C-1 Blackjack ATX FR review by Schecter

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.1 (102 votes)
Schecter: C-1 Blackjack ATX FR

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Goodtimes Music

Sound — 10
This guitar whispers hard rock, and screams metal. I've been playing this with a Peavey VK100 Head (Hartke 4X12 cab), a Epiphone Valve Standard combo, and a Roland Microcube for variety and to see how the pickups react to different amps. The pickups are definitely the star of this guitar. 9-volt active Blackouts, these humbuckers have less noise (moved around near lights, computers, and other electronics), and put out more highs, lows, and output than other active pickups I've tried. The have a more organic tone than other actives and the harmonics almost jump out and slap you in the face. In conjunction with the mahogany body, you can get a nice, deep, rich chug for your rythmic lines to very clear and well sustained solos. The OFR maintains it's tuning very well, able to perform dive bombs or ear piercing squeals while returning true. Although I still like the tone/sound of the EMGs in my Hellraiser, the temptation to swap the EMGs with another set of Blackouts is becomeing strong.

Overall Impression — 10
I like to play a variety of genres, encompassing anything from blues, hardrock, to heavy/symphonic metal. This guitar falls easily and heavily into the hardrock and metal zones. I had done quite a bit of research regarding this guitar and had been eagerly awaiting it's release this year, so there wasn't really much to question when I finally was able to get one in my hands. I love the antique white finish, with a simple yet very classy look, and the binding compliments it quite nicely. The single inlay, I'm sure will be a love or hate thing, but I think it looks fine, and I'm really liking the simplicity (I don't get lost because there are still side fret markers). I'm not sure if they meant to outdo their Hellraiser line with this model, but they sure did (as well as many other guitars that could easily sell for twice the price of this one). I'd almost wish they had made it under a whole new line instead of placing it under their "Blackjack" line. If it were lost or stolen, I would definitely seek to replace it. My only worry is the OFR, as this is my first OFR and therefore my experience with using and maintaining these is pretty lacking. Being an Original FR though helps alleviate some of my worries. The only thing I wish it had was an included case. Because of the locking nut, the guitar is a little longer than it's non-FR version, making finding a generic case that fits well somewhat of a chore (or one could simply spring for the Schecter made case). I've compared it (obviously) to my Hellraiser, and having already been comfortable with the way the Hellraiser played, there was no real difference, except with the OFR, making this a very easy guitar to just pickup and play. I've compared it to many other manufacturers similar in price (too many to name) as I've since wanted to get something with a floating tremolo, and given the features, price, and familiarity of feel/style, there was no competition. Definitely a great addition to Schecter's line.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a solid, well built guitar that could easily hold it's own playing Live. I would have a backup, but only due to the fact that it has an OFR, so a string break could be showstopping without a backup (like any OFR could potentially be). The hardware is all top notch (Grovers, OFR) and none of it (strap buttons, tuning machines, controls) has a hint of wiggle or looseness. A can't comment on how well the finish can last as I haven't had it long enough to make that determination, but I would imagine that it would last quite some time, with proper care.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar hadn't been at the store for very long, so I was able to pretty much inspect it as it had come from the U.S. facility (all Schecters are sent to the U.S. for final quality check and setup). The guitar was setup near perfect with a neck that was almost too straight, causing a light buzzing on some of the strings. In what took no more than a couple minutes, I gave it just a hint of relief in the neck and buzzing disappeared. The action is the lowest of any guitar I've had, or even tried. The finish on the guitar was perfect, not a nick or scratch anywhere. The routing for the OFR was clean and even had this little patch of what looked like felt lining the routing. Very professional look and a nice finishing touch. The pickups were at the optimal height according to SD's specs, and the OFR was perfectly balanced and level with the body. All the controls operate smoothly without so much as a stutter in operation or sound. The Switch operates without so much as a pop, and moves fluidly, yet secure. When I got it, intonation was spot on, and other than giving the neck a hair of relief, there wasn't much else that needed to be done.

Features — 10
This is the new, S. Korean made, Blackjack ATX FR for 2008. It's a solid body electric (done in the same shape as their other C-1 models) with 24 jumbo frets, 3-pc Mahogany set-neck and ebony fretboard. The 25.5" scale set-neck features their "Ultra Access" joint, giving it the feel of a neck-through. The mahogany body houses a set of two Seymour Duncan Active Blackout humbucker pickups, vol/vol/tone/3-way switch controls, and an original Floyd Rose tremolo. All the hardware, including Grover machine heads, are done in Schecter's signature black chrome. My particular model is a glossy, aged white color with an aged 3-ply binding. A single "Active" lightning bolt symbol adorns the fretboard at the 12th fret. The $800USD (list $1149) was for only the guitar.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    this is by far going to be my next guitar. and was this 800 in english money or 800 in worthless america money.
    Hmm this guitar is quite the hot topic considering the Blackouts vs EMG's debate at the moment. I think i'm leaning towards the Blackouts...
    Great review mate. Its a shame about that bloody lighting bolt placed at the 12th fret though. In my opinion Schecters beat ESP, Cort, Jackson and other similar manafactures, due to the simple fact that they are so much more affaudable and yet they still seem to maintain a very high standard of coolness and quality. But... they put the most daft looking things on their guitars! Everything else looks stunning, but why put Gothic Cross Inlays or Lighnting bolts or 'Vine of Life' inlays. They do look impressive at times, but I just want dots man! Its the only thing that puts me off from buying any of Schecters gear.
    Is the lack of inlays a big problem? anyone have any opinion on that who owns it?
    bobby81391 wrote: urf_ wrote: The thing gets brilliant reviews all round, but does anyone know of a decent case for it? The Schecter case made for it tends to get fairly poor reviews on the quality and (lack of) softness inside.
    I got a gator extra long case and it fits great.
    urf_ wrote: The thing gets brilliant reviews all round, but does anyone know of a decent case for it? The Schecter case made for it tends to get fairly poor reviews on the quality and (lack of) softness inside.
    I bought this guitar in Aged Black two months ago and haven't looked back - it's a great guitar that sounds and feels terrific. Great quality all round, and a heavy weight to remind you it's a man's guitar. The pickups with distortion almost sound like a man screaming too. Would highly recommend in this price range as you get all the good name-brand parts!
    The ATX came out this year?? I had no idea. I went to my local music store and was browsing guitars and the Blackjack ATX immediately caught my eye. The SD Black Outs sounded amazing plugged in and it practically played itself it was so smooth. I came back to play it on two other occasions and ended up putting it on layaway. I still have about $150 to go and seriously can't wait to get it in my hands again. It was for selling for $690 US. I could go without the inlay, but it's not enough to keep me from this guitar. I highly recommend this to anyone that likes to rock!
    I've recently purchased this guitar. Arriving today actually. I'm pretty excited from what I've heard about this. The bolt inlay is a dissapointment, but I suppose beggers can't be choosers.
    this is certainley gonna be my next guitar. the only disappoint i have is that bolt inlay.
    The thing gets brilliant reviews all round, but does anyone know of a decent case for it? The Schecter case made for it tends to get fairly poor reviews on the quality and (lack of) softness inside.
    i have bought this schecter.. and believe me, this guitar was really PERFECT!! you won't be disappointed if you bought this guitar.. i love my blackjack atx schecter guitar..
    I have several Schecters, IMO they are the best guitar for the money. My pride and joy is my Schecter Black Hawk, $300 bucks and still my go-to guitar. You really can't go wrong with these guys, anything they make is quality.
    I just want to know when I can play that thing. Great guitar Hak! She's certainly a beauty.
    I'd buy it if it didn't have the camp-as-christmas lightning bolt inlay.
    luketalon wrote: better buy Cort EVL K6.. that's my opinion for you that didn't have much money
    I don't know if I would consider the Cort a "better buy." It is definitely less expensive, and worth a look if you're just looking at the EMG pickups. With "unnamed" diecast tuners and an "unnamed" tremolo as well, I would have concerns over tuning stabilty and durabilty. The body is also alder as opposed to mahogany. Granted, I don't see many ebony fretboards on guitars that inexpensive.
    The price paid was in USD. I have the C-1 Hellraiser as well, which is where I did most of my comparisons. They are tonally different, and although I still like the EMGs, I am definitely liking the Blackouts better. Nice thing is, Blackouts use the same quick connect system as standard EMGs do, so swapping them out in an already EMG equipped guitar is fairly easy. They aren't tappable like the 2008 Hellraiser EMGs though.
    I think it looks absolutely horrible with a complete lack of style (matte black with yellow binding? And a silly little arrow inlay?) but my experience with Schecter tells me that it's probably a kickass guitar.
    fire within
    It is about the same price as the hellraisers over here, so you are looking at about 500, maybe slightly less. Would you recommend this over the C1 hellraiser because it is between these two for my next guitar and although the Hellraiser looks nicer with the quilted top, I'm more interested in the hardware.
    Hoodoo Child
    i think that america money =P i just searched for it and found it for $700. so wooot for british people. thats like 400!
    better buy Cort EVL K6.. that's my opinion for you that didn't have much money
    urf_ wrote: The thing gets brilliant reviews all round, but does anyone know of a decent case for it? The Schecter case made for it tends to get fairly poor reviews on the quality and (lack of) softness inside.
    I've heard the newer cases (and I just got one for this guitar) are better built than the older ones. I too was a bit worried about the reviews in regards to the cases, but I've been happy with mine. Latches seem solid, everything lines up, and it seems quite durable and already protected my guitar and survived through a move. I decided to finally spring for the Schecter case since trying to find a case that fit the someone long (and angled) Schecter headstocks proved a bit difficult. With many generic cases, the end of the headstock would hit the bottom of the case, either causing the tuners to move (throwing the guitar out of tune every time it was put int he case), or making me worry if it would cause the neck to snap should the case take a hard fall. The Schecter case (newest one with the blu inner liner) was the best way to go in my opinion and fits the guitar perfectly, as it should.
    Is the lack of inlays a big problem?
    No. I was thinking about this before buying Shecter some months ago. I thought, that the side markers would be enough... and they really are. The guitar would be perfect If it's weight was little smaller and this 'thing' on 12th fret was replaced by normal lightning. ;] So that's the reason, that I chose '9', not '10' ;p