Schecter guitars Diamond Series Catalogue 2013

Where Are Schecter Guitars Made? Are They Worth The Money?


Schecter Guitar Research, commonly known as Schecter, is an American manufacturing company founded in 1976 by David Schecter. Originally it only produced replacement parts for existing guitars from manufacturers such as Fender and Gibson.

At its California and Korean plants, the company currently mass-produces its line of electric and acoustic guitars, basses, amps, and effects pedals through its brand name and four subsidiary companies.


Brief History Of Schecter Guitars

In 1976, David Schecter opened Schecter Guitar Research, a repair shop in Van Nuys, California. The shop made replacement guitar necks and bodies, complete pickups, bridges, pickguards, tuners, knobs, potentiometers, and other miscellaneous guitar parts. Contrary to popular belief, Schecter never supplied parts to Fender or Gibson, his business was to sell parts that would work on these guitars. By the late 1970s, Schecter was already producing over 400 guitar parts, but no finished instruments.


This changed in 1979 when Schecter presented his first guitar model, inspired by models from the Fender brand. They were high-quality guitars, and their price was high, so they were only distributed by twenty retailers in the United States.

These models, from the so-called Custom series, gained an excellent reputation and began to gain great popularity when in the same 1979 guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who, came on stage with a Custom Telecaster at a show at Madison Square Garden.

Certainly few brands had this opportunity so quickly. In general, manufacturers had to wait years for the public to see their instruments in the hands of great guitarists and thus give them great visibility.


At the beginning of the ’80s, a guitarist called Yngwie Malmsteen was emerging on the scene characterized by his great virtuosity. In his early days, Malmsteen used to hold a Schecter guitar, and after a few conversations, everything was ready for the guitarist to become an image of the brand. However, Fender went ahead by offering him a juicy contract that he could not refuse, and that continues to this day. With this, one of the best relationships that the brand could have established would be frustrated and therefore Schecter lost the opportunity to position itself in this electric guitar boom of the eighties. Nevertheless, several musicians in those years dared to wield these instruments, such as Ritchie Blackmore, Lou Reed, and Gustavo Cerati.

However, by 1983, Schecter had reached its custom shop production limit and could no longer meet public demand. That year, the company was bought by a group of Texas investors who wanted to take advantage of Schecter’s reputation for quality. The investors moved the company to Dallas but unfortunately, most of Schecter’s employees refused to transfer. Consequently, the new Texas-based company was forced to hire new staff who made poor design decisions and lower-quality workmanship. Guitars were now also being mass-produced.

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At the 1984 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) winter show, Schecter introduced twelve models of guitars and basses, all based on Fender designs. The most popular of these guitars was a Telecaster-style guitar similar to the ones Pete Townshend played. Although he never endorsed this model, it was unofficially known as the “Pete Townshend model”. Eventually, the Telecaster-style guitar was released as the “Saturn,” and the company’s Stratocaster-style guitar became known as the “Mercury.”

Schecter still used Stratocaster and Telecaster machine heads, which Fender had allowed when they were a parts company. This led the Fender brand to file a lawsuit against Schecter, a lawsuit that seems to have contributed essentially to its closure in early 1987.

In 1987, the Texas investors sold the company to Hisatake Shibuya, a Japanese businessman who also owned the Musicians Institute of Hollywood and ESP Guitars. Shibuya moved the company to California and returned Schecter to his custom shop roots, devoting all of his efforts to manufacturing high-end and expensive custom instruments.

Again, Schecter guitars were only available at a few retailers, one of them being Sunset Custom Guitars in Hollywood, which was also owned by Hisatake Shibuya. Sunset Custom Guitars turned out to be the place where Michael Ciravolo, the future president of Schecter Guitar Research, worked. During 1994/1995. After the rise of grunge during the early 90s, new styles began to emerge that sought to distance themselves from alternative rock, as well as from the Heavy Metal of the 80s. Thus, bands like Papa Roach emerged with a new image that Jerry Horton helped with his Schecter guitar. Similarly Avenged Sevenfold entered the scene and indeed their guitarist Sinister Gates has his custom model. During those last years of the 90s, several renowned metal artists began to meet and go out on the scene again. One of them was Zack Wylde who founded a new band called Black Label Society and considered the use of a Schecter guitar as a new element. In the same way, new Heavy Metal bands emerged in those years, such as Disturbed, and the use of Schecter guitars offered them a fresh image.

In 1995, Schecter introduced the highly sought-after ‘S Series’ guitars and basses, which were Fender-style instruments. In 1996, Hisatake Shibuya asked Michael Ciravolo to become president of Schecter and run the company. Michael Ciravolo, an experienced musician, brought many well-known musicians to the company as patrons. These included Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots, Jay Noel Yuenger (whose Teisco Spectrum 5 served as the model for a new series of guitars), Sean Yseult of White Zombie, and Xavier Rhone of the band Carbon Nation.

Michael Ciravolo never liked Fender’s designs, so he sought to distance the company from his previous Fender-style models. So the Avenger, Hellcat, “Hollywood Classic CT” and Tempest models were designed and included in the brand’s catalog. He also wanted to reach a new generation of musicians who he felt were being ignored by most of the major guitar manufacturers. But the company was only producing expensive custom shop models with a return to exceptional quality not seen since the early days of custom shops under Dave Schecter. At this time Schecter’s peak production was forty guitars a month, all custom-made. To bring his vision to life, Ciravolo began searching for a factory that could mass-produce Schecter guitars while maintaining high-quality standards and keeping production in the US Custom Shop. As a result of low production and a focus on quality, US custom models from this era (1996-2000) are some of the most sought-after among guitar collectors.

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Michael Ciravolo met with several Asian guitar manufacturers at the Tokyo Music Festival and subsequently settled on a factory in Incheon, South Korea. Schecter’s guitars were built in the South Korean factory and shipped to the US, where they settled in a Schecter store.

The Diamond Series: Schecter’s Most Affordable Instruments and Their Components

At the 1998 summer NAMM show, Schecter introduced the Diamond Series, which included six non-custom guitars at more affordable prices. The line also included an affordable seven-string guitar, the A-7 when none had been previously available on the market.

The Diamond series consists of all non-custom, mass-produced Schecter models and is divided into groups of guitars that share common design features.

Although the a wide variety of models available in the Diamond range, many are mix-and-match pieces of different Schecter guitars. For example, “Omen”, “C”, “Hellraiser”, and “Damien” basses all have the same body shape, although some have set rather than bolt-on necks, different finish colors, and different woods. However, Schecter produces many different guitars with fewer core parts. This mix-and-match culture has the advantage of allowing guitarists to find a Schecter to suit their exact requirements, but negatively offers less of a commodity range as showcased by Gibson Guitars who only have a small range of guitars available.

Some of the best-known guitars made by Schecter are the ‘C Series’, such as the “Hellraiser” and “Blackjack” models, and the S Series, which included the S-1 Elite (double cutaway) guitars, which were they looked like Gibson’s Les Paul Double Cut and Double Cut Melody Maker, and the S-1 (a less fancy version of the S-1 Elite). ‘Elite’ versions of Schecter’s mass-produced instruments often feature an arched top, abalone binding, a bound fingerboard, and bound headstock with a body-matched finish. Despite the decorative features, these instruments remained affordable and of reasonable quality. The pickups on many mass-produced Schecter models are almost always ‘Duncan Designed’ humbuckers (double-coil pickups based on Seymour Duncan’s pickup specifications), usually with a ‘push-pull’ coil-splitting control that splits the sound full humbucker pickup into a crisper tone from a single coil pickup.

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Schecter targeted specific market segments with occasional limited runs of his mass-produced guitar models in novelty finishes. The ‘Aviation Series’, which appeared around 2006 and lasted for about a year, outfitted certain bodies of mass-produced models (the PT, Tempest, S-1, etc.) with colors and markings of American (and British) aircraft. of the Second World War. and special pickup covers that look like cooling racks.

Schecter also makes seven-string models and, recently, eight-string models. Schecter’s ‘Diamond Series’ guitars use components such as TonePros locking bridge products on non-tremolo models and original Floyd Rose double-locking tremolos on many of the six and seven-string models. Many models also feature USA EMG or Seymour Duncan pickups and Grover tuners.

In 2000, Schecter introduced the now legendary C-1, which was featured by Jerry Horton in Papa Roach’s “Last Resort” music video. The Diamond series is still in production to this day.

Schecter Guitars Today

Schecter Hellraiser C7 Fr Sustainiac

In 2012 Schecter announced an expansion to its custom store, adding 14,000 square feet to the facility. Later that year, the brand announced a new line of American-made guitars that would return the company to its roots. The new line would be called the “US Production Series.” These guitars officially debuted at the 2013 Winter NAMM show. Schecter also announced a new line of pickups for hand-wound electric guitar and bass, which would be available in US production and custom shop models available for purchase in 2013.

Along with the announcement of the US production series, Schecter announced its introduction to the amplification market. These new amps were designed in part with noted amp designer James Brown, known for designing the Peavey 5150 amp with Eddie Van Halen, and his line of effects pedals under the name Amptweaker. The first amplifiers announced were the Hellraiser USA 100, Hellraiser Stage 100, Hellwin USA 100, and Hellwin Stage 100. The US versions are made at Schecter’s US custom shop, while the Stage series is made overseas. The Hellwin is the signature amp for Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates, who helped design the head with James Brown.

Are Schecter Guitars Beginner Friendly?

Schecter Omen Extreme 6 Fr Vintage Sunburst

Beyond the great variety of models and components within the Schecter brand, we cannot say that there is any model aimed directly at beginners. Today we can find the new models in a price range of between approximately 400 and 1000 dollars, which leaves them well outside the approximately 200 dollar base in which we can find the Squier entry-level models. In turn, the quality of the components of both the US Custom Models and those made in Korea always points to a medium, medium-high quality, which gives it the highest final price.

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