Fans of instrumental prog-metal virtuoso Aaron Marshall, aka Intervals, will be aware that he’s been cooking up a little something with Schecter for quite some time, having tested prototype signature guitars on tour last year. Now the fruits of their labor have been officially unveiled.
The Aaron Marshall AM-6 six-string and AM-7 seven-string are sleek, contemporary and streamlined in appearance – something Marshall set out to achieve from the outset.
“The objective with this first model was to spec and deliver a minimalistic workhorse guitar that plays effortlessly,” he says, “and affords the player a wide [palette] of tones in any musical situation and at a reasonable price point, especially with these specs.”
To that end, a lightweight basswood body is teamed with a quarter-sawn one-piece wenge neck with graphite reinforcement, Macassar ebony fingerboard and 24 jumbo stainless steel frets. The neck shape itself is a thin ‘C’ profile, with a compound 12-16” radius, while a truss rod wheel appears just past the 24th fret. We dig the aluminum offset/reverse circle inlay design, too.
Schecter USA Solstice and Equinox humbuckers promise the versatility to tackle the range of tones required in contemporary prog guitar, and a five-way switch offers in-between settings – there are no push/pull pots here.
While the pickups are in-house, some of the biggest names in guitar hardware crop up elsewhere, with the AM models packing a Gotoh Vintage 2-Point Tremolo, Hipshot Grip-Lock tuners and a Graph Tech XL Black Tusq nut, not to mention Super Blue Luminlay side dot markers.
In spec’ing his signature model, Marshall has made a few intriguing tweaks to several classic Schecter formulas. For one, the reverse vintage matching headstock is a first for the company, and the increased angle means there are no string trees required. The body curves, meanwhile, offer a subtle twist on the builder’s trademark C-1 silhouette.
As present, there’s only one finish per string configuration: Arctic Jade for the AM-6, Cobalt Slate for the AM-7. And while these initial models are built in Indonesia, Marshall teases there are more options on the way.
“This is our first offering together, and yes, there are more premium instruments coming,” he says. “But I can tell you first hand that these not only hold up, but they over deliver and most of all, they inspire me to play.”
On first inspection, the AM-6 and AM-7 are attractively designed guitars that look to be Schecter’s best counter to the Ibanez AZ range or Sterling by Music Man’s Majesty models. Assuming they deliver on Marshall’s promises, we can see these guitars winning over their fair share of progressive players looking for a streamlined, high-performance instrument.
Price-wise, the six-string clocks in at $1,399, while seven-string and left-handed configurations will set you back an extra 50 bucks at $1,449.
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