Those aspiring to kill the next-door neighbour’s lawn by the malevolent force of their playing alone would do well to speak to their local dealer about Schecter’s Demon-6.
Updated with fresh set of Schecter active humbuckers and a super-smooth wenge fretboard for 2018, the Demon-6 is a mean- looking S-style that’s built for shredding and all kinds of high-gain devilry - and it’s also available as a seven-string for an extra £22. It’s one of the most powerful and playable instruments on the market at this price, but does Schecter’s retooling of the Demon-6 go far enough?
Aesthetically, there’s not much between the Demon-6 of yore and the updated model. The body is similarly carved from basswood, with a flame-maple top, heavily countered with neat sculpting on both bass and treble sides of the cutaways.
It deploys the same industrial black chrome hardware, with the tune-o-matic string-through bridge and burled tone and volume knobs. The Crimson Red Burst finish is very familiar, and is neatly echoed on the distinctive jagged 3x3 headstock, as is the pearloid cross inlay.
So far, so familiar. When it comes to playability, however, that’s a good thing. The Demon-6’s thin-C profile neck, cut from maple with a satin finish, is super quick. Shredders will love that a light touch is rewarded on the fretboard - that wenge feels slick ’n’ slinky.
The bridge’s construction fits the two most important tenets in bridge design: it’s no-fuss and industrial-strength. The Demon-6 feels indestructible. It might make you feel likewise; at least, its active pickups (powered by a nine-volt battery that’s easily accessed via a clip on the rear of the instrument) will ward off most predators if you crank the gain high enough.
Tonally, that’s the Demon-6’s wheelhouse. This guitar is all threat, growl and menace. The bridge ’bucker has plenty of grunt but an abundance of top-end that metal soloists will love.
There’s a lot of play in that tone control, so rolling back a bit of the treble brings out some warmer rhythm tone. But then that’s the neck humbucker’s job, and it has an almighty, yowling voice, which, we suggest, would suit disciples of Iommi and other doom merchants.
Clean up the tone a little and you’ll find some sharp and crispy classic-rock crunch; clean it up all the way and there’s a neat, articulate tone, piano-esque and bright and elastic in the neck, that might come in handy for epic thrash power ballads.
Overall, the Demon-6 is a metal guitar, designed to summon something much more sinister, and it delivers in spades.