Hellraiser Sunset FR Review

manufacturer: Schecter date: 03/27/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Schecter: Hellraiser Sunset FR
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.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.7
 Features: 9.7
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (1) 30 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Hellraiser Sunset FR Reviewed by: SirKillsalot, on february 02, 2009
8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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). // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Hellraiser Sunset FR Reviewed by: headbangerbuggy, on march 24, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 550

Purchased from: zZounds.com

Features: Features are pretty much everything you would want from a higher end metal guitar. Mahogany, Grover Tuners, EMG 81TW/89 (Which is basically the 81/85 but with split-coil capabilities), Original Floyd (not licensed), Curve Top, 24XJ Frets, Gloss Finish, S-Shaped body, 3-way selector, Push/Pull volume knobs, tone knob, 25.5" Scale. Just seemingly perfect. Except it has a reverse headstock. And those bug me a little. But that's just me. It's also a bit heavy. // 9

Sound: Dude, this guitar can literally achieve any tone/sound when the right person is holding it. The split coil EMG's are a dream come true in terms of versatility, they should just always do that in guitars. You can get any tone with those. Don't let anyone tell you different. It's truly remarkable. The mahogany body allows for rough and full tone with astronomical sustain. It's a wonder to the ears, as well. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action for a guitar with a Floyd will almost never be to the preference of the buyer initially being that there are so many different methods of modifying it to your liking. Things like spring strength, action, tuning. It's all a bit of a pain to start, and I'm tuning mine to B. Define: irritating. Haha. But other than that, you can expect a nicely tuned guitar. Nothing wrong, here. The vampire-red finish was beautiful. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is perfect for any kind of playing. Except if you planned on breaking it on stage. I'm not convinced this could be broken that easily, it's pretty solid. Everything would be just fine. The strap buttons, the electronics, the hardware in general. But the 4th question here that I'm looking to answer is kinda stupid:"Would you use it on a gig without a backup?". Of course not. You never do that no matter how reliable a guitar is. So no, I wouldn't. But it has nothing to do with the guitar itself, it's just that it's smart to always have a backup. The finish is a high-gloss, very well-done finish. You shouldn't have problems like it wearing away or anything. Chips are pretty hard to induce on this thing. // 10

Overall Impression: I play metal/hardcore/metalcore/metal/rock/shred/and that soft clean stuff we all like occasionally. I have been playing for about 4 years and this guitar suit's my needs flawlessly. I have been looking for a new guitar for a year. No joke, and I made my mind with this one. I like it a lot. If it were stolen, I would definitely buy another one. No question. The thing is, they're discontinued, it would be tough to find another. My favorite feature is probably the pickups. That split coil thing warms my heart to think about. The only thing I don't like about this guitar is the fact that it's a bit heavy and the reverse headstock is the most minor of inconveniences. I compared it to every guitar in it's ballpark and this one came out on top. If there were one thing I wish it had. It would have to be paired allen wrenches with the guitar. Because now I have to go buy some for the Floyd. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Hellraiser Sunset FR Reviewed by: OPs, on march 27, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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