KM-7 Keith Merrow Signature review by Schecter

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (15 votes)
Schecter: KM-7 Keith Merrow Signature

Purchased from: Used at

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.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Yeah, the bridge pickup is not "much closer" to the bridge than normal. Looks completely normal to me. If it's any closer, it's a matter of a millimeter or two. Also, if you felt that the KM7's neck was thicker than your Blackjack SLS, that was in your mind. They are literally the exact same neck, identical in every single dimension, and it's the thinnest neck Schecter makes.
    I don't think it's the position. I've just put a Nazgul in my schecter Omen 7 and I'm quite disappointed in it, exactly what you're describing. I'm going to swap it for either a Dimarzio Evolution 7 or D-Activator
    Right now I have the DiMarzio Tone Zone 7 in the bridge and I love it, pretty versatile PU. Really chunky but still has some pretty smooth cleans.
    That white version looks incredibly sexy, but then again I'm a sucker for simple designs.
    I got this guy 3 weeks ago (the white satin version too), and it's a killer guitar. Took a little getting used to, with the slightly wider fretboard than I'm used to, and the flat bridge just being something new for me, but once I was dialed in, it's been incredibly difficult to put down. I didn't know swamp ash was so heavy too, lol. Also, not sure how the reviewer complained about the neck needing to be thinner. I play a Jackson 7 string Soloist, and that thing's neck is much bulkier.
    a7x julian
    @guitarguy1679 yeah that might be what they said but i own both the blackjack sls c-7 and the km-7 and i can say without a doubt that the blackjack sls-c7 have a thinner and more comfortable neck. I mean i own a 2014 model, so MAYBE they might have changed it in later versions? Idk, but i can tell you i don;t find the km-7 neck to be as comfortable as the sls neck.
    a7x julian
    and yes i have also read that the neck is very thin, maybe to most other companies standards, but it definitely does not compare to that of an ibanez neck. Not that that's what schecter of keith had in mind. But an ibanez neck, THATS a thin and comfty neck. Again the km7 neck is not bad, just feels a bit awkward at times and not as thin/comfty as my sls c-7 neck.
    Way Cool JR.
    I doubt it's the position of the pup from the bridge making it sound off. The pup looks like it's in the typical spot where it should be. It certainly doesn't look like it's moved any closer to the bridge than normally found on a guitar. It's certainly not way closer by a long shot.
    a7x julian
    He stated in an interview that he moved the pickup closer to the bridge to get a specific tone for those that don't believe me.
    a7x julian
    Btw I'm selling my km7 in case anyone is interested, locally only though. Located in nyc.
    Way Cool JR.
    I get what he's talking about now (after looking at pics of the old version of the guitar). The older version had the bridge pup moved much further away from the bridge tan normal. That made the guitar to bass'y so he moved it closer to the bridge. Now it's sitting about exactly where they are typically on a guitar. So long story short, the pup is not closer to the bridge than a standard guitar, only closer than on his old sig which was much further away than normal.
    That's the exact distribution of woods and dimensions I'd pick, but I'd probably swap the Nazguls for EMG 707 or something, and the bridge for a Khaler trem.
    Can you elaborate more on the neck? From what I heard, Keith based it on the SLS neck profile, which should mean that it's just as thin as your SLS C-7. All of the other descriptions of it's thickness say that it's very thin, as well.