Schecter has come a really long way throughout the years. In recent times, they have managed to surprise us over and over. This year in particular, with the release of the Banshee Elite, we have seen really awesome “boutique-like” features on guitars that are priced very reasonably.

Today, we’ll be looking at the Schecter Blackjack SLS, one of Schecter’s most popular guitars, designed for the modern shredder.

Let’s see how it holds up!

Features :

– Set 3-Piece Maple Neck with Ultra Access

– Mahogany Body

– Set-Neck Construction

– Ebony Fretboard

– MOP Offset Dot Inlays

– 25.5″ Scale Length

– 12-16″ Compound Radius

– Flamed Maple Arch-Top Body

– Black Multi-Ply Binding

– 24 Extra Jumbo Frets

– Ultra Thin “C” Neck Profile

– Floyd Rose 1000 Series

– Seymour Duncan Full Shred/Jazz Pickups

– Volume/Volume/Tone/3-Way Switch

– See-Thru Blue Burst Finish

– Black Chrome Hardware

– Floyd Rose Locking Nut

– Grover Rotomatic Tuners

In terms of features, the Blackjack SLS offers a little bit of everything. The guitar comes in many different configurations, Floyd Rose, Tune-O-Matic, Sustainiac, active pickups, and of course 6/7/8 string models. The particular model we are looking at today is the Blackjack SLS C-1 FR P, or the Floyd Rose 6-string model.

The highlight of this guitar is how comfortable it is to play! Coming in at around 7lbs, this guitar is quite light for being made of mahogany. Couple that with the ‘Ultra-Thin C’ neck profile, and you get a very easy guitar to shred on. The compound radius and ultra access cutaway make it very easy to reach the high frets, and I was unable to stop myself from soloing in the upper register. Also thanks to the compound radius, the lower-end has a bit more chunkiness to the neck so you can really dig into some rhythm playing.

The ‘Blue Burst’ finish on the flamed maple looks nice, surprisingly much nicer in person than it does in pictures. I do wish it was a bit brighter so I could see more of the flame. That’s just my subjective opinion of course. The blue finish is well-paired with a black binding and a super sleek ebony board, which is always nice to see on a sub-$1000 instrument.

Tone :

Similar to the Damien Platinum that we reviewed a while back, the Blackjack SLS comes with a mahogany body, maple neck, and maple top. These tried-and-true tonewoods deliver a balanced, warm sound with a low-mid focus. Before even plugging it in, I enjoyed the loud, deep sounds I could get out of it. The mahogany body is also great to use when routing for a Floyd Rose. The heavy wood allows you to take big chunks out without sacrificing tone.

(We have a sweet guide to different tonewoods available if you want to read more.)

Once plugged in, you’ll really see the potential of this instrument..

The Seymour Duncan Full Shred was expertly chosen for this guitar. It’s a fat pickup with a really rich and complex midrange and a high-end bite. There is a lot of harmonic character going on and it really makes for an excellent shredder’s pickup. Aha! Now I see why they call it Full Shred. (You don’t have to laugh.)

In all seriousness though, the pickup was definitely built for the modern shredder in mind. The harmonics are full and make for great dive bombs. The pickup attack is very quick and powerful as well. Regarding rhythm playing, I found that it performed power chord filled and heavy riffing styles very well.

Paired with the Full Shred is the Seymour Duncan Jazz neck pickup. Due to the Full Shred being a really aggressive, mid-focused pickup, the Jazz was a perfect choice for when you need to tone it down a bit and get some smoother sounds out of the guitar. The Jazz performs well for bluesy crunch tones, as well as some fat clean tones.

It definitely succeeds playing many genres – rock, 80s shred, crunchy blues, as well as progressive metal and metalcore. I personally found it best for playing some Killswitch Engage-style riffing.

Build Quality :

Schecter’s quality standards have become increasingly better over the years. This is a Korean-made instrument, so it’s not to the USA shop standard, but it’s still above par for the price.

Most of the issues I found were very minor and didn’t really affect playability. There was a finish imperfection that I found on the back of the guitar near the upper horn, as well as some overspray on the binding near the headstock.

There were no issues with the frets or setup, and the guitar held tuning very well. These functional quality standards were probably met due to Schecter’s California shop checking the guitars once they arrive to the states.

Even though there were a few tiny issues, I was overall really satisfied with this guitar.

Final Verdict :

The Blackjack SLS is a fairly affordable guitar undoubtedly built for the modern shredder. It offers a ton of tonal options and it’s standout feature is it’s extremely comfortable neck.

Unfortunately there were a few minor aesthetic issues, which are sometimes overlooked. Luckily for you, if you want this guitar and order it through our shop, we carefully examine each guitar before sending it out. So you are guaranteed to quality instrument. Just check out our Free Guitar Enhancement Package to see more about that!

At $849, the Blackjack SLS is overall a really great value for any modern guitarist.


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This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana.

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