If you love metal music, you have probably heard of Schecter guitars. They are the weapon of choice for many metal legends, such as Zakk Wylde, Synyster Gates, Jeff Loomis, and Dan Donegan.
But what makes Schecter guitars so special for metalheads? Is it their sound, their look, their quality, or something else? In this article, we will explore the features of Schecter guitars, why they rock so hard, and the most popular models in the last 10 years.
The Origins of Schecter Guitars
Schecter Guitar Research was founded in 1976 by David Schecter, a guitar repairman who started making his own replacement parts for Fender and Gibson guitars.1 He soon gained a reputation for his high-quality parts and custom guitars, which were favored by artists such as Pete Townshend of The Who, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple.
In 1983, Schecter was bought by a group of Texas investors who moved the company to Dallas and started mass-producing guitars based on Fender designs1 These guitars were still well-made and affordable, but they lost some of the originality and exclusivity of the custom shop models.1
In 1987, Schecter was acquired by Hisatake Shibuya, a Japanese entrepreneur who also owned ESP Guitars. Shibuya moved the company back to California and revived the custom shop, while also expanding the production line to include more original and innovative models.1
Since then, Schecter has grown into one of the world’s leading guitar brands, offering a wide range of electric and acoustic guitars, basses, amplifiers, and effects units.1 Schecter has also attracted a diverse and impressive roster of endorsers, especially in the metal genre.
Some of the most notable Schecter artists include:
- Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance of Avenged Sevenfold.
- Jeff Loomis of Nevermore and Arch Enemy.
- Dan Donegan of Disturbed.
- Tommy Victor of Prong and Danzig.
- Shaun Morgan of Seether.
- Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society.
- Ozzy Osbourne.
The Characteristics of Schecter Guitars
Schecter guitars are known for their quality craftsmanship, professional components, and affordable prices. They are also designed to suit the needs and preferences of metal players, with features such as:
1. Solid Body Construction
Most Schecter guitars have solid bodies made of mahogany, alder, ash, or basswood. These woods provide a warm and resonant tone that works well for heavy distortion and high gain settings. Some models also have exotic wood tops or veneers for added beauty and sustain.
2. Thin Neck Profile
Schecter guitars have thin necks that are comfortable and fast to play. They also have smooth fretboards made of rosewood, ebony, or maple, with 22 or 24 jumbo frets for easy bending and shredding.
3. Dual Humbucker Pickups
Schecter guitars usually come with two humbucking pickups that deliver a powerful and balanced sound that can handle any style of metal. Some models also have coil-splitting or coil-tapping features that allow you to switch between humbucker and single-coil sounds for more versatility.
4. Tune-o-matic Bridge
Schecter guitars often have tune-o-matic bridges that provide stability and intonation. Some models also have locking tuners or locking nuts for extra tuning stability.
5. Floyd Rose Tremolo System
Some Schecter guitars have Floyd Rose tremolo systems that let you perform dive bombs, squeals, and other whammy bar tricks without going out of tune.
6. Active Electronics
Some Schecter guitars have active electronics that boost the output and tone of the pickups. These guitars usually have EMG or Seymour Duncan pickups that require a 9-volt battery to operate.
7. Unique Shapes and Finishes
Schecter guitars come in a variety of shapes and finishes that appeal to metal aesthetics. Some of the most popular models include:
Schecter C-1 (a superstrat shape), the Hellraiser (a Les Paul shape with abalone binding).
Schecter Damien (a SG shape with bat inlays).
Schecter Omen (a double-cutaway shape with pearloid inlays).
Schecter Banshee (a Telecaster shape with an arched top), and the Synyster Gates Signature (a custom shape with pinstripes).
Schecter guitars also come in various colors and finishes such as black cherry, white, blue burst, purple burst, satin black, gloss black, silverburst, trans black burst, and more.
The Most Popular Schecter Guitars in the Last 10 Years
Schecter has released many great guitars in the last decade, but some models stand out more than others. Here are some of the most popular Schecter guitars in the last 10 years:
Schecter Hellraiser C-1
This is one of the most iconic and best-selling models from Schecter.
It features a mahogany body with a quilted maple top, a set mahogany neck with an ultra-access heel cutaway, a rosewood fingerboard with gothic cross inlays, EMG 81/89 active pickups with coil-splitting push-pull pots, a TonePros tune-o-matic bridge with string-through-body design, Grover tuners, and abalone binding.
The Hellraiser C-1 is available in various colors and finishes such as black cherry, white, black, trans purple burst, trans black burst, and more. It is also available with a Floyd Rose tremolo system or as a 7-string version. The Hellraiser C-1 is praised for its versatility, playability, sustain, and aggressive tone.
Schecter Banshee Elite
This is one of the most innovative and modern models from Schecter.
It features a swamp ash body with a flamed maple top, a neck-through-body construction with an ultra-thin C profile, an ebony fingerboard with offset dot inlays, Schecter USA SuperCharger Mach-6 passive pickups with coil-splitting push-pull pots, a Hipshot hardtail bridge with string-through-body design, locking tuners, and carbon fiber binding.
The Banshee Elite is available in various colors and finishes such as trans black burst satin, gloss natural satin, trans violet burst satin, and more. It is also available as a 7-string version or as an FR-S version with a Sustainiac pickup system. The Banshee Elite is praised for its clarity, articulation, resonance, and comfort.
Schecter Omen Extreme-6
This is one of the most affordable and beginner-friendly models from Schecter.
It features a mahogany body with a quilted maple top, a bolt-on maple neck with an ultra-thin C profile, a rosewood fingerboard with vector inlays, Schecter Diamond Plus passive pickups with coil-splitting push-pull pots, a tune-o-matic bridge with string-through-body design, Schecter tuners, and multi-ply binding.
The Omen Extreme-6 is available in various colors and finishes such as black cherry, vintage sunburst, see-thru black, ocean blue burst, trans purple burst, and more. It is also available as a left-handed version or as an FR version with a Floyd Rose Special tremolo system. The Omen Extreme-6 is praised for its value, quality, looks, and tone.
The Advantages of Schecter Guitars
Schecter guitars offer many advantages to metal players who are looking for a reliable and versatile instrument that can handle any genre or situation. Some of these advantages are:
- Quality: Schecter guitars are made with high-quality materials and components that ensure durability and performance. They are also inspected and set up by professional technicians before shipping to ensure optimal playability.
- Affordability: Schecter guitars are priced competitively compared to other brands in the market. They offer great value for money without compromising on quality or features.
- Variety: Schecter guitars offer a wide range of models that cater to different tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer a classic or modern style, a simple or elaborate design, a passive or active sound, a fixed or floating bridge, a 6-string or 7-string guitar, or anything in between, you can find a Schecter guitar that suits you.
- Sound: Schecter guitars deliver a rich and powerful sound that can cut through any mix or stage volume. They can also produce a variety of tones that can match any mood or genre.
- Style: Schecter guitars have a distinctive look that sets them apart from other brands. They have a sleek and elegant appearance that reflects their quality and craftsmanship. They also have a cool and edgy vibe that reflects their metal attitude.
Schecter Guitars – Designed for Metal
One of the main reasons why Schecter Guitars are a top choice for metalheads is that they are specifically designed for heavy, aggressive music. The company’s guitars are built with pickups designed to deliver a thick, powerful sound that can cut through even the loudest mix.
They also feature excellent sustain and resonance, allowing musicians to create sustained, high-gain notes and chords that are a staple of metal music.
Schecter Guitars are a top choice for metalheads due to their superior craftsmanship, customizable options, wide range of models, and specific design for metal music. Head to a store and try them out live, and you’ll soon be setting your budget to buy one of these mean machines.
(1) Schecter Guitar Research – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schecter_Guitar_Research.
(2) About – Schecter Guitar Research. https://www.schecterguitars.com/about.
(3) History Of Schecter Guitars – Pete Townshend Tele-style. https://gear-vault.com/history-of-schecter-guitars/.