Damien Elite-8 Review

manufacturer: Schecter date: 07/17/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Schecter: Damien Elite-8
The only special feature of this guitar is the extended range, however this simplicity is not necesarily a bad thing.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.3
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (3) 94 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Damien Elite-8 Reviewed by: Rallad, on february 15, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 695

Purchased from: Thomann

Features: This is a mid-ranged eight string guitar by Schecter. Aesthetically, it looks great. The shape is very elegant and that thick neck has something sexy about it. I've noticed a number of people nod their head towards Ibanez for their thinner, faster necks. The string spacing is very comfortable, I have no problem at all with it's girth, be it rhythm or lead. The inlays are also a nice touch. The guitar features a mahogany body, maple neck and a rosewood fretboard with 24X jumbo frets, 26.5" scale, Schecter CTM-8 bridge and EMG Active 808 pickups. The 26.5" scale requires some finger stretching, not a great jump really, but I don't think I'll fancy a 30" (well I haven't really tried so that's just speculation). // 8

Sound: My style is mostly metal varying from 80's hard rock to modern death metal. I'll also have the occasional tickle at some blues/jazzy/classical stuff. I'll admit, the main reason for wanting an eight string came from wanting to reach down there and have a go at some subterranean riffing by bands such as Meshuggah and Ihsahn. I wasn't disappointed! Running the Schecter through my Engl Powerball, those lower strings sounded very punchy and brutal with the gain on high. I also liked their clean sound especially on the bridge pickup. To my ear, the neck pickup was superior for high gain. I immediately noticed, contrary to my initial assumptions, these pickups were obviously quite different from their 81/85 cousins. The active 808's seemed smoother and more balanced, the middle frequencies being the most noticeable, allowing for a very mean hard rock crunch (surprisingly!). In spite of this, it pulls off some bone-crushing riffs very well. The lead tone is very smooth and to my liking. The clean is great, the lower strings sounding very defined. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: At first I was very miffed that the 8 string was giving me fret buzz issues which tuning one step down didn't help... However after a few days, the strings which were clearly new, calmed down and the rattle is now minimal. On receiving it, the guitar setup was superb, the action being flawless. The pickups, as described in the sound section, are very satisfactory and match the guitar well. The knobs have a strange stiffness midway, this is possibly done purposely to accommodate a precise slight dip in output. The finish is great closing an eye to a couple of small flaws. There was a small part of the top neck along the fret-board which was a still a bit rough, not very noticeable. The metal part of the bridge were the palm muting happens tarnished swiftly, which is not very impressive. The neck-joint is a tad bulky and slightly impedes full comfort of hitting those last few frets, a minor issue personally. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar seems well built, although having owned it for three months is hardly the ideal time to cast a solid judgement. Everything has remained perfectly solid. The massive neck seems very competent for handling the extra tension, I doubt it'll pose any problems. // 8

Overall Impression: Having already admitted that my main genre is metal, I would easily recommend to any other style. In my opinion 808's are quite versatile (as versatile goes for a metalhead I guess!). None of the shops where I live import eight-strings (or even seven for the matter) so this was a bit of a gamble. I've heard quite a mix of opinions regarding Schecter, but the general feel was positive. Personally, I am quite satisfied with the purchase, the quality is very decent for the price, which is considerably less dear than ESP and Ibanez. On misplacement, I wouldn't mind grabbing another Schecter. However I'd probably opt for a seven-string since an eight requires a more masterful dynamic control and I'd probably live without the massive lower string, although I'd probably miss hitting it and giggling like a little girl. // 8

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overall: 7.4
Damien Elite-8 Reviewed by: thegazzman, on january 28, 2011
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: ebay

Features: 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. // 7

Sound: 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. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 6

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 8.2
Damien Elite-8 Reviewed by: metalhead983877, on march 19, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 950

Purchased from: Local music store

Features: The main feature of this guitar is, well, the fact that it's an 8 string. Other than that, it includes 2 nice EMG 808 active pickups and a Schecter CTM-8 bridge (doesn't have a whammy, which is a + for me, 3-way selector, 1 volume/1 tone knob, kind of basic actually, but it sounds nice. When I got it, I was a bit anxious about the neck, but when I tried, it was perfect. Not too thin like Ibanez's 8 strings, but not too thick either. The main default is that it's a bit hard to reach the 24th fret, but otherwise it feels really good. // 8

Sound: I listen to/play all kind of music. Jazz, classical, rock, metal, country, punk, etc... But my main genre is metal. And that guitar sounds like a beast! I play on a Peavey amp and a DigiTech RP55, and this guitar sounds better than most guitar I've tried. It doesn't really make noise when untouched, and the lower strings don't really sounds muddy and all, they sound very defined. The high strings sound good too. On a clean sound, this guitar can sound a bit to clear on the bridge pickup, but has a nice jazzy sound when on the neck pickup, which is a thing that I like, since I also play jazz. So, the only downside is: the bridge pickup on a clean setting sounds a bit to clear for me. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I received it, the action was a bit too low, causing the first fret to buzz form the 5th string to the 1st string (low to high), but was fixed easily. Other than that, it was in perfect condition. The finish was really good, especially those cool looking inlays. The volume knob was loose, too, but was easily fixed too. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Didn't play live with it yet, but I'm pretty much sure it would withstand live playing, since this guitar is built to be unbreakable. This said, I wouldn't play live without a backup anyway. The strap buttons are solid, but I would but some straplocks (like I did on my other guitar). The finish is good to last for a long time. I'm giving it an 8. // 8

Overall Impression: Perfect for metal, really good for jazz/blues. My favorite feature is that it's an 8 string, but it really sounds awesome. If it were stolen, I would buy one again without hesitation. In the future, I may go with an Hellraiser C-8 or an Agile, but the Damien Elite 8 is a really good guitar. Overall, I'd give it a 8/10. // 8

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overall: 8.4
Damien Elite-8 Reviewed by: Boer Goat, on july 17, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 632.99

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Features: This Korean made beauty futures a quilted maple top with a solid mahogany body, bolt on maple neck, and rosewood fretboard. The Fret board has 24 frets and features some really wicked celtic cross inlays. Ah yes and it is a 26 1/2 inch scale. It can come in three finishes; Flat Black, Cherry, or See-Through Black. I chose the See-Through Black because of several reports that the Cherry finish often had flaws. Let me tell you it is a beautiful guitar the finish is flawless and really shines. The hardware features Schecter's Grover tuners, they are smaller than normal Grovers but they are just as good and hold a tuning for about a week. The Damien Elite sports the EMG 808 active pickups. Then a fixed CTM8 bridge, a three channel selector, volume and tone. All the hardware has a chrome finish. For the price, I personally believe this as close to perfect you can get, hats off in this department. // 10

Sound: I'm running through a Bugera 6262 Combo and I really like the sound I get from the guitar. This guitar has a very deep and rich sound. It meets my metal and jazz needs. The EMGs in this guitar are satisfactory to me, they are super quite when not in use, and have no hum or fuzz. Clean they have loads of tone and are crisp, very full sound. The distortion is not as good as the clean. They don't have much "Oom-ph" almost like their output is less when distorted. I am debating keeping in the 808 in the neck position and putting the Seymour Blackout in the bridge. The F# string is the only string that doesn't ring clear, distorted or clean. Play around and experiment to find the right area to get a less muddy sound. Other than this and the "okay" distortion I'm happy with this department. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory setup was very good excluding the tuning, which was out by a 1/2 step on every string. But it was shipped well with tons of foam padding and bubble wrap with another wrap around the body guarding the finish. The action is really low and after the strings stretched a minor fret buzz on the F# went away. The body has a perfect finish, honestly it is breath taking. It did require a polish a week or two after buying it, but since then it shines brilliantly. The only beef I have on this guitar is that the neck has two places. One being a slight pit and the other what appears to be a build up of finish. Because of this I have to rate lower than I would like. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This momma is built like a rock. It weighs roughly 12 lbs. So it's not too heavy but it doesn't feel cheap. So far the only thing about durability is exactly what other reviews have said: the chrome finish fades off to a black one. Unfortunate but the black is just fine with me. The finish still looks brilliant after I polished it about a month ago and I'm more than satisfied with this. I always buy strap locks for my guitars because of my paranoia that I won't catch my guitar when the straps come loose. But this guitar has some huge strap buttons, long and thick. So I even kept them and they are working very well for me. If I was a regular live player I would have a backup, just so I could have different tuned guitars. Super reliable and built to last. // 8

Overall Impression: This was a guitar was something I had been saving up for two years for and I'm very happy with it. I play many different genres but specifically play jazz, blues, and metal with this guitar. I love everything about this guitar excluding two things: the lack of the kick with distortion and the flaws in the neck. Compared to other 8 strings on the market I'd say this one is best for the price, Ibanez RG8s are too expensive and the LTD 8s don't have the quality the Schecters do. Then the Omens are just bleh! So I'm super happy with this guitar and would encourage people to try it for the extended range capabilities. It has helped my playing so much and has really encouraged me to extend farther into music theory. I will never go back anything with less than 7 strings. I highly recommend the Damien Elite 8! // 9

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