Price paid: $ 830
Sound — 10
I play mostly metal, death metal stuff, but also I venture into hard rock, and much melodic bluesy stuff, so I needed a guitar that can give me a wide range of sounds all in one. And I must say this Guitar does not disappoint! I use this in combination with a Korg AX3000G Multi Fx, and a fairly cheap guitar amp I had locally assembled since all my tones come from the multi-fx pedal and not the amp till the time I have enough money to buy an actual tube amp. And I must say it sounds beautiful! It plays like a dream! The Mahogany wood gives it a nice fat tone, with surprisingly great sustain. And the lows are very well pronounced. Its a big step up from all the basswood I've been so used to playing on my own cheap Ibanez and my bandmate's ESP LTD KH-202. But the Mahogany in combination with Active EMG's just screams out loud. From crunching rhythms, to squealing solos to dark melodic cleans, this guitar can handle it all. Just find the right pickup position for the right type of sound. The Floyd Rose Special bridge does not disappoint either! I can do some serious brutal whammy effects and it still pretty much stays in tune. The only one thing is that the tremolo arm comes loose but that's a problem with almost all the FR trem arms and there's always a work around for it. Even the most brutal Dimebag-like divebombs won't let this baby go out of tune. Plus with the amazing Grover tuners you can be sure it will definitely hold it's tuning. All in all after playing this Guitar I feel I can throw my old cheap Ibanez GRG out. This Guitar just feels "alive" when you plug it in. And its really heavy, so the feel is as good as the sound. It has to be one of the best guitars I've ever played.
Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly Metal, covering a lot of genres like Thrash Metal, Metalcore, Death Metal, and even some hard rock. It's a perfect match. I feel the guitar really fits me well. One can see the fascination of Metallica with EMG's since they just sound so alive! Haters are gonna hate, but if this is the first time you're playing really good branded pickups, you're gonna love every bit of it. Even so, every pickup responds differently to different guitar bodies, and EMGs fit perfectly into this Guitar. I don't have any complaints from this Guitar. Schecter really has stepped up and delivered a product with such high quality at such a low price, its almost unbelievable. If I lost it I would definitely buy another one! I absolutely love the Mahogany wood in it! It gives me an insanely long sustain even at low night-jam volumes! The Floyd Rose isn't as bad as people crib about it say it is. If setup right, it won't disappoint you. The Grover tuners on top are just an icing on the cake! I compared it with a lot of other guitars, like some Dean guitar (don't remember the model), a Hagstrom Guitar, even an LTD, but I liked this the best. There's nothing I hate about this guitar. Absolutely bang for buck. For all those skeptic about Schecter Guitars, go give it a try! You never know you might like it! Its an absolute beauty to behold. The quilt Maple top just stands out, and every time you look at it you WANT to play!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This Guitar is built to last. If you're not in the habit of leaving your guitar out to dust and heat and not taking good care of it, not cleaning regularly etc, this Guitar can last forever. The hardware is pretty solid. The tuners themselves feel so solid in your hands. The guitar itself with the heavy weight thanks to the Mahogany makes you feel you're really holding a nice professional level Guitar. I can use it exclusively as my main Axe for live use without a backup, although I carry my Ibanez just in case a string breaks and FR's can be a pain in a** to restring. Even the plug in jack feels nice and tight. You plug in a cable and it goes in tight, you feel such satisfaction that your guitar is safe. But all in all I can really depend on it. I mean you can't ask for a better guitar for under 1000 bucks!
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I bought this Guitar from a local Guitar store, so I had the people over there to help set it up, and he did a fine job. One thing he kept commenting was how beautiful Schecter necks are, no matter what string you use, it stays straight. Now that may not be the general rule, but it is very well crafted. It came with D'Addario strings, and they were a bit old and rusted having spent so much time on the wall of the shop, so I had them put Ernie Balls. Even a gauge as heavy as 0.12's could not move the neck. I play at drop C tuning so it suits me. The pickups are fairly well adjusted, all the setup is really clean, only the EMG 81 was a bit lower than the 85 so I had to pull it up a little bit since when playing clean I could notice a drop in volume when I switched the pickups. Although if you're playing exclusively high gain stuff, this might be better as the 81 can give you nice crunchy rhythm attack without an overpowering muddiness. There was no fret buzz whatsoever, the frets are very well aligned. All in all I can say this Guitar speaks miles about the quality control of Schecter Guitars. I was pretty skeptic about buying Schecters for a long time and wanted to stick to more "popular" brands that have proved themselves well like ESP, but as soon as I plugged it in, I could hear for myself that Schecter is no joke. Only thing the action might need adjusting a little, but that's all based on the player's preference. If you're going for a guitar in this price range and with this setup, you ought to know your stuff. Also the fretboard seemed a tiny bit rough, but I assume that's only because the guitar had spent so much time on the walls of the guitar shop, so I am planning to apply some Planet Waves polish to neaten it up.
Features — 9
I recently bought the Schecter Damien Elite FR guitar, and I must say it delivers way beyond my expectations! The guitar I got was made in South Korea, as it says on the back, as most of the Schecters meant for outside US are made there. It has 24 extra jumbo frets, so it gives a really good definition to the notes when played. It has a Rosewood fretboard, which is a standard, and its really smooth too! The body is made of Mahogany. The neck is a bolt on Maple neck, real smooth. To top that there's a beautiful Quilted Maple Top, that will just make sure you stand out, sheer beauty to behold. No problems reaching the 24th fret there either! It comes with a Floyd Rose Special Tremolo system (not to be confused with Floyd Rose Licensed. FR produces these Special trems themselves so all quality is guaranteed there). Even after some brutal whammying and divebombs, it stays very well in tune! Get your local guitar shop/luthier to set it up right. To top the beauty of the guitar it includes the classic Active EMG 81 in the bridge, and EMG 85 in the neck. Along with it comes a 3-way pickup selector for bridge/middle(both pickups simultaneously)/neck pickups. Other controls include a volume and a tone pot for you pickups. To top it all, Schecter has installed Grover Rotomatics Tuners with an 18:1 tuning ratio for further tuning stability. Accessories include 4 Allen Wrenches for setting up the guitar, and a tremolo arm that comes stock with the Floyd Rose Special Tremolo system. It comes in 4 different colours - Metallic Black, Dark Metallic Blue, See Thru Black and Crimson Red.