Like the rest of the South Korea-crafted Diamond Series guitars in this roundup, the Tempest Standard is all kinds of sweet. It looks cool, it plays great, and it sounds awesome. There are absolutely zero imperfections in the fit and finish department, and clever accouterments such as the Ultra-Access neck joint and the rubber grips on the Volume and Tone knobs add a sparkle of luxury to a basic, hard-working club guitar. The workmanship is so consistent amongst the models we tested—excepting some minor setup issues with the Damien and Solo 6—that choosing the right guitar is more a matter of deciding on your preferred cosmetic impact. In the Tempest’s case, the vintage goldtop color (it’s also available in gloss black and vintage white), hot-rod silhouette, and extreme top carve (the pickups look as if they’re atop the crest of a hill) speaks retro in a sophisticated way. I can’t think of a band in which it would look totally out of place.
On the sonic side, I found the Tempest to be a very resonant and ballsy guitar that gives every note a nice, round pop. The neck and combined-pickup sounds are warm without being muddy, and the bridge humbucker uncorks a meaty midrange that really growls and snarls. You could play almost anything on this guitar, from old-school and modern metal to classic rock to jazz and beyond. For some, there may not be enough snap for country, and while the coil-tap does thin out the tone nicely, it doesn’t really give up those vibey, clucky, and hollow single-coil sounds. Even so, the Tempest is a versatile machine that is a delight to play—and that joy will likely increase every time you remember you shelled out way under $600 for this stunner.
CONTACT Schecter Guitars, schecterguitars.com
PRICE $799 retail/$549 street
NUTWIDTH 1 11/16"
NECK 24 3/4" 3-piece set mahogany with Ultra Access neck joint
FRETS 22 medium
PICKUPS Duncan Designed HB-101n (neck) and HB-102b (bridge) humbuckers
CONTROLS Two Volume, one Tone (with push/pull coil split), 3- way switch
BRIDGE TonePros Tune-o-matic style
FACTORYSTRINGS D’Addario XL110, .010-.046
WEIGHT 8.28 Lbs
KUDOS Great value. Fat tones. Excellent construction. Love the rubber control-knob grips.