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Schecter produces attractive modern guitars that are exceptional at delivering high-quality tones, and they play beautifully.
The electric guitar market has historically been dominated by a handful of manufacturers, most notably the likes of Gibson and Fender. However, in recent decades, many alternative brands have enjoyed increasing popularity.
One of these brands is Schecter. First formed in the mid-1970s when popular music was dominated by rock and other guitar-based genres, the American brand has withstood some testing periods to establish a loyal, large fanbase.
In this guide, you can find a selection of the finest guitars in Schecter’s catalog. We’ve included options that suit all playing styles and budgets so that you can find the best-suited instrument for your needs.
In a Rush Roundup
How We Tested
The first thing we tested to gauge the quality of these Schecter guitars was their tone. We did this by analyzing how they sound through a range of amplifiers, effects pedals, and when directly recording them into an audio interface.
Next, we assessed the comfortability of the guitars when playing a variety of techniques, including fingerpicking, chord playing, soloing, and playing for long periods. Finally, we compared the quality of their components and how they impacted the overall sound of the guitar.
Best Schecter Guitars Reviews
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR-S
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR-S Review
The appropriately named Hellraiser C-1 FR-S is an absolute fireball of a guitar. The more closely you inspect this instrument, the more impressed you’ll be by the attention to detail that Schecter has applied when designing it.
Sonically, this guitar is made for high-gain tones. Combine it with a tube amplifier pushed into overdrive, and the results are ridiculously good. Even with the most distorted amp or pedal settings, the guitar retains its clarity in the midrange and high-end.
The Sustaniac humbucking neck pickup ensures that every note you play goes on for much longer than you’d expect, so you can be more creative with your solos and riffs.
In the bridge position, Schecter has opted for a reliable EMG 81 humbucker, which complements the Sustaniac by providing a smoothness to match its aggression.
The tonewood blend used by Schecter when constructing this guitar is of the highest order. A maple top increases the attack, and the mahogany body and neck result in plenty of resonance and a comfortable feel.
- Sustaniac and EMG 81 humbucker pickups
- Thin “C” mahogany neck
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Ideal for metal and heavy rock
- Produces lots of sustain
- Versatile pickup configuration
- Better suited to lead playing than rhythm guitar
Schecter C-1 SLS Elite
Schecter C-1 SLS Elite Review
One of Schecter’s best guitars, the C-1 SLS Elite combines ultra-smooth playability with a versatile sound.
Designed for fast playing, this guitar has an irresistible ebony fingerboard that makes gliding up and down the frets a joy to behold. The fingerboard also extracts every last ounce of sustain from the notes you play.
While this is predominantly a lead guitar, I was also impressed by its abilities as a rhythm guitar. The midrange chords sound chunky and substantial, which is directly a result of the choice of pickups.
Schecter has installed two of Fishman’s celebrated Fluence Modern active pickups on the C-1 SLS Elite. These humbuckers are ideal for scorching metal tones, but they also sound great on a clean amp setting.
To ensure maximum performance, Schecter has carefully chosen some additional components. This includes an Ernie Ball nut and a Hipshot bridge to keep the intonation in line.
- Ultra-thin “C” neck
- Fishman Fluence Modern Alnico & Ceramic humbuckers
- Extra jumbo frets
- Great for fast playing styles
- Easy access to highest frets
- Sounds incredible when combined with gain
- The neck is very thin
Schecter Hellraiser Hybrid C-1 FR-S
Schecter Hellraiser Hybrid C-1 FR-S Review
The Schecter Hellraiser Hybrid C-1 FR-S makes fast, technical playing much easier. If you’re a metal guitarist or someone who likes to move around the fretboard at pace, you’ll love the feel of this guitar.
In contrast to the regular Hellraiser, this improved edition has a PAF-style tone, as opposed to the classic humbucker output. To achieve this, Schecter has an active EMG 57 in the bridge position, with a Sustainiac in the neck position.
Somehow, these two pickups combine to produce the kind of tone you’d expect to hear from a vintage PAF-style electric guitar from the 1970s.
This guitar proves its worth when you run it through a decent distortion or fuzz pedal. it produces a blistering range of sharp, powerful tones that are certain to slice through even the most crowded of mixes.
The quilted maple top provides both dynamic and aesthetic benefits, giving the guitar a more authentic look.
You also get two separate pickup switches, with each position significantly impacting the overall tone that is produced by the guitar. Thanks to the slim neck profile, it’s easy to play for long periods without fatigue setting in.
- Ultra-thin “C” maple neck
- Sustaniac and EMG 57 humbuckers
- Ebony fingerboard
- Elegant aesthetics and design
- Thick, red-hot PAF tone
- An abundance of sustain when playing single notes
- May require EQ to thicken up the low-end
Schecter Damien Platinum 6
Schecter Damien Platinum 6 Review
In some situations, simplicity is the best option. That’s certainly the case with the Damien Platinum 6 by Schecter. It has an understated design that is contrasted by its lively sonic output.
Despite the affordability of the Damien Platinum 6, Schecter has used a mixture of the best tonewoods out there to construct it.
Firstly, the fast-playing maple set-in neck is comfortable underhand. Then there’s the mahogany body, which adds a solid feel to the guitar and darkens the tone a little. An inviting rosewood fingerboard completes the tonewood selection.
To get the classic, aggressive Schecter metal tone, the manufacturer has turned to EMG for the pickups. In the neck position, there’s a high-output EMG 85, which boosts the dynamic power of each chord you play.
In the bridge position, there is the EMG 81, which will make your high notes stand out amongst the other instruments in your band.
To ensure maximum tuning stability, Schecter has installed Grover Rotomatic tuners that have an 18:1 ratio. This will prevent your strings from slipping out even when you play with a lot of velocity and speed.
- Thin “C” maple neck
- EMG 85 and 81 humbuckers
- Rosewood fingerboard
- One of the best Schecter guitars for metal and hard rock
- Durable, roadworthy construction
- Good tuning stability
- Slightly one-dimensional tone
Schecter PT Special
Schecter PT Special Review
Schecter’s PT Special is a bit of an anomaly in their catalog of electric guitars. Rather than featuring their famous moody aesthetics and metal-style body shapes, this guitar looks more like a 1960s rock instrument.
It wouldn’t be a Schecter electric guitar without their signature snarl. While the tone of the PT Special isn’t nearly as aggressive as some of their other models, it still has that powerful, gritty quality that you’d expect.
Another thing that differentiates this guitar from many o the other Schecter guitar models is that it has two single-coil pickups installed, rather than the more common humbuckers.
In the bridge position, there’s a Diamond VT-1, which provides the scratch, vintage tone with a slight resemblance to a twangy Fender Tele. In the neck position, you’ll find a more aggressive sounding Diamond V-90, which sounds more like a P-90 than a single-coil pickup.
The PT Special is equally suited to single-note playing as it is chords. It benefits from a responsive maple fingerboard with extra-jumbo frets, leaving you with lots of room to form chord shapes and bend notes.
Also, the push-pull pickup mechanism makes switching between a variety of configurations possible, such as parallel wiring or series wiring for tonal and dynamic variation.
- “C” profile maple neck
- Diamond V-90 and VT-1 single-coil pickups
- Maple fingerboard
- Promotes fast, technical playing
- Great for combining rhythm and lead guitar
- Sounds powerful with overdriven amp settings
- Sounds a little thin in the low-end
Schecter C-1 E/A
Schecter C-1 E/A Review
Many musicians are unaware of Schecter’s range of semi-hollow body and hollowbody guitars. Unfortunately, the manufacturer commonly gets categorized as a metal brand, when in fact they cater to many styles.
The Schecter C C-1 E/A is a sophisticated instrument, both in appearance and sonic performance. It has a Fishman Powerbridge, which is an interesting addition that has a transformative effect on the guitar’s sound.
The Powerbridge essentially changes the output of the guitar from electric to acoustic sounding, all with a simple flick of a switch. Alternatively, you can combine these two sounds for a more substantial output.
With a contoured mahogany neck, playing chords on this guitar is a very enjoyable experience. It produces a resonant tone in the low and midrange, and you can slide your way up to the highest frets with ease thanks to the cutaway body design.
To speed up string replacements and boost the tuning stability of the guitar, Schecter has used a TonePros T1Z tailpiece. This mechanism also makes the structure more resilient and resistant to wear and tear.
- Thin “C” profile mahogany neck
- Diamond Plus humbuckers
- Coil-tap and piezo system
- Resonant semi-hollow body tone
- Warm midrange
- Suitable for a range of genres and styles
- Not designed for fast playing
Best Schecter Guitars Buyer's Guide
Schecter guitars are a popular alternative to the heavyweights of the electric guitar manufacturing industry, such as Fender, Gibson and Gretsch. These instruments are exceptional at delivering high-quality tones, and they play beautifully.
Nevertheless, it can be difficult to figure out which Schecter guitar is best suited to the specifics of your style. This is because Schecter varies their designs with each model, to tailor its instrument to certain requirements.
Certain Schecter guitars suit fast-playing guitarists who need a solid and reliable tone, and there are others that are slightly less conventional and better suited to those who prefer a little experimentation.
We’ll cover all of the information you need on Schecter guitars in the remaining sections of this guide so that you can make the right decision.
Things To Consider When Buying
Think about the pickups
Schecter guitars are intrinsically linked to high-gain tones, for genres like metal and heavy rock. The aggression of their sound is largely impacted by the humbucker or single-coil pickups that are installed on the guitars, so it’s important to know which best suits your tonal requirements.
Consider the neck profile
The majority of solidbody Schecter guitars have “C” profile necks. However, some are thicker than others and contoured differently. If you like to play fast and technically, an ultra-thin neck profile may be better suited than a thicker option designed more for rhythm guitarists.
Identify the components you need
One thing that sets Schecter apart from many other guitar brands is its commitment to using high-quality components. These include locking tuners, Floyd Rose tremolo systems, and coil-split or coil-tapping capabilities.
Think about aesthetics
Granted, this may seem like an obvious thing to consider, but it’s important to choose a guitar that suits the aesthetics of your band, and the image that you want to present. Schecter guitars range from understated to eccentric, so make sure you think about the appearance.
How to Choose the Best Schecter Guitar for You
Based in California, Schecter has built a reputation as somewhat of an icon in the metal guitar-playing community. However, its guitars are not limited to heavy styles of playing like hard rock or metal – they’re much more versatile than that.
Whether you’re the type of guitarist who likes to shred out metal riffs, play funky clean chord sequences, or even play atmospheric psychedelic melodies, Schecter guitars can do all of this and more.
Within the Schecter range, there are indeed some models and selections that are better suited to different playing styles. The Hellraiser selection, for example, is ideal for aggressive, dark guitar tones.
One of the things that almost all Schecter guitars have in common is that they make it easy to access the higher frets due to their cutaway design, which makes the perfect for lead guitarists.
The first step you need to take to choose the right Schecter guitar for you is to assess the areas that are most important for your specific style.
If you’re predominantly a rhythm guitarist who doesn’t rely too heavily on gain or distortion, then models like the C-1 or the PT may be the best choice.
For guitarists who want all of the power and aggression that Schecter guitars can offer, the Damien or Hellraiser axes will suffice.
Like many of the top electric guitar brands, Schecter also manufactures its own range of pickups that are installed on its instruments.
Most Schecter pickups are high-output humbuckers, which produce an aggressive sound when they are combined with a distortion or overdrive pedal.
On many Schecter solidbody guitars you can benefit from a 5-way pickup selector switch, which is a design famously used by Fender on its iconic Stratocaster.
The Diamoind range of single-coil pickups demonstrate that Schecter’s expertise isn’t limited solely to humbucking pickups. These produce a sharper, snarlier tone that is a good option if you play heavy rock or metal.
Then there’s the Diamoind Plus humbuckers, which are commonly used on Schecter guitars that offer coil tapping – a useful feature if you like to switch up your tone and dynamic regularly.
Neck Profile and Materials
Schecter uses a variety of neck profiles on its electric guitars. Some feature the fast-playing, thin “C” profile which is a great choice for guitarists who switch between chord patterns and finger placements at a rapid pace.
It’s also important to check which tonewoods the brand has used for specific parts of the guitar. Mahogany is considered the best option for the neck material, and many of the most playable Schecter guitars have rosewood fingerboards.
Schecter Guitars FAQs
Where are Schecter Guitars Made?
Schecter is headquartered in California, USA, but it doesn’t make all of its guitars in North America. All Schecter Custom guitars, which is the brand’s most high-end range of electric guitars, is the only line that is made in the USA.
However the Diamond Series guitars are made either in China, Indonesia, or South Korea. The exact location of manufacturing depends on the make and model of the guitar.
What Are Schecter Guitars Good For?
Schecter guitars are best known for being a great choice for metal. This is because many Schecter guitars have high output pickups, fast playing necks, and produce a powerful, sharp tone that is perfect for high-gain styles.
There are some other qualities that Schecter guitars also offer in abundance, that are often overlooked. For example, many of Schecter’s solidbody guitars produce smooth and full-sounding clean tones that suit many other genres aside from rock and metal.
Does Schecter Make Acoustic Guitars?
Although they’re perhaps not as well known as the brand’s vast range of electric guitars, Schecter also manufactures a range called the Scechter Acoustic Guitars. This selection of instruments consists of a variety of electric-acoustic, and acoustic guitars.
All of Schecter’s guitars in this acoustic range are hand made in the company’s California factory.