The Schecter Hellraiser C-1 has been my go-to guitar for years - it can do everything. From hard rock to jazz, it can accomplish a wide variety of tones thanks to the EMG pickups with coil tapping functionality. That makes it especially valuable in the studio!
Amazing Value - Sick Guitar
I was looking for a guitar capable of playing high gain hard rock and metal but just couldn't stomach the prices of Les Pauls, ESPs, PRS, et al. So, I went to the bad place and tried a few alternatives. This guitar just called to me even though setup was less than great. I ordered from Sweetwater (stellar service) and was rewarded with an absolutely awesome axe for my purposes. Details: This guitar has the heft of a Les Paul. It feels "solid", just like a Les Paul or PRS. With a good setup this guitar plays with unbelievably low action with absolutely zero fret buzz. The Tone Pros bridge and through body string mounting make this a sustain monster. Access to upper frets is awesome and the neck, body interface is very well sculpted. Probably the most accessible upper register I have ever experienced on any guitar. The fretwork is outstanding and the edges of the neck are slightly rolled, giving the edge of the neck a PRS feel. The frets do not need dressing out of the box. Finish is flawless. This guitar is absolutely the most resonant guitar I have ever experienced. Pluck a string and you will feel the body resonate for sure. And the resonation persists throughout the entire note. Playing this guitar unplugged, it is very loud. Almost as loud as some of my semi hollows. No joking. It's quite amazing, actually. Tuning Machines are very high quality. The pickups are awesome for high gain stuff, but as expected with an active pickup lack some harmonic complexity on low gain playing, but that's not the guitar's fault. You don't buy this to make it into a Blues guitar. One thing that really sets this guitar apart is the 25.5" scale. The scale not only makes the very high registers of the 24 fret fretboard more easily playable, but it adds to the purpose for which it was intended. The higher string tension of the longer scale adds a snap to bass strings not unlike a Strat. I like this because I think it promotes note separation at high gain and prevents the bass from becoming mush which is so common on metal guitars. This guitar has a very pronounced pick attack that works very well for for drop tunings because it maintains note definition that you can't get on a short scale instrument. The one and only criticism I have, which is almost irrelevant to me, because I didn't care about this feature one whit, is the coil splitting of the pickups. They really don't change the character of the pickups that much. If you want this to get traditional active pickup single coil sounds, this machine isn't going to do it. But what it does well, it does extraordinarily well. The neck profile is not unlike the thin Les Paul necks. Just right and fast. In fact, I like it better than any Les Paul I have played.Just perfect. I find this to be the best playing guitar in my collection, and I do have some high end guitars. I am mostly a blues player, and it's just a shame that you can't get all of the virtues of this guitar out of a Strat. Were I a metal head, this would be my go to guitar. But, it does suck for Blues, so I don't send as much time with it as I would like. I have even thought of pulling the EMG's and putting in a boutique set of passive humbuckers. Were it not for how odd I would look playing a Hellraiser at my local Blues jam, I probably would do that. But, the shape is just so aggressive that I think I'll pass on that. But if one were to take that route, I am sure that it would be a tone beast. Hands down the best playing guitar I own. You will not be disappointed. The build quality and quality of components is every bit as good as any guitar I have ever played. Too bad Schecter doesn't make anything with this construction approach that is focused on lower gain tones, or I would have two Schecter's in my arsenal. Just can't say enough things about it.
I absolutely love this guitar
This guitar has been my favorite axe since I bought it five years ago. It plays better than my Ibanez or Gibson, and the sound from the EMGs is incredible.
This is one of the most versatile guitars i've ever played. I play everything from Metal to Blues jams and anything in between. I love my guitar and I feel like I bought multiple guitars because of how different it's own settings can produce. A truly solid instrument with rosewood and mahogany... can't beat the sound and feel. Plus the EMG's are about the best you can do with active pickups. I really don't have anything negative to say about it whatsoever.
just for metal
I owned this guitar for about 4 years used it quite a bit I found the coil split for the bridge humbucker useless as the sound was too thin and eventually the volume push pull pot for the bridge pickup broke in a good way so that when you pulled it out it became a kill switch. Pushed in it gave the full humbucker and pulled out it had become a kill switch.
The coil split still worked on the neck and that is where it was most effective for rhythm strumming. The single coil mode for the neck humbucker cleaned the sound up and for a fat lead you just pop the volume knob back down to get back to full humbucker, and with the three-way switch you could preset a couple good tones.
I found the tone knob to have too wide a range and the tone had to be carefully dialed in unlike passive pickups. The setting on the tone knob was critical in reducing the unwanted brightness and dialing in a tone that didnt grate.
I eventually sold the guitar I didnt like the locking tuners or the locking bridge and I have a Schecter hellraiser c-1 Special that doesnt have the locking tuners or locking bridge or the push pull stuff and that guitar I feel is just simpler and better than the fancy hardware you get on the regular C-1. The Special was discontinued a few years ago. With the Special I find the pickups sound better than the regular C-1 version. Mine are regular emg 81/85 and not the 89/whatever version that they use in the regular C-1.
I dont play metal but you can play jazz with the emg's if you lower the volume and go through a good amp not some fender frontman or mustang thing. I have 81/85 on my steinberger synapse ss-2F so I know the emg pickups can sound good. I just didnt really like the ones on this C-1 here in the long run. There were times the guitar sounded amazing and played great and other times where it just didnt feel or sound right. But the weight balance is very good the guitar feels light and is balanced beautifully yet feels substantial.