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Review: Schecter Guitars Jeff Loomis JL-7 — Video

Review: Schecter Guitars Jeff Loomis JL-7 — Video

GOLD AWARD WINNER

A true guitarist’s guitarist, Jeff Loomis is no stranger to readers of this magazine for his work as a solo artist and with the bands Nevermore and Arch Enemy.

Eight years ago Schecter introduced its first Jeff Loomis signature model, a seven-string guitar based on Schecter’s C-7 Hellraiser but with various modifications requested by Loomis.

The Jeff Loomis JL-7 is Schecter’s most recent Jeff Loomis signature model, which features numerous significant refinements that make it one of the most impressive products in Schecter’s current lineup of nearly three-dozen seven-string models.

FEATURES The JL-7 is available with either a gloss black or Vampyre Red Satin finish and with either a Hipshot Hardtail string-thru-body tailpiece or Floyd Rose 1000 Series vibrato. Our test version was the black model with the Hipshot bridge. Some of the refinements include a thinner body with a more substantially arched top, a modified cutaway that provides better access to the uppermost frets, repositioned volume control and pickup toggle switch, and extra-jumbo stainless steel frets. The pickups were also changed and now consist of EMG 57-7H bridge and EMG 66-7H active humbuckers with Alnico magnets and steel pole pieces.

The swamp ash body is very light and comfortably contoured. The maple/walnut multi-ply neck features a natural satin finish and is attached to the body with Schecter’s Ultra Access set neck construction that has the smooth, seamless feel of a neck-thru-body design. The maple fretboard is decorated with tasteful “metal cross” inlays and features 24 frets and glow-in-the-dark side dot markers. With its 26.5-inch scale, the neck provides ideal tension for the lowest string as well as down tuning, and the ultra-thin C-shaped neck profile maximizes playing comfort.

PERFORMANCE The refinements made to the JL-7 result in one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had with a seven-string guitar. The clarity and warmth of the EMG pickups are phenomenal, delivering massive tones with high-gain distortion yet retaining the definition of each individual note in chords. The light body weight, contours, cutaway and neck profile make the JL-7 very comfortable to play. The fretboard provides a familiar string-spacing feel for six-string specialists without being too wide, although the longer 26.5-inch scale takes a little adjustment to get used to. The attention to detail in the construction is immaculate, with smoothly rounded edges on the fretboard and frets adding to the JL-7’s comfort and playability and giving it the feel of a handcrafted custom instrument.

CHEAT SHEET
LIST PRICE $1,499.99
MANUFACTURER Schecter Guitar Research, schecterguitars.com

EMG 57-7H bridge and 66-7H active humbuckers with Alnico magnets and steel pole pieces provide warm but detailed tone perfect for the JL-7’s expanded frequency range.

A 26.5-inch scale accommodates both the lowest string and down tuning while providing fast feel and playability similar to standard guitar scale lengths.

The Bottom Line The Schecter Jeff Loomis JL-7 is a sleek and stylish guitar with aggressive tone and comfortable playability that’s ideal for six-string players making the transition to seven strings.

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