C-8 Blackjack ATX review by Schecter

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (44 votes)
Schecter: C-8 Blackjack ATX
3

Price paid: $ 899

Purchased from: www.americanmusical.com

Sound — 8
Even unplugged, this thing has a full, rich sound. Plugged in, the Blackout pickups do a really good job of conveying the entire range of this guitar while maintaining clarity. I'm normally not a fan of active pickups, but the Blackouts have a much more organic tone than most actives, but have the definition and clarity of other actives. I've played other 7 and 8 strings with passive pickups and have never been able to get a balanced sound between the low and high registers. Unless you want to spend the money on high-end passive pickups, actives seem to be the way to go with these types of guitars. I've played it through a Peavey 6505+, Peavey Vypyr, and Orange TH30. The lack or a real EQ on the Orange's dirty channel makes the low strings a bit muddy, but both of the peaveys seem to respond well, although the Orange sounds way better clean. This guitar does two things very well: very heavy and very clean, "dirty" tones don't seem to suit it well. But I think that's in the pickups. But I doubt that you're looking at this guitar to play Skynyrd covers on. The low F# gets a little "flubby" below the 3rd fret, but I think that this can be rectified with a heavier Sting.

Overall Impression — 9
I bought this to do Animals As Leaders type of stuff, as well as Chapman stick-style two handed tapping things. If is amazing for that, and I think the pickups play a large part in that. I've been playing for over 15 years. I took a big gamble ordering this, but no stores around here have any style of 7 or 8 string guitar in stock. It paid off, though. I am extremely happy with this. After playing 6 strings for so long, this feels almost like a completely different instrument, but it forces me out of relying on the same bag-of-tricks I always pulled on a normal 6 string. I doubt my 6's will ever go away and I doubt that I'll buy another 7 or 8 string, but this really brings out a lot of new things for me.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The whole thing seems very solid (and heavy!). The hardware is quality stuff, and the switches and pots seems to be of good quality. I'm not easy on my guitars, but I don't abuse them, either. The only thing I would be concerned about are the electronics, but that's just because switches and pots that come from Korea aren't usually as good as what you get on an American made guitar. Most of the hardware is top-quality stuff. The addition of a pop-out battery box would be nice, just to save the hassle of finding a screwdriver to replace the battery.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
It was set up fairly well, but I think that the factory set it up to 6 string standards. The action is pretty much right where I like it. When I received it, there was no relief in the neck and the action on the lowest 2 strings was a bit too low and I was getting some fret buzz. I did have to adjust the truss rod just a bit and raise the lower strings up some to remove the buzz. This was a mail-order guitar, so it could have been set up perfectly from the factory, but changed a bit in transit. The intonation was spot-on, though. Aesthetically, the guitar is beautiful; the binding is well done and I've found no flaws in the finish. It was totally playable out of the box, but it wasn't as good as it became after a few small tweaks. The nut seems to have been cut slightly too long, It stick out above the top of the neck, just a tiny bit (probably less than 1/32", but enough to feel if you run your finger over it). I found out before I bought this guitar that Schecter does all of their set-ups and final inspections in the U.S. Which is a big plus.

Features — 8
The model I received was made in 2011 in South Korea, but all Schecter guitars receive a final set-up in the U.S. It had a mahogany body and neck. It is a set-neck construction, but the neck heel looks and feels like a neck-though. It sport an actually ebony fretboard (not just dyed rosewood, which seems to be prevalent in import guitars listed as being ebony) with a 26.5" scale. It has 2 active Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups, with a vol/vol/tone control scheme and a 3 way pickup selector. It has Schecter-branded locking tuners. It also has a Graphtech Tusq nut, which is a nice break form the cheap plastic nuts that most import guitars have. It also has a Hipshot Custom bridge. Mine has the aged white finish with binding, the headstock is even bound, which is a nice touch. It also came with two allen wrenches (you can never have enough of those). The only faults I have are that it did not come with a case and that the lowest string should be a bit thicker to maintain tension. From what I understand, the tuners won't fit a much thicker string without modification. I feel that 8_string manufactures should use tuners and bridges that will fit bass stings on the lowest two strings. Also, the battery compartment requires a screwdriver to get into. Not a big deal, but the EMG equipped ones have a pop-out battery cover. Honestly, though, you don't find this many high-quality parts on import guitars, so it gets an 8.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ibanezrocker800
    Guitar Sushi wrote: Wow this is the first review that I think is under-scored.
    couldn't agree more. i've got this guitar, i give it a 9.9
    Gakbez
    I got the 6 string version, and jeebus cwist, best guitar I ever had. I gambled on it too
    mydian
    Megalomaniac46 wrote: maowcat wrote: yeah i've had the 6 string since november and to me i give it a perfect 10, 9.5 at least. Everything about this guitar is perfect to me. The only thing i wish is that it was lighter and had a neck more like an ibanez.Are you sure you're playing the same guitar? You won't find a guitar much lighter then this haha.
    You obviously haven't played very many guitars. Schecters are pretty heavy compared to an Ibanez, Jackson, or even Fender.
    bodom alexi
    whats so bad about blackouts? are you more of a passive kinda guy or do you like emg?
    DCanedo
    ProgJazzMath wrote: alvarez1900 wrote: I love my C-8 I *almost* bought an Agile and just couldn't leave Schecter. I have a C-1 Classic I love as well. The Agile's are starting to lose their value. The Sceptor Elite 8 string with Blackouts was priced at $849 new with shipping of $30 thats $879. That could be beat by almost any online or brick and mortar store on a Schecter with free shipping! I hate to break your balls bud, but Agile's aren't mass produced like the big names such as Schecter. Which means the quality of their guitars will blow this out of the water. The reason they sell them so cheap is because they are direct from the dealer. I would have gone with the Agile dude.
    Just looked at the Agile's. All I can say is wow. Going to have to buy one and you can't beat the prices.
    Soulgrind025
    I used to have one of these... it was a GREAT guitar... but, the ONLY thing I didnt like about it was the thickness of the neck. I prefer the thinner Ibanez necks over Schecters... but, this is a damn nice guitar.
    ProgJazzMath
    alvarez1900 wrote: I love my C-8 I *almost* bought an Agile and just couldn't leave Schecter. I have a C-1 Classic I love as well. The Agile's are starting to lose their value. The Sceptor Elite 8 string with Blackouts was priced at $849 new with shipping of $30 thats $879. That could be beat by almost any online or brick and mortar store on a Schecter with free shipping!
    I hate to break your balls bud, but Agile's aren't mass produced like the big names such as Schecter. Which means the quality of their guitars will blow this out of the water. The reason they sell them so cheap is because they are direct from the dealer. I would have gone with the Agile dude.
    alvarez1900
    I love my C-8 I *almost* bought an Agile and just couldn't leave Schecter. I have a C-1 Classic I love as well. The Agile's are starting to lose their value. The Sceptor Elite 8 string with Blackouts was priced at $849 new with shipping of $30 thats $879. That could be beat by almost any online or brick and mortar store on a Schecter with free shipping!
    Megalomaniac46
    maowcat wrote: yeah i've had the 6 string since november and to me i give it a perfect 10, 9.5 at least. Everything about this guitar is perfect to me. The only thing i wish is that it was lighter and had a neck more like an ibanez.
    Are you sure you're playing the same guitar? You won't find a guitar much lighter then this haha.
    Ibeanez
    That browninsh one looks excellent. I have not begun shopping for an 8 yet, but I'll check that one out.
    DeanRedneck
    ProgJazzMath wrote: I'd consider this if it had normal dot inlays and didn't come with those horrid SD blackouts.
    The Hellraisers are pretty much the same guitar, but with EMGS. I just prefer the blackouts over EMGs. the lack of inlays doesn'tbother me on a 6-string, but the longer scale length and wider neck, doesnt make me have to pay a bit more attention to what I'm doing without the inlays
    Cold Reader
    Saving up for the C-1 in Walnut Satin. Played a pre-owned one in my local guitar shop the other day and it was the single most erotic moment of my life. Should only be a couple of months before I get one hopefully
    jafo1975
    Ya I owned the blackjack ATX 7 and was never happy with the blackouts. I acctually found a 007 Elite in excellent condition used at Guitar Center. I replaced it's so-so Duncan designed pickup with a 7 string Invader and WOW! Now I just want to get rid of the stacked single coil that came with it but nobody makes them so need to route out and put in a seymour duncan SH-2 jazz 7 string. These guitars always seem well made with a distinctive resonance that comes out even when the guitar is unplugged. Also recently watched a factory tour done by schecter, these guys know what they're doing and even seems like a good place to work!
    maowcat
    yeah i've had the 6 string since november and to me i give it a perfect 10, 9.5 at least. Everything about this guitar is perfect to me. The only thing i wish is that it was lighter and had a neck more like an ibanez.
    ProgJazzMath
    I'd consider this if it had normal dot inlays and didn't come with those horrid SD blackouts.
    locorogue
    lol to all, this C8 Blackjack is certainly worthy of at the least a 9 in my book(i may do a review also). Before buying my two 8 strings i did a ton of research, and the Schecter 8's were right up there with the Ibanez RG2228GK RG Prestige 8($2000, and money wasn't the issue). So i bought a Hellraiser Special and a Blackjack ATX to compare the pickups(together both were still under the single Ibanez Prestige), the EMG's are what they always are, but i liked the Duncans better, and the Blackjack won outright. I do prefer a longer scale length, but for the money i'd give em a shot, well worth it. Still gonna get a Warr, but seriously, if you're looking for a stellar 8 without having to drain your wallet, DO NOT OVERLOOK SCHECTERS...