Price paid: $ 700
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
Just as you would expect from a Schecter player, my style is metal, but I also do rock. Mainly Metallica stuff, Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, Led Zeppelin, Santana, you get the idea. This guitar is great for that stuff. The 24th fret is actually extremely easy to access. On other guitars, you find yourself holding on to the body to get to 24, but on this guitar, you actually still have your hand on the neck. The neck is very rounded, it works for everything. It is just plain fast. The Floyd Rose's locking nut preserves your tuning FOREVER. I went for a month before I had to tune again, and it was still close enough so I only had to use the fine tuners on the bridge. On the 81 pickup, you get a nice, sharp sound that is really clear and great for distortion. I use a Boss Metal Zone Keeley mod pedal for my distortion. My amp is a Marshall JCM through a Marshall cabinet. I almost always play on the 81. I find that the 89 is a little to bassy for my style, but it still sounds fine, it just doesn't fit my sound. Otherwise, the 89 sounds best on cleans. The coil taps in each pickup are a great feature. You can get a single coil sound on the fly for that nice, sharp bite, or get a fat humbucker with the push/pull of a Switch. Since both pickups have this feature, you have a lot of different choices for sound.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, if your a metal/rock player, this is the guitar for you. You can even squeeze out some blues. I've been playing for 6 years and I own one Squier (my first guitar), a few Epiphones and a Dean, and this one blows them all out of the water, especially the Squier. I would totally buy another one, but unfortunately, it's discontinued. I have to say the EMGs and the Floyd Rose are my favorite features. it's not often you find equipment like this on a guitar in this price range. Also, this guitar is beyond beautiful. The paint gets no justice in the photo. In the proper light, you will stun your audience. The first show I ever played with this guitar was my school talent show, and the comment I got most was "Sick guitar, dude!" The reverse headstock enhances the effect and is a great nod toward Hendrix. I really have no dislikes at all for this guitar. If there is anything you don't like, chances are it can be fixed with a little adjustment. I didn't compare much to this guitar when shopping for it, but after I got it, my friend with a Gibson Les Paul got really jealous of me.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't used it much Live, only 4 or 5 shows, but it goes through a hell of a beating in band practice, and so far it's doing great. It looks no different than when I got it, save for pick scratches. The hardware is durable, The strap buttons work fine, they work through all my jumping and little dances in the garage. Don't worry if this is the only guitar you can use in a show; it will exceed expectations.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Everything on this guitar is well put together. After a few months, nothing has broken or come loose. My only problem is that the pickup selector is a bit flimsy. That's the only reason I gave this category a 9. Try to lay off the Tom Morello stuff with it. Nonetheless it works fine.
Features — 10
My model was made in 2008. Unfortunately, this guitar was discontinued in 2009. The wood was assembled in Korea, but it was set up and finished in Burbank, California, USA. The end result is a mahogany Strat shaped guitar with 24 frets, a rosewood neck, quilted top finish, and a floating Floyd Rose Tremolo bridge to boot. This guitar is equipped with killer EMG active electronics. The 81TW, which is essentially a split-coil 81, is in the bridge while an 89 (split-coil 85) is in the neck. The difference with these split coils is they supposedly have an actual third coil in the housing. I don't know how they do it, but whether or not it's true, it's still sounds like a real single coil. For some reason the picture on this page shows no pickup selector, but rest assured, there is a three way Switch for the 2 pickups. The tuners are Grovers, and I don't know much about tuners, so you'll have to decide for yourself if that's a good thing. I mean, I know Grover has a good reputation for tuners, but I haven't come across any bad ones yet, so... No accessories come with this guitar, but I also purchased is matching case, made by Schecter. It fit's the guitar perfectly. You have to take the whammy bar off to make it fit. There are a bunch of spaces for various things like a strap, the whammy bar, cables, whatever. The case is hardshell, and really durable. It locks too.