Schecter CET: A beautiful looking, playing, and sounding axe!
I took a chance on the new Schecter CET after discovering the new line of USA custom shop guitars they've put out while browsing here on Sweetwater.com--and let me tell you, I'm glad I took the plunge! It has what might be one of the most comfortable necks I've ever played on--the C-shaped neck is thin enough to allow for some nice speedy runs but still feels substantial. The finish is beautiful (I have the Black Cherry version which is actually the same one used in the stock photo here while Sweetwater waits for more to come in), and the guitar is perfectly balanced. The contour where your picking arm rests is a nice touch as well. The sound from the Seymour Duncan JB can only be described as "in your face": this is an alder body with a maple cap, and that tonewood environment helps to unleash all the harmonic complexity the JB is known for, while the brightness helps to tone down the muddy low end that it can have in a warmer guitar.
My only complaint with this guitar was the narrower string spacing of the Floyd Rose Pro tremolo, which caused the strings to not rest flush over the poles of the middle and neck single coils. These are some sweet pickups, but the string spacing issue meant that I was being robbed of some of the tone they were capable of. I fixed this issue by having a Seymour Duncan Cool Rails installed at the neck (coil-tapped at the tone control like the JB) and a Vintage Rails installed in the middle position. Now, the guitar sings in each of the pickup selector's five positions. If I had to be critical of one other area it would simply be the volume pot--there doesn't seem to be as smooth of a taper as I'd like when rolling off the volume. I may just need to get used to the control...but those issues aside, this guitar is really an impeccably built custom shop instrument. It gives me the tonal versatility I was looking for--it can do everything from '80s heavy metal to some Clapton-esque blues rock--and is a joy to play. The Floyd Rose Pro seems a tad more stable than other floating trems I've used, which is nice if you're like me and like to hit those 5th and 7th fret harmonics with a bit of whammy bar warble. All in all I look for this to be one of my "go-to" guitars for quite a while!