A bit of a beast, it feels like Schecter's Damien Elite Solo-6 has been putting lead in his cornflakes. Oh, its mahogany body is contoured in all the right places; it's a comfortable burden once you swing it up round your neck or get it onto the lap. But it is heavy. And it looks kinda mean.
"Its mahogany body is contoured in all the right places, but it is heavy. And it looks kinda mean"
The Damien Elite Solo-6 is a light-absorbing metallic black monster, with the gothic abalone Stained Cross fret inlays the only aesthetic extravagance. Even the multi-ply binding is black. We're not too sure about the abalone, since it verges on overkill, but the Solo-6 looks like a guitar that knows what it was made for.
With an EMG 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck, it means business. High-output active pickups are arguably essential for guitarists who operate at the frontiers of gain, and the EMG 81/85 pairing is a classic combo, favoured by the likes of Jeff Hanneman of Slayer for very good reason.
There's a slim maple neck that's bolted onto the body and left unfinished. The neck's not as satin smooth as we'd like, a bit 'Desperate Dan's chin' towards the headstock. We'll let that slide for now. With a 648mm (25.5-inch) scale and 24 jumbo frets, this certainly feels like a shredder's guitar. The Damien certainly leaves some rivals for dust when it comes to soloing.
The Solo-6 has a voice that's perfect for metal - it's powerful, sure-footed and capable of handling severe amounts of distortion but still keeps itself in check. It has a range of cleans, from piano-ish definition in the neck pickup to glassy and sharp bite in the bridge. Both have a subtlety you may not have expected. But then, you're not looking for subtle, right?
With a longer scale and the clarity and punch of the EMGs, the Damien Elite Solo-6 can handle low tunings and thick gain, and still retain mahogany warmth.