Price paid: $ 800
Purchased from: Amazon
Sound — 8
I played one of these guitars in guitar center which was my deciding factor on purchasing. They had the model with the jazz/full shred combo which is what I was looking for as I'm not much of a fan of actives. I plugged it into a 6505 combo and eq's the amp to the guitar and was surprised at how full and gritty sounding it was. I really like it, so I bought one online a few days later so I could make payments. The one I got varied a bit from the one I tried in store. The bridge sounds were much darker and smoother sounding than I remembered any full shred ever sounding. I tried eq'ing the amp differently as I also have a 6505 at home that I run through a mesa oversized cab, and I just couldn't get the pickup to open up like I did at the store. I tore open the guts and disconnected the tone pot altogether as I always keep my tone on 10 and don't really have a need for coil tapping. After I put it back together, WOW. The guitar really opened up and the guitar sounded completely different. The resistance on that tone pot must have really been limiting the full shreds highs. I play in C standard or Drop B for my bands and I need all the highs I can get at such low tunings. After I performed the open heart surgery, I fell in love with this guitar. The bridge sounds on high gain settings are just brutal. Plenty of low end in drop tunings while retaining plenty of clarity, articulation and bite and 0 muddiness on the lower strings. Perfect. The neck pickup sings! The jazz without a tone pot in the way opens up quite a bit as well. Not boomy or dark in the least, and the high notes really stand out but still have that nice buttery mid section that I love from a neck pickup. I didn't really play with the cleans much. The full shred cleans up well but is almost Strat like in tone and might be a bit brittle for some. The jazz however sounds great and the middle position on the pickup selector gives a unique full tone with a hint of brightness and no boominess. I say, If you're looking to do drop tuned metal with thick gauge strings and don't want the mud associated with a lot of passives, this is def. A good choice of guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
I love this guitar. It is a good match for my style, which is drop tuned hardcore (old Hatebreed, 100 Demons, Death Threat, Buried Alive, etc) Is it my favorite? No. Does it rank up there? Yes. I have among others, 2 EC1000's, a 94 Les Paul Studio, a Schecter C-1 Exotic, a Schecter C-1 Classic, an Agile 3200, 3100, and 3000M. The only reason it is not #1 is because I prefer guitars with a little more weight and a REAL thick maple top like my studio and Agile AL3000M due to the brightness the top provides in the overall sound. BUT this Schecter is def. The best playing and most comfortable guitar I own and probably the best looking as well. Its solid, has great tone, comes with good hardware and features and is a hell of a player and tone machine. I'd def. Get another if this was ever stolen for its unique body shape and neck alone!
Reliability & Durability — 9
Although I've only had this guitar a couple months, I know it will last, just like any other high end Koren made guitar. The poly finish is durable and will last longer than nitro, the hardwae is all top quality and will not rust or corrode if properly taken care of. The strap buttons are nice and wide, not the v cup kind, and actually keep the strap in place and feel very solid. I have not played live with it yet but its been to many practices and its never so much as broken a string, and stays in tune forever thanks to the graphtech nut. The electronics and soldering in the control cavity is very neat and well executed, I don't think I will ever need to touch that up, and Alpha pots are high quality as well so no need to worry about those either, this guitar was built with quality materials from a quality company. It will last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was EXCELLENT. I can't say this for all Schecters because I bought a brand new Hellraiser Solo 6 a couple years back and the action was bad. Very high and the nut was cut a little too low, causing string buzz. This guitar however had great low action and came perfectly intonated. The nut was cut well and the bridge was set just right for standard tuning with .10's on it. The ebony fingerboard is perfect and feels extremely smooth. The grain is very tight and feels awesome under your fingers. It almost looks polished next to my 3 Agiles that also have an Ebony board. The finish is perfect. I expect little blems on Korean guitars as I own a ton of them (LTD EC1000's, Schecter C1's, PRS SE, and a bunch of Agiles) but this one has nothing to speak of in the blemish dept. All of the binding lines up perfectly and is very well cut, the finish is smooth and even with no blems in the wood or maple veneer. The neck has been perfectly satin'd from the factory and feels AWESOME. Even better than scotchbriting. The top had a nice tight flame and was well matched. No complaints in this department.
Features — 8
This guitar was made in 2012 in South Korea, 22 frets and 25.5" scale. The body is Mahogany with a flamed maple veneer, while the neck is 3 piece maple. I got the Blueburst finish. The body resemble a Les Paul more than any other common guitar shape, but is still very different. The guitar came with a Tonepros locking bridge/tailpiece system in black nickel. Duncan Full Shred in and bridge and Jazz in the neck are what came factory for pickups. The guitar has a bridge volume, neck volume, and push pull split coil tone pot. All pots are 500k alpha and the cap on the tone pot is a ceramic .022. The tuners are Schecter's own brand of locking tuners in black nickel finish with a 19:1 tuning ratio. The guitar came with no accessories. I give it an 8 because it does not have a long tennon neck joint or a maple top, but I guess those things are subjective to my preferences more than anything.