Schecter has staked out a good chunk of territory in the 7-string market, not just with their instruments but also with their marquis 7-string endorsee: über-shredder Jeff Loomis of Nevermore. The 7 we’re testing here is the Damien Elite-7, a subterranean metal machine that looks and sounds as heavy as hell.
In the looks department, the Damien rocks the same body shape as the C-1, but this time in crimson red, which over the quilted maple, looks delightfully bloody. The workmanship and attention to detail is awesome, with spotless frets and a “dipped in glass” finish. The only weirdness was a strange buzzing on the D string when I plucked it hard with my thumb. The culprit appeared to be a slightly loose bridge saddle. Hmm. The neck is as comfy as a neck this wide can be, with the strings not too close together and the fretboard not too water ski-esque.
I plugged Mr. Damien into the Fryette and the low end was positively thunderous. The EMG pickups keep everything really tight, but I shook my entire house with this thing. It is possible to get tic-tac bass twang if you pick close to the bridge on a clean tone, but that’s not what this beast was designed to do. Without further ado, I dialed in a vicious high-gain tone and commenced chugging. It’s almost unfair how easy it is to play heavy music on the Damien and that’s just what I did. I also recorded a subsonic overdub for a bridge to a tune in the key of B, and it was a blast to dial in some of that thud.
For most players, 7-strings are an all or nothing affair. Either you base your entire style around it and can’t live without it, or you’ll never even think of playing one. With its combo of quality and affordability, the Damien Elite-7 might just create a middle ground and get people to dip a toe into these deep waters.
CONTACT Schecter Guitars, schecterguitars.com
PRICE $799 retail/$549 street
NUTWIDTH 1 7/8"
NECK 25 1/2" bolt-on maple
FRETS 24 X-jumbo
BODY Mahogany with quilted maple top
PICKUPS EMG Active 81-7 (bridge) and 85-7 (neck) humbuck
CONTROLS Volume, Tone, 3-way switch
BRIDGE Tune-o-matic style with thru-body stringing
FACTORYSTRINGS D’Addario XL110, .010-.046 (w/.059 low B)
WEIGHT 8.32 lbs
KUDOS Great look. Super-heavy tones.
CONCERNS Strange buzz on D-string saddle.