New Schecter Guitars in 2014

IMG_3017From humble beginnings on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys, California to their spacious new facility in Sun Valley, Schecter has always been known for quality. At first for their finely-crafted replacement parts, mostly Fender-licensed fare, but seriously, unquestionably top-notch parts. And then anyone who’s a fan or old enough remembers the PT, that classic two-humbucker Tele-styled guitar that Pete Townsend rocked all through the 80s.

Schecter PT. Then and now = cool.

Schecter PT. Then and now = cool.

But in recent years their diversification in production and Custom Shop offerings have made a significant name for the brand, particularly in the Heavy community thanks to their 6, 7, and 8-string models and inventive body styling. They’re also very serious about using Seymour Duncan pickups. At last count, there were 57 (!) Schecter models that feature Duncans. That’s a lotta guitars and pickups. But it says something about a shared commitment to TONE. Their showcase at NAMM 2014 was expansive, and quite drool-worthy for any guitarist. Stacked to the ceiling with classic and innovative styles, with a variety of pickup configuration and bridge options to be had. For 2014, Schecter is pulling no punches, pickup-wise. They’re loading not just classic choices and Blackouts but some new Duncan tones in the models we’ll be concentrating on here. New flavors like the Nazgul and Sentient into the Blackjack, Banshee and (drumroll, please….) KM-7 Keith Merrow Signature models! Let’s start with the various Blackjack models, ready your drool-cups, everyone!

The Blackjack ATX

Schecter Blackjack ATX Solo II

BLACKJACK ATX C-7 VRS

BLACKJACK ATX C-7 VRS

The Blackjack ATX is available in two body shapes. Choose a Mahogany/Mahogany (ABSN) or Swamp Ash/Maple (VRS) bodied/3 piece set-neck 24.75 inch scale creation with a thin neck shape, Ebony fingerboard and a Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL nut. Both come equipped with  24 XL Jumbo frets and Seymour Duncan Blackouts – an AHB-1B/AHB-1N combo. The Blackjack ATX series will also include the Blackjack ATX C-­1, ATX C-­1 FR, ATX C-­7, ATX C-8, and the ATX Solo-­II.

Schecter Blackjack ATX

The Blackjack Series

The Blackjack C-1-FR.

The Blackjack C-1-FR.

The Tempest.

The Tempest.

The Blackjack series’ Mahogany-bodied, 25.5 inch scale Ebony fingerboard equipped Ultra-Access set-neck construction is geared for articulate aggression. It also comes in 2 body stylings, the C and the Tempest, with the Cs offering 6, 7, and 8-string versions. All have 24 X-Jumbo frets. You also have a variety of bridge options: a USA Hipshot Hardtail, a TonePros TOM on the string-thru-body Tempest, or a Floyd Rose 1000 locking tremolo bridge. Non-locking versions will sport a Graph Tech Black Tusq XL. All hardware is none-more black (of course). The models also feature Red Circle inlay on the Ebony board and glow in the dark side dot inlay, invaluable for dark stages. The electronics consist of a single volume/tone, 3-way on the A and C models, and a 2 volume/2 push-pull tone, 3-way switch arrangement on the Tempest. The six-string models, (the Blackjack C-1, C-­1FR, C-1FR S, A-6, A-6 FR and A-6 FR S) are also able to make another boast: they feature 6-string version of the Nazgul and Sentient pickups!

Schecter Blackjack Tempest

For the uninitiated, the Nazgul is Duncan’s new large ceramic magnet high output bridge pickup tailored for the increased range of 7 and 8 string guitars, and aimed at “sonic obliteration”. It’s midrange voicing provides definition even on these down-tuned, extended range instruments dealing in drop-tuned riffage. It also retains its fluidity and articulate nature no matter how much gain you throw at it. The Sentient is its perfect neck companion, concentrating on natural warmth and articulation thanks to its A5 magnet and medium coil-wind. Purchased separately, both designs are available in passive mount with open coils, passive mount with metal covers, or active mount in soapbar covers. Schecter seems to be doing mostly open coils with a few metal covers.

The Banshee Series

The Banshee 8 passive

The Banshee 8 passive

The Banshee 7 passive

The Banshee 7 passive

The Banshee model, like so many others in the Schecter line, available in 6, 7, and 8-string versions, also has added Duncan Nazgul and Sentient pickups as an option in their passive models for 2014. This alder-bodied model sports a striking quilted maple top and a 5-ply maple/walnut neck with a 4-bolt attachment. The Ebony fingerboard has 24 X Jumbo frets, a comfortable 12-16″ radius, and is adorned with MOP offset dots. It is available with either a Hipshot or Floyd Rose Bridge. Like the rest of these Schecter offerings, those models not equipped with a locking nut will have the Graph Tech Black Tusq nut. Another plus, the guitars are also equipped with locking tuners, adding to their tuning stability and overall rock-solid reliablity.

 

And last but not least, what all those who like it heavy have been waiting for…

The KM-7 Keith Merrow Signature Model

The KM-7. Oh yes.

The KM-7. Oh yes.

"Bow down or I will destroy you!"

“Bow down or I will destroy you!”

Then of course, there’s the KM-7 Keith Merrow Signature model, also featuring the Nazgul and Sentient pickups. The SLS slim wrap Swamp Ash body is available in a stunning Satin Trans White finish (with 7-ply binding!) that almost has to be seen to be believed. The ultra-thin “C” shaped 3-piece Maple set-neck is reinforced with Carbon Fiber rods for rock-solid stability and zero dead notes anywhere on its Ebony fingerboard. The fingerboard also has a very interesting offset white dot pattern. It has a Hipshot 7-string hardtail bridge and locking tuners along with a Graph Tech Black Tusq nut. The electronics are very straightforward, featuring a single push-pull volume control and a 3-way toggle switch. I had a chance to check out this model (and an equally stunning black-trans version as seen below) at Seymour Duncan Headquarters in Santa Barbara shortly after NAMM and it is amazing, both visually and as a functional piece. The sound was HUGE.

Schecter KM-7

That’s a pretty serious selection of body styles, pickup and bridge configurations. Something for practically every taste, but especially if your tastes lean toward the heavy, and your favorite color is black.Whether your weapon of choice is 6, 7, or 8 strings, Schecter has plenty of options.

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Jay Hale

About Jay Hale

Jay Hale is a guitarist and guitar-builder located in Los Angeles who has also occasionally moonlighted as a guitar tech for bands like Quiet Riot.
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  • pkeener

    Good to see Schecter moving away from the demonic naming. I happen to have Schecter S-1 Elite, which was one of only a few that didn’t have the Hellraiser, Damien, etc branding. I play in a Christian Rock outreach band and I was forced to choose another maker when he time came to add to my guitar collection for concerts. I’m glad to see that Schecter is relying more on their quality instead of catchy naming and demonic symbology all over an otherwise amazing instrument. All of this with the notable exception of the black one that has demonic symbology airbrushed on the body.

    • holysammich

      Hahahahaha, that’s hilarious. Your religion doesn’t permit a guitar model from it’s name :’)

      • Grey Dread

        It’s not about allowing or permitting “a name”. It’s about advertising something you’re against. Do you not grasp that concept? It’s like somebody from MADD rockin’ a Jack Daniels bass. It conflicts with the message.

        • sj666

          The problem with your analogy is that Jack Daniels is real.

          • suchDevils

            give this man a cookie

          • Walter Ruggeri

            I love your answer.

        • Doomy

          Still not worth the fuzz you make about it. You bought it (if you did), name it as you like. “The Schecter Christhammer formerly known as Hellraiser” or whatever you prefer.

      • Guest What

        I’m actually totally with pkeener here. It’s not so much “Oh no, the guitar’s name is Hellraiser,” but rather “Oh, well I can’t condone the name behind this, especially given what I’m using this for.”

        In a similar light, it’s like Randall naming one of their amps the Satan. I’m a Christian and play heavy metal, and I understand the name’s largely in jest. I’m not going to make a large deal of it, but I’m not going to buy it.

        • Hitchman

          Hail his noodly appendage. R’amen.

    • Ben Ferguson

      The quality has always been there, but if just knowing that they cater to non-christians (and anti-christians) is a problem for you, I’d suggest you buy a different guitar. Schecter is still offering Demon, Banshee, Hellraiser, and Omen models with plenty of demonic imagery, and they offer signature guitars for Gary Holt of Exodus, Balsac from GWAR, and the guys from Black Veil Brides and Avenged Sevenfold. Personally, I’m glad that they’re now offering “Ultra-Thin” neck profiles; the clunky necks have thus far been the only thing keeping me from considering a Schecter!

    • Jay Hale

      I always thought the names were more horror movie references than “demonic”, personally.

      • Zado

        Exactly this.Modern Schecter (not Dave’s one of course) has always been into horror movies,just think of all those grafic guitars…Dracula,the creature from the black lagoon,dawn of the dead….
        Also,like you said,names are from horror movies too…Hellraiser was a movie,same as Omen,Damien (the kid from Omen),and Demon is probably the name of some famous porn actress.

    • girhen

      What’s in a name? That which we call a Hellraiser by any other name would rock as awesome.

      Schecter’s guitars in those lines are popular with metal and hard rock, so they name them with things that attract them. Why not just tell your buddies it’s a Heavenraiser, the Christ, etc? And, to be honest, I love my Stargazer bass (and my Hellraiser). The guitar looks just as awesome on both the spec sheet and in appearance.

    • Grey Dread

      Just do what I did – grab a magic marker and change the name from hellraiser to hellrazer.

    • CHULTZ

      oh no…. Idiot.

  • Vasily Messer
  • Filipe

    Those 7 and 8 string guitars look hot as hell. ^^

  • turtlemouth

    I have a black Damien Elite 7, and apparently a wandering eye. That crimson Blackjack up there is friggin’ gorgeous. And that Merrow just makes me go hnnng!