Price paid: $ 299.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
For someone who plays in a metal/grunge/thrash band, this guitar is perfect. However, if you mess with the tone and volume knobs, and make some changes on your amp, it can play blues like B.B. King, "lo-fi" rock like Queens of the Stone age, or "Acoustic Rock" like John Mayer. I play it with a 15 watt Marshall reverb amp, and with the amps distortion it sounds realy fat, and you can make it sound so funky you can smell it. But I prefer using my Danelectro black coffee distortion pedal. That thing is small and has a queer name, but it can deal the pain like any other. The sound can be changed to whatever you need, with almost limitless variety. You can get any distorted tone you can imagine out of it. From a big huge tone like Linkin Park to tight, compressed distortion like Anthrax, this guitar is the thing you need. With a chorus pedal and some reverb, it can sound so pretty for arpeggios or clean solos, then just step on the distortion and you have a lethal weapon in your hands. I suppose it could sound better with some more expensive seymour duncan pickups, but for such an inexpensive guitar, these are just peachy keen.
Overall Impression — 10
For heavy metal, this guitar's a dream. From Cannibal Corpse to Anthrax to Iron Maiden to Slayer, anything metal, this guitar has covered. I've been playing for almost 3 years and i also have a Hohner acoustic which is a piece of crap and a B\.C\. Rich Bronze Warlock which is a piece of crap as well that doesn't even work. If it got stole or lost, I'd be screwed because I have no money for another guitar. I love the heavy sound (a la Hatebreed). There are a few annoyances about the guitar, but nothing I hate. I wish it had a tremolo, cause then I could some crazy dive bombs and stuff on my leads. Ooooohh yeah. I've complained about a lot of things, and there a few MINOR things that are kind of annoying, but I still love this damn guitar. It has it's downsides, but I'm still giving it a 5. Don't ask me why, but it just all in all deserves a 5.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I would definitely bring this guitar up onstage with me. I's be a little worried about accidentally hitting the volume knob and making it crackle, but other than that it would be a great roadie. The hardware seems very durable, except for that damn volume knob but that was my fault, so as long long as you're not friggin' curious george with a screw driver, you should be fine. The finish is beautiful, but with no pickguard it does get scratched if you play chords with full strumming. However, another plsu about the non-gloss finish is that.. these don't show up at all! ha! The stap button by the bridge is very solid but the one by the neck came loose in a few months, but a little krazy glue solved that. As for a backup, if you play a gig without a backup, you should be shot and never allowed to live. No I'm just kidding... but seriously never play a gig without a backup. It's just stupid. Cause even if you have a brand new Gibson Classic Les Paul that youve been playig a for a week and is so damn dependable, what if a string breaks? that's not the guitars fault. it's the strings fault. Now you have no guitar to finish your show with because you were so damn cocky and didnt't feel it necessary to bring a back up. How do you feel now? hmm?? How Do You Feel Now, Tough Guy?
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The action was a little hig, but that was easily adjusted by tighening the neck. That was actually pretty stupid of me, cause it's probably wrecking the wood over time, but I'm an idiot. The pickups came fine when i tok it out of the box. However, they "sink" into the body and you need to bust out a screwdriver and tighetn the two screws on the pickup box to raise it back up. This is tedious, and it's hard to find a s crewdriver that small. The nut right before the first fret is angled at the edges whitch is very annoying and pokes your hand if you slide from high up on the neck to the first fret. Also, the volume knob is a little messed up. Right before all the way up, it crackles like a mofo. Once again, I'm an idot and had to go exploring my guitars insides and messed with the pots in back which is probably what did that. The tuners are really good, and unless you don't stretch out your strings when you first put them on, they keep them in tune very well. If you leave your axe alone for a few days in a humid place, they will go out of tune for a while (like vacatikon to florida for 10 days leaving it in a small room with no air conditioning... jeez who'd do something like that?) Also, one of the nicest things about this guitar are the inlays. Oh dear lord, they're beautiful. It has this tribal design every other fret that is so evil looking, perfect for metal. The body finish is smooth as a baby;'s bottom to this day, and I have never wiped it down in over a year.
Features — 8
The Schecter Blackhawk I have I'm assuming was made in 2002 but I don't know for sure. It has 24 frets, solid-top, tone and volume knobs and a 3 way selecter that lets you choose between either of the two humbuckers, or both. The pickups are both duncan design diamond series humbuckers that can really roar or can be pretty and clean. Mine is a flat black, which I prefer over glossy finishes, becase it picks up NO fingerprints. It's pretty much a standard body design, nothing crazy, no pickguard or anything. It has an arched top, which looks realy nice. It's got a string thru body which means no tremolo :-( The neck is a fat "U" which I like over really thin necks. It came with a cable with two right angle inputs, but it was a piece of junk and stopped working in about a month.