Schecter Diamond Series C-1 Custom and Solo-6 Standard
Schecter Guitar Research, schecterguitars.com
Diamond Series C-1 Custom, $999.00; Diamond Series Solo-6 Custom, $799.00
Originally published in Guitar World, August 2010
No matter how affordable they are or where they’re built, these instruments’ ergonomic CNC-crafted bodies, classy looks, high-end components and silky-smooth playability leave practically no room for criticism.
Schecter's overseas manufacturing has made it possible for guitarists to own truly impressive instruments at prices that would have been a bargain 25 years ago. The South Korean–built Diamond Series C-1 Custom and Solo-6 Standard guitars that I’m reviewing this month demonstrate this—they rival the quality standards of custom-shop creations, and do so at about a fourth of the price. No matter how affordable they are or where they’re built, these instruments’ ergonomic CNC-crafted bodies, classy looks, high-end components and silky-smooth playability leave practically no room for criticism.
This double-cut screamer is designed to maximize sustain and generate scintillating treble tones. A thin mahogany body makes the C-1 Custom extremely lightweight and capable of creating remarkable bursts of acoustic volume. A three-piece, set maple neck and ebony fretboard add to the guitar’s bright attack, while the string-through body and set-neck construction ensure that the response is balanced by the mahogany body’s deep tonal characteristics. The neck’s flat, D-shaped contour and seamless Ultra Access joint make it extremely fast in all positions. For the player who appreciates fine woods, the body’s carved top and angled headstock are covered in book-matched quilted-maple top. A Seymour Duncan Custom in the bridge position and a Duncan ’59 near the neck deliver the C-1 Custom’s innate personality, and they can be tapped for single-coil tones with the tone pot’s push/pull feature.
The Duncan pickups do an excellent job of focusing and highlighting the C-1 Custom’s acoustic attributes. The Custom Custom delivers all of the guitar’s bright midrange and plentiful treble overtones, creating an incredible amount of sustain and energy for high-gain chords and medium-gain leads. For cleans and high-gain leads, the Duncan ’59 was better at clarifying the C-1 Custom’s stinging notes and illuminating the elusive, buttery undertones. The Duncan ’59 can sound a little syrupy, but it allowed plenty of treble to shine through for punchy pick attack variations, and there was enough low end to define sweep arpeggios.
The Solo-6's sensual tonal foundation comes from its heavy contoured carved mahogany body, which has a beautiful flamed maple top. Rosewood lends warmth to the three-piece mahogany neck, whose true C shape will please vintage fans that remember the joy of playing a deep and relatively narrow mahogany stick. Unlike its vintage inspiration, Schecter’s Ultra Access neck joint aggressively contours the heel, leaving no wood to stop you from comfortably reaching the top frets. A wide, double-wing headstock returns stray resonances to the pickups to prevent tone loss when playing beyond the 12th fret. Duncan Designed, PAF-style humbuckers are an ideal match for the Solo-6 Standard, and they can be switched to single-coil with the push/pull tone pot.
Warm, deep and sexy mahogany tones are what the Solo-6 Standard does best. Its clean sounds are rich and interminably pleasing, but the sultry way that it controls overdrive is especially spectacular. The bottom is warm and round, low and high mids jump off the fretboard equally well, and the top strings sing with an ear-tickling sweetness. The string-to-string definition is excellent, as is the attack, ensuring musical clarity when making supersonic runs up the fretboard. The single-coil response doesn’t really do this guitar’s depth justice, but it’s useful when a softer and less powerful tone is required.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Schecter's Diamond Series C-1 Custom is for players who want a powerful, metal-style guitar with enough treble and sustain to cut through mid-heavy high-gain amp channels. Vintage/modern enthusiasts with a penchant for mahogany-born midrange will likely be awed by the Solo-6 Standard’s deep, C-neck shape neck, candy-sweet tones and balanced crunch.
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