Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 10
I mostly play hard rock, metal, blues, and alternative. This guitar can do it all. The coil tap works perfectly to give you those classic Stratocaster sounds and and the Humbuckers can be easily compared to that of a Les Paul or possibly a mid-level PRS (but it's hard to beat a PRS). I play a lot of Creed and Alter Bridge type stuff so if you are looking for that Mark Tremonti sound, this is the guitar for you. "Higher", "Open Your Eyes", "One Last Breath", ect. sounds beautiful on this thing. My rig consists of a Crate XT120R 120 Watt 2X12 combo amp (which I plan to replace the current speakers with two Celesion Vintage 30's) with a DigiTech RP100 digital effects processor, Ibanez TS9 Tubescreamer, and Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon Wah. The rear humbucker on this guitar hums a little but not much. It has various tones which vary from a warm/fat sound to a sharp/bright sound. The harmonics on this guitar are absolutely amazing, not to mention it really squeels when you hit a pinch hamonic.
Overall Impression — 10
As I said earlier, I play a lot of blues, hard rock, metal, and alternative; and this guitar suits my playing styles perfectly. I have been playing for about 6 1/2 years now and still going strong. The guitar that I used as my primary before this one was an Ibanez GSA60 which is a fairly decent guitar but it will serve as my backup because it just can't compare with this beast. If my Schecter was stolen/lost I would definately buy another. I have actually considered buying another (whether something happened to this one or not) in another color. Either that or get a lower level PRS (just for something different). What do I love about this guitar? Everything, it's everything I could hope for and more. There is nothing about this guitar that I hate. My favorite feature would probably be the finish/binding, or maybe the coil tap humbuckers. Comparisons? I would easily compare it to a Gibson Les Paul or maybe a mid-level PRS. What do I wish it had? A tremolo, that's about it. Other than that, shear perfection.
Reliability & Durability — 10
As far as I know, this guitar is very durable. I don't even have a scratch on mine because I try to take be very carful about how I handle it. I do know that this guitar will last though, through inspection and other reviews I have noticed just how rock solid this guitar is. The strap buttons are big and very solid, I wouldn't really have anything to worry about with them but (as a personal preference) I plan on putting a Strap Lok (and yes that's how it's spelled) system on it just for extra security. I definately could depend on this guitar, it's rock solid and the sound is up there with the Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Strats. Would I play a gig without a backup? Yea, I would. it's the most reliable guitar I own and I would feel very secure playing at a gig without a backup. The finish seems like it's very durable. I have put quite a few hours into playing this one but not enough to know just how durable it really is. However, from what I have heard, it has about 4 layers or clear coat on it (not really sure how true that is though) so if that's the case then the finish should hold up for a very long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The factory set-up was almost perfect. The only problem I had with it was the mediocre strings and that the fretts buzzed a little (that was fixed easily with a change of strings and I raised the bridge a little). The action was great just the way it was when I recieved it but like I said, I had to tweak it due to the fret buzz. Some people say that they had to raise their pickups a bit but I don't understand why? I have no problems out of the sound from the pickups, the volume is fine and the sustain is well, to put it bluntly: LONG! The guitar came with no manufacturer flaws what-so-ever. The finish was perfect, quality of wood is unbeatable, hardware is great, ect. Oh, and I don't think I mentioned the fit and balance. This guitar is a carved-top so it feels very comfortable to your strumming arm. The back is contoured so that allows for very comfortable positioning while playing. And the weight balance is perfect.
Features — 9
Ah, the Schecter S-1 Elite. An "almost" perfect guitar. I will get to the "almost" part in a second. If I am right, mine is a 2007 model but not really sure where it was made, Korea maybe? It has 22 jumbo scale frets. The neck's scale is 24.75", set-in neck style, 3-pc. with mahogany back and a beautiful rosewood fretboard. The body is made of mahogany with a quilted maple top. As far as I know, it comes in four colors: Black Cherry, Cayman Blue, Antique Amber (discontinued), and Grey Mist (the Zacky Vengeange signature color). I bought mine in the Cayman Blue finish, just because the Black Cherry finish was on back order (for like a month) at every online Schecter dealer, but I am so glad I got the Cayman blue. This finish is beautiful and looks 10 times better than the Black Cherry in my opinion. The body style is kinda odd, kind of a mix between a thin Les Paul at the body's bottom with the signature SG body top. It also has this beautiful Abalone binding around the whole guitar (including the neck! ), with the signature Abalone "Gothic Cross" inlays in the fretboard. The bridge is a TonePros Tune-O-Matic bridge (w/string thru body) which makes changing strings simple and also allows the guitar to resonate to it's fullest potential. The controls consist of a 3-way pickup selector, two volume knobs and a tone knob (in which the tone knob also acts as a 3-way tap so you can split the humbuckers for a single coil sound; all it takes is a pull of the tone knob, and push it down for the humbucker sound again). This guitar has two humbuckers which are the Duncan Designed HB-102 / SC-102. The tuners are Grover tuners which are non-locking but stays in tune very well, not to mention that it's easy to tune too. However, there are no accessories included with this guitar other than your basic tools for maintenance. I plan on purchasing the case for this guitar sometime but I don't really need it just yet. Oh, and the "almost" perfect comment I made a while ago. The only reason I said "almost" is that it could use a tremolo, then this guitar would be perfect in my opinion. I really wish I could give a 9.9 rating for this part but since it's only in multiples of 1, I will give it a 9, a 9.9 is more suitable though.