Submitted May 18, 2014 by Sean Tousey-Pfarrer in Northampton, MA
"BEST Starter 8-String"
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Schecter has a winner here. They should come out with some more improved updates on this design, instead of all the more-expensive 28" scale length metal-monsters they're putting out now.
The pickups are not the best, but they are certainly adequate for a mere $400. Some people complain about the pickups making the low strings sound muddy, but this is false. The problem is that the strings it comes with are just too thin for low F# or whatever you tune to. Just put on a really heavy single string! D'Addario sells singles up to 80, and Kalium/Circle K makes up to 106. For $5, I had my local tech widen the machine head hole slightly to fit my low string. Even through my tiny Peavey Vypyr 15, the low string sounds quite good if it's thick enough.
I already talked about the pickups and stock strings. The neck and body could both be thinner to reduce weight and increase ease of playing, but they're fine as is. The string spacing is perfect. The nut and bridge are both great and, together with the "string-thru" body, they let the strings resonate very well. The tuners could be better, but are adequate for the first 7 strings. They aren't quite strong enough for the 8th string if you pick hard. The short scale length (26.5") makes it much more playable than the 28"-ers.
Ease of Use
This guitar is nice and simple to use, other than two obvious exceptions: (1) It takes a little longer to tune 8 strings than 6 or 7. (2) Don't buy it for your 10-year-old, as the neck is too thick for very small hands.
The wood, construction, and finish are all in perfect condition after a year and a half of me banging it around like the klutz I am. I've never even had the guitar "set up," and there's almost no buzzing on the fretboard. A few months ago I started having a problem with the switch which sometimes cuts off the sound from the bridge pickup by mistake. I'll get the switch replaced at some point, but it really hasn't been a big deal.
I've contacted Schecter plenty of times, most recently about the switch problem, and they are always pretty quick to reply and very helpful in their responses. They helped me figure out that it was in fact the switch that was causing it, and not the pickup.
The Wow Factor
The picture doesn't remotely do the guitar justice. When I bought it, I assumed it would just look like mud. When I opened it up, my mouth dropped. It's a BEAUTIFUL dark reddish brown stain with a very stylish but not overly prominent wood grain. The shaped top is smooth and feels fancy. People are always surprised that it's only $400.
Clarinet 10 years; Guitar 2 1/2 years; Piano 1 year
Jazz, Metal, Rock, Classical, Folk, World, and various combinations
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