary from my wife.

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