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             Schecter Guitar History

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Founded Van Nuys, California, United States (1976)
Founder(s) David Schecter, Herschel Blankenship and Shel Horlick
Headquarters 1840 Valpreda Street
Burbank, California 91504
United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people David Schecter, Herschel Blankenship, Shel Horlick (founders)
Hisatake Shibuya (distributor/owner)
Michael Ciravolo (president)
Industry musical instruments
Products Electric guitar
Bass guitar
Steel-string acoustic guitar
Owner(s) Hisatake Shibuya
Subsidiaries Daisy Rock Guitars
Schecter Guitar Research, or commonly known as just Schecter, is an American guitar manufacturer. The company was founded in 1976 by David Schecter and originally only produced replacement parts for existing guitars from manufacturers such as Fender and Gibson.[1] Today, the company mass-produces its own line of electric guitars, bass guitars, and steel-string acoustic guitars.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Custom shop days, 1976 ? 1983
    • 1.2 Texan ownership and mass production, 1983 ? 1987
    • 1.3 Hisatake Shibuya and reform, 1987 ? present
  • 2 Diamond Series
    • 2.1 Guitars
    • 2.2 Acoustics
    • 2.3 Basses
  • 3 The Synyster Custom
  • 4 Discontinued Instruments
  • 5 Custom Shop
  • 6 Notable musicians
  • 7 Trivia
  • 8 External links
  • 9 References


Custom shop days, 1976 ? 1983

In 1976, David Schecter opened Schecter Guitar Research, a repair shop in Van Nuys, California.[1] The modest repair shop manufactured replacement guitar necks and bodies, complete pickup assemblies, bridges, pickguards, tuners, knobs, potentiometers, and other miscellaneous guitar parts. Eventually, Schecter Guitar Research offered every part needed to build a complete guitar. It supplied parts to big guitar manufacturers such as Fender and Gibson and to custom repair shops which were building complete guitars out of Schecter parts.[1] By the late 1970s, Schecter offered more than 400 guitar parts, but did not offer any finished instruments.[1] In 1979, Schecter offered for the first time its own fully-assembled electric guitars. These guitars were custom shop models based on Fender designs. They were considered of very high quality, very expensive, and were sold only by twenty retailers across the United States.[1] In September 1979, Alan Rogan, the guitar tech at the time, for Pete Townshend of The Who, picked up a custom shop Schecter guitar. It was a Fender Telecaster-style guitar with two humbucking pickups and a Gibson Les Paul-style pickup selector. Townshend immediately fell in love with it, and it became his main stage guitar. He later had several similar instruments built from Schecter parts and assembled by Schecter and U.K. based guitar maker Roger Giffin. Townshend last used a Schecter on stage at The Who's 1988 appearance at the BPI Awards Show although his brother Simon Townshend, part of The Who's touring band since 2002, often plays one of these guitars during Who concerts. In 1980, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits used Schecter Stratocaster-style guitars to record the band's third album, Making Movies. Mark Knopfler owned many Schecter guitars, including one finished in Candy Apple Red with a 21-fret maple neck/fretboard without dot markers, white pickguard, gold-plated hardware, master volume and tone controls. This instrument would become his main guitar for live and studio use until 1987. In 2004 one of his Schecters, a Stratocaster-style guitar with a tobacco sunburst finish, was sold at an auction for over $50,000, the highest amount ever paid for a Schecter guitar.[1]

Texan ownership and mass production, 1983 ? 1987

By 1983, Schecter had reached its custom shop production limit and could no longer meet demand. That year, Schecter was purchased by a group of Texan investors who wanted to build upon the reputation of the quality Schecter.[1] The investors moved the company to Dallas, Texas. The Texan owners produced quality guitars under the Schecter name for less than five years. In 1984, Schecter introduced at the winter NAMM show, twelve new guitars and basses, all based on Fender designs. The most popular of these guitars was a Telecaster-style guitar similar to those that Pete Townshend played, known unofficially as the "Pete Townshend model" (although Pete Townshend never endorsed these models). During this period, Schecter managed to sign one notable endorsee, Yngwie Malmsteen. Schecter built several custom guitars for Yngwie Malmsteen, which featured scalloped necks and reverse headstocks. Eventually, the "Pete Townshend model" became known as the Saturn, and the company's Stratocaster-style guitar became known as the Scorcher.

 Hisatake Shibuya and reform, 1987 ? present

In 1987, the Texan investors sold the company to Hisatake Shibuya, a Japanese entrepreneur who also owned the Musicians Institute in Hollywood and ESP Guitars (Schecter Guitar Research and ESP Guitars have remained to this day separate entities).[1] Under the ownership of Hisatake Shibuya, the Schecter company was moved back to California and slowly began to rebuild its reputation. Hisatake Shibuya returned the company to its custom shop roots and devoted all its efforts to manufacturing high-end, expensive custom instruments. Schecter guitars were once again only available from a few retailers, one of them being Sunset Custom Guitars located in Hollywood, which Hisatake Shibuya also owned. Sunset Custom Guitars happened to be the place where Michael Ciravolo, the future president of Schecter Guitar Research, worked. In 1995, Schecter introduced the S Series guitars and basses, which were again Fender-style guitars with an average price of $1,295. In 1996, Hisatake Shibuya asked Michael Ciravolo to become Schecter's president and run the company. Michael Ciravolo was an experienced musician himself and brought to the company many well-known musicians with him as endorsees, such as Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots, Jay Noel Yuenger and Sean Yseult of White Zombie. Michael Ciravolo never truly liked Fender designs and thus wanted to distance the company from its past Fender-style designs.[1] To do so, he added the Avenger, Hellcat, and Tempest models to the Schecter catalog. Also, he wanted to reach out to the new generation of musicians who were ignored by most major guitar manufacturers. However, at this point the company was only producing expensive, custom shop models. Schecter's maximum output was forty guitars a month.[1] To realize his vision, Ciravolo began searching for a factory that could mass-produce Schecter guitars and maintain high quality standards. In 1997, Michael Ciravolo met with several Asian guitar manufacturers at the Tokyo Music Festival and finally decided on a factory located in Incheon, South Korea, though, not known for sure, it could be the electric Guitar factory of Cort. The guitars would be built in the South Korea factory and then they would be shipped to the U.S. to be setup in a Schecter shop. At summer NAMM in 1998, Schecter introduced the Diamond Series, which included six affordably priced non-custom guitars. In 1999, Schecter added the seven string A-7 Avenger guitar to the Diamond Series. It also introduced the C-1, which was debuted by Jerry Horton in Papa Roach's "Last Resort" music video. Today, the company mass-produces affordable, non-custom guitars under the Diamond Series and continues to build expensive, handmade, custom models.

Diamond Series

The Diamond Series was first introduced in 1998, and consists of all the non-custom, mass-produced Schecter models.[2] The Diamond Series is further divided into groups of guitars which share common design characteristics. Schecter has stated that it will not customize any Diamond Series guitar upon request, thus any Diamond Series guitar is sold "as it is". Although there are a large variety of models available in the Diamond range, many are 'mixed and matched' parts from different Schecter guitars. For example, all Omen, C, Hellraiser and Damien basses have the same body shape, although some have set necks rather than bolt on necks, different finish colours, and different woods. However, on the whole, Schecter produce many different guitars from a smaller number of core parts. This mix and match culture has the benefit of allowing guitarists to find a Schecter to fit their exact requirements, but negatively gives less of a 'core product' range as shown by Gibson Guitars who only have a small range of guitars available. Some of the best known guitars made by Schecter are the 'C Series' in various configurations such as the "Hellraiser" and "Blackjack" models. Schecter is also a leader in the seven-string guitar market. Schecters Diamond series guitars have enjoyed a growing positive reputation through the use of quality components such as TonePros locking bridge products on non-tremolo models and Original Floyd Rose double locking tremolos on many of the six and seven string models. Many models also feature USA EMG or Seymour Duncan pick-ups and Grover tuners.


The following list of guitars are correct as appears on the Schecter Website (Accessed 18 December 2008) [3]
  • C Series = C-1, C-1 Blackjack, C-1 Classic, C-1 Blackjack EX Baritone, C-1 Exotic Star, C-1 FR, C-1 Lady Luck, C-1 Plus, C-1 SheDevil, C-1 SheDevil FR, C-7, C-7 Blackjack, C-7 FR, C-1 XXX, C-8 Hellraiser
  • S Series = S-1, S-1 Blackjack
  • Tempest Series = Hellraiser Tempest, Tempest Blackjack, Tempest Classic, Tempest Custom, Tempest Extreme (Excluding USA)
  • 00 Series = 006 Deluxe, 006 Extreme (Excludes USA), Hellraiser 006
  • S-1 Tribal = Devil Tribal Delux, S-1 Scorpion Tribal Deluxe (Excludes USA)
  • Devil Series =Devil Custom, Devil Spine
  • Hollywood Series = Hollywood Classic
  • Stargazer Series = Stargazer, Stargazer 12
  • Sunset Series = Hellraiser Sunset FR, Sunset Deluxe
  • Stiletto Series = Stiletto 6 FR, Stiletto Classic
  • PT Series = PT, PT Fastback, Pete Dee Signature
  • Hellcat Series = Hellcat VI
  • Ultra Series = Ultra III, Ultra Classic, Ultracure (Robert Smith signature model)
  • Artist Models = Loomis 7 and 7 FR (Jeff Loomis), Porl Thompson Model (Porl Thompson), RS-1000 and Ultracure (Robert Smith), Synyster Standard and Custom (Synyster Gates), Vengeance Custom (Zacky Vengeance), Pete Dee Model (Pete Dee)
  • Extreme Series = 006 Extreme (Excludes USA), Omen-6 Extreme (Excludes USA), Oman-6 FR, Oman-6 FR Extreme, Oman-7 Extreme, Tempest Extreme
  • Demon = Demon (Excludes USA), Demon-FR (Excludes USA), Demon-7 (Excludes USA), Demon-7 FR (Excludes USA)
  • Hellraiser Series = Hellraiser 006, Hellraiser Avenger, Hellraiser C1, Hellraiser C1 FR, Hellraiser C-7, Hellraiser C7 FR, Sunset Hellraiser FR, Hellraiser Tempest, Hellraiser V-1, Hellraiser V-1 FR, Hellraiser C-8 LIMITED EDITION
  • Blackjack Series = C-1 Blackjack, S-1 Blackjack, C-1 Blackjack ATX, C-1 Blackjack ATX FR, C-1 Blackjack FR, C-1 Blackjack EX Baritone, C-7 Blackjack, C-7 Blackjack ATX, Tempest Blackjack, V-1 Blackjack ATX, V-1 Blackjack ATX FR, V-1 Blackjack
  • Avenger = Avenger, Avenger FR
  • Omen Series = Omen-6, Omen-6 Extreme, Omen-6 FR (Excludes USA), Omen-6 FR Extreme (Excludes USA), Omen-7, Omen-7 Extreme (Excludes USA)
  • Damien Series = Damien-7 FR, Damien B-2, Damien B-2 FR, Damien Special, Damien Special FR, Damien-6, Damien-7, Damien-FR, Damien V-1, Damien V-1 FR
  • V Series = V-1 Classic, Hellraiser V-1, Hellraiser V-1 FR, Blackjack ATX V-1, Blackjack ATX V-1 FR, Blackjack V-1, Damien V-1, Damien V-1 FR
  • Solo Series = Solo-6 Classic, Hellraiser Solo-6
  • Semi/Hollow Body = Corsair, Corsair Bigsby
  • 7 Strings = C-7 Blackjack, Damien-7, Hellraiser C-7, Loomis-7, Loomis-7 FR, Omen-7, Omen-7 Extreme
  • Baritones = C-1 Blackjack EX Baritone


The following list of acoustics are correct as appears on the Schecter Website (Accessed 18 December 2008) [3]
  • Royal Acoustic
  • Orleans Acoustic
  • RS-1000 (Robert Smith signature model)


The following list of basses are correct as appears on the Schecter Website (Accessed 18th December 2008) [3]
  • 00 Series = 004 Series
  • C Series = C-4, C-5
  • Damien Series = Damien-4, Damien-5
  • Diamond J = Diamond J
  • Extreme Basses = Stiletto Extreme-4, Stiletto Extreme-5
  • Hellraiser Series = Hellraiser-4, Hellraiser-5
  • Model-T = Model-T
  • Omen Bass Series = Omen-4, Omen-5, Omen-8
  • Stiletto Series = Custom-4, Custom-5, Custom-6, Deluxe-4, Deluxe-5, Elite-4, Elite-5, Stiletto Extreme-4, Stiletto Extreme-5, Studio-4, Studio-5, Studio-6, Studio-8
  • Riot series= Riot-4, Riot-5, Riot-6

 The Synyster Custom

This is Avenged Sevenfold's lead guitarist Synyster Gates custom guitar by Schecter Guitars. Here are the specifications: (These are directly from the Schecter Guitars website.)
  • Construction: Set-Neck With Ultra Access
  • Neck: 3 Piece Mahogany
  • Scale: 25.5" Scale
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo
  • Inlays: SYN W/ Deathbat on 12th Fret.
  • Binding: Black
  • Pickups: Seymour Duncan Custom Invaders
  • Electronics: Vol/Tone(tap) 3-way Pickup Toggle Switch
  • Bridge: Original USA Floyd Rose Double Locking Tremolo
  • Tuners: Black Chrome Grover Tuners
  • Hardware: Black
  • Colors: Black With Silver Pin Stripes[4]

 Discontinued Instruments

The following instruments are no longer in production by Schecter Guitars[5] Guitars
  • 00 Series = 006 Elite (2008), 007 Elite (2008)
  • C Series = C-1 Tremolo (2006 Only), C-1 Jolly Roger (2005 Only), C-1 30th Anniversary Model (2006 only), C-1 Exotic (2005 - 2006 only), C-1 Custom XXX (2005 only), C-1 E/A (2008), C-1 Elite (2008), C-1 Special (2007), C-1 Stealth, CB-2000 Celloblaster, C-7 Plus (discontinued), C/SH-1 (2007), C/SH-12 (2007 only)
  • S Series = S-1 DLX, S-1 30th Anniversary Model (2006 only), S-1 Elite (2008), S-1 Hot Rod, S-1 Scorpion Tribal Doubleneck, S-1 "Bada Bling", S-1 "Black Widow" (2005 only), S-1 "The Devil's Rejects" (2007 only), S-1 "Vampirella"
  • Hellraiser Series = Avenger Hellraiser FR (available exclusively at Drum City - GuitarLand, Inc.)
  • Avenger Series = Avenger "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" (only made in 2007)
  • Banshee Series = Banshee (2007)
  • Damien Series = Damien-7
  • Gryphon Series = Gryphon Limited Edition (2008), Gryphon-7
  • Hellcat Series = Hellcat (2008)
  • Hot Rod Series = Hot Rod '39
  • Artist Series = Jerry Horton C-1, Jerry Horton Tempest (2007 Only), PT 30th Anniversary Model (2006 only), PT Custom, Synyster Custom (White w/ Gold Stripes, only 100 made), Vengeance Special (2008), Vengeance Standard (Zacky Vengeance signature model, 2007 only)
  • PT Series = PT Elite, PT Blackjack
  • Aviation Collection = Spitfire-6, S-1 "RAF Spitfire" (2006 only), Tempest "Midway" (2006 only), PT "Bottoms Up!" (2006 only), Tempest "A-10 Warthog" (2007 only), Ultra "F-117 Stealth" (2007 only), Ultra "P-51" (2006 only)
  • Tempest Series = Tempest 30th Anniversary Model (2006 only), Tempest Deluxe, Tempest "New Orleans Saints NFL Katrina Relief" (only made in 2005), Traditional 30th Anniversary (2006 only)
  • Unknown Series = V-7, A-5X Celloblaster, A-7, SW-3500 (2007), T-1M33
  • Acoustic Elite (2008)
  • Diamond ACS Acoustic (2008)
  • Gryphon (Limited US 'Guitar Center' run)
  • Ultrabass , C-4XXX (2005 only)

Custom Shop

As well as the mass produced Diamond Series, Schecter offer a custom guitar service. On their website, Schecter say "The Custom Shop is reserved only for orders made through a Schecter Authorized Dealer. Absolutely no Diamond Series guitars or basses will be customized"[6]. Example projects[7] include:
  • House of 1000 Corpses
  • Tempest Tartan
  • Dawn of the Dead Tribute
  • CS-1 #26
  • PT Nashville
  • CET Flame Koa
  • Hollywood Classic
  • Homo Bass SE

 Notable musicians

Over the years Schecter has attracted a large number of notable musicians to use its products and many of those musicians have signed endorsement agreements with Schecter. Some notable musicians who use, or have used Schecter guitars or basses include:


  • Schecter Guitar Research was the first guitar manufacturer to offer black chrome hardware.[1]
  • Sometime around 1976, David Schecter designed a pickup with the same dimensions as Fender pickups that could allow humbucking and near single-coil tones.[1] A similarly designed pickup system is still in use today by many companies. For example, some Schecter guitars are fitted with two humbuckers, but instead of having a normal five-way pickup selector, a three-way pickup selector is installed with a tappable tone nob which activates the coil tap, which allows you to select a humbucker or coil tap it to recreate single coil tones.
  • Before he started Schecter Guitar Research, David Schecter worked for steel guitarist Red Rhodes at Rhodes' Royal Amplifier Service in Hollywood.

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