Review: Schecter Keith Merrow KM-7 WiredGuitarist April 6, 2016 Articles, Reviews, Schecter Guitar Reviews Schecter KM-7 Review The KM-7 is Keith Merrow’s signature model from Schecter Guitars. Keith has been at the forefront of metal in the online age, with a successful YouTube channel that spawned a great instrumental metal project with Jeff Loomis (Conquering Dystopia), as well as many other collaborations. He even works for Duncan, developing pickups for them and their artists. Available in many 6 string and 7 string flavors, this is the original flagship signature model made by Schecter for Keith. It’s worth noting that there are many versions of the Keith Merrow model, so we wrote a guide to them! The idea behind the KM series was to put all the appointments you’d find on high-end guitars like he’s played and owned over the years into an affordable guitar for the contemporary player. Let’s see the result! Features: Arched Top Swamp Ash Body Flame Maple Top Satin Transparent Blackburst Thin C Shape 3-Piece Maple Set Neck w/ Carbon Fiber Reinforcement Rods Ebony Fretboard with 12”-16” Compound Radius 26.5” Scale Length 24 Extra-Jumbo Stainless Steel Frets Offset Dots with Luminlay Side Dots. Hipshot Hardtail Bridge Locking Tuners TUSQ Nut Seymour Duncan Nazgul/Sentient Pickups 3 way toggle w/ Push/Pull Volume Control As you can see, this guitar has many of the appointments you would usually find in much higher end guitars delivered in a very affordable package. The 12”-16” radius is my favorite of all time for all playing styles, the stainless frets will last indefinitely, the offset dots look great on Ebony, and no corners were cut, as it even has glow in the dark side dots. The body is swamp ash for the utmost clarity, with a maple top for more bite, and a maple neck for more punch. It’s even an arch top, which is super comfortable. 26.5” is my favorite scale length for 7s, the perfect combination of clarity and playability. The neck is very stable due to the carbon fiber rods, and they even used a TUSQ nut. This thing is decked out, right down to the industry-standard Hipshot bridge, the locking tuners, and brand-name Pickups. Tone: The tonewood combination on this guitar is absolutely perfect. Everything you’d want for clarity, articulation, and punch. swamp ash is my favorite body wood for extended range guitars hands down, and I prefer maple necks in almost all situations. Even the 26.5” scale contributes to that greatly, without being long enough to impede playability at all. The nice mass of the string-through Hipshot bridge contributes some huge resonance, and the TUSQ nut is a great material at an important point of contact for optimal tone. Even better, the pickups are almost universally loved by metal musicians. The bridge Nazgul is remarkably aggressive, but the 26.5” scale works to maintain clarity even at such high output, and a wide array of tones are available from the Sentient neck pickup. The push/pull is a great feature as well, and sounds great in the middle position, for crunchy tele tones with extra power due to the pickups’ output. The neck in split mode also benefits from extra chime due to the baritone scale. That being said, I PERSONALLY don’t like these pickups very much, but I understand I’m in the minority. I’d simply prefer something else. Which leads me to my next point, that this guitar is a great pickup swap platform with which to get the exact tone you want, due to the great wood choices. The Nazgul/Sentient are so highly valued on the used market, you could sell them and get new pickups with no cost out of pocket, to get that exact sound in your head. Most people will love these pickups out of the box, but if you wanted to swap later for something cleaner sounding, or even vintage-voiced, you’d be covered. I’ve had great results with Titans and Nailbombs in this guitar. Build Quality: Schecter puts out some of the best South Korean instruments in the world right now. This is largely attributed to their high QC standards, including inspection by their US Custom Shop team in California. This has a good fretjob out of the box, which is important on stainless steel frets because you don’t want to have to pay the premium to get those crowned and leveled on a new instrument. There are no alignment issues and the guitar is very loud acoustically. The finish as a whole is actually really well executed, especially considering it’s a satin trans burst. The satin isn’t the best I’ve ever felt, but it’s not going to gloss quickly overtime, which is a huge plus and to be honest is better than the satin finishes on some US made guitars right now. You’re only going to find minor aesthetic issues on these guitars, like small glue lines. Even then, those are rare from what we’ve seen. Final Verdict: This is one of the best import guitars you can possible get. It’s not at the same level of build quality as a Japanese or USA guitar, but it’s much cheaper, and frankly has better specs than most $2,000 guitars. This will get the job done for any metal player, and it’ll look fantastic doing it. We upload great content every day including gear reviews, technical articles, theory lessons, and more.