Damien-FR review by Schecter

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (205 votes)
Schecter: Damien-FR

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Ebay Store

Sound — 10
The EMG HZ's were OK pickups but they are essentially a cheap way of ripping off an EMG 81-85 sound through passive pickups. Definitely a good thing for young players or players not looking to spend a lot of money to get a pretty good metal/rock sound. But not so clear, they actually have a ton of fuzz in them. I replaced the bridge with an 85 and the neck with a 60. It has a ton of aggression for rhythms but still cuts through a mix with a bunch of mids. And the 60 is a little less high gain and thicker sounding so it is fantastic clean for an active. With the new pickups and having finally learned to properly set a Floyd rose this guitar is amazing. It stands it's own and occasionally surpasses my LTD deluxe EC-1000. I've run it through a little Fender 25R, a Pod HD, a Line 6 Spider IV half stack, and currently through a 5150II and a Vox Ice 9 OD. Regardless of what amp I use this thing is great. I even play things like jazz, blues and the like through my neck pickup clean. The only sounds really can't get through my setup are things like funk or country twang.

Overall Impression — 10
It is really a shame that this guitar is no longer being made. But you can still find plenty of them on Ebay or through clearance at local guitar shops. If you do, and you want a good metal or hard rock guitar. Don't pass it up. Unless you already have 4 or 5 900 dollar guitars lying around your house it is worth it. You can pick one up for 250-300 bucks and pop in some new pickups (it comes with mounting rings for the hzs anyways so any kind of Gibson spaced pickup from Dimarzios, EMGS, Duncans to even Bare Knuckles will fit) and it will clear up the tone and make play as well as some of the nicest guitars out there. Seriously. Schecter makes some of the most fantastic guitars I've ever touched. I own a G-400 EPI, this guitar, an ESP SC-207, an ESP EC-1000 and I've played probably hundreds more and this guitar is still one of the best.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Ok this is where this guitar shines. I have had it fall off it's stand and hit it's headstock on a desk. It barely put a tiny dent in it and was still in tune... I have never seen a scratch on the pain anywhere. That satin paint is freaking awesome for that. I replaced the strap buttons with Dunlop straplocks and as long as they've been on there I've never had problems with the strap. And I played this guitar for about 6 months in a metal band and was jumping around and spinning and doing stupid crap just about every night. I even ran into my bassist and vocalist a few times because we didn't see each other. This thing holds up. It looks newer than my EC-1000 and that guitar isn't even a year old.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It was set up pretty well from the factory. Although I had no idea what I was doing at first. Undid the locking nut and started altering my tunings without adjusting my Floyd. Needless to say it started getting pretty fudged up pretty quickly. I can not emphasize enough that you should learn to properly maintain a Floyd before getting into one. Look up videos on Youtube and lessons on Google. That's what I did and after about 3 months of owning the guitar I never had a problem again. And let me tell you, once you get the springs set up once or twice with whatever string gauge and tension you are gonna have, it won't go out of tune and your action can be set super low and you'll still get plenty of clarity and tightness on the strings. Original Floyd rose's are nice. But you really don't need to have one on this guitar if you don't want to. These licensed Floyds are great if you set them up right. In regards to the finish, that satin paint is freaking nice. It doesn't show scratches and it looks really cool in my opinion.

Features — 9
Purchased back in 2008. Maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, basswood body. I got it as a factory 2nd but the only thing I found wrong with it was a tiny chip out of the paint next to the Floyd. Even when the Floyd was set up properly and the action was pretty low it concealed it though. So I recommend checking out some factory seconds and B stock guitars. Grover tuners, licensed Floyd rose bridge and EMG HZ pickups. When I bought this guitar I was still in a very early learning stage of playing guitar so the Floyd wasn't such a great choice. But now that I understand how it works it's very easy to maintain and almost never goes out of tune. The bat inlays are a bit cheesy but honestly I'd rather have something cheesy than have symmetrical dots... Plus they blend into the fingerboard so they just kind of glisten under stage lights. It looks pretty cool. The satin paint is pretty cool too. I really love satin paint on guitars. Gloss only really looks cool until you actually play it and then it's covered in smudges and scratches. And for someone who plays lots of shows and is always using his guitars. I'd rather have it still look cool after all of that abuse.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I understand that this guitar is incredible with its cost/benefit ratio. However, i still don't think it deserves such a high mark. The pickups mean that its difficult to be versatile and play anything other than rock and metal. Understandably though. That is what this guitar is built for. The body is basswood, a wood generally used in all "cheaper" guitars. The pickups are an ordinary set of emg passives - built for heavy tones. the Floyd-rose is the cheapest and lowest grade one they currently make. the guitars inlays look cool, but in the end they are an aesthetic that over shadows the basic features of this guitar. Overall i feel this guitar is a great cheap guitar. Schecter make great guitars with a great effort put into them. I personally own a schecter C-7 ATX Blackjack. Its my main guitar. i just feel that a cheap guitar with all the "best" bsic features deserve anything more than an 8/8.5-10. My schecter cost me about $1000, id expect a rating of at least 9/10 - 10 from that. these guitars are almost disposable at their price.
    ^ So true. If the guitar has something you don't like or something that could be better, of course you don't give it a ten (like many guys here seems to do). If you feel that the pickups need to be changed, then the sound or feature section don't deserve a ten, not even an eight. Of course you should rate more expensive guitars lower if they don't satisfy you. A guitar that costs over 1K should pretty much satisfy you. But still, you shouldn't only review the guitar based on the price. Then a crappy no name Chinese Strat copy that you could buy for $50 would get all 10 because I think it would be the best guitar in the under $50 price range. You should always think that if you spent a $100 more, could you get something better. Because $100 more isn't that much.
    ^ Because many times it's worth waiting and spending $100 more, especially when we talk about low end guitars. For $400 you can get a great instrument but for $300 you might not. There's so much difference if you can spend $100 more and buy a $400 guitar than buy a $300 guitar. The more expensive guitar will last longer in your use and you don't need to buy a new guitar after a couple of years. In over $500 price range $100 more doesn't matter that much.
    Considering you can pick these up off ebay all day for like $250-300, i think they are great guitars. I have a damien 6 and it's my go to guitar, and one of the only ones I have that I'll never sell as i used it to write the majority of my music. nice smooth neck, decent pickups and solid hardware, minus the pots. I'd give it a 8 for the price range.
    I've played this guitar, and it is a good axe, but those ratings are WAY too high!!!