Almost every guitar company has a classic-looking singlecut design these days. With its roots in the early 50s, this type of guitar will probably always play an important role in the development of new rock, blues, jazz and metal derivations. There’s also something undeniably classy about a mahogany-bodied guitar with a flamed maple top, single cutaway and a simple twin-humbucker pickup layout.
Crafted in South Korea, Schecter’s new entry into this field, the Solo-6, is available in Classic and Hellraiser versions (see my review of the Hellraiser here), each of which is aimed at a very different corner of the guitar world. You can guess who the Hellraiser version is pitched at! The Classic is a little more refined in looks and performance.
For your hard-earned you get a solid mahogany body and 3-piece mahogany neck, primo ebony fretboard, a surprising 24 jumbo frets (you’d be forgiven for expecting it to have 22), a bending-friendly 24.75” scale length, and a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers (a Custom Custom in the bridge and a ’59 in the neck) mated to two volume controls and a tone control (which features a push-pull coil tap). A TonePros bridge keeps everything locked down and ensures faithful transfer of tone and sustain, while Schecter locking tuners keep your tuning nice and stable.
Plugged into my Marshall DSL50 50 watt amp head, the overall character of the Solo-6 Classic is quite dark and bassy in humbucker mode. In the distorted guitar realm, this would be my first choice for playing, say, a song like Alice In Chains’ ‘Would?’ or something else equally ‘Seattle.’ It’s a little too woofy for really heavy rhythms, although the neck humbucker sounds fantastic with a lot of gain. The single coil mode sounds extremely authentic, and is great for old school soul as well as country and funk. The middle position in particular has the ideal balance of ‘quack,’ ‘smack’ and ‘bark,’ with good definition between notes and a powerful, strident pick attack.
What the Solo-6 Classic is best for, however, is clean tone. It turns out that this beauty is most at home playing jazz or, with very mild overdrive, fusion. What seems like darkness when the distortion is cranked up reveals itself as subtle midrange bloom when the gain is backed down. The bridge humbucker has a nice round top end and supportive bass, while the neck pickup sounds very rich and defined. In single coil mode things get very bright and clear. This really is a guitar that reaches its full potential through a clean amp.
This is a very well built, elegant guitar which breaks the misconception that Schecter is just concerned with being a metalhead’s brand these days. If you’re put off by the South Korean construction, let me assure you that the quality matches the price tag and this is a very well built guitar which has that ‘we’re in the big leagues now’ vibe. It’s an ideal next step for Schecter collectors who find themselves moving to softer musical tastes, or a very worthy choice for anyone looking for a single cutaway electric that does more than just wail and chunk.
Here’s a video demo from ProGuitarShop.