Price paid: £ 630
Purchased from: Jaywalk Guitars
Sound — 9
This suits my style and taste in music right down to a T. I mainly use this guitar for metal (All the typical stuff Metallica, BFMV, BLS etc) and having recently got into the Djent genre that aswell, so I play a range of stuff from Trivium to TesseracT since both bands use 7 strings this guitar suits those bands very well (Here I will admit I bought a 7 string partially due to influence from both those bands and I wanted to play similar stuff). I use a Marshall MG50 and a Peavey 6505+ 112 with an MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive. The EMG's certainly live up to their rep of being very clear and bright on the clean channel, however I noticed that when I switch to the Neck p/u there is a noticeable increase in volume. I was very surprised at how wide a range of sounds that could be created from this thing through the clean channel on both of my amps. I could use this guitar for Blues or Jazz with the neck p/u and with the bridge I can also get the classic Texas Blues sounds from the likes ZZ Top. Maybe if it had a coil tapp I could get some cool Hendrix sounds from it but I'm not to fussed with that. But its through the overdrive channels on my amps where this guitar starts to shine, I mainly use it for rhythm sections of a song as I myself am a rhythm player (so usually I tend to use the bridge p/u more than the neck) and having the 7th string means that some pretty heavy riffs can be played on this beast. But when I fancy doing the odd solo now and again this guitar can scream like no other IMO. Since I got this guitar I've used it in all kinds of tunings for all kinds of bands like: Sabbath, Black Label Society, Trivium, Slipknot, Metallica etc and it can cope with them easily. I think if this had a coil tap it could very well be one of the most versatile guitars out there.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is perfect for my playing style and my taste in music. I've been playing for nearly 5 years now and I own: B.C. Rich Warlock NT, Epiphone Les Paul w/Gibson p/u, Dean V, Fender Stratocaster. I can't really compare it to my other guitar because they're all 6 strings but its a nice addition to my collection. If it were stolen I'd either get another one like it or I'd look at the Hellraiser or Blackjack series. Since I was on a bit of a budget when getting this I had to rule both of them out. But for the amount I spent, IMO you really are getting quite a lot of guitar for just over 600. Especially if you compare it to a company like Ibanez. But being a lefty what really drew me to Schecter was the fact that almost all of their guitars are available in left-handed and a small extra cost. My advice is to any lefties out there it you want a good quality 7 string then look no further than the Schecter Damien Elite 7 string... My only wish was that is had a coil tapp option, other than that this guitar is just short of perfect.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've gigged this a couple of times and it holds up fine, the finish is almost Bullet proof, I've knocked it against mic stands, my desk at home and there no dings in the finish at all. If the hardware doesn't last I'll be very surprised, it seems very sturdy and robust and can certainly take a beating. The strap buttons seem to be holding up, since I like to move around a bit on stage I put some Dunlop strap locks on to be safe. Well since this is my only 7 string I have no choice atm but I always have Faith in it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Prior to buying this guitar I had read a great many reviews on Schecters and was encouraged by the quality of their set-ups before they left the factory. I can safely say mine was almost perfect when I played it for the first time in the shop. Small things like the pick up hight needed slight adjustment, there was hardly any fret buzz and that was due to new strings that needed playing in and it needed a quick tune. All the hardware is solid the machine heads imparticular are excellent, there were no flaws in the finish etc.
Features — 7
Made in South Korea and I believe this is a 2010 model. Maple neck with a 24 jumbo frets and a rosewood fretboard with Abalone Gothic cross inlays and a 26.5 scale length. Body/Finish is Mahogany w/Quilted Maple in Crimson Red in the Strat shape. It comes with a Tune-O-Matic bridge and the classic combination of an active EMG 81-7 (N) and 85-7 (B) with a master volume and a master tone with a 3 way toggle switch. Tuners are non-locking mini Grovers. It didn't come with any accessories which is quite annoying, however the nice guys in Jaywalk soughted me out with a nice hard case for this beast.