Price paid: $ 750
Purchased from: Guitar center.
Sound — 10
My style is everything. Therefore I needed a guitar able to go from deep grainy pain blues, to screaming mid scooped metal, to classic rock, and even a bit of jazz. I don't discriminate, and neither does the hellraiser. If I were to put one word to the sound I'd say "crisp". Some people say that EMG pickups sound sterile clean. I won't lie, they do, but the wood of this guitar warms up the sound incredibly. I use this guitar through a small solid state amp. However, I HAVE plugged this baby into Randall full stacks and turned up everything, I've used small combo amps like peaveys valveking, and I've tried pumping the sound of this beast into a Marshall JVM 100 watt full-stack. It all sounds good. Since the EMGs are grounded to a negative module of a 9v battery; when you mute the strings, the hum produced is so tiny even with the gain cranked up past the ear bleeding point.
Overall Impression — 10
Its a great guitar for a fantastic value. Schecter is the hidden gem of the guitar world, with great parts and fantastic value. If it were stolen, I'd hunt the guy down that did it and take it back by force. And if I genuinely lost it I'd be heart broken, and buy another one. The only thing I don't like about it is that I wanted the white one. But the black cherry is nice, and it's worn on me. I wish it had strap locks, but not a big deal.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Without a doubt, this guitar will last me decades. I'll give it to my kids (or maybe not) when they're old enough. And they might even be able to give it to their kids. Put it this way, I've had pro recording dudes come and play my guitar and then laugh. When I asked why, they said "Dude I should have bought this instead of my Ibanez rg/les paul standard/charvell. it's really that good. The electronics are freaking solid, EMG's never go wrong. Just don't leave it plugged in over night, other wise the pre-amp is always "on" and the battery will die. Symptoms of a dying battery are basically low volume even with the pots on 10. All the hardware is black chromed, the knobs are actually screwed on with hex nuts so they won't fall off, and the selector Switch piece of plastic is on that thing with some wicked tight fit. I've already scratched it a bit, but you'd never notice it. The finish stands up well. And takes wonderful to some elbow grease and some Shine formula. Every time I take off the strings I make it my business to buff the crude off the finish. And boy is it worth it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The problem with guitar center is that they let kids tune these guitars in drop B or whatever is low enough these days. This causes a bit of neck craziness when you get one. Just say to the guys if you buy one, "here is a pack of strings, I will not buy this guitar unless it is setup as if it just came to the factory, and I will give you 40 bucks in cash if you do it". Since a setup is 100 bucks at GC this is a bargin, and you get the same job done. All they do is ask for a favor from the locale guitar dude that he spend 10 minutes setting up the action and the neck bow and whatever. So when I had mine, it was basically new. The action for me is the only thing I don't like that much on mine. I try to have medium action, but it doesn't take to it very well. The guitar either wants super extreme low action, or no action at all. No fret buzzes though, even with some extreme 12's.
Features — 10
The '08 model I bought comes with EMG active 81TW/89 pickups. These are the real deal pickups, no licensed EMG-HZ or designed by EMG pickups. These are 100% full blast, pre-amped in your face EMG pickups. They positively scream, but yet, with a good amp, your volume knob becomes much more powerful in shaping the tone. And as an added plus, both the neck and bridge pickups can be tapped by pulling the appropriate volume knob. The guitar itself is fairly heavy, small guys beware, it's as heavy as a les paul. For good reason though, it shares the same mahogany core as a les paul. But for an added touch of mid punch, Schecter added a quilted maple top available ONLY to the black cherry finish. Neck is bolt/set neck. Somewhere deep inside the wood filler there is a bolt. But it plays and has the sustain of a set neck. Add to that the way that the neck sweeps in and isn't sharp, you wind up having fantastic upper fret access. Some other things to note: Tune-o-matic bridge with string thru body design. Nut is some sort of graphite material that keeps tone. Grover tuners up top. 3-way Fender like pickup selector with two volume knobs and a single master tone knob.