Price paid: $ 676.4
Purchased from: Deluxe Guitars
Sound — 8
I generally play blues and rock, stuff like Cream and Pink Floyd. The guitar's sound suits these styles adeptly. The P90s lend the tone just the right amount of crunch, giving even cleaner styles a bit more sleaze and appeal, and they distort quite decently as well. At home I play through a fairly basic Ashton practice amp (the GA4012) and for overdrive I tend to throw some pedals into the mix. Abroad I've played through a variety of other amps and the sound has held up quite well. P90s by their very nature are bound to give off some noise, but in my experience these ones aren't too bad. They hum very faintly in the neck position, and a little more noticeably in the bridge position, but that's just really part of the P90 sound. The neck pickup has a deal of warmth to its sound, while the bridge pickup has a bit of that Strat-like twang to it. They're both quite thick, a sort of midpoint between normal single coils and humbuckers. You can get a decent variety of sounds with the guitar, and I'm confident that it could be made to suit a variety of styles. I was quite impressed with the sound of the guitar when I first got it, and I still am today, but all the same, I feel that some higher quality pickups would help the guitar's sound.
Overall Impression — 7
I've been playing for around five years and have played a multitude of different guitars. I would say that the guitar compares favourably with much of the stuff out there in a similar price range (keeping in mind Australian guitar prices). However, I think I'd like it just that bit more if the guitar had a 25.5" scale length and a HardTail rather than a wraparound bridge, mostly because of the size of my hands and the quick and easy adjustability of a HardTail. If were stolen or lost I'd probably get something different or better, because the reality is that it's a fairly Standard mid-range guitar and could probably be improved upon.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have No Doubt that this guitar will stand up to Live playing provided you are wearing a decent strap and don't drop the thing. The hardware is all very solid, especially having been set up, and the strap buttons aren't going anyway. Although it's reliable enough to gig without a backup, I doubt I would actually do so. The finish looks like it will last a good while.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar was factory set-up (it has since been set-up by a luthier), and I don't feel that the factory set up did it many favours. Although the action suited me just fine, two of the saddles on the bridge were cut poorly, adversely affecting the courses of the first and second strings. Pickup height was correct and all of the routing and hardware (excluding the two saddles and the nut, which I will mention later) was rock-solid. The finish of the guitar is well done, but there is a minor finish flaw in the front (a very small region of colour has been misapplied). Not something I really care about, but I suppose it's something other people might want to consider. Just a word on the neck: the neck is gloss-finished along with the rest of the guitar, but it didn't take very long for the stickiness to wear off. The neck itself is reasonably substantial. It's a little bit like a wide Strat neck, although personally I think I would like it to be just a tad chunkier. The neck heel is done very very well though. Most damning was the nut, which was cut just a tad too wide for the factory strings and caused a strange twanging buzz on the first string. Fortunately this hasn't been a problem, as I prefer heavier strings anyway.
Features — 7
Not sure exactly when it was made, but it would have been sometime after 2000 in South Korea. I am also quite certain that the model has been discontinued, as I have never heard it mentioned apart from in Schecter's web catalogue and have never seen the same guitar in pictures or in person. Anyway, it has 22 medium jumbo frets and a 24.75" scale length. The body and neck are mahogany and the body is topped with a carved maple cap, which is lightly flamed. The fretboard is rosewood. It's shaped like the average superstrat, in keeping with the rest of the C-1 series. The electronics are passive and somewhat confusing at first, the volume-tone layout of the three pots changes depending on the position of the 3-way switch. The pickups themselves are Duncan Designed P90s (hence the model name). The bridge is a Tonepros AVT-II wraparound bridge, and the tuners are non-locking Grovers. All hardware appears to be nickel. The guitar came with adjustment keys and a rather short lead, which I tend to use only when I find myself without something better. Overall the lineup of features is pretty solid, but at the same time, a little basic. I would have liked strap-locks, as the guitar is a set-neck.