Price paid: $ 899
Purchased from: NAMM Show
Sound — 10
I'm interested in: Metal, Industrial, Doom, and Jazz. Live Rig : Tech 21(Preamp)and Marshall Amplifiers, BBE Sonic Maximizer, EQ, Power Amps. Line In : Boss Master Pedals, BBE Sonic Maximizer, EQ ---> Mixer I am very pleased with this instrument. As the other reviewer (I think) tried to elaborate; EMG's are great active pickups. EMG 808's (in this instance 808-81 and 808-85) have a lower intended frequency range, thus giving the guitar a somewhat more punchy low end tone, more so than Standard six string 81's or 85's. Besides pickups, the guitar has a somewhat seismic tone; very big sounding. Notably, the high end does not suffer. It sound nearly identical to a Standard six, yet the low end of the eight is without a doubt present. Tuning wise. Something i definitely wanted to speak of because I have been experimenting with this heavily. I believe the Standard tuning is F# B E A D GB E. I would recommend that you attempt tunings already in use before trying something too crazy. (Cause i already have). With the hipshot bridge and locking tuners most any tuning is possible; even ones no one has ever heard of before. *If you desire to drop the low F# further, be warned, anything that goes below E becomes muddy. The science of finding the proper gauge and bridge adjustment will allow you to tinker further. *READ THIS* Due to the scale of the neck, the actual physics of the gauge of string in correlation to neck scale is something to acknowledge. I don't want to sound like a scientist; I'm not. But. Putting strings lower than about 75 gauge+ cause a few new obstacles. 1)The nut of the string doesn't into the string-thru cavity. 2)The string gauge might not fit the Schecter tuners. 3)Fret Buzz. The shear size of the gauge, if not setup, is a problem. From experimenting and testing, different gauges do produce different tones. This is most notable on the extreme low end - which is exclusive to the eight string. I recommend finding a gauge that is equivalent to the feeling of drop D or drop C. By that, I mean that it feels comfortable, or hopefully natural. I've noticed something about any guitar with active pickups. When the volume pot is turned to max, your cleans can be over-powered from what I think is just too much signal. A simple fix: Just turn your volume pot down of the pickup you are using. It may sound foolish, yet I've seen many people have this problem, and usually don't acknowledge it. This is the bulk of my thoughts.
Overall Impression — 9
An 8 string guitar was something I became interested in after seeing Meshuggah.(Ministry "CuLaTour")Although there are a handful of other groups and artists utilizing them, they are still uncommon. I'm currently into metal genres varying from industrial, doom, and the avant-garde/extreme. It should be noted that an 8 string is not by any means exclusive to these genres. Ibanez and ESP (not sure of Agile) make 8 strings with a longer scale neck. I know for a fact Ibanez makes it with a thinner neck (Bolt-ons and neck thru's) Considering the uniqueness of the instrument and the good quality components, I would say its will worth the money. Even though it is a Diamond series, I view it almost like an investment. I would never sell this.
Reliability & Durability — 9
With the addition of strap-locks, all other hardware meet my standards and I trust it. Hardware will without a doubt last, and I could depend on it in almost any situation. One problem is that if you create music using one of these, you should either have another (they make a damien 8) or the ability to transpose.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Guitar was extremely well setup when I got it. Action was fairly low. It could go lower, but you run into the problems of fret buzz again due to the odd gauges. (You can adjust the action per string via the hipshot) Pickups were recessed just right. No need to adjust. There were no cosmetic flaws or complaints to be found. It was a limited run Schecter and it looks like it was made with good time and quality. I was skeptical about the Schecter tuners, mainly because the fact that Schecter made them. After a year of playing, I am but at ease. They are as tight the day I first got the guitar, and it never detunes. Again, they are locking tuners. The neck is comfortable. If you have never played a seven string, or you have small hands, this might be difficult to transition to. The neck is not like a Gibson "baseball bat", but still something to consider.
Features — 9
2009 Made, South Korea 24 Fret X-Jumbo (29.5 Scale Neck) Solid-Top Quilted Cherry Finish Schecter C Custom Hipshot 8 Bridge Active EMG 808's (81 85) 2 Volume, 1 Tone, 3 way selector Bridge and Neck pickups Schecter Custom Locking Tuners Schecter Hardcase for C Body Styles