Purchased from: Used at Reverb.com
Features — 9
Korean made, this guitar has a swamp ash body, flamed maple top, 3 piece maple neck with set neck construction, ebony fretboard, stainless steel extra jumbo frets, Schecter locking tuners, graph tech black tusk nut, 26.5 scale length, 12 to 16 compound radius, string through body with a hipshot bridge, one volume knob with coil tap, 3-way pickup selector switch satin finish, and Seymour Duncan Nazgul in the bridge and sentient in the neck. Also the bridge pickup is played closer to the bridge than most guitars, Keith Merrow specifically told Schecter to do that for his custom.
Sound — 8
I will admit I was not sure what to expect with the bridge pickup being placed much closer to the bridge than most normal guitars. Sadly for me it gives it a not so desirable tone for what I am doing. It gives it a more treble based tone that to me sounds "honky" or not round (bassy) enough. I love Conquering Dystopia (Keith Merrow and Jeff Loomis' side project) but one thing I always thought sounded a little weird was their rhythm guitar tones. I later come to learn in an interview it's because Keith used his km to track all of the rhythms. Don't get me wrong the guitar does NOT sound bad, it simply is a sound I'm not used to and don't prefer, but I'm sure others would feel otherwise. The neck pickup sounds fine, I have no complaints about that. I would just really have preferred it if the bridge pickup was in it's normal location.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
I bought this guitar used but practically mint online, it came set up fairly well but of course wanted to completely set it up to my liking. The action could go fairly low, but not as low as my Ibanez Prestige before buzzing. I have no real complaints about it's play ability other than the fact that the neck is so thick. I bought this guitar with hopes of having it replaces my Blackjack SLS C-7... Sadly I was wrong. The neck on my Blackljack was thinner and a lot more comfortable, I couldn't pick up this guitar without feeling like the neck should have been thinner. It is because of it's uncomfortably large neck and weirdly placed bridge pickup that I have decided to resell it and keep my Blackjack SLS as my main 7-string guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar seems to be built like a tank. There is no doubt in my mind that this guitar is tour worthy. The nice addition of stainless steel frets will surely make for very sturdy frets that won't need any work for a long time. The only thing I would complain about is the flamed maple top, it does not look as nice as I thought it would be. I bought it in the black/grey flamed maple finish. It seems a bit thin, but it's still nice. The Schecter locking tuners are also actually pretty solid, but I would recommend changing them for something like Gotoh Magnum Lock tuners.
Overall Impression — 8
As a musician that plays various forms of music I need a guitar that will fit my needs and allows me to feel as comfortable as possible while playing. Schecter put in a lot of work into this guitar and it is a nice guitar. But it simply is not the guitar for me. With its neck being too thick for my taste compared to other Schecter series like the Blackjack SLS, or even my Ibanez Prestige, this guitars neck does not feel at home or easy to play fast on. The oddly placed bridge pickup is a bit of a turn off for me as I wrote earlier. The coil tap options are nice and make for many tone options, but my self am not a fan of the Duncan Nazgul pickup. It sounds a bit too thin for my liking compared to other Duncans as as the Duncan Distortion. All in all this is a nice guitar, just not one that fit's me specifically.