Price paid: $ 510
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
I bought this guitar without even seeing, hearing or playing it as there are no UK dealers. My friend, with 20 years playing experience(hobbyist), had a C1 artist model. So based on the build quality of that model and having heard EMGs played through a Roland Microcube, same as mine, I took a leap into the unknown and was extremely well rewarded. I play mostly metal (Metallica, Slayer etc.) and hard rock (Pearl Jam, QOTSA) and this axe suits perfectly. I can only compare it to my previous guitar(Cort M200) but the clarity at low volume, high volume, low gain and high gain must stack up against anything in this price range or the next. I found the cleans, contrary to popular belief, bright and warm through the EMGs.
Overall Impression — 10
Please read this review and appreciate that it is from a relative beginner. I'm only playing a year but the obvious quality is here for even I to see. I've been putting in 2-3 hours a night so I'd just reached the level where I knew enough to know my other guitar was a beginner's. I love this guitar so far and given that it's half the price of Gibsons and Fenders it's a big enough investment for me right now. It plays rock and metal and probably any style you'd care to try the way you would expect it to. Brilliantly! I would replace it in a heart beat if something befell it. The real strength of this instrument is the versatility. I can't imagine any bands sound that I couldn't replicate. All I have to do now is figure out what my own sound is:)
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is an area I can't comment on really as I only have the guitar a few weeks but it really feels sturdy and well built. I can only tell you that the C1 Artist I mentioned earlier is as good as the day it was bought 3 years on. So I don't see any reason why another Diamond series Schecter should be any different.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I have found one tiny area beside the neck where the finish looks slightly over polished but 'sides that there is nothing to report flaw wise. It is a really impressive looking thing and is extremely comfortable/easy to play. The strings buzz a little up near the body but that should be easily adjusted.
Features — 10
2008 model 06 Hellraiser. The same spec as already stated in previous review 'cept mine is black cherry with Abalone binding. Active EMG 81tw89 pickups, two tappable volume knobs and one tone knob, 3-way selector, Grover tuners, strung through body, gothic cross inlays etc, etc. Payed $100 for a hard shell as I was shipping it to the UK.