Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Schecter Diamond Series Stiletto Studio 4 Electric Bass Review


Looking over my blog, it does not appear that I have ever reviewed any instruments built by Schecter, and their guitars and basses have never really been on my radar. I always saw them as a shredding metal guitar manufacturer, which is not exactly my bag. That as changed, as I recently had the chance to play a Diamond Series Stiletto Studio 4 bass, and it is a pretty neat piece of work.

Schecter has been around for 40 years; the company stated as a guitar parts supplier from its headquarters near Los Angeles (the valley!). Eventually they started making complete instruments, earning them a lawsuit from Fender and a cadre of high-profile endorsees. After a few different owner and moves, they still maintain a custom shop in Southern California, import instruments from overseas, and have branched out into amplifiers and cabinets. A little bit of everything, I guess.

The Stiletto Studio 4 bass we are looking at today is one of the imported instruments, and it was built in Korea (the Southern one). It has a really cool luck, with a sleek body profile and a transparent Honey Satin poly finish to show off the awesome woods and a neck-through construction. The woods include a bubinga top over a mahogany body, and a maple/walnut laminated neck with a rosewood fretboard.

The 34-inch scale neck has a very fast feel with great access to the upper frets, if you are the kind of person who plays up there. The fretboard is pretty flat (16-inch radius), and the profile is a thin C shape with a nut that measures a tick under 1.5 inches. There are 24 frets to choose from and they are huge! Extra jumbo, I guess… The fretboard inlays are simple dots, but they are offset, which is kind of a cool look. By the way, if you move up to a 5-string, it has a 35-inch scale neck, but this is not available on the 4-string models.

The hardware selection is pretty good, with Schecter-branded tuners that hold well, and a high mass bridge. Everything is coated in a satin gold finish that looks awfully cheap. Go for shiny gold or nickel, not this goofy plating.

Electronics-wise, this Schecter bass is well equipped. There is a pair of EMG-35hz pickups that are wired through an 18-volt pre-amp with a 3-band equalizer and master volume and blend knobs. The pre-amp batteries have their own cavity that is accessed through the back of the guitar.

The instrument that I received was very well built. The finish was clean, and there were no flaws wit the fretwork. Set-up was good out of the box, and it appears that it shipped with Ernie ball 0.045 to 0.105 strings. The only problem I could find was that two of the tuners are just a little bit crooked. According to my scale it weighs 8 pounds, 6 ounces, which is light for a neck-through bass.

I could not find any flaws with the way the bass played or sounded. It has the EMG tone (which I like), and it was possible to dial in sounds that would work for blues, jazz, rock, and even… metal. It is an easy playing neck, though it is too skinny for my tastes, as I have been a p-bass guy for the last decade. It is a winner with good looks craftsmanship and sound, and it would definitely get the job done.

If you want your own Schecter Diamond Series Stiletto Studio 4 bass, you can get in the honey or see-through black satin (which comes with black hardware). The list price is $1149, which translates into a street price of $799, and no case is included. This is an ok value, but the real deal is on the used market (Reverb and eBay) where near mint ones sell for under $500, often with some sort of case or bag.


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