Read the full article
This article was originally published in issue #16
To read the article in its entirety, view the digital magazine
Schecter doesn't just make some of the most desirable Metal guitars on the planet - it has a huge range of basses, too.
Schecter is best known for a long line of racy, high-performance metal guitars, but is perhaps less well acknowledged for its accompanying basses. We wanted to see what was going on in the Schecter bass range and were send a rather tasty looking C-5 Custom five string bass to review. This Korean-made model is one of what is actually a very wide range - wider than we suspect a lot of bassists realise. Inside the Schecter catalogue is an array of cool looking instruments; everything from signature models to entry-level instruments, six stringers, models with figured tops and much more. There are even a few 'super P' and 'Jazz' type basses in there too for those looking for a more traditional bass.
Our review C-5 Custom featured a highly sculpted body for maximum playing comfort and first impressions were that it which looks pretty fantastic with its deeply rounded edges. Excuse the pun: there are no corners cut in the choice of components either. I'm pleased to report that the bass features a solid ash body joined, via six bolts through an angled heel, to a multi-laminate neck of maple and walnut. Schecter says that the 'well balanced combination of select wood takes the bright tones of maple and adds a dark tone from the walnut' and we're happy with that - it's a classic combination. Have a look at the video to see the grain on both the body and neck. I really like that body finish!
From a playing perspective, the neck profile has a nice D shape to it, slightly on the slim side, but still with enough wood there to feel solid, while still being easily comfortable for those with smaller hands.
Attention to detail means a lot to me and our sample Schecter C5 excelled here, with 24 jumbo frets neatly inserted and dressed evenly. The fretboard is rosewood on this model. The C-5 is a 35" scale instrument, though if you are used to a 34" scale, I don't think you'd really notice that much. It's very comfortable.
On to the hardware and the Schecter branded tuning keys have a smooth and positive action and at the other end or proceedings, the black chrome bridge looks superb - way nicer than those 'vintage bent bit of tin' bridges, you still see. 'Form and function', as they say, it features quick release slots (or through-body stringing) and adjusters for action and intonation. It is big and beefy but does not hamper playing or get in the way.
The electronics have been taken care of by the superb EMG. I've used EMG pickups on my basses for years and have been really pleased with them. They are rock solid and built to last. The pickups on this particular instrument come in the form of two passive units, the first being a Jazz type LJHZ pickup in an extended housing for five strings, placed up at the neck end. There's a soap-bar 'HZ' model in the bridge position. Both are hooked-up to an 18v EMG pre-amp, offering control of blend between the two pickups, a master volume control and an active circuit for cut and boost of bass, middle and treble frequencies. I like that the controls for tone and volume adjustment are away from the playing area, so they don't get accidentally knocked.
The bass had a modern and mildly scooped tone. Personally, I felt the need to boost the mids and bass controls to find that sweet spot and when I did, that seemed to bring the instrument to life tonally. The low end had a weight to it that didn't interfere with the highs, so I was quite happy leaving the treble control alone. All in all, this bass can deliver some pretty epic Rock tones, especially once you scoop-out the mids!
If the C-5 is representative of Schecter's overall bass quality it's hard to see why their instruments aren't better known among the bass fraternity. This as a quality instrument with great components at a fair price.