Price paid: $ 630
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
I play djent. Mostly progressive metal and jazz, but I also play blues a fair bit. This guitar is definitely not suited for blues, but it still pulls a decent bluesy tone from the bridge pickup. I tune G-B-E-A-D-G-B-E, and I like the tone I get. I run this through a Peavey XXX and a 4x12 oversized B-52 cab, personally. I ran it through a Peavey 6505+ and the 60 watt Vypyr, Fender Twin, Vox AC15, Marshall 1987X, and a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier at the store. I can't say it sounded anything less that superb on any of them, even the Vypyr. Every note is articulate, on all frets, cleans are full and jazzy, distorted tones are clean and chords ring out clearly. The EMG 808s are great pickups. The only thing I can really mark it down on is that it's best suited to metal and jazz. Rock, country, and other styles are possible, just not practical. And there are other guitars better suited to those styles.
Overall Impression — 10
I know I sound like a 12-year old with his first guitar in this review, but it just really is a great guitar. I've never walked into a store and plopped down $700 after playing a guitar for 30 minutes. This is a guitar that makes me feel excited to play it. That's the best quality to look for in a guitar; if your heart skips a beat when you pick it up, take it home. All of my friends are jealous, and I'm the only person in my area with an 8-string. If you're into progressive metal or djent bands like: Born Of Osiris, Animals As Leaders, Scale The Summit, TesseracT, Periphery, Uneven Structure, The Contortionist, etc. then you should at the very least play this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't played a show with this guitar yet, I just got it, but it feels nigh indestructible. I doubt I'll have any problems with the body or hardware. I've never had a set-through neck guitar before, but I like it a lot. I have sustain for days, easy access, articulation, and all-around great tone. I've only owned it for about a week, so I can't say anything about long-term reliability, but it feels even more solid than my old Ibanez RG, and those things are tanks.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set-up by the Guitar Center tech, because it was a main display model. I know the guy at my store, and he does a great job. Legato playing and tapping are just easier on this guitar. The hardware seems stable, the knobs turn smoothly and don't crackle. The finish seems to be very thick, and since it's matte it won't show scratches or scuff marks like some of my other guitars. I didn't need to play around with anything, because it was set up perfectly when I bought it.
Features — 8
Before I get started reviewing, let me get this out of the way. This guitar is so stunningly sexy it is ridiculous. I'm so happy after purchasing it, absolutely no regrets; despite the fact that I sold two old guitars and an amp to get it. My guitar is a 2011 model, of course, that came from the factory to my local Guitar Center. They had it on display at the very front of the store, but it was only there for a day before I bought it. Mahogany body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard. This makes for an interesting combination; the maple neck gives notes extra spring which takes away some of the muddy-ness that I found in the Schecter C-8. It's pretty bare on extra features, with only EMG 808s, a 3-way pickup selector, and master tone and volume knobs, but it makes up for this in sheer playability and tone. Compared to the C-8 (I wasn't able to try any of the Ibanez 8-string models) the extra neck cutout and maple neck give easier access to the higher frets of the low strings, and extra pop to the notes all the way down the fretboard. While the C-8 has locking tuners, which are a huge factor with 8-strings, the H-308 sounds so much better. Some people say that the 25.5" scale is too short, but I don't have any problem with it. Play it and you won't notice a problem. The body is a pretty general super-strat type, blacked-out completely. Black satin finish, matte black hardware, and dark-colored square inlays on the frets. The only colors are the pearloid binding and LTD logo on the headstock. The binding looks almost camouflage, which is odd, but I like it.