Review: Schecter Blackjack SLS C-8 Guitar
While eight-string solidbody electric guitars haven’t yet matched the popularity of their seven-string counterparts, a growing number of companies have developed eight-string models since the first mass-produced eight-string guitars hit the market in 2007.
Schecter introduced its first eight-string model, the C-8 Hellraiser, as a limited-production model in 2009, and today the company offers seven different eight-string models. With the longest scale (28 inches) of any Schecter eight-string model, the Blackjack SLS C-8 is more of an eight-string baritone than guitar, making it perfect for players who like their sound heavy and low.
From its sleek, contoured asymmetrical double-cutaway body shape to its stealthy flat-black finish and imposing-looking “Hell’s Gate Skull” 12th-fret inlay, the Blackjack SLS C-8 immediately exclaims that it’s designed for metal.
The three-piece maple neck is smoothly contoured to the mahogany body and finished in flat black as well, resulting in a seamless neck/body transition similar to a neck-through-body design. Electronics consist of a pair of Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackout active humbucking pickups, individual volume controls for each pickup, a master tone control and a three-position pickup selector. Schecter locking tuning machines, a Hipshot Custom 8 bridge and string-through-body design keep tuning and intonation dead perfect.
The Blackjack SLS C-8’s wide fretboard seems intimidating at first glance, but the flat, slim neck profile allows six-string players to adjust quickly and navigate the fretboard with comfort and ease. The strings are spaced with ample room for clean chord fingering, and the 28-inch scale provides the ideal string tension for the low Fs and B strings, allowing even the lowest notes to ring out with clarity and accurate intonation.
Some players may find the extra tension on the higher strings, and some stretches (like from the fifth to 10th frets), difficult and uncomfortable when performing solos. Fortunately, the neck has 24 extra-jumbo frets, so most lead players and soloists can adjust by playing an octave higher.
The benefits of a 28-inch scale become evident when playing with high-gain distortion, as even the lowest chords sound bright, lively and detailed. It’s highly recommended that you use a cabinet loaded with speakers rated for high-wattage output (100 watts or more), as the super-aggressive transients could easily destroy vintage-style speakers. The tones produced by the Blackjack SLS C-8 are absolutely massive, so you’ll want to pair it with a high-performance rig to get the most out of its expanded range.
List Price $1,299
Manufacturer Schecter Guitar Research, schecterguitars.com
The 28-inch scale, the Seymour Duncan Blackout active pickups and the Hipshot Custom-8 bridge contribute to the big, punchy and detailed tone of this extended range beast.
With 24 extra-jumbo frets, a wide/flat neck profile and a smooth neck/body joint, the Blackjack SLS C-8 is surprisingly comfortable to play.
The Bottom Line
More eight-string baritone than guitar, the Schecter Blackjack SLS C-8 has a 28-inch scale and produces mammoth tones that remain punchy and clear even at the bottommost depths of down-tuned doom.