Price paid: $ 1008
Sound — 10
I play in a melodic progressive metal band, kind of Dream Theater meets Skillet and In Flames with a bit of Pink Floyd thrown in, obviously I need a versatile axe and this one delivers. Now mahogany sounds like a strange choice for a 7-string, as mahogany is known for a little muddier tone, but the maple neck and extended scale length of 26.5" takes care of this. The B (or sometimes A) sounds tight and clear. I play through a Line6 PODxt Live, usually Line-in but sometimes through a Kustom 60w amp, and the distortion is tight and badass! Which is probably what people will want from this guitar, acoustically it's loud, I can't really categorize it as warm or bright, I think tight is actually the best word. But like I said, pretty versatile and with loads of sustain!
Overall Impression — 10
Just a great 7-string. Like I said, I didn't want a locking tremolo because I like to mess with the tunings, so the Ibanez UV is out. And I don't like active pickups, so the Schecter C-7 Hellraiser is also out. That leaves this one, I suppose. Really top of the line, Schecter make very price-worthy guitars and this doesn't feel budget at all, I've played Fenders and Ibanezes and Gibsons in this price range and above and this guitar feels more well-constructed than a lot of them. Almost in league with my PRS. All in all a great 7-string, with great features (extended scale for better intonation on brightness on the low B, optimal choice of wood and pickups) so if you want to try out an electric 7-string this will most likely not disappoint!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've done some gigging with it and it holds up, the strap holders are reliable, the finish is sturdy and everything feels very pro. Obviously I'd never gig without a backup, but well I haven't needed one so far. Some really minor scratches on the finish but it seems like the paint will manage.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar just feels very classy, very solid. The paint and binding is flawless, aswell as the intonation. My only grudge is that, with an intense downstroke on the high E string, the string can get stuck under the 24th fret. But another downstroke takes care of that, usually you don't even notice if it happens in the middle of a solo. And it's only happened on the open string, not when I've fretted a note. But the general clasiness of the guitar makes up for this. Also, I guess it's worth mentioning that the extended scale length makes the strings more tense and stiff, which means they're less bendable. If you're used to .10 strings you might want to put.09's on this anyway.
Features — 9
It's a new guitar, korean made. 24 frets, jumbo I suppose. The body is mahogany and the neck is maple, it's a heel-less set neck so obviously lots of sustain and great access to the higher frets. The cutaway on the lower horn could be deeper though, it's not as deep as an Ibanez RG, you still have to struggle a little at frets 23 and 24. The finish is gloss black with cream/white binding on the top, neck and headstock, extremely sexy looking guitar! I like the binding personally because I usually wear black on stage and the binding makes the guitar a lot more distinguishable. Anyway it's a Strat-style body, with a little sharper contour and no 'comfort countouring' on the top as it's bound. No loss in my opinion, it's still comfortable. It's got a Les Paul style (Tone-Pros) bridge, but with the strings going through the body, for even more sustain! I didn't want a floating tremolo cause I like to do tunings like drop D, drop AD or drop B (I.e the E is raised to F#). It's got Duncan JB and '59 pickups installed, very versatile pickups, the JB is used by for example Mike Amott of Arch Enemy and Zacky from Avenged Sevenfold, so metal is no problem. But the '59 has a nice jazzy tone and both pickups are splittable through a 5-way toggle, so you can play some out-of-phaseish Knopler or funk tones too. Btw, the pickups are passive. Which is nice, I personally can't stand active pickups. You have one volume and one tone control, another tone would have been nice since I like going from a ruthless bridge tone with the tone on 10 to a creamier neck lead with some tone roled off, just through the pickup Switch, but one can't have all. It's just a minor setback. The tuners are solid and hold tuning well, the 3-4 formation of the tuners will feel odd at first but you get used to it.