Article by Nicholas LaRosa

Photos by Kimberly Annette

Every January, NAMM gives the big names in music a chance to show off their new toys, and this year, Schecter guitars did not disappoint. Walking into the Schecter show room at NAMM 2014 gave all the joy and awe of being a kid in a candy store. Finishes of all colors and shines adorned the walls giving any guitarist cause to salivate and start rationalizing to use the rent money on a less responsible investment. Beside the array of guitars, basses and amps, Schecter put on a series of clinics and artists signings, a true display of the loyalty between the brand and their artists. The clinSchecter_H5A3379ics were hosted by Schecter’s Sergio Vega alongside Patrick Kennison of the band Heaven Below. Vega did the talking while Kennison showed off Schecter’s new Depth Charge Cabinet, a truly versatile amp, all the while shredding on Schecter’s  gorgeous, new Hellraiser Hybrid C-7 active EMG 57/66 pick-ups, compound radius neck, ebony fingerboard, and a mahogany body with a maple top. In addition, Schecter has expanded it’s Banshee line , now offering a seven and eight string version of their iconic Banshee model, swapping out the passive pickups for Sentient and Nazgul Seymour Duncan pickups.  They also slimmed down the neck for all you speed shredders out there, making it a true players guitar. As for their ATX line, Schecter has introduced the new Solo II shape, which sports a little less of a contour from their original Solo VI model, which comes in a satin black finish and is all mahogany, and their Swamp Ash is lighter and sports a beautiful ebony fret board and active Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups.

The Rock Rag got to sit down with Patrick Kennison and talk about what he personally liked about what’s new at Schecter in 2014.

“You can really fine tune to the sound you want,” said Kennison. “ Like with the Blackout pickups on the Solo II, they are right there between an active and a passive pickup. I love that, when you turn the volume knob down it actually responds. A lot of active pickups are kind of all or nothing. Then you have the EMG’s. I used to think that was for just real crushing metal, but you can really dial it in for whatever guitar you’re using. It allows you to be versatile and still have your own voice.”

In the past few years, Schecter has slowly become the name to beat when it comes to custom guitars for the metal scene. From Black Label Society and Black Veil Brides to Asking Alexandria and Avenged Sevenfold, to even Kennison’s own band Heaven Below, Schecter has shown an interest in working with artists to give them guitars that not only cater to the aesthetic each artist wants, but the sound they need as well.

“A lot of guitar companies are really set in their ways, it’s like Ford and Chevy.  Schecter has the balls to open up to more people and try some custom stuff that other companies might not do. It’s the sound too. Its hard to shred on a guitar that was built in the fifties. They have those fat “C” necks. Bands like mine, or Avenged, or yours, we wanna shred and chunk. We don’t wanna play something that sounds like 1982. We’re not set on one thing and I think these guitars lend themselves to that.”


Keep an eye out for Heaven Below’s upcoming album set to drop by summer following a tour. Much like Operation Mind Crime, Kennison describes it as a concept album.

Also be sure to check out their cover of Rush’s Subdivisions, which has gone viral on youtube and features none other than William Shatner.

“I played guitar on his solo album a few years ago and he said if I ever needed anything I should give him a call. So when it came time, I thought, we gotta get Shatner. It was a blast.”


  • The initial debut of the Hellraiser Hybrid Collection will include:* C-1 (MSRP $1299)* C-1 FR  (MSRP $1449)* C-7  (MSRP $1449)* C-8 (MSRP $1499)* Tempest (MSRP $1299)

    **All models will also be available in left hand versions

    About the Schecter HELLRAISER HYBRID C-1:

    Pick-ups:  EMG 57/66 w/Brushed Black Chrome Covers

    Body:   Mahogany W/ Quilted Maple Top

    Colors:  Trans Black Burst (TBB)

    Construction:  Set-Neck w/Ultra Access

    Neck:  3-pc Maple

    Neck Shape:   Ultra Thin “C” 19mm/20mm

    Fingerboard:  Ebony

    Nut:  Graph Tech Black Tusq XL

    Scale:  25.5”

    Frets:  24 X-Jumbo

    Inlays:  MOP 4mm Offset-Reverse Dots w/ Gothic Cross at 12th Fret

    Binding:  Carbon Fiber Multi-ply

    Electronics:  2 Volume/Tone/3-Way Switch

    Bridge:   TonePros TOM w/String Thru Body

    Tuners:  Schecter Locking

    Knobs:  2 Metal Dome w/Set Screw

    Hardware:  Black Nickel

    Left-Hand Availability:  Yes

    Case:  SGR-1C








What's New Schecter Guitars? - NAMM 2014
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