The California workshop of Schecter Guitar Research was the first port of call for quality replacement parts back in the mid-70s, and a few short years later, complete Schecter-branded guitars were being used by the likes of Pete Townshend, Mark Knopfler and Ritchie Blackmore.
Since the late 1990s, Schecter's Diamond Series guitars have been built in Korea, then shipped back 'home' to the US for a full setup.
The new Hellraiser Hybrid series guitars borrow some of the more sought-after features from the popular Hellraiser and SLS ranges (hence the 'Hybrid' name), such as the SLS's ultra-slim neck. Our review guitar has a mahogany body, with arched maple top and is flawlessly finished.
The 'Ultra Thin C' profile neck is made from a three-piece maple laminate for strength, with 'Ultra Access ' low profile glued-neck-to-body joints and a two-way adjustable truss rod. A particularly nice touch is the satin finish, stylishly cut in at an angle at the body and head end of the neck. A small volute strengthens the construction at the thinnest point of the neck – and here you'll also find a decal with the serial number and country of manufacture.
Flipping it over, this guitar has glow-in-the-dark position side markers set into multi-ply carbon fibre binding, possibly a very useful feature when launching into a blistering guitar intro on a dark stage... The fingerboard is ebony – with 24 jumbo frets and small offset dot inlays, featuring a gothic cross at the 12th fret – and employ a compound radius, starting out with a Gibson-like 305mm (12 inches) camber at the 1st fret, ideal for comfortable chord work, that gradually flattens out to 406mm (16 inches) for choke-free string bends in the higher reaches of the 'board. As for hardware, we get black chrome 'kidney button' tuners.
An active EMG 57 humbucker, housed with a brushed black chrome cover, graces the bridge position of the guitar.
Feel & Sounds
Plugging in the PT, we're immediately struck by the slimness of the neck and unhindered upper fret access. The well-finished jumbo frets feel extremely comfortable under the fingers, too.
A bright, ringing acoustic tone gives way to a mid-rich voice as we bring up the volume, balanced with plenty of clarity from the Alnico V-equipped EMG 57 in the bridge – these are designed to bring a bit more PAF flavour than the classic 81/85 combo, while retaining the power and definition associated with their style.
The 66 at the neck is also from the PAF school of thought, but features ceramic pole pieces for extra cut, which is so often lacking in a neck humbucker. Comparing the Schecter with a Les Paul fitted with passive Bare Knuckle Mules, we'd say that theEMGs are considerably louder and 'harder', but the PAF inspiration does hold water. If you're looking to play a wide range of styles but just want to carry one guitar, then chances are the PT has you covered with a bit of amp/gain tweaking.
It's not a cheap date, of course, but if you're serious about your craft, it will not let you down.