Price paid: A$ 1649
Purchased from: Billy Hyde
Sound — 10
I study music at Uni, so I play a wide range of styles, and I can do so with this guitar, surprisingly. I play in a thrash metal band, and the tone of the guitar is Killer, even through the cheap Marshall MG stack that I have. It suits my style perfectly. I run it through a wah and a delay, and the tone never disappoints. It has an intensely rich and full tone, and responds well to every facet of my playing. It's quite versatile too, obviously excelling in metal, and rock tones, but it can even pull off a convincing jazz tone, if you dial back the tone knob, flick over to the neck pickup and crank the mids through a decent amp. The bridge pickup can even produce a convincing country tone, not one to replace a Tele, but it'll certainly get you by.
Overall Impression — 9
For playing metal this guitar is a perfect match, but it can do so much more. I've been playing for 6 years, and there is not another guitar that I prefer playing to this one. If it were stolen or lost, I'd just buy another straight up. I love the sound, the body shape, the comfort, the tone, and above all the neck. It's the most comfortable I've ever played. The only thing I dislike is that in a few areas of the fretboard, it buzzes more than others, but thats it. I compared it to many other guitars, as I spent a week of work experience in a guitar shop, and playing every guitar in there I came to the conclusion that I preferred this guitar over $6000 Les Pauls. Seriously. Best guitar I've played. It's awesome.
Reliability & Durability — 10
For gigs with my band, this guitar will last. The saddle is fantastic, and I have never broken a string onstage, even though I tune in E Standard and hit the strings pretty hard, with 0.09 to 0.46 gauge strings. The tonepros saddle tranfers the string resonance to the body well, and the tuners are rock solid, I only need to adjust the tuning slightly in a 30 minute live set, with my singer bumping into me and all. The strap buttons were solid, but I replaced them with a DiMarzio strap, which screws straight into the body, I transferred the buttons to my other guitar though. As long as my strings are relatively new, I gig without a backup. The finish is fine.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar set-up from the factory was great, along with the pickup height, and was set-up better than the Gibsons it was in the same shop with. The bridge routing is fine, but the bookmatching of the top was not so great, but for the price this is acceptable. The action is great, the fretboard is not flat, but you can get the action quite low with minimal fretbuzz. There were a few flaws though, which I wasn't too happy about, even though they were minor flaws. The selector switch had gouges in the underside of it, there were small dents in the side of the fretboard, and two very small flecks of white paint underneath the finish on the back. Other than these cosmetic flaws, every other aspect of the guitar is great.
Features — 9
This is the Schecter Avenger Hellraiser Diamond series, made in Schecter's South Korean factory. It has 24 jumbo frets with a 25.5" scale. Abalone gothic cross inlays adorn the roswood fretboard and 3 piece mahogany neck, which is glued into the body. The neck is amazing, quick, but too thin as to sacrifice resonance and sustain, with a very comfortable profile that fits perfectly in your palm. The mahogany body, unique to Schecter is topped with a beautiful quilted maple top, covered by a transparent finish. The bridge is a string thru body, with a Tonepros saddle. The active EMG's are fantastic, with an 81 in the bridge, and an 85 in the neck. However the 2009 model has an 81-TW in the bridge and an 89-TW in the neck, the coil tappable models. The controls include well placed master volume and tone controls with a 3-way pickup selector. The tuners are grovers. However the 2009 model has Schecter locking tuners. The guitar came with the requisite truss rod adjustment allen keys, strap, and very average lead. Overall the features of this guitar are fantastic for the price.