Price paid: $ 1049.99
Purchased from: Shecter
Sound — 6
The first amp I plugged this guitar into was a Peavey 6505+ with a TS9 Tubescreamer providing some extra gain. The Invaders did exactly what they were supposed to. The gain was crisp, the response was spot on, and the attack and presence were powerful. It sounded great for Hard Rock and metal!... ...And that was it. After that I tested out the cleans on a Fender Deluxe 65'. The cleans were clear, but they weren't very full or articulated. Things beefed up a bit on the neck pickup, but at the sacrifice of clarity. After a big of EQing I was able to get a decent sound out of them, but nothing I would play on a record or at a show. The last amp I tried was a Vox VT30 to test how it sounded through a beginner-ish amp. Again, with high gain I was able to get a nice and crunchy sound, but after I rolled the gain off the high output of the pickups tended to make things ratty and tinny. I'd give the metal tone a 9, but all else a 4. I'll split the difference and put 6 as the rating, however.
Overall Impression — 5
The specs seem great, but the fact of the matter is that this is a Korean made guitar with a huge price tag. It's got the looks, but I don't think it really walks the walk for anything outside of metal. It's a very limited guitar, and the quality control on that neck is something that I just cannot look past. We've got 2 of these in store, and they're both the same. Personally, I think it's a marketing thing. Avenged Sevenfold fans will buy the guitar if it plays like a dream or a 2x4. Simply for that, they get away with the awfully high price tag for the low quality paint, wood, tuners, and QC.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I can't really comment too much on this, because it's a shop guitar. What I will say is that I almost never have to re-tune it after customers get their hands on it all day. The OFR is a very quality tremolo. We've had it a few months and our younger customers really dig on it. I've yet to have to change a string or resolder the jack from basic abuse. My only complaint is that the Polyester finish picks up fingerprints and dust like none other!
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
This where I had my biggest issues. I've always felt rather comfortable with Schecter necks, but this one irked me. I'm not sure if the one I played was just a mistake on the cutting press, but the neck was decidedly chunkier feeling than any of the C-1 Hellraisers we had in store. The 25.5" scale and Jumbo frets married well, but I still couldn't get over the shape of the neck. However, the biggest problem with the neck was the lacquer. The pained portion of the neck itself is incredibly sticky. After any customer plays it, I find myself walking over to it with a rag to wipe all the grease that gets left behind. Normally lacquer doesn't bother me, but the grip that this neck has on the backside is a bit too much for me to ignore. Also, the ends of the frets were unfinished. I snagged my palm on the 13th fret quite often. The Floyd Rose is an OFR, so it's rock solid as expected. No comments there other than awesome! The hardware felt solid and secured. I also really dug the upper fret access. The heel cutaway as done very well.
Features — 7
This is a set neck mahogany guitar like we're used to seeing from Schecter, although with a body shape we're not. The Synyster Custom is the upper class of the two signature guitars of Synyster Gates, a guitar player in Avenged Sevenfold. The first thing that really captures your attention, of course, is the crazy body shape, followed by the pinstripes and headstock. I'm not usually a fan of crazy shapes, but this one's pretty alright in my opinion. The one thing I couldn't get over, though, is the incredibly tacky headstock shape. It seems lifted from a doodle middle-schooler's notebook next to the Metallica logo in pencil. The hardware aspect makes as promising case with signature Invaders from Seymour Duncan and the Original Floyd Rose. There are separate tone controls for each humbucker with a master volume knob as well. I wasn't necessarily a fan of the placement of the three-way switch, but that's personal preference. The fretboard is a 14" radius Ebony with 24 Jumbo frets and "REV" inlays. I was a bit disappointed that we only got 18:1 Grover tuners instead of locking tuners. For a $1, 000+ guitar that's not even Japanese made, I'd expect a bit more in the hardware details.