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Old 01-10-2022, 07:19 AM
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Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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Default Schecter C-6 vs Squier Bullet Strat (what the heck?)

Michael Daves has a double album from 2016 called "Orchids and Violence" where he does both acoustic (bluegrass) and electric versions of a bunch of bluegrass and old time tunes. Like the same tune done both ways (hence the double album concept). It's not the kind of thing I want to listen to every day but some of the sounds were pretty neat.

So even though I have pretty much only every played acoustic guitar I decided to see what kind of sounds I could get from an electric. After a few days of online shopping and YouTube video reviews I went to the local Guitar Center to pick up a Squier Bullet Stratocaster HT (hardtail) and a Fender Champion 40 modeling amp with a full-size 12" speaker. I figured that was sufficient gear to dip my toe in the water without diving in the deep end, so to speak.

Good news was they had a floor model Champion 50XL for a bit less than the retail price of Champion 40. So I grabbed that. Better news was the Bullet strat didn't seem to have any of the stereotypical issues you hear of with entry-level guitars. No fret sprout, my fret rocker and string height gauge indicated everything was playable, even the nut slots were cut at a decent height.

So problem solved, in and out in 20 minutes. Except I stupidly pulled down a dozen or so other guitars off the wall out of curiosity. Never been in a Guitar Center before so I figured I'd look around a bit.

Impluse purchase time. Instead of the Bullet strat I came home with a Schecter C-6 Elite with a rather garish blue "burst" finish (printed on, not real quilted maple) and with a pair of hot, heavy-metal-ready Schecter Diamond Plus humbuckers. It seems kind of crazy given that I don't even listen to Metal much less intend on playing it.

The reasons I liked it was the shape of the neck, the flattish (14" radius) rosewood fretboard, the wonderfully polished super jumbo frets and just the overall fit and finish which were far nicer than any other $300 guitar they had (and nicer than some Epiphones that were twice that expensive).

So am I crazy to make that big a change of plans on the spur of the moment? Will I be able to coax a variety of interesting sounds on those pickups? And basically what's a 60-something year old fiddle tune playing acoustic guitar junkie doing with a pointy, bright blue guitar built for grinding out distorted power chords?
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Last edited by Brent Hutto; 01-10-2022 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 01-10-2022, 08:07 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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I think that your choice is absolutely terrific. Not that i am a super strat affectionato, but because you found a guitar that genuinely made you feel good to play it. Thats what its all about. And just a reminder, all those dials on the amp and guitar, turn them and learn how to sound like you. Don't worry about what the guitar looks like.
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Old 01-10-2022, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
And just a reminder, all those dials on the amp and guitar, turn them and learn how to sound like you.


It's kind of weird coming from acoustic guitar. I can get somewhat different sounds by changing strings or picks. Or changing guitars, for that matter.

But with the electric guitar+amp it's like turning just one of the many knobs about a quarter turn makes more difference than any pick or string in the world. And then there's more knobs. Really, really fun but a little overwhelming!

It's probably a universal experience but this morning I was twisting knobs, changing the pickup selector, just messing around. And I played this one open E-minor arpeggio that was the most amazing sound. The lower strings were really round and smooth but the upper notes had some sort of hard intensity to them that was exquisite.

I'm sure when I get home tonight I won't remember what knob I had set where...
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Old 01-10-2022, 09:19 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Brent,

No problem with your choice, and enjoy the learning process. If you stick with it you'll eventually end up with a Telecaster anyway.
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Old 01-10-2022, 02:08 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Play the guitar you enjoy playing. I think that Schecter is nice.
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Old 01-10-2022, 02:26 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Congrats Brent! Schecter makes some great guitars. I'm sure you'll be happy with yours, especially since you like the neck so much.

I have a C1-Classic (with fretboard vine inlay) and a C1-Plus (upgraded with EMG 81/85) that I bought back in 2004/2005. Gigged them both as my main guitars (along with a few others along the way).
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Old 01-10-2022, 08:22 PM
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I decided this evening it looked like the Schechter was going to be a keeper. Went ahead and put a fresh set of 10-46 D'Addarios on there and had just started enjoying how much louder and crisper it was sounding...

...then I switched from neck to bridge and the plastic knob snapped right off the 3-way toggle. D'Oh!

It's always something. Guess I'll call Guitar Center tomorrow and see what they want to do about it.
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Old 01-11-2022, 08:50 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
I decided this evening it looked like the Schechter was going to be a keeper. Went ahead and put a fresh set of 10-46 D'Addarios on there and had just started enjoying how much louder and crisper it was sounding...

...then I switched from neck to bridge and the plastic knob snapped right off the 3-way toggle. D'Oh!

It's always something. Guess I'll call Guitar Center tomorrow and see what they want to do about it.
I am sure GC will hand over a toggle switch cap as replacement. Sometimes, if they are not screwed down thoroughly they can crack. It’s no reflection of the quality of the guitar. No worries man!
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:36 AM
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I am sure GC will hand over a toggle switch cap as replacement. Sometimes, if they are not screwed down thoroughly they can crack. Itís no reflection of the quality of the guitar. No worries man!
This one actually snapped the little threaded rod that sticks up from the switch into the cap. You can see the rod still up in the rubber part.

I called them, they said their repair guy will replace the switch but there's a two-week backlog so I need to wait and bring it in later.

I'm three days into the 45-day return window in any case.

Still sounding good, though I found a real nice tone for playing In The Bleak Midwinter up around the 10th fret...
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Old 01-11-2022, 12:59 PM
rmp rmp is offline
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Stewart Macdonald probably has toggle switch caps to fit that.

look up stewmac.com and search for "toggle switches". that should get you in the ball park.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:03 AM
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I like hearing clean or nearly clean tones when I play, which has turned out to be a bit of a challenge with the high output humbuckers in my Schecter. It was also surprisingly tricky to get everything to balance from string to string, from neck to bridge and up and down the neck.

I ended up dropping the pickups down to what seems like a long way from the strings. But I think I got to a good place with them, eventually. A couple things I noticed with the pickup height where it was in the store...

One was I'm pretty sure even on the "clean channel" of my Champion 50XL amp I could hear a bit of edge or distortion when just picking normally (not really digging in). After I lowered them I can play into the clean channel and both single notes and chords sound pretty clean.

The other thing was as I moved up the neck the sound got much louder, especially on the lower strings. My guess was the strings get pressed down lower toward the pickups and intensify the sound.

Once I dropped them down it was just a matter of tweaking the height a bit at a time on each end of each pickup and the treble and bass strings on the neck and bridge pickups were all about the same perceived volume.

I'm measuring pickup height by fretting at the top fret (24th on my guitar). The settings I ended up with are .145" bass and .160" treble for the bridge pickup and .135" bass and .165" treble for the neck. In metric terms that ranges from 3.4 to 4.2mm which seems higher than I find in various Googled recommendations.

But if it sounds like I want it to sound, I guess it's right!
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:26 AM
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Oh, there was one other thing. After getting my setup where I want it I played around with my Champion 50XL amp and managed to find one "not quite clean" option in addition to the clean channel I mainly use.

I set the emulation to '65 Princeton (whatever that is) and fiddled the knobs until I could add or take away a bit of distortion using the guitar volume knob. With the volume up all the way, there's a little edge on single notes and a fair bit of distortion on chords. Turn it down to about 3/4 and the single notes are cleaner but chords still crunch. Go down to 1/2 volume and it's almost as clean as the clean channel (but not quite). That was awesome.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:47 AM
ras1500 ras1500 is offline
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"...put a fresh set of 10-46 D'Addarios on there..."

Try some flat wound strings with a wound G string if you want to hear some different tones. That is what a lot of the surf crowd use. I use D'Addario ECG-24's on my Strat.
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:46 PM
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Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ras1500 View Post
"...put a fresh set of 10-46 D'Addarios on there..."

Try some flat wound strings with a wound G string if you want to hear some different tones. That is what a lot of the surf crowd use. I use D'Addario ECG-24's on my Strat.
That thought had actually crossed my mind.

It was of course an entirely different kind of sound palette but I when I switched from Elixirs to Thomastik-Infeld flatwounds on my mandolin years ago, the tone went from "I like this mandolin" to "OMG I love this mandolin" and I never even considered switching back.

Do the Chromes last a good long while? They're pricey but I'd be OK with it as long as I could go 2-3 months between changes.
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:09 AM
ras1500 ras1500 is offline
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"Do the Chromes last a good long while?"

They seem to last a long time for me...I change them once per year. The Chromes still sound OK when it's time to change. In general, I've found all brands of flat wound strings to last a long time. Unlike the strings on my acoustic guitars which I change every few months. FWIW I play each of my guitars a few hours per week.
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