Price paid: $ 699
Purchased from: Not purchased
Sound — 7
The biggest issue I had with this guitar is simply how muddy the stock Duncan Designed HB-101/102 humbuckers. Schecter has since updated the new custom to a Custom/'59 combo, and by good decision. The body sustained well through all the amps I pushed it through. First I played through a Fender 65' Deluxe to test the cleans. I was able to get a variety of different sounds, which were all not quite what I wanted due to the pickups, but that doesn't render testament against the versatility of the tonal range. Next I dirtied up a bit with an AC15. This is where the pickups seemed to do best for me. Classic Rock and Rock n' Roll tones were just oozing out of this guitar. It was really reminiscent of an old Les Paul cranked through old Vox amps. Joe Walsh tones were easy to nail with this combo. The last thing I plugged it through was a Peavey 6505 with a Fulltone OCD in front for extra gain. The tones weren't as varied as I would have liked, but subtle nuances were there. Overall the clarity lacked as a result of the pickups once again.
Overall Impression — 7
This is a guitar that's great for someone who likes how Schecter plays, but dislikes their overwhelmingly metal connotation. The hardware leaves me wanting, but the playability makes up for a lot of it, especially since the hardware is replaceable by simple drop-in measures. With a pickup swap, in my opinion, this guitar easily rivals other Schecters with bigger price tags. However, that's not saying a whole lot considering the quality control on most Hellraisers these days.
Reliability & Durability — 9
As said before, many people pick this guitar up during the day. It definitely gets put through the ringer on the daily but a multitude of different players, and I've yet to have to fix anything on it. The finish is deep enough that you'd really have to smack this guitar against something to make visible damages. This is a guitar that is easily gigable.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar has my favorite neck that Schecter puts out. You can read my review on the Hellraiser and Syn Custom to see what my normal opinions are. The Tempest's neck is surprisingly more playable and fast than anything else I've touched in the Schecter lineup. It still falls plagued to the Schecter Tradition of having the edges of their frets finished poorly, but for this price-range, that's slightly forgivable, if not expected. This guitar stays in tune incredibly well. Many folks at my shop pick this guitar up on a daily basis, and I rarely get asked for a tuner for it, or find myself going over to tune it up. The finish is nice, but not much beyond that. The finish on the back of the neck will take some wearing it to get to the point where it's not sticky, but it's not that big of a hindrance.
Features — 5
The Schecter Tempest Custom is the cosmetically more appealing model of the Tempest line, which offers a different style of double-cut body design from the normal "super-strat" lineup in Schecter. It's aimed towards a more affordable intermediate market. It's mahogany guitar with a neck-thru design, a fixed bridge, and an HH Duncan Designed pickup configuration. The tuners are Grovers, and Tone Pros makes the bridge. This guitar is straight forward in design. The difference in the 2007 model I am reviewing and the standard is purely cosmetic. The hardware and electronics are exactly the same.