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The sub-£300 market is populated by floorboards with strings, making the Omen Extreme seem positively exotic. Contoured mahogany body, quilt maple top, recessed controls, coil tap wizardry, stylish binding, arrow fret inlays, Chianti-inspired paint job, revolting yellow neck stain…
Schecter is clearly trying to stir our loins and bust open our wallets - and it’s working. The Omen shape is old news, but we’re still fans. Like a go-faster Strat, it balances well, feels chunky without swamping you and gives decent command of an easy-playing, jumbo-fretted board (although a less blocky heel would improve access).
We’re not gonna make overblown Les Paul comparisons, but the fusion of maple, mahogany and humbuckers gives this axe a full, ringing, memorable voice that’s easily the best in the test for clean open chords, and breaks nicely into classic, frayed overdrive when you push it.
The coil tap, meanwhile, brings in useful snap for special occasions, but you’d be mad to demasculate those mighty humbuckers for long.
There’s an unspoken theory that 24-fret models are the reserve of the shred brigade, but it’s blown apart by this Schecter, which combines its cultured cosmetics with a feel that’s equally great for rhythm/lead, and a diverse voice that means anybody can give it a thrash. It may feel expensive here, but £299 is small change for an axe that even veterans will keep as a live or spare guitar.
Pros: Classy looks, feel, flexible tone.
Cons: Almost mid-price bracket.