Believe it or not, Schecter Guitars have been around for nearly five decades. The American company, best known for its high-quality guitars geared toward rock and metal players, started out as a custom shop house before a series of business moves led them to the well-known, powerhouse guitar maker they are today.
So, while they’ve been around since the mid-1970s, they really came into the mainstream guitar player’s purview in the late 1990s when the company launched its first mass-produced lineup of guitars: the Diamond Series.
Today, Schecter makes a wide range of great guitars in the Diamond Series at varying price points and features. Of course, if you’re a hard rocker and know you want to eventually buy a Schecter, choosing from that many options can make things difficult.
That’s where we come in.
In this Schecter Diamond Series Guitars review, we’ll analyze 10 of the best Schecter guitar models available today, breaking down everything that’s great and not so great about these hard-rocking guitars.
What is the Schecter Diamond Series?
Before 1998, Schecter was only making custom guitars, so the Diamond Series was a major change in direction for the company. The Diamond Series guitars were primarily made using mix-and-match parts from past popular Schecter models.
The series itself is huge. Each model is made up of up to 10 variants, like seven- and even eight-string models. (We’ve made sure to pick one variant for each guitar in the series for our review.)
The Diamond Series also includes some bass guitar options, which we’ve included on this list.
Let’s dive into some guitars!
The 10 Best Schecter Diamond Series Guitars:
- Schecter Banshee Elite – Best Overall
- Schecter Omen Extreme-6 – Best Under $500
- Schecter C-6 Elite – Budget Pick
- Schecter C-1 Platinum – Best for the Money
- Schecter Hellraiser C-1 – Best Floyd Rose
- Schecter Solo-II Custom – Best for Classic Rock
- Schecter C-1 Apocalypse – Best for Metal
- Schecter Demon 7 – Best 7 String
- Schecter Coupe Hollowbody – Best for Blues
- Schecter Omen Extreme-4 – Best Bass Guitar
Schecter Banshee Elite – Editor’s Pick
From the swamp ash body with flamed maple top to the exquisite ebony fingerboard, the Schecter Banshee Elite is one of the company’s most popular guitars — and our top pick — for good reason.
Here’s what we love about the Banshee Elite:
Schecter put this guitar over the top by including the company’s USA SuperCharger Pickups. Now, you might be thinking that Schecter did this to cut costs. After all, many guitar makers go with Seymour Duncans (including Schecter!) or some other third party company for pickups. But we’re excited to say these pickups, which are made in the USA, are quite powerful and perfect for any rock or metal player.
The definition is just as impressive as the power they offer. If we’re being critical, the clean sounds could be a tad cleaner, but this axe is designed for rockers afterall.
If you want to play a screaming fast solo, but need every note clearly defined, the pickups on the Banshee Elite deliver.
The Banshee Elite takes some liberties with its Fender Stratocaster-Inspired body and the results are beautiful.
The swamp ash body and flamed maple top give it a classy appearance, but the sharp upper corner of the body clearly identifies it as a guitar with that unique flare for rock and metal players.
You can’t talk about the design without build quality. This guitar is an instrument you could keep for life — that’s how well-built it is.
Room for improvement?
While this guitar is near perfect in our eyes, there’s no such thing as a perfect guitar.
One, it’s not very versatile, so don’t expect to buy this and sit in on a jazz gig, for instance. This is a guitar designed for rockers.
And two, it’s definitely not a budget guitar. That being said, though, it’s not a $5,000 guitar, either. We put the Banshee Elite in a buying category for semi-serious to serious players who don’t mind saving up and making a bigger investment in their instrument.
Bonus: The Banshee Elite also comes in 7- and 8-string variants!
Schecter Omen Extreme-6 – Best Schecter Guitar Under $500
For players looking to spend under $500, the Schecter Omen Extreme-6 is a solid choice that looks absolutely stunning.
For a guitar in this price category, though, it certainly punches above its weight class.
Let’s start with the looks. You get two options: ocean blue burst or electric magenta. The quilted maple top on a mahogany body paired with Schecter’s go-to string-thru bridge design gives it that rocker look that Schecter is so good at. As one reviewer on Guitar Center’s site put it, “The picture doesn’t do it justice! This guitar looks beautiful and sounds amazing!”
So, let’s talk about the sound.
- Pickups. Schecter included its own Dual Schecter Diamond Plus high-output humbuckers that are quite versatile. The range is pretty big, especially with the coil split. If you’re a player who uses minimal pedals and instead relies on your guitar to alter your tone, the Omen Extreme-6 won’t disappoint you.
- Neck. The comfort and playability of any guitar starts with the neck. The Omen Extreme-6 features a Thin C-shaped neck made of mahogany. That thin neck allows players to move up and down the rosewood fretboard effortlessly. Add in the deep double cutaway design, and hitting the 24th fret is no problem at all.
- Hardware. Schecter went with black chrome all the way around for a true rock/metal player look.
What’s the Schecter Omen Extreme-6 Good For?
Like most Schecter guitars, the Omen Extreme-6 is great for rock and metal music.
The comfort and playability make shredding solos really easy. And thanks to the Tune-Matic tuning machines and Floyd Rose bridge, you can bend notes as aggressively as you want,without worrying about things falling out of tune.
For all of the reasons listed above, this guitar is a great value at such a low price. If you tour and need a backup axe, we would certainly recommend the Schecter Omen Extreme-6.
Schecter C-6 Elite – Budget Pick
If you’re looking for some cheap fun — a guitar you jam hard on and beat up a little bit — it doesn’t get much better than the Schecter C-6 Elite. And that’s why it’s our budget pick on this list of top Diamond Series guitars.
Let’s get some obvious reasons on why this is such an affordable guitar out of the way first:
- Quilted maple top isn’t exactly a quilted maple top. It’s just an image that’s printed on a basswood body. It’s cheap, but also a little clever.
- No floating vibrato or coil tap. Those features are saved for more expensive models.
- No case. No surprise here.
But with all of that said, this is still a really fun guitar.
We poked fun at the faux maple top, but the overall craftsmanship of this guy is quite surprising.
Owners of this guitar said they were pleasantly surprised by the comfortable, C-thin neck, which features a satin finish.
The Schecter-branded pickups received mixed reviews, but that’s expected with guitars in this price category.
Who is the Schecter C-6 Elite For?
With such a low price tag, this is clearly designed for beginner players or more serious players who want something cheap to practice on or take with them on the road that they won’t care about getting beat up.
Schecter C-1 Platinum – Best Schecter Guitar for the Money
A luxury rock guitar at a budget-friendly price, the Schecter C-1 Platinum is a true work of art. The Strat-like guitar is based off Schecter’s popular C-1, but with a premium boost, including:
- Platinum fingerboard inlays.
- Satin chrome hardware.
- Incredible body binding.
While it’s not hard to describe, it’s definitely a guitar you have to see in person.
But the looks of a guitar are only as good the player can make it sound. There’s also a lot to like about the playability of the C-1 Platinum, starting with the neck.
It’s super fast right out of the box, and you likely won’t have to do any kind of setup on it.
That Schecter craftsmanship is certainly there, too. The frets feel great, and the headstock and tuners are really precise. You can play this for a couple of hours and expect things to stay in tune for the most part.
Now, the C-1 Platinum is definitely not perfect. Here are a few cons with this guitar:
- The colors — translucent black or midnight blue — aren’t terrible, but some owners have complained they are a bit faint.
- The EMG pickups are certainly capable for rockers who use minimal pedals, but if you’re a gear head, they’re not the most versatile.
- The input jack can come loose, so keep an eye on it.
If you’re a speed metal player, and you don’t want to spend more than $1,000 on a guitar, the Schecter C-1 Platinum is a solid option for the price. You may want to try it out first to ensure the pickups are up to your liking, but in terms of craftsmanship, it’s a top-notch guitar.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 – Best Schecter Guitar with a Floyd Rose
Many musicians have hailed it as one of their most important pieces of guitar gear: A Floyd Rose tremolo system.
And when it comes to Schecter’s that feature a Floyd Rose, there’s none better than the Schecter Hellraiser C-1.
As its name suggests, the Hellraiser is the ultimate heavy metal guitar. Made with a mahogany body for dark, warm tones, along with a three-piece mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard (with extra jumbo frets!), this axe is designed for speed players with the fastest of fingers.
Oh, and it looks pretty sinister, thanks to the gothic cross inlaws on the fretboard and the quilted maple top with a black cherry finish.
Many players interested in a Schecter opt for the Hellraiser because of the Floyd Rose system, which has received mixed reviews.
As expected, keeping strings in guitars when doing massive whammies and dives with the tremolo bar is the biggest challenge. But the Floyd Rose 1000 Series does a solid job at keeping things in tune. For those who use the whammy bar a lot, expect your strings to stay relatively in tune, but it won’t be perfect.
Let’s highlight some of the pros and cons of the Hellraiser:
- Incredible design. If you’re looking for a guitar that looks hardcore, you can’t go wrong with the Schecter Hellraiser C-1.
- Buttery neck. Schecter understands metal players desire speed, and they figured out how to make running up and down the neck a cinch.
- Versatile pickups. The EMG pickups are more than capable of producing a variety of tones, depending on your playing style.
- Fret buzz. There have been complaints that the action this guitar ships with can create some fret buzz, requiring some setup to eliminate.
- Quiet single coils. The push-pull knob allows you to select single-coil pickups, which aren’t as loud and could require some kind of volume-boosting pedal if you need to use those during a live show.
- No case. For a guitar in this price category, you would expect Schecter to include a case.
All in all, the Hellraiser is a great metal guitar — especially if you want something with a Floyd Rose tremolo system.
Schecter Solo-II Custom – Best Schecter Guitar for Classic Rock
While many of Schecter’s Diamond Series are Super Strat style guitars, the Schecter Solo-II Custom is a beautiful piece of art that resembles a Gibson Les Paul.
With its rich mahogany body and maple top — and paired with an incredible looking aged black satin finish — this Les Paul look-alike will certainly turn heads. And the good news for you is that it’s a fraction of the price of an actual Les Paul.
Let’s break down some of the features of the Solo-II Custom.
- Big, but comfortable feel. The Solo-II features a set-in mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard. It’s the 22 extra jumbo frets that make it so playable. Schechter is known for its jumbo frets that make things like hammer-ons a cinch.
- Great sounding pickups. The Schecter Pasadena and Pasadena Plus humbucking pickups on this guitar offer great can definition — especially in the single coil position.
- Precise, locking tuners. With a combination of the TonePros tune-o-matic bridge and Schecter’s own locking tuners, you can play several songs without worrying about your axe falling out of tune.
Now, this guitar isn’t perfect. It doesn’t come with a case. Some owners have admitted the pickups could be more powerful. And, as mentioned, it only goes to 22 frets, which could feel limiting for some players.
But the craftsmanship is near impeccable. It’s really what a modern singlecut guitar should look and play like.
While many Schecter guitars are designed for rock and metal, the Solo-II Custom is quite versatile and would make a great axe for classic rock, metal, blues, or even jazz.
If you’ve always wanted a Les Paul-style guitar without paying Gibson prices, definitely check out the Schecter Solo-II Custom.
Schecter C-1 Apocalypse – Best Schecter Guitar for Metal
If you’re a hardcore metal player, you need a sinister looking guitar to wail on when you take the stage.
The Schecter C-1 Apocalypse certainly fits the bill with its ultra sleek satin black finish, matching midnight black pickups and a sharp-edged double cutaway body that looks like it could cut an arm off.
It has the looks. But does it have the sound? Absolutely.
- Crisp pickups. Schechter’s proprietary pickups are pretty incredible on this guitar, offering a great range in clean and distorted tones.
- Comfortable action out of the box. This allows for easy bends and playability, without worrying about fret buzz.
- Swamp ash body and maple-bubinga set-neck offers a bright, snappy tone perfect for a variety of genres, but especially metal.
The intonation of this guitar is also impeccable. That’s mostly thanks to the Hipshot Bridge, which helps keep everything in tune.
While this is an absolutely beautiful guitar — and one that meets the aesthetic standards of the metal playing community — it does have some shortcomings.
The pickups are solid, but they’re not powerful. You may need a volume-boosting pedal to get the most out of this guitar if you play a lot of live shows. It can solo like no other, picking up each distinct note. But blasting out loud power chords could be difficult without the help of a booster. (Or, of course, you can always swap out the pickups for something else!)
When you look at the binding, it comes down to preference. Some players think it looks super high quality, while others have called it cheap. The craftsmanship is definitely there, though.
Check out my guide on the Best Electric Guitars for Metal
Schecter Demon 7 – Best 7 String Schecter Guitar
For those who are craving heavy, down-tuned power chords that get the whole room thumping, the Schecter Demon 7 is an affordable seven-string option for aspiring rock and metal players.
The double cutaway, Strat-like body, paired with a C thin, bolt-on maple neck makes it quite comfortable to hold and play. Like many seven-string guitars, if you have smaller hands, it could be difficult to get used to at first, but it gets easier over time.
Let’s talk about the sound on this guitar.
Older versions included pickups by Seymour Duncan, but the latest model includes Schecter’s proprietary Diamond Active HB-1055 humbuckers. The output isn’t terribly powerful, but the clarity and precision are certainly there. Let your amp and effects give you the volume you need and don’t rely on the pickups.
Don’t worry about intonation issues. The custom hardtail bridge and Schecter tuners — while not locking tuners — do a solid job of staying in tune. Your bass note on any seven string model is going to be a little tricky to always keep in tune, but this one gives a valiant effort.
The best part of the Schecter Demon 7 is definitely its price tag. If you want a seven string guitar for metal or rock music, it’s an easy buy.
Check out my guide on the Best 7 String Electric Guitars
Schecter Coupe Hollowbody – Best Schecter Guitar for Blues
Schecter is loved and respected by metal players, but the company isn’t afraid to throw a Bigsby on a hollowbody archtop and deliver a super-solid blues guitar.
The Schecter Coupe Hollowbody is a super interesting guitar. It offers an incredible old-school blues tone, but is built like a modern-day hollowbody archtop.
Of course, Schecter needs to stay close to its roots, which is why the cutout holes on the hollowbody are done with a metal-inspired design.
It’s really the hardware that gives this guitar so much personality.
- Tailpiece. A class Bigsby B70 tailpiece that pairs nicely with the tremolo/vibrato bridge.
- Gold. If you’re making a classy blues guitar called the Coupe, you need gold hardware.
- Top-of-the-line tuners. You can’t go wrong with Grover tuners.
This guitar is more on the expensive end of Schecter’s Diamond Series, which is why we’re disappointed it doesn’t come with a case. A guitar of this caliber should come with a nice hardshell case.
If you’re looking for a unique blues guitar that can deliver vintage tones, the Couple will certainly turn heads and offer a beautiful tone.
Check out my guide on the Best Blues Electric Guitars
Schecter Omen Extreme-4 – Best Schecter Bass Guitar
We have to give a little something for the bass players out there!
The Schecter Omen Extreme-4 is a mid-range bass that’s absolutely stunning. The vintage sunburst finish on its mahogany body isn’t like your typical sunburst finishes and can only be appreciated when you see it in person.
The bass has an Active 2-band EQ, Diamond pickups and top-of-the-line hardware to top it off.
Some players have complained about fret buzz, but those feelings haven’t been expressed across the board. The preamp can also be a little noisy. And it doesn’t include a case.
That being said, it’s a great first bass for a young musician not only because of its affordable price tag, but also because of its playability.
The maple neck and rosewood fingerboard play quite smoothly, making it a great option for a variety of genres.
All in all, this is a fantastic bass that punches well above its weight class.
How to Choose The Best Schecter Guitar (Buyer’s Guide)
Materials & Build Quality
Schecter Guitars have a great reputation for being built with the highest quality of materials.
Many of its rock and metal axes in the Diamond Series are made with a mahogany body and neck for dark, warm tones.
The fretboard tends to be built using rosewood, which allows your fingers to glide effortlessly.
Of course, the budget models are mass-produced in factories overseas and can have quality issues here and there, but for the most part, purchasing a Schecter is a great investment because the guitar lasts a long time.
Related Post: Where are Guitars Made? (16 Examples)
Schecter isn’t afraid to use third-party pickups across its Diamond Series of guitars. Popular models, like the Hellraiser C-1, include EMG active pickups, which feature a fantastic tone for metal due to their high output
But other models, like the Banshee Elite, feature Schecter’s own USA SuperCharger Pickups, which are not only powerful, but have the ability to produce a wide range of tones, making them versatile for people who play various genres of music.
Number of Frets
Since Schecters are designed primarily for rock and metal, most include 24 frets, allowing you to hit the highest of notes that really let your guitar scream.
There are plenty of debates over if 24 frets is too many, because it forces neck pickups to be located further down, potentially impacting sound. But for a Schecter, you can’t go wrong with a 24-fret model.
Read Also: How Many Frets are On a Guitar?
Historically, Schecter has borrowed designs from Fender and Gibson for its guitars. Most of its diamond series axes are inspired by Fender Stratocasters, with sharp double cutaways for easy access to the high frets.
The Schecter Solo-II Custom borrows from Gibson with its Les Paul-style body.
The good news is, guitars in the Schecter Diamond Series are available across a wide range of prices, from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars.
With any guitar purchase, it’s best to set your budget and then start shopping. If you can only afford a $500 guitar, there’s no point in trying out a $1,500 model (unless you’re just curious what it feels like, of course).
There are plenty of great budget Schecter Diamond Series models at your disposal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Schecter Guitars Good?
In terms of craftsmanship, Schecter Guitars are very good. They are a niche guitar for the rock and metal genre, so if you’re looking to play jazz or blues, a Schecter wouldn’t be the best guitar. That being said, the company does offer some hollowbody options for genres outside of rock and metal.
Where are Schecter Guitars Made?
Schecter Guitars are primarily made in South Korea, but the company also runs a high-end custom shop in the USA. It’s cheaper, budget guitars are manufactured across China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Are Schecter Guitars Good for Metal?
Absolutely. Schecter Guitars are designed with metal players in mind thanks to their lightning fast necks and sinister designs.
Who Plays Schecter Guitars?
Hard rock and metal players primarily play Schecter Guitars, including Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, and Zakk Wylde.
Recap of the Best Schecter Diamond Series Guitars
|Schecter Diamond Series Guitar||Best For|
|Schecter Banshee Elite||Editor’s Pick|
|Schecter Omen Extreme-6||Best Under $500|
|Schecter C-6 Elite||Budget Pick|
|Schecter C-1 Platinum||Best for the Money|
|Schecter Hellraiser C-1||Best Floyd Rose|
|Schecter Solo-II Custom||Best for Classic Rock|
|C-1 Apocalypse||Best for Metal|
|Schecter Demon 7||Best 7 String|
|Schecter Coupe Hollowbody||Best for Blues|
|Schecter Omen Extreme-4||Best Bass Guitar|