Price paid: $ 499.99
Purchased from: Factory Direct
Sound — 10
The style of music I primarily play is heavy metal and hardcore. I bought this guitar because I wanted to be able to play Suicide Silence and Whitechapel style riffs along with the shredding Nevermore, Trivium, and Dream Theater do on some of their songs with 7 strings. For that sound, the guitar really does the job. My amplifier and effects pedals really do the job for me. (I use a Roland mixing board plugged into two Peavy 500 watt 15" speakers on stands it sounds just like a full stack would, along with a DigiTech RP-80 pedal and DigiTech Death Metal pedal.) This guitar is only noisy with my feedback control turned off on extremely high volume, but that is because the Death Metal pedal is very noisy. The first song I played on this guitar was "My Will Be Done" by Unearth, and I was able to sound close to the sound on the album. I then jammed on some Suicde Silence, Whitechapel and then toned it down for some Korn and Dream Theater. As far as a distorted sounds, it sounds amazing. But clean sounds, by itself it doesn't sound that great, but with some chorus and delay or flanger thrown on it, it sounds beautiful. Harmonics on this guitar, both natural and pinch, sound downright nasty, and I mean that in a good way! Think Black Label Society, Lamb of God and Pantera. Divebombs are REALLY fun on this guitar, and it's part of the reason I got the FR equipped version. I bought this guitar to play heavy music, but I also love Rush, Pink Floyd and playing Metallica's lighter songs, and it gets a great clean sound if I use my effects pedals. It's everything I asked for, so I give it a 10 for that, but if you don't like heavy music, don't buy this guitar it's not for you. (Nothing wrong with lighter music, just saying.)
Overall Impression — 8
As I said before, I play heavy music, and this guitar fills that niche quite nicely. I've been playing for 5 awesome years, and this guitar replaced my crappy Johnson starter pack guitar. I use a Peavy Studio Pro 112 for practice and my big ole rig I described above for shows and rehearsals. I wish it had active electronics, but I did not have the money for a guitar with that and so I'll settle for passive for now. There's really only one thing that I hate about this guitar and that is the way the body it cut it makes access to frets 19-24 difficult and so sweeping on those frets is a bit difficult, but I manage. If it were stolen, I would hunt that bastard down and kill him. To replace it, though, I don't think I would but this again I think I would just move up and upgrade to a Rusty Cooley or Jeff Loomis signature guitar. My favorite feature is the trem bar. I idolize Dimebag Darrell, so I wanted to play dive bombs like he did and so this guitar was purchased partially for that reason. I compared this guitar to an Ibanez 7 string that they had at Guitar Center. It was only $299 but had 22 frets, crappy pickups and really you get what you pay for in Ibanez and personally I don't like the way they sound. The Schecter Damien 7 is like the Les Paul of 7 strings, it's big and beefy and gets that big Les Paul sound. I wish the cutaway was deeper and I wish it had active electronics, but for a metal head on a tight budget looking for a quality 7 string, I strongly recommend this guitar to anyone looking for that.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've had this guitar for a year now and it only has a couple dings in it and chipped paint and that is from pesky siblings knocking it over and genuine accidents because of my friends. (Long story short, guitars should not be placed up against a wall.) I play in a band (www.myspace.com/iamheband) and I've played a handful of shows with it and I love it. I have a lot of stage presence, I run around and headband and throw my guitar around and it stays attached and it doesn't have any problems. I play the shit out of it, really hitting the strings hard on faster songs and I'm rough on the whammy bar sometimes and the worst that's ever happened is I broke a string. This guitar is like a prostitute, it can take abuse and still put out and give me everything I paid for. (Horrible horrible joke, I know, but come on I had to make a boring guitar review somewhat entertaining, right?) It's only let me down at a gig once and that was my fault for not replacing strings regularly. The string was over a month old and it broke, but luckily it was at the start of the set so we just decided to let another band go on while I fixed it up. The finish is great, as I polish it once a week at least, and there's only a coulple chips and that is on the back of the guitar, which no one ever sees. (Unless I'm doing my "full-body-whip-guitar-around" headbang lol.) I probably would want to buy a backup just in case, but I've played about 20 shows without a backup and only once has it let me down, so I can say that yeah, it's definately reliable, but you gotta prepare for the worst so I'm looking for a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar was set up in the factory and shipped directly to me. I was the first one to play it and only 3 other people have played it besides me. (My friends have guitar envy lol) It was almost perfect, except for a buzz on the low B string, but that was easily remedied. The pickups were adjusted just fine, and everything was in order. There were absolutely no flaws when I first unwrapped it and played it, except for that low B buzz. I've had this guitar for a year now and there's only been a couply problems that were easy fixes. (Plastic part of selecter switch fell off and a screw fell out of the bridge pickup.) Great job, Schecter!
Features — 9
This guitar was ordered directly from the Schecter factory in LA in the year 2009 through Guitar Center (They didn't have it in stock so they placed an order for me.) It is a flat black guitar with 24 Extra Jumbo frets, Basswood body, maple bolt-on neck, 26.5" scale body, rosewood fretboard, and pearl bat inlays. It is solid top, in the typical Schecter "super strat" shape and is equipped with a Licensed Floyd Rose tremolo bar system. The pickups are EMG-HZ 7-A pickups and they are passive. There are 2 pickups at the neck and bridge positions. There are only two knobs, a volume knob and a tone knob. The tuning system is the Licensed Floyd Rose locking system with Grover tuners configured for a 7 string. There were no accesories included except for the tools needed for maintaining a Floyd Rose system and a whammy bar. It was in perfect condition when it showed up at my house and I did not even have to tune it. Overall, great first impression as it had everything I asked for in the guitar.