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This article was originally published in issue #2
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Life's not all about whammy bars - even for Michael Casswell! GI let him loose on a rather unusual Schecter - the PT 500. Schecter made its name with "superstrats" but this is definitely a sideways look at a Telecaster. And it comes at a very interesting price, he discovered...
Back in the day, when I scored my first publishing advance, the first thing I did with the money was order a custom made guitar. Who did I go to? That's right, Schecter! I had a black 'strat of doom' made, with EMGs and locking whammy madness. I played that guitar for a good while, until I was introduced to the original Valley Arts guitars, who made me an orange 'strat of doom' with EMGs and locking whammy madness!!
So I wasn't a stranger to Schecters when I was asked to give my thoughts on this new Schecter PT. The "PT" prefix (unofficially) stands for Pete Townsend, apparently. Now this isn't supposed to be a Pete Townsend signature model. What they have done is borrowed the look from Pete's custom Schecter "teles" that he played in the mid-80s, and called this model a "PT". As far as I can remember, back then, a certain Mr Tom Anderson was heavily involved in the Schecter custom shop guitars, until he struck out by himself to make some of the finest guitars you can buy today - so you can see the quality lineage here.
The black alder body with a maple neck used here is always a good combo and this guitar does look purposeful. It has two Schecter 'SupeRock II' humbuckers with large alnico V magnets (much like the trademark look of all Tom Anderson pick-ups), which are both coil tapped with a push-pull tone knob. That means this guitar can twang as well as growl. With the 3-way selector, you can also get a broad range of tones.
So this guitar looks good and is versatile. How does it play? Well, pretty damn fine. I pride myself on being able to pick any guitar up, and just start being able to spank it within a couple of minutes, but I think this guitar took less than that, and my 'warming up, getting used to it' session was instantly filmed and stuck up here for you guys to pick over. It played well, with its 10 to 48 string gauge, hardtail bridge (what, me without a whammy bar!?), medium to low action and chunky D shaped maple neck. I thought the pickups had a nice mid-range grainy growl to them too (shame they're called 'SuperRock").
I will stick my neck out and say, that this guitar trounces the Mexican Fenders, and "looks like a Gibson but isn't" Epiphones, which pricewise, is what it's up against. And if I was a young buck with a modest budget, this is what I would walk out of the shop with.
My old black Schecter "strat" (who has it now??) was an expensive all-American guitar, and the company is still based in Burbank, California. But to keep costs down on this model, it's of Far Eastern construction, like most low to mid priced guitars. An unavoidable compromise I guess, but this is still a really well built, good sounding guitar, and probably better than a lot of guitars three times the price.
MSRP £599 $729
Model: Schecter PT 500
Made in: Korea
Finger Board: Maple
Frets: 22X Jumbo
Pickups: Schecter SuperRock II
Electronics: Vol/Tone (tap)/3-Way Switch
Available Bridges: - PT-H
Available Colours: Gloss Black (BLK)
Available Lefty: Yes