C-1 Hellraiser review by Schecter

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (470 votes)
Schecter: C-1 Hellraiser

Sound — 9
This guitar is quite obviously aimed at the metal/thrash market, with whom EMG pickups have become almost a prerequisite. The 81 in the bridge is clear and bright without being harsh, and pick harmonics almost play themselves. The 85 in the neck has a smoother, more Vintage tone, which fits well with the way most rock players use their neck pickup. This is the same combination Zakk Wylde uses on his Les Pauls, and it's easy to see why. I was able to coax all sorts of tones from raging metal to classic rock to warm, fat clean without too much trouble. Players Who want more versatility may miss not having a single-coil, but this guitar was meant to be on ten all the time.

Overall Impression — 8
As a dyed-in-the-wool rock/metal fan, the Hellraiser is right up my alley. I own two guitars with EMG pickups, so I'm familiar with their frequency response. I felt very comfortable with the guitar's combination of a slim, flat neck and big frets, so it felt like home in many ways. Make no mistake, the Hellraiser is meant to be played flat-out. Bluesy, funky, or jazzy tones are not really on it's palette with no single coil pickup. If you're into rock or metal, though, this guitar is meant for you all the way. I gave it an eight overall, but you wouldn't find a significantly better guitar for less than double the price.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The Hellraiser is a fairly new model, so long-term reliability reports are not widely available. I have talked to many Schecter players, however, and they all seem to be very happy with their guitars. Schecter has demonstrated excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail, so I can only assume that the guitars will hold up in the long run.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action is consistently low all the way up the neck, making the overall feel very fast. The set neck construction and smooth heel allows comfortable playing all the way up to the 24th fret. The jumbo frets are great for bending, allowing the player to get plenty of grip on the string without hitting wood. If you haven't played a guitar with big frets, it may take some getting used to, but I have liked having jumbo frets for quite some time. Whether playing fast alternate-picked runs, smooth legato phrases or sweep-picked arpeggios, the Hellraiser let me play it and didn't fight back. It is no slouch on rhythm, either, you just have to be careful not to use too heavy of a touch with your left hand. With the very tall frets, it is possible to pull your notes sharp if you press down too hard. Again, if you're used to jumbo frets, this won't be a problem. The guitar does need a battery, but a single nine-volt is good for 1500 hours or so, and as long as you don't leave it plugged in all the time, this makes for a lot of playing time. Schecter made battery changes easy, too, by putting the battery in it's own compartment with an easy-to-remove lid. This kind of touch shows that the designers at Schecter are players first, engineers second. In fact, the workmanship all around was very slick and clean, with no flaws in the finish, fretwork or hardware.

Features — 8
Schecter's black cherry Hellraiser is firmly entrenched in the Superstrat realm, with a double cutaway mahogany body, arched quilted maple top, and dual EMG humbuckers. You can select either the EMG 81 in the bridge position, the 85 in the neck position, or both via a simple three-way Switch. Each pickup has it's own volume knob, and there is a master tone knob. The slim mahogany neck sports extra jumbo frets, black binding, and a rosewood fretboard with abalone gothic cross inlays. The body and headstock are both bound with abalone, a nice but not-too-gaudy touch. The strings go through the body and over a Tonepros locking bridge (much like a Gibson Tune-O-Matic), and the tuners are sealed Grovers. All of the hardware is black chrome in color, and the scale length is 25.5", like a Strat.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i have the same guitar I LOVEEE it the emgs are amazing and the guitar looks great its got everythin not just amazing sound but great looks ... great review on the guitar man
    i just ordered this from musiciansfriend, im so excited. im actually surprised that it costs no more to have the black cherry, usually on gibsons and epiphones it 50-100 bucks more to get a finish, yet their not even as good as this black cherry, its beautiful. at first im sure i'll be a little affraid to play it haha, dont wanna scratch it...but im sure once i start jammin i'll forget it
    \m/(--_-\m/ wrote: I love this guitar with a passion. It's deadly for all the heavier genres. Oh and I haven't seen anyone comment that Jeff Loomis of Nevermore plays a Hellraiser, so just thought I's mention it.
    He doesnt actually lol.
    i just won one off a store on ebay for 399! lol nobody put in the right keywords to find it the way they listed it. its brand new and im getting a hardshell case! woot! thing is i might just sell it =[ im quite content with my c1 classic...if anyone is interested message me it is mint.
    Squid Vicious
    Got this about a little over a year ago. Amazing instrument, I wouldn't trade it for anything else.
    Yeah, I made the jump from the Squire Standard Fat Strat to the C-1 hellraiser and I love this guitar. I find the neck very easy to play(though i am pretty much a beginner skill wise)
    I love this guitar. I've had it since June and it was a quantum leap up from my Squier Fat Strat. I just need to get a better amp now, but I'm broke. Extremely easy to play, fast neck, and low action. AWESOME!
    i own the same color c1 schecter hellraiser thats in the picture, i love that guitar !!! great sound, great color, light and easy to play. i also own a few jacksons and taylors but the most enjoyable ones to play are my schecter and taylors
    I got this guitar back in September 06. It is absolutely AMAZING. I seriously cannot go a single day without picking it up. Here's a video of me playing Her Voice Resides by Bullet For My Valentine with this guitar:
    goukaookami wrote: did anyone pay anything for this guitar? i cant find a price and this guitar looks pretty awsome...if someone would give me an estimate for a price that'd be sweet Gouka
    It's $650 at guitar center, where I bought it...I've had this guitar since early January and it's well worth it...EMG's won't let ya down...just a realllly reliable guitrar...recomed it to all metalheads of course...schecter makes some kick ass guitars and this sure is one of 'em!
    -metalgod666 wrote: shhaannt wrote: Price paid: 0 ey how come u said that u didnt pay anything? because he stole it haha
    I imagine your IQ is around the price that he paid?
    Everyone who is thinking about getting one of these: GET ONE!!!! I have one and they are great, amazing value for build quality and materials. The EMGs sound amazing! I got mine from SoundControl for 600
    did anyone pay anything for this guitar? i cant find a price and this guitar looks pretty awsome...if someone would give me an estimate for a price that'd be sweet Gouka
    The EMGs on this guitar are amunge the best ive played with. They are robust and give such a crisp sound its unberleavable... I play mine with the old Line 6 Spider 2 212 and the combonaation just blew me away from the moment i stept onto the stage for my first gig with it... simply and awesome guitar
    Honestly, schecter stepped its game up with the EMGs, but its still a schecter. Its a great second guitar to buy, meaning the guitar you should buy after you've mastered the squire strat. The pickups give it some mean tone, but the action still leaves something to be desired. The neck is too fat to slice through the strings. Good rhythm guitar, poor shredding guitar. Get a prestige ibanez RGT 220.
    I got this guitat about 2 mos. ago. though I ain't too good , I can say this badass guitar rocks. It sounds awesome and is really easy to play. Plugged straight into my marshall avt amp sounds killer.
    this guitar looks identical to my ibanez sz520, except mine is blue, and it doesnt have emg's. but i must say, with the RIGHT AMP, you dont need emg's or a 'METAL' guitar. play a mesa rectifier through some duncans and you'll see what i mean.
    I've ordered the one with floyd rose but i havn't got it yet; long delivery time
    just got it in the mail, love at first sight. amazing guitar, great pickups. oh and for the guy 2 above me, ya, jeff loomis plays a hellraiser, lots of the time tho its a 7 string. if you still wanna dissagree on musiciansfriend in the c-1 hellraiser discription it mentions that jeff loomis plays it AND i have a guitar world lesson of him playing a black c-7 hellraiser. congradulations, you've just been owned.