Price paid: £ 199
Purchased from: GAK.co.uk
Sound — 6
Being a seven string this guitar is obviously designed for metal. Unfortunately this is where the price of the guitar shows the most. Let's start with the bridge pickup. When clean it sounds fairly clear and crisp. It performs well under low to medium gain and it makes a good rock sound. Crank the gain some more though and it loses clarity. It just about handles low B but if you detune to anything below that it just turns to mud. I have since replaced it with a DiMarzio D Activator 7 which I would highly recommend. The neck pickup is only usable with a clean tone as it has very little definition or clarity. Once again, you get what you pay for.
Overall Impression — 9
I would recommend this guitar to anyone on a budget, especially metal players. While the pickups are not great they sound fine for any bedroom player and now I have replaced my bridge pickup it sounds great by anybody's standards. If you have a limited budget (which believe me I can appreciate) or if you are not sure about seven string guitars and want to try one out, this is a great choice. While it is basic it does its job well. If you want to do any recording or band stuff then a pickup change is advisable. The pickup I bought was 71 and sounds amazing. The guitar itself was 199 so for a fantastic 270 you can have a guitar that sounds and plays like something much more expensive. To sum up the is a great budget guitar with very little that betrays its excellent price tag. Video from YouTube:
Reliability & Durability — 9
Being a simple guitar there is not much to go wrong. Everything feels sturdy and like it will stand up to some punishment. Saying that I did make a few small chips in the paint whilst changing the pickup, but are barely noticeable and I had to drop a screwdriver on it in order to make them. Under reasonable use the matt finish on the body and the chrome finish on the hardware will stand up very nicely. I trust this guitar completely and would have no problem with playing live with no backup. I have had this guitar for months now and it has had a significant amount of vigorous playing and given me no problems.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Thee neck is thin with a satin finish and a nice curve on the back making it fast and very playable. The action straight out of the box was too low and the was no bow in the neck, leading to a lot of string buzz. But this was a very simple fix and no real problem. All I had to do was tighten up the truss rod and I ended up with a nice low action with minimal fret buzz. Unfortunately there is a problem on the neck that is less easy to fix. The 17th fret at the D string is slightly raised, probably due to bad workmanship. This means there is a permanent fret buzz when the D string is played at the 16th fret. This will need properly finishing and is beyond my skill to fix. The finishing on the rest of the guitar is very good. You would never guess at the 199 price tag.
Features — 8
This is a budget seven string from Schecter's budget-end SGR branch. I got in the matt black finish. It's a superstrat shape with 24 jumbo frets on the neck. It has a lengthy 26.75 inch scale which gives good string tension for lowered tunings whilst not being too much of a stretch for your hands. Being a budget guitar the hardware is simple but you get what you pay for. 2 passive humbuckers, 1 volume pot, 1 tone pot and a 3 way switch. While the hardware is basic it is solid and it feels well made and I have had no problems with any of it.