Price paid: $ 513.5
Purchased from: Axe Music
Sound — 10
I like to play many different rock genres, including classic rock, hard rock, heavy metal, even to blues. The Duncan Designed HB-102 pickups really give me the option to Switch from one genre to another. The pickups are extremely versatile, it can go well with many different types of genres. With the coil-tap feature, I can go from playing some really heavy Metallica riffs to some Stevie Ray Vaughan blues licks. The tone of the guitar really reminds me of a Les Paul, dark tone, bassy and "in your face". With the coil-tap feature, it gives me the bright twang of a Tele. I play this thing through an Epiphone Valve Junior Head + Matching Cabinet, with an Ibanez Tubescreamer TS808, and this guitar really makes a perfect match. For the price range, the sound competes with guitars twice as expensive.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this guitar is a great match for the music I like to play. Thrashing riffs from Metallica, mellow riffs from Stevie Ray Vaughan. The coil-tap feature really allows me to switch from different genres. I've been playing guitar for 8 years, and over the years I've tried many different guitars. I once owned an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, and that didn't even compare to the Schecter Tempest Custom. Before I bought the guitar, I've never actually tested it out in person, so I didn't know what to expect. When I got it, I was amazed. Personally I wouldn't take the risk of not trying before buying with any other guitar, except for this guitar. So if your thinking of doing the same with the Schecter Tempest Custom, don't worry. You will be amazed by the sound, quality, and it's durability. If it were stolen or lost, I would immediately buy another one, no doubt about that. It's just the perfect guitar for me, and it really is the best guitar for the price.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've only had this guitar for one month, and I've played it on one gig. On that one gig, I remember banging the headstock onto the wall pretty hard. I was worried that I would have chipped it, or it would leave a pretty big scratch. I was surprised when I found that there was only a minor scratch. The strap buttons haven't fallen or become loose yet, despite me jumping around with a strap. The hardware appears to be built like a tank, I'd expect the guitar to at least last me a very long time. The toggle Switch took quite a beating from me using it as a killswitch, and it's still holding up like the first day I got the guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up well from the factory, The intonation was spot-on, no fret buzz, straight neck, but the action was a little bit too high for my likings. But fixing the action is an easy thing to do. Nothing was loose or anything, the strings didn't pop out of the nut when you strum it hard. The pickups were a bit too close to the strings when I got it, but again, not too big of a problem. There were no scratches or dents, even the strings that came with the guitar were good to play.
Features — 9
Crafted in South Korea, set up in America. Personally I really like the Grover tuners, when I first got the guitar it really didn't go out of tune (this was when I didn't even have it set up yet). The TonePros bridge really reminded me of how a Les Paul is like. Packed with two humbucker pickups, it's perfect for hard rock. No unusual noises or hum is coming from the humbucker. The coil tap feature just really gives the guitar a chance to be versatile, and it really shows. You can go from a Les Paul tone (the humbuckers) to a really nice tele tone (coil-tap). For some reason it's got the feel of a Les Paul, which I really like. It didn't come with any accessories, but you can buy a hard-case exclusively made for the Schecter Tempest.