Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT review

Machine Gun Kelly’s signature model is a Guitar Center exclusive that gives Schecter’s Tele-type a radical modern makeover

Schecter Diamond Series Machine Gun Kelly PT
(Image: © Schecter Guitar Research)

Guitar World Verdict

The flashy Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT in HPLG is an all-or-nothing workhorse guitar that delivers an articulate modern tone with pugnacious brawn.

Pros

  • +

    Solid build.

  • +

    Excellent playability with plenty of upper-fret access.

  • +

    Great bridge humbucker.

Cons

  • -

    Kill-switch position won't be for everyone.

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On the surface, Machine Gun Kelly (or MGK) appears much like window dressing as an artist. With rockstar looks and a skyrocketing career from rapper to pop-punk upstart, it’s dismissively easy to surmise his entire musical persona feels a bit cut-and-pasted, which leads you to wonder whether it’s all an act.

But MGK is a legit musician, and for what it’s worth, he’s one of the few stars who seriously plays guitar and is savvy enough to take a backseat by recruiting fret-burning British guitarist Sophie Lloyd for his tours, who adds a great deal of musical energy to his performances. 

Despite all this, his surging Hollywood celebrity garnered him a signature guitar with Schecter (in a Ticket to My Downfall hot pink finish) and since then, MGK stoked excitement by appearing on his Mainstream Sellout album cover with the same thematic guitar in a new colorway – raising hopes that this newly unreleased six-string would soon be available to his wildly popular fanbase or for players who dig a super-streamlined T-style electric guitar with eye-catching graphics.

Well, the wait is over: this Guitar Center-exclusive Schecter Guitar Research Machine Gun Kelly PT in satin black with hot pink line graphics is here and yours to flaunt.

Schecter Diamond Series Machine Gun Kelly PT

(Image credit: Schecter Guitar Research)

Features

If you want to get your hands on one, you should know this particular MGK PT model is available only through Guitar Center. It’s no secret the music retailer has long been partnering with top guitar manufacturers like Schecter to design uniquely spec’d guitars that are exclusive only to them. And here, the Machine Gun Kelly PT in hot pink line graphics is exactly the same as the other MGK PT (in Downfall Pink) with just a few cosmetic differences.

Outside of the black satin finish that covers the whole guitar, flecks of hot pink stand out, starting with the line graphics on the body, hot pink “XX” inlay at the 12th fret, pink logo and pink splash at the headstock’s lower peak, and a hot pink open-coil Schecter Pasadena Plus pickup in its Schecter PT-H bridge.

First and foremost, the MGK PT feels solidly constructed with an alder body and a Canadian rock maple neck with a dark ebony fretboard, 22 jumbo frets, a Graph Tech XL TUSQ nut and Schecter locking tuners.

Its bolt-on neck is finely contoured at the heel for easy access to higher fret registers and a thin “C” profile neck shape along with a flat 14–inch fretboard radius makes playing it a breeze. When you’re ready to hit the stage, the MGK PT becomes alive or dead with a sole master volume and kill switch. 

Schecter Diamond Series Machine Gun Kelly PT

(Image credit: Schecter Guitar Research)

Performance

Most of us can agree there won’t be any lukewarm reaction to the MGK PT guitar. It will likely be “Oh, hell no” to “That guitar is FIRE” – and probably nothing in between. Still, I’ll wager that for most of my Millennial and Gen-Z brethren, it’ll be more of the latter. And while it’s not a guitar I would gravitate to currently, a younger version of myself would be all over it. 

One thing I noticed is that the line graphics create a three-dimensional optical illusion when looking down between the strings, which I thought was striking. Moving on from appearances, everything else about the MGK PT’s playability and tone is top-notch. 

With a tiny tweak of its carbon-fiber-reinforced truss rod to straighten the neck, the guitar plays effortlessly and in tune with the magical trifecta of locking tuners, jumbo frets and low action.

Schecter Diamond Series Machine Gun Kelly PT

(Image credit: Schecter Guitar Research)

But the showstopper for me is the lone Schecter Pasadena Plus pickup that combines punchiness and warmth in a high-output pickup. It’s a surprising do-all humbucker that is perfectly voiced where it’s neither bright nor too dark but finely focused for tighter mids with a clean bite.

And something you don’t often find on a guitar like this is the master volume can be gently rolled off for articulate cleans without losing any treble response. I gotta hand it to MGK for relying on this back-to-basics approach of going from full output to clean at just a simple roll of the knob.

The kill-switch inclusion is cool, but I’m also shocked MGK went for the old-school selector rather than a modern kill-switch button (but I’m assuming he’s just shutting the guitar off rather than going for the stutter effect), although I wish the kill-switch was closer to the cutaway a la Tom Morello’s “Arm the Homeless” guitar. The MGK PT is a guitar that makes a big statement, but one that is clear and concise.

Schecter Diamond Series Machine Gun Kelly PT

(Image credit: Schecter Guitar Research)

Specs

  • PRICE: $999
  • TYPE: Electric guitar
  • ORIGIN: Indonesia
  • FRETS: 22, jumbo
  • SCALE LENGTH: 25.5"
  • FINGERBOARD: Ebony, 14" radius
  • NECK: Maple, bolted-on Thin "C"
  • BODY: Alder
  • PICKUPS: Schecter USA Pasadena Plus humbucker
  • CONTROLS: Kill-switch, master volume
  • HARDWARE: Schecter locking tuners, Schecter PT-H Bridge, black
  • FINISH OPTIONS: Satin Black with Hot Pink Lines Graphic, Hot Pink
  • CONTACT: Schecter Guitars / Guitar Center

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.