Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 8
I believe that the sound of this guitar is absolutly awesome, but not without its flaws, for example the very lowest srting which I have tuned to E, does tend to flub abit (although this could probly be cured with a higher gauge string) and on clean you can sometimes hear the strings rattling. However overall the sound of the guitar is very good, I play mostly progressive metal with melodic, jazzy, groovy and thrash elements in it and this guitars sound suits it very well, also even on high gain the active EMG's are very quiet and can produce an absolutly monsterous roar. Overall this guitar suitar my playing style very well and I would recomend it to all metal players, however because of the EMG's it is not aswell suited to clean playing as it is to distorted, and it could also benefit from a pick-up change to give it a slight midrange boost (I might swap them for a set of BKP paikillers or aftermaths) so I will give it an 8 in this section.
Overall Impression — 8
Over all I love this guitar, it has the extended range that I needed (I was in drop A before anyways) and the neck has a comfortable solid feel to it, I've been playing for about 5.5 years ad been looking at an ERG for about 6 months, and in this time I have tryed other guitars (Ibanez, ESP/LTD and Agile) and in playability it is close to an ibby but more solid feeling, I also liked the Agile but with a 28.6 scale length it was very hard for my small hands to play. If it was lost or stolen I would certainly get another but possibly a black one. I just with it had come set up right because I am a monumentaly lazy person and setting it up was although quick and easy, an un-nesicary hastle. So overall a good buy and a must for a serious de-tune freak or maybe a jazz player- a good solid 8 overall.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have yet to break my live playing virginity (I'm working real hard on it tho) however this guitar is built like a tank, the neck is too wide to be in danger of getting snapped and the finish it almost like armour plating. This said I doubt I'd ever tempt fate and not have a backup, but I can say with some confidence that I believe this instrument would withstand even the most ham-fisted of players (tho it would deffinatly have benefitted from a set of straplocks just incase) because of this I will give it an 8.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
OK, from the factory this guitar was not set up well atall, the action across all of the srtings except the F# was huge (over 5mm in some places) this said the CTM-8 bridge is quite possibly the easyest bridge to setup in the world, it took me 5 minuets to change the action and the intonation and now it plays like a dream. Nothing I can say about the pick-up hight/routing/loose hardware because I have not had a problem with any of it, so far so flawless. The finish on my guitar was slightly flawed (it has what looks like red marker pen on the white binding on the lower horn, and a slight flaw in the clear finish on the upper one) however I knew about this before buying the guitar because it was a B-stock model. I want to give it a 5.5 because of the terrible job the shop did on the action but because I can't do decimal places and it was so easy to fix I'll give a 6.
Features — 7
This guitar is a Schecter Damien Elite 8, the main feature of this guitar is that it has 8 strings, it was made in Korea and set up in the USA, it has Grover tuners which are quite stiff but still quite smooth, EMG active 808 pickups, rosewood fretboard, maple neck (26.5' scale) 24 XJ frets with abalone gothic cross inlays, a Schecter CTM-8 bridge, one tone/one volume and a 3 way togle Switch and finally a mahogany body. As you can see the only special feature of this guitar is the extended range, however this simplicity is not necesarily a bad thing. However because of this lack and the lack of a case, I will only give it a 7.