The Schecter Red Reign Series is an offshoot of the favored “Apocalypse” series of guitars that made their mark a few years ago. 2021 sees the series not only get an update, but a fantastic model added to the roster!
Schecter Red Reign E Series: They Are Finally Here!
Let me get this out of the way, before we start talking about the new Schecter Red Reign E Series: This whole article is going to be super biased! My main axe is a Schecter E1 and I absolutely adore it. So with that out of the way, let me sit here and gush about these amazing new models.
Schecter is slowly, but surely, releasing the 2021 lineup. There were definitely delays and the fans of Schecter guitars were at a loss when 2021 NAMM came and went with absolutely zero announcements from the company. Eventually, the new SVSS models started to show up. This was a good sign, for sure.
Next we got a look at the Van Nuys models that are based on the famous California Custom Shop models from back in the day. These are definitely more…shall we say reserved? Schecter is known primarily for being a sister company of ESP and for making guitars ready for metal. The new Van Nuys guitars are exactly the opposite of that, but still a welcome addition to a growing roster.
But now with the new Schecter Red Reign E Series, we finally get more of the famous Schecter excess and extreme design that the company is known for. The Red Reign Series started a couple of years ago as an offshoot of the new Apocalypse and Evil Twin models. The only real difference is the finish. And what a beautiful finish it is!
But when the Red Reign guitars started popping up, I couldn’t help but notice that something was missing from the fold. The E Series, my favorite Schecter model, was disappointingly not in the lineup. Schecter is known as a company that listens to the customers, though.
All of that is changing now! We finally get a glimpse of the newest addition to the Apocalypse series in two models: A six string variant and a seven string!
Schecter Red Reign E Series: Features And Specs
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I absolutely adore “E Style” guitars. I don’t know if its because of James Hetfield, or the myriad of other guitarists that have played Explorer shapes over the years. The E-1 Series has been somewhat of a mystery with Schecter. They do not often make these models, but when they do…they are stellar.
The original Apocalypse models saw one E-1 model, as well as the all-black “Evil Twin” Apocalypse. But when the Schecter Red Reign series started popping up, the E-1 and E-7 models were nowhere to be found. The Dumpster fire that was 2020 produced no new E-1 models at all, much to my dismay.
This year, we get two models in the Red reign series. a 6 string version and a 7 string version. The only difference is the baritone scale length on the 7 string. Both models share all of the same features:
- Neck: Maple/Padauk Multi-ply w/Carbon Fiber Reinforcement Rods
- Swamp Ash Body
- Apocalypse Pickups
- Black Binding
- Luminlay Glow in the Dark Fret Markers
- Roman Numeral Inlays
- Ebony Fretboard
- Locking Tuners
- Graph Tech Nut
- Compound Radius
- Stainless Steel Frets
- Push/Pull Coil Tapping
- Hipshot O Ring Knobs
- Tonepros Bridge
If you’re thinking that those are a ton of features for ANY guitar, then you would be right. There is not a single aspect of the new Schecter Red Reign series that has not been upgraded somehow. You get name brand hardware down to the knobs, and all premium woods.
Like most of the upper-tier Schecter Guitars, you also get stainless steel frets. If you read any of my other articles, you will notice I always make a huge deal out this, and for very good reason. Stainless frets never have to be polished or maintained. They will probably outlive you, so there’s no need to get a re-fret on your favorite guitar. These are no fuss, and make life easier.
The same could be said about the hardware on the Schecter Red Reign series. Every piece of hardware is name brand. The Tonepros locking bridge makes string changes way easier than your normal stop bar tailpiece. Add to that, the locking tuners and Graph Tech nut and you have seriously stable instrument that will last for years. I also love the Hipshot knobs that have a grippy o-ring on them, for easy volume swells or tone tweaking.
The finish on both models is going to be a “love it or hate it” kind of thing. I’m not entirely sure how the Schecter Red reign finish is made, but the process looks like it involves acid etching of some sort. However, the back of the guitar is left almost bare, with just a light charcoal finish/stain seen below.
Personally, I think this is a very cool feature, and I love the idea of having a very beautiful finish on the front, and a completely different one on the back. This is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, though. I can understand the discourse among fans of the series.
The Swamp Ash body is probably a lot lighter than my other E-1 guitar, which is made of Mahogany. The Swamp Ash not only lightens the load a little bit, but also makes for some really cool wood grain patterns on the back of the guitar.
Last but definitely not least is the “Apocalypse IV” pickups. These are awesome looking and have semi-transparent bobbins that allow you to see the insides of the pickup. This is a simple aesthetic feature, but it goes a long way to me. The wire wraps on the inside are red, to match the Schecter Red Reign Theme, and I think they look awesome.
The Apocalypse pickups sound really amazing as well. Both the neck and the bridge pickup are pretty high output and work great for Metal, as well as just about any other genre you throw at them. Both pickups are also coils-splitable with the volume and tone knobs so you can get a passable single coil sound. I do have to mention, though.. these are not the best in single coil mode to my ears. I can tell the difference, but you are not getting that full bodied Fender-esque sound with the these.
Schecter Red Reign E Series: Wrapping Up…
It seems like almost every company these days is trying to load as many premium features as possible in the sub-$2000 category. The Schecter Red Reign Series is not doubt at the top of the food chain when it comes to this. I am really glad that these guitar companies are finally “getting” it when it comes to upgrades.
I really don’t like to tinker too much with my guitars anymore. I used to, for sure. But now I would rather have something fully upgraded right out of the box, and ready to be used in the studio. Schecter, as well as some of the other big names are finally starting to understand this, and the world is certainly a better place for it!
Schecter is on a roll this year so far. I cannot wait to see what else gets unveiled over the summer!