You are currently viewing Are Schecter Guitars Good? An In-Depth Analysis for Musicians

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

Author: Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover.

Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music.

Whenever Santiago is not pouring all that experience and love for the instrument into articles, you can find him playing live shows supporting his music and poetry books as “Sandel”. If he’s not doing either of those, you can also find him gigging with his band, “San Juan”, writing, reading, or enjoying the Sun.

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Editing & Research: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I love guitars and have played dozens and dozens of different guitars through different amps and pedals over the years, and also, building a website interested me, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website.

I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have also been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as SongsterrMusicnotesGuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar.

I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog (I guess that went the right way…).


For the past half a century, Schecter has been making remarkable instruments for the metal music scene. Yes, since David Schecter, Herschel Blankenship, and Shel Horlick decided to open a spare parts and repair shop in Van Nuys, California, the name Schecter has been a synonym with high-quality, performance, brutal tones, and versatility. 

By 1979, the company offered more than 400 guitar parts but no finished instruments. That same year, the first custom shop instruments with the Schecter logo met the light of day and grew the company’s reputation astronomically. By 1983, the shop met its production limit and couldn’t take any more orders.

After being sold in 1983 to Texas investors, and in 1987 to Hisatake Shibuya (who also owns ESP Guitars), Schecter became the go-to guitar brand for a legion of metalheads, rock lovers, and guitar enthusiasts around the world. Moreover, the brand saw a huge boom in popularity during the Nü Metal years in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

But was that all this just big hype…are Schecter guitars really any good?

Well, zip up that leather jacket and jump on the motorbike, because here we go!

Are Schecter Guitars Any Good? – Summary

Displays Schecter logo

Schecter guitars are good instruments across the board. The company has managed to maintain a high quality standard across all the lines, from entry-level to custom shop. Although Schecter specializes in making rock and metal-oriented guitars and basses, it has expanded the line in the past two decades to include tele-style and hollow-body guitars to accommodate all kinds of players. 

  • You will find the common shortcomings of entry-level guitars with Schecter’s most affordable lines, but as you go up, premium accessories, tonewoods, and flawless construction make some of the top-tier models perfect to walk out on any stage.
  • You could definitely play Schecter guitars throughout your entire playing career and find the perfect model to quench your thirst for tone every step of the way, including guitars that can accompany you for a lifetime.

Find out which are the best Schecter Guitars of 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Quality – Schecter keeps a quality standard across the board with the obvious differences you would find between a $300 and a $3,000 guitar in any brand. That being said, Schecter entry-level guitars don’t have common cheap guitar fails like piercing frets, faulty paint jobs, and sky-high action. Top-notch models are innovative, premium-quality metal machines.
  • Versatility – Most Schecter guitars offer a plethora of tone options including coil-tap capabilities. Also, most Schecter models can be bought in different electronics and hardware combinations. Finally, the assortment of tone woods ranging from swamp ash to mahogany gives players plenty of choices in every guitar model.
  • Design – Design-wise, Schecter offers a wide variety of metal and performance-oriented instruments and also modern turns to classic models such as the PT line, or the Solo-II. That being said, most guitars have contoured bodies, lightweight construction, and ergonomic designs. Finally, available colors and finishes go from stealth matte black to translucent finishes, and everything in between.
  • Price – There’s a Schecter model for every price range. You can buy entry-level SGR guitars for less than $300, C-1 for around $800, Japanese-made California Classic for around $2,000, or USA Custom Shop guitars for $3,000 and above. Although quality and construction materials change, good quality is consistent in Schecter’s guitar catalog.

Pros and Cons of Schecter Guitars 

PROs:

  • Great craftsmanship and high quality standards across all the lines.
  • Variety of configurations with top-notch accessories for most models.
  • Thin necks and contoured bodies on performance-ready guitars that allow you to play at your best.

CONs:

  • A heavily metal-oriented brand that offers only a few non-rocking models.
  • Modern-looking guitars might not be everybody’s favorite.

My favorite Schecters:

Schecter California Classic

displays Schecter California Classic
  • Extremely versatile
  • Schecter USA pickups
  • Flamed maple neck with Custom C shape and 14″ radius
  • Comes with a hardshell case

Check Today’s Price on:

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂


Schecter Banshee Mach-6 FR-S

displays Schecter Banshee Mach-6 FR-S
  • Excellent for soloing
  • Lundgren M6 Humbucker and Sustainiac
  • Floyd Rose 1500 Series Locking Tremolo
  • Ultra Thin U neck with 12″-16″ compound radius (pure comfort)

Check Today’s Price on:


Schecter C-1 Exotic Ebony

displays Schecter C-1 Exotic Ebony
  • Costs under $1000
  • Schecter Diamond humbuckers
  • Wilkinson Tremolo bridge
  • Thin C neck and 14″ radius
  • Stunning Abalone Vine of Life fretboard inlay

Check Today’s Price on:


Schecter Guitars Quality

The best guitar brands on the planet have a reputation for making high-quality instruments mixing outstanding craftsmanship with the best tonewoods and hardware. Well, let me tell you that Schecter belongs to that category.

But let’s divide deeper into materials and craftsmanship of Schecter guitars!

Schecter’s Use of Tonewoods

To begin with, let’s talk about the number-one material in guitar construction: woods. The Schecter catalog offers different combinations that can accommodate heavy chuggers, soloing fanatics, shredding monsters, and modern players who are into other genres like neo-soul or funk as well.

displays mahogany wood and reveals how it can affect the sound of electric guitar
Mahogany is popular wood on Schecter guitars.

For example, the iconic Schecter Hellraiser C-1 uses the good old mahogany, maple, and rosewood combination that, Gibson first, and PRS later, transformed into a timeless classic. Indeed, what you get is the growl and heavy low end of the mahogany, the snap of the maple top, and the sweetness of the rosewood.

displays swamp wood and reveals how it can affect the sound of electric guitar
Swamp ash can be found from more expensive Schecter models.

Adding a little more to the price tag, you can find the Avenger FR S Apocalypse with a swamp ash body, an ebony fretboard, and a carbon-fiber-reinforced maple neck. This guitar screams midrange and can cut through any mix. Plus, these tonewoods are just as premium and hard to get as mahogany and quilted maple are but give the guitar a totally different tone.

Schecter uses well-curated, intelligent wood combinations to make superior-sounding tone-machines. 


Schecter’s Craftsmanship

Displays finish of a  schecter guitar

I did this test myself by walking into a music store and trying out several different guitars from different tiers and origins.

Let me tell you that guitars such as the Schecter C-1 SGR with its basswood body and original Schecter pickups weren’t at all a bad choice for a beginner.

Sure,

  • the high-end squeal of the generic stock pickups was there,
  • but the maple neck felt great,
  • and the guitar’s finish and setup were flawless; no evil, unfinished frets attacking my fingers.

I moved up in price to a C-1 Platinum and it felt like I was taking a big jump because the EMG pickups (classic 81 and 85 combination) made everything full HD. But speaking of craftsmanship, let me tell you the see-thru finish in Midnight Blue Sapphire was astonishing and the guitar felt solid. I couldn’t find one error in the binding or finish anywhere.

I asked for a third guitar and the clerk brought the Banshee Mach-6 in fallout burst, a guitar loaded with some of the finest appointments in the market that sounds just as good as it looks. I mean,

  • the finish was impeccable; this guitar feels smooth, modern, and it’s like jumping on a fast motorcycle or muscle car.
  • The neck-through construction, besides making it vibrate and sustain in a way it resembles a way thicker and heavier instrument is completely imperceptible to touch and eye.
  • Finally, the ultra-thin neck felt perfect under my hands as I shred away on a very awful 15-watt Marshall practice amp.

The craftsmanship and build quality were flawless across the board. As usual, the more I went up in price, the better everything looked and felt.


Versatility

displays 1 Versatile Schecter Guitar
Features like Sustainiac pickup, Floyd Rose, and Pull-Push split coil make Schecter’s extremely versatile.

The first thing you notice when you pick up a Schecter guitar or visit their website is that it’s a brand dedicated to making amazing instruments to play heavy music with. Indeed, from the endorsers to the woods they use, and the selection of specific hardware such as Floyd Rose tremolo systems, active pickups, and even the names of the models (Demon, Hellraiser, Apocalypse), Schecter is decidedly a metal guitar brand.

That being said, and although it might not appear to be so initially, Schecter guitars are quite versatile. In that vein, their comfortable thin neck can be enough for some players to love them and then customize pickups and such. Furthermore, Schecter also manufactures great-quality acoustics with a thin neck and a very low action.

For example, the entry-level priced C-6 Elite can provide amazing tones full of round, growling, mean low-end (despite the basswood body) combined with the snap of the maple neck and maple top. As it’s common with this price range, Schecter’s generic pickups tend to have a shrill high-end that seasoned players try to run away from but makes a killer beginner’s instrument.

 

Schecter Omen Extreme-6 is one of the most affordable Schecter guitars and the best metal guitar under $500.

The Omen Extreme-6 is a little higher in the price range and it features a full mahogany body and feels a little more like a righteous Schecter. Speaking of which, I tried some Papa Roach on it, and it sounded very close. Next, I played some clean tunes by Pearl Jam and the guitar sounded a tad stale but kept the character throughout my performance. Although the high-frequency shrillness is still there, the mahogany of the body does a great job keeping it tamed.

Check our Schecter Omen Extreme-6 Review here.

Finally, the Solo-II Custom is Schecter’s version of a Gibson Les Paul Custom with a solid maple top, ebony fingerboard, and mahogany body and neck. Despite looking and feeling very much like a Les Paul, this guitar is way more versatile because of the thin neck and the 12”-16” compound radius to shred and arpeggiate seamlessly anywhere on the fretboard. I couldn’t help but play “Crazy Train” and it could handle distortion perfectly; the clean tones of “Stairway to Heaven” also sounded round and full. 

The string-through-body construction of the C-6 Elite and the Omen Extreme adds sustain while the push/pull knobs on the Solo-II and Omen Extreme, which can transform humbuckers into single coils at any time extend the guitar’s versatility grandly.

Some additions to the Schecter catalog have broadened the company’s scope. Examples of this could be: 

  • Corsair Custom – A Bigsby-equipped semi-hollow guitar 
  • California Classic – A high-end Super Strat with HSS pickups made in Japan (with a two-pivot Fender-like trem and all). 
  • The Exotic Wood Line – Guitars made with spalted maple, ziricote, and black limba among other premium, exotic woods. 
  • High-Tech Modern Guitars – The 8-string multi-scale Damien-8.

Unless you’re looking for a super-specific tone, there’s surely a guitar for you in the Schecter line.


Sound

Most metal guitarists reading these lines will be familiar with the sound descriptions we’re about to make because most of the Schecter catalog lives in the heavy realm. But for those who don’t know a lot about this brand (16 million people learned to play guitar in the past two years), let’s dissect some of the sounds you can find.

The Typical Schecter Sound

There’s a reason why metal bands lead the Pure Album Sales and that is because lots of people play and love metal. Perhaps, the guitar shape and sound that made Schecter famous was the C-1. I remember so clearly when Jerry Horton played the now iconic “Last Resort” riff with one live on MTV. 

The C-1 Apocalypse, for example, is a guitar with a resonant, lightweight swamp ash body and an ebony fingerboard, a hardtail bridge, and the almighty Apocalypse pickups. Believe me, with that level of snap and midrange, you can tune this guitar to anything you like and have it cut any mix like Excalibur. 

Check a sound demo of Schecter C-1 Apocalypse:

Another great example is the Demon 7, a guitar with a basswood body, maple neck, and wenge fingerboard, and a pair of Schecter active pickups that sounds simply great. Yes, it lacks any of the high-end details of the C-1 but delivers pure, unadulterated raw power and sustain with 7 strings and a string-through-body design.

Check a sound demo of Schecter Demon 7 Apocalypse:


Hollowbody Guitars

Although most people associate Schecter with metal, the company also makes hollow guitars like the Coupe. This is, by no means, a mimic of a hollow-body guitar but truly a guitar constructed in the classic tradition. It features a couple of Tesla FilterTron TV pickups that resemble the original ones you’d find in a Gretsch Country Gentleman, for example. Yet, this guitar takes that sound to the next level with coil-splitting capabilities (never used a coil split on a Filter’Tron, have you?). 

Playing this guitar opens a whole new category for Schecter in your head because you can play righteous jazz, rockabilly, country, and even ballads with it. My favorite tone experiment was two pickups together with only the bridge coil-tap engaged; it sounded like the guitars of Keith Richards and BB King just had a baby and named it “Coupe”.

HSS High-end Guitars

Finally, a third category we could talk about when talking about Schecter guitars is modern versions of timeless classics with some twists. For example, the California Classic Series, is a guitar crafted in Japan featuring an ash body with a maple top (talking about killer midrange, right?).

The company managed to create a fast Super Strat HSS guitar with dual coil taps that allow you to access a “vintage mode” that turns it into a great, very usable Stratocaster. Sound-wise and versatility-wise, the California Series opens another chapter for Schecter Guitars.


Features

displays a Floyd rose bridge
Floyd Rose is one of the key features of many Schecters.

Besides

  • the Floyd Rose tremolo systems,
  • coil-tapping,
  • the cool dot markers that glow in the dark,
  • and the custom finishes…

Schecter is a brand that takes pride in being bold innovators.

  1. To begin with, we can talk about the technology behind some of the thinnest electric guitar necks. For example, a guitar like the Reaper-6 features an ultra-thin C-shaped neck that requires a modern multi-ply construction utilizing maple and walnut, and carbon fiber reinforcement rods. This allows the guitar’s neck to be lightning-fast but also stable and reliable.
  2. Secondly, the company offers different guitar construction techniques: neck-through, set-neck, and bolt-on necks. This allows the huge price drop Schecter offers for entry-level models. Believe me, when you pick up one of the cheapest guitars in their catalog, you can feel the difference with other mass-produced brands.
  3. Thirdly, we can’t talk about Schecter and omit to talk about their choices in the electronics department. For instance, the company manufactures several pickup models such as the USA Custom Shop Supercharger Mach-6, a pair of Ceramic-8 super-hot-output humbuckers calibrated to take any guitar to the next metal level. But that’s not all, because Schecter also works with original Seymour Duncan, EMG, Fishman Fluence, and Sustainer pickups (mainly in the top-tier models).
  4. Finally, Schecter utilizes a wide variety of bridges and tremolo systems like string-through-body construction, fixed bridge, two-pivot tremolo, Bigsby vibrato, original Floyd Rose floating tremolos, and the groundbreaking Evertune bridge. With this variety of options, you can virtually buy your favorite type of guitar from Schecter with the exact bridge you want. 

From timeless classics like Filtertron pickups and Bigsby vibratos to very modern Evertune bridges and Sustainer pickups, you can find it all coexisting in Schecter’s catalog.


Design

Schecter creates guitars that are pure eye candy (Schecter Solo-II Apocalypse – Red Reign).

The Wacken Open Air Festival is metal’s biggest party in the world, and it has just reached a new record selling 80,000 tickets in six hours. In other words, more metal fans want to see their favorite bands ripping it on stage; that’s more exposure for Schecter players.

  • So, besides the metal tones you can dial in with these performance-oriented guitars in the studio, can you look cool on stage holding them?
  • Plus, will they be comfortable to hold for hours at a time or run across the stage at Wacken Air playing your favorite solo?

Let’s talk about Schecter’s design, body shapes, and the pros and cons of each so you can be ready to shine on stage like a Metal star.

Schecter Guitar Research E-1 SLS Elite

To begin with, let’s say that Schecter is a performance-oriented brand, therefore you can expect to find stylish, sleek, thin, light, and comfortable bodies and thin or ultra-thin necks. In that sense, picking up a guitar like the C-1 SLS Elite Series is a treat because

  • the neck-through construction,
  • the matte finish on the swamp ash body,
  • the ultra-access design,
  • and the 24 stainless steel frets on the ultra-thin C-shaped neck are an invitation to reach 88 miles an hour with the fretting hand.
  • Plus, the compound radius (12” – 16”) makes it comfortable and versatile to play anything you want.

Schecter PT Special

Another good example is the PT Series which takes the classic Telecaster shape and adds

  • the contour on the back and the front,
  • easy access on the neck heel,
  • and a P-90 in the neck position for extra-beefy tones.

These guitars, like the PT Special, feature a swamp ash body with a translucent finish that adds a lot to the aesthetics in my humble opinion.

Finally, the most identifiable series by Schecter is the Diamond Series and it features the kind of ergonomic design that has made Schecter a go-to brand for many players. This is the longest-lasting series by Schecter; it has been in production uninterruptedly since its introduction in NAMM 1998.


Price

Schecter Guitar Research C-6 is the most affordable Schecter electric guitar costing around $350.

Price-wise, the Schecter catalog is very varied.

  • You can buy a guitar at an entry-level range that would compete against Squier, Yamaha, or Epiphone under $500
  • and a Custom Shop instrument going above $5,000.

This is, of course, not just a price difference, you move from alternative woods to precious tone woods and from generic hardware and pickups to top-notch accessories.

In a way, you can say that, with Schecter guitars too, you pay for what you get. Premium-level instruments cost what that kind of instrument costs and the same happens with every line.

For example, the Omen Series sits comfortably under the $500 line and offers a dual-humbucker design with an archtop body made of basswood and a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. Omen series guitars have

  • a serious string-through-body design (some have Floyd Rose),
  • bolt-on neck rocking machine that can compete against or even outdo an Epiphone Les Pauls, for example.

The C-Series, starting at around $800 represents the very core of what Schecter does in terms of sound, versatility but also looks. These guitars are the Super Strat for the 21st century and they come in a wide variety of combinations with

  • different tremolo options,
  • pickups,
  • and electronics.
  • You can even get a semi-hollow version and one with a piezo transducer!
displays Schecter USA Keith Merrow KM-7 MK-III Pro
Schecter USA Keith Merrow KM-7 MK-III Pro is one of the most expensive Schecters costing around $3,779.

For the bass players in the house, the Stiletto Series is the perfect bass to play heavy music with. Those instruments feature

  • humbucker pickups,
  • active electronics,
  • and slim & fast necks.

They’re a match made in heaven for Schecter’s guitar line and range from $500 to roughly $1000 and feature models with 4, 5, and 6 strings.

Finally, Schecter offers a limited lifetime warranty for all models except for the SGR line which gets a two-year limited warranty.


Conclusion

Schecter Guitar Research has been making outstanding instruments for the past five decades. Although it’s primarily a metal-oriented guitar brand, they have been working hard to broaden the options on its catalog and now offers different guitar models, quality levels, and prices to accommodate most players on the planet.

I hope you had as much fun reading this piece as I did writing it. If you have any questions, just leave a comment down below.

Happy playing!


FAQ

What is the Schecter Diamond Series?

Schecter’s Diamond Series was presented in NAMM 1998 and has been the most consistent line for Schecter; it’s still in production today.

Where are Schecter Guitars Made?

Schecter manufactures entry-level guitars in Vietnam and Indonesia, mid-priced instruments in South Korea, and top-notch guitars in Japan and the USA.

How Do Schecter Guitars Sound?

In general, Schecter guitars offer clear tones with cleans and easily distorting mean tones when using overdrive or distortion. Check sound sample of a budget Schecter C-6 Deluxe below:

How Much Do Schecter Guitars Cost?

Schecter guitars cost between $300 and $5,000.

Which Guitarists Use Schecter Guitars?

-Robert Smith
-Jerry Horton
-Pete Townshend 
-Mark Knopfler 
-Ritchie Blackmore 
-Chris Poland
-Synyster Gates 
-Robert DeLeo (bass)
-Richard Patrick 
-Jinxx
-Jake Pitts 
-Tommy Victor 
-Dan Donegan 
-Robin Zander
-Shaun Morgan 
-Prince 
-Keith Merrow 
-Nick Johnston
-Zakk Wylde 

Do Schecter Guitars Come Set Up?

Yes, all Schecter guitars come with a standard factory setup.

Does Fender Own Schecter Guitars?

No, Fender doesn’t own Schecter Guitars. Schecter is owned by Hisatake Shibuya.

Are Schecter Guitars Good for Metal?

Schecter guitars are perfect for playing metal music.

Are Schecter Guitars Good for Beginners?

Yes, the Omen Series and SGR models are affordable, entry-level guitars perfect for beginners.

What Does Schecter Guitar Research Mean?

Schecter Guitar Research is the name David Schecter gave his company in 1976 and it has stayed the same ever since.

Are Ibanez and Schecter the same?

No, Ibanez and Schecter are two different companies.

Are Schecter Guitars Only for Metal?

No, models like the PT Classic, the Corsair, or the Coupe, for example, are good for playing other musical styles too.

Are Schecter Guitars Good for Shredding?

Most Schecter guitars feature thin and fast playing necks, therefore, are perfect for shredding.

Are Schecter Acoustic Guitars Good?

Schecter acoustic guitars offer low action and thin necks. Pricewise and features-wise, they are entry-level and mid-priced instruments.

Are Schecter Bass Guitars Good?

Schecter’s bass guitars range from entry-level to mid-priced instruments and feature the same strict quality control every Schecter instrument does.

Do Schecter Guitars Have A Lifetime Warranty?

All Schecter guitars have a limited lifetime warranty except for the SGR series which features a 2-year warranty.

Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Pure Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover. Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music. You can connect with Santiago on LinkedIn or just email him.
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