C-1 Hellraiser FR review by Schecter

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (374 votes)
Schecter: C-1 Hellraiser FR
3

Price paid: $ 649

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
I enjoy playing progressive, melodic death metal with jazz and classic rock influences. My favorite band is easily Opeth, and this guitar has definitely helped me achieve their sound through my rig. I use a Peavey VK100 amp head, Marshall MG412 cab, a giant library of Boss pedals among other things. I would eventually like to add a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier and a 5150 to the mix, but for now the VK100 suits my needs wonderfully (see other reviews). The C1 Hellraiser FR works well with the VK100 to produce that warm, tube-driven metal crunch that can make your blood boil with heavy licks and sweeps as easily as draw tears with beautiful jazzy tube-screaming solos. I have absolutely no issues with noise due to this guitar. There is a slight amount of amp hum/buzz but you can easily isolate the source and take corrective action to fix the problem. My PC causes a great deal of noise. My noise gates help kill it, but if I am playing at my PC to view tabulature programs there is almost always a slight hum. The pickups in this guitar allow for great versatility. I am able to get perfect clean signals, gut-wrenching driven tones, and almost everything in between. My only issue is that I am constantly changing out 9v batteries. Always remember to pull the cable once you are done playing or they will drain quickly. I practice for a solid 4 hours per day, so one 9v lasts about a week. I can always tell when the battery is starting to get low because the tone dies first.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for 12 years. In that time, I have tried out and owned many guitars. This is by far my favorite. Comparatively, the next step up is an American-made PRS. I own several other Schecter guitars and they are all excellent quality- this model just happens to be my favorite. I actually purchased this guitar without playing it first. I don't normally recommend doing that, but I refuse to play anything in public. This wouldn't get lost or stolen because it doesn't leave my room, and I sleep next to a few high-caliber rifles. Nobody is getting in. If they ever did, I'd hunt them down and beat them to death with the C1 Hellraiser FR. Hell, the thing is so heavy and solid it'd do the job well and probably not even need a single adjustment (just another testament to the reliability and build quality). This is an excellent guitar and certainly my favorite thus far. I would eventually like to get a custom-built PRS, but until then this guitar along with the rest of the guitars I own will keep me happy. The ONLY thing I wish this guitar had was a "Made in the USA" sticker/plaque. 9.5 rounds to 10. Excellent work Schecter!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I do not play live, though I am certain that this guitar could withstand quite a bit of abuse. Don't tell mine that though- it might think I'm planning on hurting it. Seriously though, if you pick up one of these guitars, you'll immediately feel how solid it is and realize how durable it is. The hardware seems like it will last a very long time. I have had other guitars with which the hardware rusted out from normal playing. Oils from our hand and fingers are terribly caustic to almost everything we touch. If you do not set aside time to properly maintain this guitar, it, like anything else, will show signs of wear. You NEED to purchase a good cleaning kit that has lemon oil spray for the fretboard. Wear caused by a lack of preventative maintenance is nobody's fault but your own. I don't normally use a strap while playing; I almost always sit. For some reason, I cannot play while standing because it causes great pain in my wrist (arthritis). The strap buttons feel very solid though- just make sure that your strap isn't worn because this guitar is heavier than most. The finish is excellent. As I stated earlier, maintain it. Use a good wax to keep the shell beautiful and safe. I also recommend using some metal polish and sealant for the FR components- those are the only areas that show any signs of wear on my guitar, and it's minimal at that.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
From the factory, the action was satisfactory for my liking. This is really a matter of preference because every player enjoys a different action. Many variables change between the factory and the store. When I picked up the C1 Hellraiser FR, there was no fret buzz and the action was set moderately high. Personally, I am a perfectionist when it comes to action- I need it as low as possible, with the longest sustain possible, and absolutely no fret buzz. Ideal. It took me quite a while to achieve that perfect height, and it involved a lot of work. First, I use this guitar for Standard E only while I leave the other tunings to my other guitars. I tore out the factory 010-046s. They are way too thin to get the "perfect action." After trying out many other string combinations, I finally settled with 10-52 Skinny Top Heavy Bottom EB strings. These allowed me to get that perfect action, though intonation and FR fine-tunings were time consuming but VERY well worth it. I did not have to adjust the pickups at all. The entire guitar looks seamless (even though we all know it isn't). It really looks like it was carved out of a single piece of wood, as if somewhere there was a mahogany/maple/rosewood splice. Maybe I'm reaching too far with this analogy, but my point is that it looks like custom-shop quality in a mass-volume guitar. There were no cosmetic defects at all. I am giving this section a 9/10 rating solely because I feel that Schecter should be setting these up with 10-52s from the factory. The 25.5" scale length cries for thicker strings.

Features — 10
I purchased my Schecter C1 Hellraiser FR on 2/14/10, so I am assuming it was a 2009 model. It is made in South Korea but set up in the USA. The 24 fret neck has jumbo compound-radius frets on a Rosewood fretboard. The abalone inlays are of excellent quality and extend around the entire front body contours as well as the gothic cross inlays on the fretboard. The super-strat style body is mahogany with a quilted maple top. The guitar itself is very solid and heavy. I personally love the look and feel of this guitar. Mine was, and still is in immaculate condition. The only signs of wear are on the Floyd Rose string vices from where I do palm muting. Overall, the look is stunning and I receive compliments on it all the time. The pickups in this model are EMG 81s and 89s active pickups. This is different than prior configurations of 81s and 85s. The volume pots also allow the user to split the pickups to get that wiry single-coil sound. There is very little noise when using the pickup selector, and the selector Switch has a nice solid feel as well. All three pots (volume 1, 2, and tone) have a very smooth feel. I can change them accurately with my pinkie finger while playing. The tuners are Grover brand, and I love them. I am able to quickly dial in my tuning (which I will explain shortly) and with great precision. There is also a locking nut which helps keep the guitar in tune. If the locks are overtightened, they may add tension to the strings, so only tighten them slightly and they'll be fine. The Floyd Rose tremolo has both lovers and haters. Personally, I love working with the FR- setting everything except for intonation is rather easy. Tuning can be a bit tricky at times, and this is where people get themselves into trouble. The FR works by spring counterforce- the Bridge is supported by three springs that pull in the opposite direction as the strings. The equilibrium point determines the angle at which the FR sits. Ideally, the FR should lay parallel with the body and at a height conducive for quick-action without fret buzz. Many people do not realize that the FR must be "recalibrated" with every different tuning. It is forgiving to minor changes, such as E to Drop D. However, if there is a measurable difference in cumulative string tension, the FR will sit at a different angle and this will greatly affect playability. Keep this in mind. If you purchase this guitar, I recommend having it set up for your favorite tuning and then leaving it alone or only making minor changes. Overall, the FR is an excellent tremolo. 10/10 there. No accessories came with the guitar per-say, though the manager of the store hooked me up with picks, strings, and other goodies. This depends on which store you go to and if any promotions are happening. The Guitar Center I go to is in Milbury, MA and the staff there are excellent. I had a 15% off coupon and the guitar had $50 knocked off the price due to a weekend-only sale. Normally, this one runs for $899. I was VERY happy to walk out with such a wonderful guitar at a very low price. On a side note, I am extremely critical of everything I own. I am very reluctant to ever give a 10/10 in any category, but this guitar is simply incredible.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Shin83320
    Holy shit i just want this guitar :O But i don't get enough money... And in France (i'm french - it cost 1800$ ... >.
    mysticguitar77
    Hellraiser's are easily Schecter's best line of guitars. I own the same exact one except without the FR and I absolutely love it. It's my number one guitar now over both my Ibanez's and my $1600 custom Washburn. Also, handles low tunings fairly well right out of the box. I've got it down to Drop Bb right now, with not a lot of complaints of fret buzz and I didn't even get it readjusted for the low tunings. Great guitar, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone wanted a solid versatile guitar.
    THE DMC
    I had this guitar for a couple years and it was great. I loved everything about it except it's versatality. In my oppinion it wasn't that great for blues or clean tones. It's a straight up rock/metal/LOUD guitar. It was amazing but I did trade it in for an American Strat for more versatility. Still a heck of a guitar though, and I would recomend it to anyone who wants to play LOUD!
    Sakke
    Schecter-06 wrote: sockboy wrote: I have a Schecter c1 plus with EMG's which is exactly the same and i dont like it at all. The tone isnt great and it doesnt feel meaty enough compared to a les paul or ESP. maybe to you becuz you can't play guitar, Also, the C1 Plus isn't anything like the Hellraiser's From Schecter i have owned seven Schecter's All at the same time, including this and the original C1 FR, I absolutely love this guitar to death, and no its not Zachy Vengeance from Avenged Sevenfold, Its Synyster Gates from The same band... Schecter is such an underdog company but by far puts Gibson out of the line up! They make such a better product than Gibson, and Gibson even knows it, ever wonder why the Gibson prices recently started to drop, If you want a great guitar before prices go higher, I recomend Schecter, I love all mine to death, and anyone who trash talks them will burn.....
    Gibson prices have started to drop? Don't make me laugh.
    Rico Rangel wrote: Why didn't you just write a freaking review. Lol, and the only people that don't like this guitar are emo's cause its probably to heavy for them to carry. Stick with your Squier Strats.
    Emoes? I don't like the guitar and I'm not an emo. The guitar is good and the pricing is right, but I don't like the shape of it's headstock nor the arched top on it.
    VengefulTANK17
    i love playing this thing.. i have owned this thing for about 4 years.. i have been on stage plenty of times with it, knocked it around, dropped it on cement(on accident of course becuz strap lock fell apart) and still no scratch or ding on it.. the tone with the emg's is great and the feel of the neck is amazing.. its a pain to restring the OFR but well worth it to do dive bombs and squeals.. this was my first "expensive" guitar when i was 15 and was a great choice..
    John37fold
    douchehouse makes me want to buy a schecter even more... getting this guitar next week
    Ltlguitarkid27
    Bumzor wrote: Where do you think i can order one online?
    dude go to gearhounds their cheap as **** since they offer free shipping on almost everything if ur not in the US its free shipping for stuff 999 or above
    Bill Blackeye
    I want to buy this beauty but i've got a line 6 spider iv 30 watr amp and i dont really know if it will sound nice on it! Has anybody any idea?
    dillonlocke
    ihavnofingrprnt wrote: fcuk wrote: my cousin zacky vengeance has one lmao youre pretty stupid arent you..synyster is the one that plays with a hellraiser this guitar looks pretrty awesome and ive heard some realy good reviews about it, how much could i get one for, im lookin for a new guitar
    he doesn't play with a hellraiser he has his own signature model lol
    thechum
    im having a hard time deciding between one of these in black cherry or a ltd ec1000
    thechum
    dillonlocke wrote: ihavnofingrprnt wrote: fcuk wrote: my cousin zacky vengeance has one lmao youre pretty stupid arent you..synyster is the one that plays with a hellraiser this guitar looks pretrty awesome and ive heard some realy good reviews about it, how much could i get one for, im lookin for a new guitar he doesn't play with a hellraiser he has his own signature model lol
    Im pretty sure his signature model is a hellraiser?
    BCRichSOBA7X
    It isn't lolol. If I remember correctly it's an original design o.O. Anyway, I'm saving up for this, and A Line 6 Spider IV 120. I'm curious how the Emgs will mix with the tone that the amp produces :3