I bought a Schecter Omen Extreme-6
This is the second Schecter I've ever owned in my life.
I couldn't pass this up because it was on sale for $299 at Guitar Center for the Memorial Day weekend sale. Ordinarily I would never bother with such things, but as fate would have it, this guitar was right where I needed it to be at exactly the right time.
Here's the story of this guitar purchase.
Something happened while playing my recently acquired Epiphone Les Paul Traditional PRO-III. Something I thought I had defeated. Fret hand pain.
Yeah, it happened again. I thought that going with a thicker D shape neck would work to cure this. It did at first, but then shortly afterward the same pain happened in the same spot just under the index finger on the palm. It's not a bone pain but rather a pressure put on a part of my hand that causes uncomfortable soreness.
What I thought would happen is that my hand would get used to the D, adjust and the hand would heal quickly. It didn't.
At this point I got really frustrated. My fret hand really didn't like the U shape, and now I discover it doesn't like the D either. The D has less shoulder than the U does, but even so, my fret hand doesn't like it at all.
I had to go back to the C. This fret hand pain started the moment I stopped playing C shape necks, so that's what I had to get again.
My original intent was to re-buy a Squier Telecaster. Since my Les Paul was still within the 45-day return period, I could go back, grab a Tele and just be done with it.
Well, that's not what happened.
I arrive at Guitar Center Plano and there were several Squier Telecasters in stock, along with a few other guitars I wanted to try out. For every Tele I tried that liked, they all had buzzing problems after the 12th fret. This was either due to high frets or a phenomenon known as "rising tongue". I'll be writing another article about that soon as it's a good thing to know when shopping for new guitars.
I was about to give up, but then literally all the way at the other end of the store was a Schecter Omen Extreme-6 in Ocean Blue Burst. This is a guitar I knew to have a C shape neck since that's what Schecter uses on the majority of their electrics.
I played it, and it was good. Then I put it back and tried a few other guitars. Then I went back to the Schecter again, and it was obviously the best thing going for the price.. The Les Paul was returned and the Schecter went home with me.
This was a very good decision.
The fret hand pain test
When I first got the guitar, I set it up to my liking, slapped on a 9-42 set of strings since that's my preferred string gauge, and started playing. I played the hell out of this thing.
I needed to see if my fret hand would complain at all, so I just went for it. I said to myself that this will be the test to see if I get along with this neck or not. If the pain is going to come, let it come. I need to know this now.
After playing for several hours, yes I was sore - but not in pain.
The next day, the hand was still store, but it was the good kind. I played again for several hours. So far, so good.
On the third day, a little less sore now, no pain. I played some more. Things are going well - so far. Time will tell if things continue to go well.
Going home again, part 1
Way back in 2003 (16 years ago as I write this), I bought a Schecter C-1 Classic new, and kept for 10 years until I sold it on eBay in 2013. The guitar was played but not too extensively since I was in total Stratocaster mode at the time. Even so, I got to know the guitar well.
The Omen Extreme-6 has a neck feel that's very familiar because it's a lot like my old C-1 was. The body shape is also very familiar. But the rest of the guitar is different from the C-1. Bolt-on instead of neck-thru, different pickups, 3 knob with push-pull instead of 2-knob with 5-way.
Going home again, part 2
This is my return to the Strat shape as my main guitar. I switched over to the Jazzmaster in 2013, stuck with that for 4 years until switching to the Telecaster in 2017, then a brief stint with double-cutaway Ibanez AX guitars in early 2019 (technically more SG than Strat), then a very brief stint with the Les Paul, then back to the Strat shape again now in May 2019.
Yes, I know this guitar is something I tell people not to get
I have to acknowledge this because otherwise I'm sure to receive flak for it.
I have said guitar companies always get blue guitars wrong (darker blue colors, specifically). I have said humbuckers suck. I have said most guitar players don't need more than 22 frets. I have said before I don't like flame, quilt or striped guitars...
...and now I own a blue guitar with quilted styling on both body and headstock, with a pair of humbuckers and a neck with 24 frets on it.
To that, I'll say the same as I said above. The Omen Extreme-6 was the best thing going for the price at $299, and I'll explain why right now:
- Not a single bad fret. Every fret is cut correct. No high frets. No rising tongue issues. No sharp fret ends.
- Factory installed TUSQ nut. Finding this superior nut on a guitar for this price never happens, but it does on the Omen. And the cut of the nut for each string slot is 100% correct.
- Real rosewood fingerboard. Not pau ferro. Not indian laurel. Real-deal rosewood. And it's a nice board, too.
- Split-coil tones that actually sound good. I was very surprised by this. I had this same feature on the Epiphone Les Paul Traditional PRO-III, and the split-coil tones weren't that great. They truly are great on the Omen Extreme-6.
- Body binding, neck binding and headstock binding, custom fret inlays. Only one guitar out of Guitar Center's entire inventory has all this besides the Omen under $300, and that's the Ibanez PS60, which is the Paul Stanley signature Iceman guitar. I'm not interested in that guitar.
- Satin finished neck(?) I put a question mark on this one because the neck finish feels like satin urethane to me. Whether it is or isn't, it's not high gloss and feels super smooth.
- Lightweight. I'm pretty sure this guitar is under 7.5 pounds in weight. I very much appreciate this.
When you get into the $300 to $400 range and up, then yes, you'll find other guitar offerings that offer everything the Schecter has. But for under $300, the Omen Extreme-6 stands alone as the absolute best bang for the buck. I simply couldn't pass it up.
Is the Omen Extreme-6 an "old man" guitar?
Depends on whom you ask.
When certain guitar players observe someone playing a guitar that looks like the Omen Extreme-6, their first thought is, "Haha. Old man guitar." They see the blue, the burst, the quilt, the vector inlays, the binding and instantly make a judgment that only old dudes would play something like that.
When non-musicians see the instrument - women, specifically - they love the way it looks and consider it a genuinely attractive thing. Why? Because it's a curvy guitar with a fancy blue finish on it that gives a 3-D appearance of water in motion.
How do I feel about it?
To answer that, examine this photo of me playing the same guitar in the Electric Magenta finish:
From just a few feet away, that's when the look of this guitar really pops. Some guitars are best viewed when not directly in your face, and the Omen Extreme-6 is one of them.
All guitarists, including myself, examine guitars really close up. The player always gets right in the face of the guitar, which is totally normal.
However, it was this photo of yours truly that convinced me the guitar's look works. Seeing it in my hands from a short distance away against a bunch of other guitars in different colors is what made the difference in the positive direction.
Given the purple guitar's look worked, I knew the blue would work too. And it does.