Sound — 9
Straight out the box, I loved it instantly - I know people bash basswood a lot but this guitar just suits it to perfection, the sustain is awesome, and I blame both pickups and the body wood; its very harmonically "lively" - I can achieve some awesome pinch harmonics on all the strings. It suits my style perfectly - I play a mixture of various types of metal, from good ol'core to unearth kinda straight up metal stuff. Also starting to dabble in the djent/groove/techdeath with my super awesome 7th string. The pickups have good clarity, each note being well defined, but this is only in standard tuning (BEADGBe) so couldn't comment on definition in lower tunings. My guitar signal (thus far) goes through a Joyo 6 Band Equaliser into a Boss Metalcore ML-2 into my Vox VT15. I can get some pretty good sounds with this setup - I scooped my mids and dropped the bass frequencies a little using my EQ, and boosted the highs and I'm happy with the tone. I'm sure this guitar would stand up to other types of music well, as rolling off the volume knob gives a much more overdrived sound through my amp, instead of distortion - it also handles cleans very well. I'm thinking of swapping out the bridge PUP for a DiMarzio Evolution, just for extreme tightness on the B string.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall I think this guitar is perfect for my musical style, and is well suited to both introducing a 7-string guitar, to 6string players, and for more seasoned 7string players as it is just a quality guitar. I decided on this guitar after meticulous internet research and never had the chance to play it before I decided I would like it as a Christmas present, but was pleasantly surprised and incredibly happy with it. If it was stolen, I would most likely replace it as it is my only &string, my now favourite guitar and I just can't live without it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't yet gigged with this guitar so couldn't comment on its ability to stand up to live playing, but I would feel confident without a backup - and its not like I smash it off stuff anyway so I have no concerns about its durability. The strap buttons are large enough to keep a strap secure, but I doubt they'd keep hold of a guitar long if you were spinning it around your head like a madman. The finish seems pretty sturdy, no scratches or dents yet but again, I don't abuse my guitars (and I don't see why you would? ). With it being black gloss, dirt and fingerprints show up quickly but I enjoy cleaning my guitars so its not a problem.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It was perfectly set up out of the box, action was low without buzz and was extremely playable - it made the transition from 6 string to 7 string very comfortable. The pickups are adjusted well as far as I am concerned, but may have a play around with pickup height in the future just to see what happens. The finish is a gloss black, with no flaws anywhere to be seen - I can't find a single flaw on the body at all, except the black strapping that Schecter uses to surround its pickups has started to fray a little from trying to scrape some accumulated dirt that was on the inside.
Features — 10
Cause I'm special, its left handed :) So its a 2011 model I believe, it has a black Basswood body, maple neck and rosewood neck with dot inlays. 24 frets, with a cutaway heel for ease of access - I believe in some reviews people say its quite a thick neck joint with the bolt plate, but to me (small hands) I find it manageable and non-obtrusive to higher fret access. It's a 14" radius (I think) so you notice the flatness of the fretboard on the wider 7string neck - makes my BC Rich's neck look tiny x) I've also seen reviews that say the neck is quite thick, but again I have to disagree, even with small hands its a fast neck. Features wise its a simple string-thru TOM bridge, with a TUSQ nut and standard Schecter tuners, no locking ones here. It cames supplied with a set of 10-56 D'Addarrio strings (if I remember the tag correctly).