Watch Prince’s gold-finished Schecter Symbol guitar get pulled out of retirement and put through its paces

Dre DiMura and Prince
(Image credit: Dre DiMura/TikTok / Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

As well as his legendary chops, iconic songwriting and once-in-a-generation showmanship, Prince was also well-known for his eye-catching electric guitars. The Cloud guitar, one his most widely used models, immediately springs to mind, with its elongated upper horn and compact body design.

Another model from Prince’s arsenal of unique axes was his Auerswald Symbol guitar – an iconic creation first created by German luthier Jerry Auerswald in the mid-’90s that resembled the same symbol Prince changed his name to.

Originally crafted in gold, the Symbol guitar was later recreated by guitar tech’s Zeke Clark and Andy Beech – whose copy featured on the cover of Guitar World in 1994 (opens in new tab) – as well as guitar heavyweight Schecter, all of whom made touring models in the late ‘90s to accommodate Prince’s guitar-destroying tendencies.

Owing to their onstage treatment, few models from this time remain, but a particularly notable survivor from the era is a gold-finished Schecter Symbol copy, which was recently plucked from retirement and put through its paces by guitarist Dre DiMura.

After Schecter first crafted the infamous purple Habibe Symbol model, “several” models were later refinished gold at Prince’s request.

The gold guitar in question takes inspiration from the first Habibe six-string – which Prince wielded during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007 – though is a slightly more faithful emulation of Auerswald’s original creation.

A key difference between the purple Super Bowl Schecter Habibe and the gold Schecter Symbol model can be found in the hardware department: the gold version DiMura plays features the original’s hardtail bridge, as opposed to the Habibe’s Floyd Rose alternative.

Having said that, most of the other specs remain the same, including a color-matched body, neck, fretboard and headstock – all of which are decked out in the luxurious gold colorway – as well as EMG pickups, two control knobs and a pickup selector switch.

Other appointments include the minimalist fretboard inlays, one of which showcases Prince’s symbol itself while the other flashes a heart sign.

It’s no surprise that a guitar once wielded by Prince sounds good, but DiMura’s demo is a tasty reminder at just how expansive the Symbol six-string can be. Through lightning lead licks and chorus-laden chord progressions aplenty, DiMura explores the whole range of the golden fretboard, harnessing soaring highs, meaty lows and just about everything in between.

When it comes to testing out electric guitars, DiMura is a safe pair of hands. Since starting his career at the age of 14, DiMura has racked up an impressive resume – one that includes backing legendary musicians like Gloria Gaynor and Dee Snider, as well as stints with bands like Palaye Royale and Diamante as tour support for Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace and Chevelle

More recently, DiMura – who also has a sizeable social media following with over 60,000,000 views on TikTok (opens in new tab)  – has been a part of the America’s Got Talent house band, and was just announced as an invited guest on Jared Dines’ 5th Biggest Shred Collab.

@dredimura (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - Dre DiMura (opens in new tab)

“Having the chance to play such a legendary instrument is unbelievable,” DiMura commented, “My grandmother was a huge Prince fan. It’s one of those pinch me moments you can’t even imagine when you first start out playing guitar. 

“The body shape felt alien at first but the neck threw me,” he continued. “Prince is famous for having smaller hands, so the frets are incredibly tiny. The pickups are super hot and the high gain sound was just unreal. I’ve never played anything like it.”

As for Prince’s generational guitar talents, DiMura went on, “People definitely sleep on Prince’s guitar acrobatics. He laid down some seriously soaring lead stuff, and I totally understood why this axe was his custom guitar magnum opus.”

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.