|Body And Neck:|
In the world of quality 8-string guitars, Schecter and Ibanez are the main brands that truly stand out as offering a great selection of 8-string models across all price ranges. It’s Schecter we look to today, as their Damien Platinum 8 – a solid entry in their Damien Platinum series – offers style, tone and playability at a price that’s not too disheartening…
This 8-string model shows off the same great general design as the rest of the series, with a sleek double-cutaway, arched top body made from mahogany, featuring an ominous satin black finish and awesome silver/platinum multi-ply binding. You also find a set of distinctive and intricate bat inlays fluttering up the rosewood fretboard, which is a big part of the Damien Platinum’s appeal.
However, some things are naturally unique to the 8, such as the larger scale length of 28” and the nut width of 2.215”. The neck, as you’d expect from Schecter, is very comfortable to play. It’s a three-piece maple neck, set into the body and reinforced with carbon fiber rods so it’s sturdy, while the thin C shape, Ultra Access heel construction, and 24 extra-jumbo frets ensure playability is very high for such a big guitar.
Schecter and EMG go together like… well, Schecter and EMG! These brands usually strike up a great partnership on metal guitars, and the Damien Platinum 8 is no different – voiced by two EMG 808 humbuckers. These active pickups sit at the bridge and neck positions, and are controlled by simple master volume and master tone controls (with silver knurled metal knobs), and a three-way pickup selector switch.
You’ll also find a set of Grover Rotomatic tuners with a smooth 18:1 gear ratio and a quality Graph Tech XL Black Tusq nut. Elsewhere, while some others in the Damien Platinum series have the option of a Floyd Rose tremolo bridge, there’s no such thing on the 8. It features a custom hardtail bridge, with string-through body tailpiece, for added tuning stability and sustain. The only slight letdown is the lack of a case. Can’t win ‘em all…
For something so clearly designed for dark metal and heavy rock playing, the first thing that surprised us was how lovely the clean tones are – well-balanced and clear. The superb tone continues when the gain and volume increase (and the tunings get low), and this guitar didn’t seem to suffer from the muddiness of others we’ve seen. Powerful and meaty, with good sustain. For a gigging 8-string guitarist, there’s not much to criticize with the Damien Platinum 8.
For a premium-feeling 8-string guitar that doesn’t break the bank, Schecter’s Damien Platinum 8 impresses. Its solid looks are matched by a tough feel, while playability is excellent. The sound on this model is the highlight, and would suit any gigging metal guitarist who craves that deep but clear tone.