Price paid: $ 425
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 9
Tone wise, the tempest is amazing, I've played the Duncan Designed Tempest Custom and it is top notch. Warm luscious tone. Coil tapping is definitely very nice. I actually find myself consistently using the middle position where the two pickups blend together. The HB-102 can get muddy but it is definitely not a HUGE issue. I play a lot of different styles, and while the Tempest can't really do like a death/thrash metal kind of sound, in any other category it totally dominates. The tone is well balanced, maybe a tad towards teh warmer side, but again a very versatile guitar. With the Jazz/JB pickups (or any other Duncan sets) its just gets better, but that's more of a personal preference.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for 10 years almost. Anything from ballads/Rock ballads, Hard Rock, Melodic, to Jazz and soft rock, the guitar is definitely suited well for everything I need. I own various other guitars and nothing really come close at this price. (I don't see a HUGE increase in quality and/or tone past the $800 range to be honest) Here's the thing, this Tempest Custom is my 3rd. The first one that I have was dinged by my other guitarist TWICE in the same night. I tried repairing it but it was not worth the hassle. I bought a 2nd one from a dealer on ebay, and he said minor scratches... When I got it, I saw a rippling top, faded hardware and the binding just doesn't look right. I bet it was sitting in a window and had sunlight/humidity damage. So I sold that, and finally got this 3rd one with the Jazz/JB set and this thing is great. So If it was stolen/lost/dinged... I would (and did) buy it again. For anyone who is on the fence, you won't regret it. It's not your run of the mill Epiphone/Gibsons and Fenders. Nothing comes close with its price range. And in reality it is not about the price that's attractive. It'll be hard to find anything with this kind of hardware and quality build for double it's price (sure a MIA/MIJ stamp but you pay a premium for minimal, if any, gain). I'd argue (besides Schecter custom shop guitars) that the Tempest Custom is one of the best guitars Schecter ever made.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I gig with this guitar almost exclusively now. At first I bought this as a second guitar since I play my ESP/LTD F-400 but I've come to love the Tempest. Any guitar that I gig with I use Dunlop straploks, so I don't have to worry about the strap or buttons failing on me. I can safely say I probably won't need a backup for it (but anyone who've broken a string in the middle of a gig will tell you. You're dumb to not have a backup). The gloss black can make minor scratches seem more apparent than say the Trans-Black finish.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I got it used so I cannot comment on factory setup. But overall the action is good with minimal buzzing if at all. Pickup selector is pretty decent, but I've noticed a bit of noise from my old one (trust me I DON'T use it as a kill Switch like most kids nowadays do on youtube.... It's a selector Switch guys!) Gold hardware can get tarnished easier than chrome/Nickel hardware. So that is my ONLY complain.
Features — 9
Year/Make/Model: 2008 Schecter Tempest Custom Made in Korea Frets: 24 I think they are medium frets Body/Neck wood: Flamed maple top/Mahogany body, nice Vintage style multi-ply cream binding. Mahogany-3 piece neck with a rosewood (looks like rosewood but schecter.com says ebony) fretboard. MOP split crown inlay with Abalone in the 12th. Body Style: It's a tempest.... Bridge: TonePros locking stoptail PUs: HB-102 Duncan Design, but I got mine with a Jazz/JB set. 2010 models have Duncan Custom Custom/'59 Wish it had locking tuners, and also the gloss black hides the flamed top and 3 piece neck.