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Schecter Diamond C-1+: No Diamond in the Rough Here
Written: Jul 21, 2007 (Updated Sep 22, 2007)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Attractively priced and playable rocker's guitar
Cons:No collectibilty, pickups may sound muddy
The Bottom Line: The Schechter C1 is a value priced electric guitar that is extremely competitive in its price class. Though not perfect, it's a very good buy for the money.
Its pretty hard to miss a Schecter guitar if read the guitar mags or hang around the big box stores like I do. Theyre everywhere, in the ad pages, hanging on the walls, walking out the doors in the arms of tattooed 16-year olds who cant afford that Ibanez Steve Vai or Les Paul Standard that they thought they really wanted.
If they think they are settling for second-best, those guys are wrong. I recently tried out a Schecter Diamond C-1+ guitar, and for the price, I was blown away. This guitar is an excellent value and provides very serious competition to Fenders, Epiphones, PRSs and Gibsons priced in the $500 to $800 range.
Schecter Guitars started out as a parts manufacturing outfit in California that turned to manufacturing custom guitars. After being bought out by some Texans who proceed to drive product quality into the ground, the company was bought out again. It ultimately moved its manufacturing to Korea and began producing designs that werent Fender knock-offs. The Diamond Series was introduced in 1998 and consists of all of its the non-custom, mass-produced guitars. In other words, what you see is what you get on the rack.
The C1+ is a double cut solid body electric guitar that somewhat resembles a humbucker equipped Stratocaster. The mahogany body has a flame maple top and comes in three colors, trans blue, vintage sunburst, and the very attractive black cherry that I played. I didnt see any paint or construction issues that jumped out on me and frankly, quality wise this looked more like a thousand dollar Gibson SG than a Korean import.
The neck is a mahogany with rosewood top and crème binding. There are twenty-four jumbo frets and the cutaway offers good access all the way up the 24 ¾ neck but the jumbos seem a little wide as you move up. Inlays are abalone. The neck is faster and thinner than a Les Paul but not as fast as some Strats or Ibanezs I have played. The whole ensemble about midway in weight between a Strat and Les Paul, which will be a blessing to performers have to struggle with an LPs poundage.
The guitar is equipped with Grover tuners that reportedly hold their tune well and a TonePros through-body bridge.
The C-1s pickups are two Duncan Designed HB-102 humbuckers, one in the neck and one in the bridge. These are Korean built pickups that are designed for OEM usage on moderately priced guitars in the $300-$800 range. Duncans site says: The HB-102 was modeled after Seymour's favorite humbucker combination, the USA-made SH-4 JB bridge and SH-2n Jazz Model neck set. Like the HB-101s, these pickups also use Alnico 5 magnets, but have a hotter winding spec, based on the world's most popular "hot-rodded" humbucker. The bridge pickup is Trembucker-spaced. So there.
The three-way switch permits you to choose the neck, neck and bridge, or bridge pick-ups. The tone control is a push pull. When down, the pickups are humbuckers. When up, the coils are split so you get single-coils. They dont sound like Strats or Teles, and maybe there is a slight fall off in volume, but they do deliver a cleaner sound than the humbuckers and provide a more bluesy or jazzy sound when required. Its nice to see this feature on such a reasonably priced guitar.
I tested this through a Mesa 1x12 Rectoverb amp using mainly the clean channel. The two humbuckers deliver some real quality sounds. For a guy who tends to favor Strats and cleaner sounds, I thought the neck humbucker delivered some scorching clean leads and rhythm. The neck humbucker is well suited for standard rock leads and rhythm as well. Some guys may not think it delivers enough gain (theyre probably right) and metal heads will probably shake their heads. Some other guys think the pick-ups are muddy so play it carefully before you buy. As I said, its nice to be able to split the coils but no one is going to compare this guitar to a Tele or Strat. Nonetheless, for the price this guitar plays great and delivers some nice lead and rhythm sounds. Frankly, it doesnt sound any worse than the Gibson Faded SG that Ive been messing with (around $579 at GC) and it measures up well to the PRS Santana SE.
Im continually amazed at the high-quality guitars that are being imported from China and Korea. This C1+ is a very, very nice machine for around $579. Frankly, I think the cheaper labor and non-premium name means this guitar would be worth more like $700-$800 if made domestically. So who should buy this guitar? I think this is a good second purchase for younger players who have shown they are getting serious about the instrument and are interested in rock and hard rock. (Its not a great metal guitar, but you can do anything with the right amp and pedals.). The clean sounds are particularly impressive. Pros might like this as a back-up gigging guitar, or just to mess with because it really is such a pleasure to play. Dont expect any collection value out of this guitar, but do expect to have a pretty good time with an axe that really is quite a bargain.
CONSTRUCTION/SCALE: Set-Neck w/ Ultra Access / 24.75
BODY: Mahogany w/ Flame Maple
NECK/FINGERBOARD: 3-pc. Mahogany / Rosewood
FRETS: 24 Jumbo
INLAYS: Abalone & Pearl Vector
PICKUPS: Duncan Designed HB-102
ELECTRONICS: Vol/Vol/Tone (tap)/3-Way
BRIDGE: TonePros TOM w/ thru-body
Schechter Diamond C+1
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