Hellraiser Sunset FR review by Schecter

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.1 (35 votes)
Schecter: Hellraiser Sunset FR
7

Sound — 10
Like many other guitarists out there, I play a lot of metal. It is perfect for exactly that. I play a lot of heavy metal (Iron Maiden), groove metal (Lamb Of God), metal core (All That Remains, Killswitch Engage ), melodeath (Children Of Bodom, Soilwork), and many other metal genres. You can get killer tones from the active pickups which will please any metal-goer. Another notable thing I noticed was that I couldn't hear the tremolo vibrating or bending often associated with sensitive EMG pickups. This is good for doing clear dive bombs, pull ups, or any other tremolo tricks. However, there is a time when you may grow weary of metal and crave for another sound. This guitar, albeit a guitar designed for metal, can in fact do many other sounds quite nicely. In contrary to many of the "EMGs have bad cleans blah blah" arguments going on, I get beautiful cleans with my neck pickup in single coil mode. With a little change-up in effects and amp settings, I can get anywhere from a good mid-80s rock tone to a more bluesy surf tone.

Overall Impression — 10
My opinion: As a metal head, I claim this guitar worthy of any guitar player. Everything about it is perfect. The guitar plays perfectly and looks like the dream girl sitting next to you in class. The only difference is that I own it! I am amazed at how low of a price this is in comparison to what you get. The phrase "You get what you pay for" definitely does not apply here as I would have expected to pay at least $1,000 USD for something of this quality. In fact, since I love this guitar so much, I would buy a new one right away if this one somehow met an unfortunate demise. Things to look out for: My opinion definitely does not apply to everyone, and to help you buyers avoid a bad purchase, read what I have to tell you. If you have read a few other discussions about the C-1 Hellraiser, the guitar neck is often crucified. This is primarily because Schecter's Hellraiser necks are a lot thicker than most necks such as the Ibanez Wizard. This can be a bad thing or a good thing as neck type is all down to preference. Personally, I was born and raised on ESP which was notable for their very thick glossy necks which some people love or hate. However, many people find thinner guitar necks to be more easily accessible and playable. Again, this is all down to preference. If you hate thick necks, stay away from this. If you like them or don't care, I definitely recommend you this guitar. Another thing to note down is that this guitar has a Floyd Rose. Yeah, what about it you might ask? Don't buy this only to impress your friends as you will look like a fool when you don't know how to properly set up a floating tremolo. Learn about floating tremolos before you buy one, as tuning will become your nightmare. Properly setting up a floating trem takes patience and you will have to devote some time messing with the insides of the guitar adjusting spring tension and what not if you play with different tunings other than Standard EADGBE.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Although I have owned it for a little under a month, the guitar is surprisingly resilient. I admit that my clumsiness is one not to be envied, as I bumped the guitar in quite a few ways but the guitar stays as fresh as ever. The hardware should last me quite a while, only until I need to replace the batteries for the pickups (I recommend just popping in a Duracell 9-volt as soon as you get the guitar as EMG pickups tend to just slowly start sounding terrible when the batteries run dry). The strap buttons on the guitar are strong, although I fail to see how this would be a problem to people. Never in my life have I used a guitar where the strap buttons popped off, and I have played and owned quite a few. Anyways, I feel that this guitar will last me an eternity. The set-neck is perfectly implanted, the finish is perfect, and so far I haven't damaged it in any way, which I admit is rare for me not to get a ding or two here and there.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
As said before, the action was brilliant. The pickups were also perfectly adjusted, the binding around the quilted top was stunning, the frets were perfect, and everything else about it was perfect. The only thing that was not perfect was the tremolo as mentioned before. To me however, this was not a problem as I restrung the guitar and adjusted the springs anyways (Although the guitar comes in Standard tuning, I like to play in Drop and so after adjusting the tremolo, I had it working fine).

Features — 10
The Schecter Hellraiser Sunset FR is the 2008 model which I believe was also presented in NAMM '08. The guitar was made in Korea but was setup in the US. This 25.5" scale guitar uses 24 extra-jumbo frets with Gothic Cross inlays. The S shaped body is all mahogany, the neck is a 3-piece mahogany, and the fretboard is rosewood. The black cherry finish model of the guitar has a quilted maple top. The bridge is a Original Floyd Rose double locking floating tremolo in a chrome finish equipped with stock D'Addario .009 to .042 gauge strings. There are two splittable EMG active humbuckers on the guitar, the bridge pickup being the 81TW and the neck pickup being the 89. There are three knobs and one 3-way selector Switch. Two of the top knobs are volume control for the pickups which can be pulled up to split the pickups into single coil mode. The last one is a tone knob. The good: Everything about the guitar is great. The action of the guitar was perfect. Not too high, not too low. The tremolo was exactly as I expected, an Original Floyd Rose and not a licensed model or a copy. The black cherry finish on my guitar was absolutely stunning and was even more beautiful when exposed to a light environment. In addition to buying from Pro Guitar Shop, they offered me a free hardshell case as a gift during Christmas time along with a bunch of other tuning items such as a few allen wrenches. However, I am not sure that all of these things will come included free of charge if you buy from another retailer. The bad: The tremolo was just a little bit off as the base plate was leaning backwards a bit into the guitar. This was fixed with a little minor tuning. The finish was beautiful and the first time around, I didn't want to touch it in fear of smudging. I feared correctly, as CSI could use these to collect fingerprints from every criminal in their database. Nothing a little polishing with my shirt can't fix.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mr. Skull
    Cartilage wrote: I've been told that Schecter make the best guitars for your money that are under 1000, so i'm probably gunna get one at some point also the finish in the pic looks beautiful so I hope to get one that looks like that
    absolutely the case. schecter is a lot better than fender for quality AND price. if you do metal, that is
    SOADriff
    muzikboi2495 wrote: i heard the neck is kinda fat. i'm not a big shredder but how much do you think that will affect my playing?
    Im used to ibanez necks that are ub3r thin and it felt great. Its thinner then a les paul and is about as thick as an sg and a little thicker than an ibanez. if you are looking for a thin neck through, get an ibanez xiphos.
    muzikboi2495
    hey guys. i'm thinkin about getting this guitar. i heard the neck is kinda fat. i'm not a big shredder but how much do you think that will affect my playing?
    muzikboi2495
    hey guys. i'm thinkin about getting this guitar. i heard the neck is kinda fat. i'm not a big shredder but how much do you think that will affect my playing?
    SirKillsalot
    decayingdave
    What I meant by that was that the guitar had a great look. The guitar does indeed look ominous, with the Gothic Cross inlays, black cherry quilted top, etc. The "dream girl" phrase was just a metaphor.
    SirKillsalot
    DeadlyKombat
    I understand your suspicion, but the only flaw I have had with the guitar when I got it was a human-related issue, as mentioned before. I cannot blame Schecter for the incompetence of another guy who half-arsed his job setting up the guitar (Unless of course Schecter setup the guitar themselves, but that is another argument).
    SOADriff
    I asked myself the exact same question but still never got an answer. All I can say to you is try out both and tell us what the differences are.
    SOADriff
    I dont get it. they are EXACTLY the same just a different headstock (the c-1 and sunset). So whats the point?
    dreadth117
    This looks alot like the Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR (probobly cause they similar models lol) but if it is anything like the C-1FR then its great!
    DeadlyKombat
    you gave it all 10's even though you said there was things bad about it... c'mon man, seriously? on a happier note, I'm looking to buy one of these once I get sufficient funds.
    In-f3st
    I have my eye on this piece for some time now... Hope I get it soon
    Cartilage
    I've been told that Schecter make the best guitars for your money that are under 1000, so i'm probably gunna get one at some point also the finish in the pic looks beautiful so I hope to get one that looks like that
    Amuro Jay
    DeadlyKombat wrote: you gave it all 10's even though you said there was things bad about it... c'mon man, seriously? on a happier note, I'm looking to buy one of these once I get sufficient funds.
    The only thing he said bad resulted from a faulty set up. That is more human error than it is the guitar. Buying any guitar from online will usually mean you will have to set it up yourself before it plays like it is supposed to.
    denday831
    Awesome guitar. Bought one, Awesome tone and awesome looks i love it and i dont usually play bass. This was so effortless to play it made me pick it up more
    Soundwash22
    I have 3 Schecters - the C-1 Elite, Black Hawk & '39 Hot Rod as well as a Schecter Custom 4 bass. I can't say enough about these guys! Unbeleivable quality. If you want the best guitar for your money and want to play anything from Metal to Jazz - grab a Schecter! I run mine through Line 6 Amps - until I get a Mesa....
    Amuro Jay
    Schecters are awesome, some of em are better than guitars that cost way more. Like scoring a hellraiser for $800 to $1000 is a way better deal than buying a Gibson in the same price range. I'd even take it over ESPs (LTDs), Ibanez, and even some Jacksons (but not all of them) in the same range.
    Creep_C-1
    i bought a hellraiser last year, and im only playing schecter from now on. great guitars.
    decayingdave
    It's got some really good features, I'll give you that. This is the first high end schecter that I've bothered to look into properly, but what lets them down I think is the appearance - Metal guitars should always have some sort of presence about them, and if you're describing it as a dream girl instead of a nightmarish homicidal maniac then I think that the sound and the appearance aren't going to be fully styled to the genre.
    headbangerbuggy
    SOADriff : I dont get it. they are EXACTLY the same just a different headstock (the c-1 and sunset). So whats the point?
    Uhm, one is significantly heavier. I don't know which one, but when I went to Guitar Center and tried them out, I noticed one was way heavier. Not really intolerably heavy, like a Les Paul... just way heavier.