Price paid: $ 680
Purchased from: usedinstrumentwarehouse on Ebay
Sound — 10
I use the guitar with two amps, Jet City 2112RC and an Ibanez TSA 15C. I had heard lots of opinions on the internet about how the Invader pickups had only one type of sound and how the were only suited to metal and that their output was too muddy. Of the guitar I had heard some people say similar things that its sound was very loud, high gain and ultimately mainly suited to metal. I can tell you without any Shadow of a doubt that those opinions are I'll formed and should not be relied on. Pickups can never be viewed in isolation of the circuit they are built into, their placement on a guitar and on the rest of the configuration of the guitar, its tonewood and other things. Many people it seemed had only ever bought the bridge pickup and stuck it in a Fender and had declared it too bassy. The fact of the matter is that this guitar and pickup combination has six broad settings. They range from really heavy overdriven sound that will melt the wax in your ears to a rich clean sound that is to die for. The dirty sounds were still clearly articulated and probably the nicest overdriven sound I have ever heard come out of that amp. I actually managed to get the clean sounds from the same gainy Jet City that I got the huge overdriven sound on. The clean I got by splitting the neck pickup. I didn't even have to roll back the volume. On the Ibanez I didn't even have to split the neck pickup to get a nice rich clean acoustic style sound ideal for finger picking.I would easily rate this 12 if I could.
Overall Impression — 10
I play all types of music from Pink Floyd to solos from you name it. I still consider myself a relative beginner. I have been playing for three years now and only just gotten to the level where I am no longer ashamed of showing other people. My end goal is to be able to play inspirational solos and entertain myself and friends. I have a Schecter Omen Extreme, a Fender Blacktop as well as a Squier Classic Vibe. I love all my other guitars and especially the Classic Vibe. This guitar is another one that I feel is special in its own way and one that I will never part with. I have played with lots of high end guitars such as Custom American Strat, a Gibson Les Paul, a Jem 7V and a PRS and I would not hesitate to place this guitar in that upper echelon of professional level instruments. I even love the paint job, even though it is rather loud. The funny thing is that the first thing my 15 year old daughter said "That is the fuggliest guitar I have ever seen, take it away...". My son said just the opposite. He thought it was the coolest guitar he had ever seen and I tend to agree with him. I am totally in love with this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will without a Shadow of a doubt withstand live playing. Its got the best hardware money can buy. You cannot get better than an Original Floyd. I am not a professional guitarist but if I was I would have a few guitars as backups in case of an accident but I would find this as dependable as a Jem or an American Strat or Gibson Les Paul. The finish seems a little on the brittle side and it has some tiny marks. The finish does not seem to have the same level of durability as a Fender has. However the rest is totally Bullet proof.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was a used mint guitar that looked like it had been a shop demo. I had it delivered from the US to Australia via UPS and the seller had backed the strings right off so I had to set the guitar up. The setup took less than four minutes and then another four minutes before I had adjusted it to the low action I am used to which is about 1.1mm (slightly less than 3/64") and 1.5mm (slightly under 1/16") at the high E string on the 12th fret. The guitar now works beautifully with no buzz. The pickups are perfect and the fretwire is the best of any guitar I own. The nut, the tuning pegs, everything was close to flawless. The neck had a high gloss finish which I waxed with Tech Wax and it now feels nice and smooth.
Features — 10
This guitar is made in September of 2011 and is made in Korea where all the high end Diamond Series Schecters come from. I had observed this now for a while but it really hit home with this guitar how far Korea has come. I would have no hestitation considering Korea as have guitar making capability equal to the best Japanese or US factories. Of course you can have a bad guitar made anywhere but in general their skill level is really up there. I would rate this 12 if I could. Anyway this guitar is a solid mahogany with a through neck design. The guitar is made in three pieces and is painted in a solid black paint with red stripes on the front. The guitar is basically three pieces with the neck the central piece. The body style is the Schecter Avenger which is like an italicised RG. The body is definitely wider at the horns than a Strat and will not fit in a Strat case whether it is hard or soft. The fretboard is the darkest and finest grained Ebony I have seen and has beautifully white mother of pearl inlays. The frets are superjumbo and the neck is 21mm thick and 42mm wide at the first fret which makes it slightly slimmer than the modern neck of a Fender Strat. The radius is 400mm and opens up to a very comfortable 58mm wide at the body which helps enormously with any fast soloing. The supplied strings are Ernie Ball 10-46. The tuners are beautiful Grovers with an 1-18 ratio. The neck has the shape of a devils head not too dissimilar to a BC Rich Warlock head but smoother. The tremolo is a black Original Floyd Rose. The pickups are Custom Seymour Duncan Invaders (SH-8). The Custom part comes from the massive chrome pole pieces that look like large Allen bolts. The neck pickup has about half the ohm rating of the bridge pickup. Both the neck and the bridge pickup can be split.