Schecter Synyster Gates Custom/Custom-S Review WiredGuitarist June 5, 2018 Articles, Schecter Guitar Reviews, Uncategorized Schecter and Synyster Gates are proud to announce the updated Synyster Gates Custom signature model for 2018! As the lead guitarist for Avenged Sevenfold – one of the biggest rock bands of our time – Schecter has given us a unique instrument crafted for high-speed shredding and screaming dive bombs. Features: – Mahogany Body – Ebony Fretboard – 25.5’’ Scale Length – Grover Tuners – Floyd Rose 1500 Series – Schecter USA Synyster Gates Signature Pickup – Sustainiac Neck Pickup – Glow In The Dark Side Dots – Black Hardware – Black Binding – Set-Neck with Ultra Access Cutaway Tone: Gates’ signature guitar originally contained a Seymour Duncan Invader for many years, but the 2018 model contains a custom pickup made by Schecter. The main difference between the Invader and Gates Signature Pickup is the tonal curve. While the Invader has a harsher top end, the Signature pickup is much smoother, killing the main complaint that Invader users had. Both pickups have extremely high output, lots of pick attack, and a very even, consistent sound from note to note. Rhythm tones are very crunchy and aggressive but have a loose low end, especially when combined with the Mahogany body. Think of a Les Paul Studio but with higher output and a slightly more pronounced upper midrange. Leads are full-bodied and consistent through faster runs. It’s not quite a metal guitar, but it’s a very well-executed hard rock tone machine. In either case, there is not a lot of room for pristine clean tones here. They are still a step up from a typical active pickup but that’s the best you’re going to get from these. On the plus side, there is a coil split controlled by a push-pull pot to help compensate for this weakness. You’ll never be able to pass it off as a Strat or Tele, but it helps. The Custom-S model has the added bonus of a Sustainiac pickup, which allows the user to have infinite sustain of any note or chord, thanks to the 9V-battery-powered wonder of science. You can activate it use an external switch that has two modes: one allows for infinite sustain of the note you’re currently playing, the other mode produces harmonic overtones instead. As a standard pickup, there’s really nothing to write home about. It’s a decently balanced pickup with acceptable but rather bland tones in both the rhythm and the lead department. Build Quality: On a lighter note, the quality of the construction is surprisingly nice. The binding is beautifully done, the pinstripe finish is seamless, and the build is free from any noticeable quality control issues. The neck profile is an Ultra-Thin C shape, feeling very similar to an Ibanez Wizard neck but without the flat spot in the neck, something that players of more traditional guitar designs will recognize instantly. The playability is incredible, with a fantastic cutaway for upper fret access and a flat 16’’ fretboard radius perfect for quick licks. While the guitar seems to have a lot of flash, the design is quite simple, which allows Schecter to keep the quality of these instruments much higher than you would expect. I may have just gotten lucky with this particular guitar, but I can’t find any issues with the build itself, cosmetic or functionally. Final Thoughts: While there isn’t a lot to rave about with this guitar, I feel it’s necessary to remind readers that the price of the guitar is one of the lowest for a signature guitar that I’ve ever seen. It’s a rock monster that’s built for screaming high-gain rhythms and a very in-your-face sound, which it achieves easily. It’s not a guitar that’s meant for anything outside those boundaries, it is full throttle and entirely unapologetic about it. Given those narrow parameters it’s easy to call its lack of versatility a weakness, but it was built for a specific job and I’d be hard-pressed to think of another instrument that does that job this well on such a tight budget. This guitar has earned a solid 8/10.