Schecter guitars might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think guitars. They were founded in the US in 1976 by David Schecter. Initially, they manufactured and supplied replacement parts for other brands. This included bodies, necks, pickups, bridges, etc. In fact, at one time, they had a range of over 400 parts. To counter a commonly held belief, they did not supply parts to either Fender or Gibson.
In 1983 they were bought by a group of businessmen from Texas. They then started to mass-produce guitars. They have since been sold to a Japanese company. And after a period when they manufactured their products in South Korea, they have moved production back to the US.
They now produce a range of electric and acoustic guitars, basses, amps, and effects pedals. Schecter electric guitars are now firmly placed on the guitar manufacturers’ map.
So, let’s have a look at one of them in this Schecter C1 Platinum Review…
The Schecter C1 Platinum is not a budget guitar, and it is also probably not a guitar for a starter. It is a bit of a ’wolf in sheep’s clothing’ to some extent. At first sight, it is an attractive looking guitar. Nice finish and good solid design.
You do get a little bit of a clue from the cutaways which are deep and the horns which are quite sharp in their styling. But these are just little clues and could mean anything. Then you plug it in, and the sheep’s coat comes off, and the real C1 emerges.
To us, this is a guitar built for one type of music and one type of player. This is a metal guitar and quite an extreme one. As soon as the wool is off, it becomes aggressive and performs brilliantly when it is loud – very loud. This Schecter electric guitar is not a budget model, as we have said, but it might be great value in that genre. So. let’s put our earplugs in and have a closer look…
If you are going to design and manufacture a guitar for metal, then there are some rules. It’s not only got to sound like it is, but it also has to look the part. It is a bit like a Gothic band. They have got to look the part, or they won’t be accepted.
The first thing you notice, of course, is the all-black satin finish. This is applied to the body and the back of the neck right up to the headstock. It has this great look that gives it a dark feeling. The double-cutaway is deep into the body of the guitar. This gives full ultra access to the top frets.
The horns from the cutaways, as we mentioned, are quite sharp and pointed. These are the design points that give this guitar its aggressive look. However, it does have some more conservative features; for instance, the white binding is very attractive.
The body is made from Mahogany with an arched design and is quite thin. It is though quite heavy at 20 pounds, so it is not lightweight at all. On the rear of the guitar, there is access to the battery port for the active
This is made from Maple in a three-piece design. There is sometimes a discussion about having necks that are not one piece. The results, though, tend to indicate that three-piece necks are more stable and less likely to move around. It is jointed to the body and has a truss rod.
It is made in a ‘C’ shape and really feels quite thin in the hand. You get the feeling it is going to play fast. It has a scale length of 25.5 inches and has 24 jumbo frets. There is binding on the edge of the fingerboard. The neck has a Rosewood fingerboard. People often ask why is Rosewood so popular as the fingerboard material.
One of the reasons is that as a wood, it is naturally rich in oils. This makes it particularly important if it is being regularly used. The neck design is finished off with platinum inlays and inlay dots on the top of the fingerboard.
This is a quality neck and designed to be played fast. It is sleek with a nice comfortable feel to it. The action is low, and the fingerboard seems wider than the norm. Its thinline design adds to the comfort.
Guitars that are designed for what we might call the harsher genres have to have quality hardware. They are going to take some extreme use at times and will need to be tough enough to handle it.
Up at the headstock, there are Schecter locking tuners that have been given a better gearing ratio. This improves the fine-tuning and improves stability. They are finished in satin chrome.
The bridge has a Tune-o-Matic style bridge with thru-body stringing design.
They certainly have made sure that the hardware has a serious quality. The Tuners are strong with a good action and with a tighter gearing for more accuracy. The TOM bridge isn’t to everyone’s liking, but they are reliable and easy to adjust if necessary.
If we were to have one issue with the hardware choices, it is only in the thru-the body stringing. We have never been a great fan of that system, even though in some designs, it can improve sustain. But that is just a personal preference.
The body, the neck, and the hardware are all very good, but this is where it gets serious. Will the sound this guitar generates be enough to do the business?
It is fitted with a pair of EMG active humbuckers. The 81/85 no less, which, as we know, can make some noise. But haven’t they also got a softer, more gentle side? Mmm, very interesting.
The EMG 81 was designed for one reason. Noise and lots of it. It first rearranged our eardrums back in 1979, and we are still recovering. It was designed to be the ‘lead guitarists solo dream.’ This is because if its output, which is very high coupled with smooth control.
This is achieved by including in the design, a ‘rail’ magnet. Usually, guitar pickups have pole pieces that collect the sound from each string individually, with some overlap, of course. Rail magnets produce a smoother sound. This is because the sound is collected by a rail which run through the pickup rather than individual pole pieces.
It is fair to say that amongst the ‘humbucker worshippers,’ the EMG gave them a new sound and new ideas. And it produced a high intensity of sound with a vicious top end and sustain. It started life in the bridge position, but when used in the neck position as well, it is formidable.
These are active pickups and require a 9v battery.
It really doesn’t need much to control the sound. Three controls and a pickup selector switch is all you need. The controls are chrome plated to match the rest of the hardware. The selector is chrome with a black button. All very well-balanced aesthetically. But the controls hide a few secrets as we shall see when we discuss the sound.
How Does It Play?
As we said earlier, it is designed to make playing easy and comfortable. Arch top designs tend to that. But as the body of the guitar is so slim, it makes the feel easier. It is a particularly comfortable guitar to play.
We would like to repeat a point we made earlier though that at twenty pounds it is quite heavy. Make sure you have a comfy padded guitar strap if you’re doing long sessions.
The neck is smooth and will play fast because the action is set quite low. Getting the right gauge of strings will be important, we think. Don’t be tempted to go too light; it doesn’t need it.
How Does It Sound?
It has all the attributes of being a metal guitarist’s perfect partner. It will scream and bend and produce a very high output that can be overwhelming. When you crank it up, it becomes aggressive and full of what we can only describe as over-overdrive.
But let’s return to a point we made earlier about the pickups in the EMG series. They have a softer side that is sometimes ignored and are not all thrash and scream. They have a soft, gentle side that can fit easily into most genres. Try it; you will be amazed that something that sounds so aggressive can be so gentle and warm. It comes from the neck pick up, of course, and is there quite naturally, providing you don’t crank it up.
It could possibly be so. There are not many guitars that give it the metal thing and bite your head off, but then fall back into soft jazz and immediately click into a bit of picking. But, this guitar can do all that.
We are certainly not saying Country and Jazz players should down tools and rush out and get one. This is a guitar for metal and some very heavy rock, let’s be clear. But those other sounds are in there. Versatility is available if you want it. And in our opinion, there are nowhere near enough Death Jazz Metal bands around anyway!
Schecter C1 Platinum Pros & Cons
- Stunning all-black stain finish.
- Very fast and playable neck.
- High geared machine heads for improved tuning stability.
- Classic EMG humbuckers.
- Amazing range of tones for a ‘metal’ guitar.
- None, apart from it being a little heavy, but who cares about that when it sounds and looks this good!
There are plenty of quality metal guitars available, so if you’re not 100% convinced that the C1 Platinum is for you, it’s worth checking out our in-depth reviews of the ESP LTD EC 1000 Deluxe, and our Epiphone SG Special VE review and our Epiphone Les Paul Standard reviews may also be of interest.
When we set out to do this Schecter C1 Platinum Review, we didn’t fully realize where it would take us. To be honest, we don’t mind a bit of metal and very heavy rock but certainly wouldn’t consider ourselves Goth’s or that much into the metal ‘thing.’ We, therefore, approached this review with an open mind but with a few preconceived ideas of what we were to get. This is one case where a guitar has given us a big surprise.
The body is well-made with a stunning black finish. We were skeptical about the black on the reverse of the neck. Being a bit traditionalist, we prefer to see the polished Maple or similar. However, the black grows on you, and a polished maple wood would not fit the general aesthetic.
The hardware is good and more than fit for purpose, especially the locking machine heads. Bend away to you’re heart’s content, and it will stay in tune.
It plays very easily and has a nice comfortable feel to hold. Though, as we have said, it is a little heavy. Solid Mahogany can be like that sometimes.
Or, more specifically, the variety of the sound. Oh yes, they are loud, aggressive, and have ‘that’ sound that all metal guitar players love. But there is another side to this guitar that makes it in our eyes very special. The variety of sounds you can achieve very easily. Not by tweaking amps or effects pedals, but just by using the guitar.
We know Schecter electric guitars can be good. But this one is almost spectacular!
We also mentioned at the beginning this was no budget guitar. If you just look at the price tag, then you are right. The price point, if you are looking for a budget guitar, is a little high. However, the price point for what you are getting is amazingly low. Try this one out – you are not going to be disappointed.