Schecter Hellraiser Solo-6
Schecter Guitars, schecterguitars.com
Originally published in Guitar World, January 2010
The Schecter Hellraiser Solo-6 is a modern interpretation of a Les Paul–style guitar and has features geared more toward today’s progressive players than retro regressionists.
The current guitar market offers a wide variety of outstanding new instruments that sell for less than a thousand dollars. Most of these guitars are great bargains with excellent playability, but many leave a lot to be desired when it comes to hardware and styling. Schecter’s Hellraiser Series guitars nicely fill the gap between no-frills budget instruments and expensive professional axes, with their combination of outstanding materials and craftsmanship, top-quality hardware and pickups and affordable prices (most models sell for well under $1,000). The Schecter Hellraiser Solo-6 is a modern interpretation of a Les Paul–style guitar and has features geared more toward today’s progressive players than retro regressionists.
The Hellraiser Solo-6 is based on the Les Paul’s time-honored construction formula (mahogany body, maple top, set mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard), but it adds several upgrades such a quilted top (Black Cherry finish version only), abalone body and headstock binding, and abalone gothic cross fingerboard inlays. The neck also has a longer 25 1/2–inch scale, 24 frets, a deep contoured cutaway and a wide, flat neck profile.
The Solo-6 features a locking TonePros TOM bridge, and the strings are anchored through the body instead of a stop tailpiece. Schecter locking tuners are mounted on the headstock and the tuners, bridge and knobs are finished with black chrome. Active EMG 81TW bridge and 89 neck humbuckers, which cost about $200 when purchased separately, provide pro-quality tone. Individual volume controls for the neck and bridge pickup let you tap the coils by pulling up on the knobs. Other controls include a master tone knob and a three-position pickup selector.
When you examine and play the Hellraiser Solo-6, it’s hard to believe that it sells for a lot less than a grand. The attention to detail in the fretwork and craftsmanship is outstanding, and the guitar’s action is comparable to guitars that cost $2,000 and up. The EMG pickups deliver the high output, enhanced note detail and brilliant attack that modern players love, and the split tones produce attractive single-coil treble and twang. The neck pickup volume control is located closer to the bridge volume knob, a position that may confuse some players, but if you prefer the knobs the other way around, a tech can fix this with a soldering iron in minutes.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you want a guitar that looks and plays as tight as your budget, the Hellraiser Solo-6 is the best value around.
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