When the SVSS Series first hit the shelves, the biggest complaint from customers was the bridge. The Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail is Schecter’s answer to the fans!
The New Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail: You Spoke, They Listened!
Schecter definitely has a reputation as a “Metal” guitar company. This has been the bread and butter of the company for the last 25 years, often releasing guitars most suited for heavy music. Schecter makes 7 and 8 string guitars pretty regularly, and the Hellraiser Series is the “quintessential Metal guitar”. Schecter makes guitars for other genres too, but let’s not kid ourselves here, Schecter is very METAL. When the original SVSS hit the stores a couple years ago, it was a massive hit.
The “Sun Valley Super Shredder” series is an awesome modern take on the classic “Super Strat” concepts that were most prevalent in the 80’s. They had thin, flat necks that were ready for shredding, and Floyd Rose bridges for dive bomb effects. But modern appointments outweighed the classic looks.
The SVSS series also had the new Retro-Active EMG pickup sets installed, and boasted some insane color options that screamed 80’s aesthetic. I got to check them out when the Sun Valley Super Shredder was first released, and I absolutely loved everything about these guitars. The best part, was the price! These shred machines come way under $1000, and for all of the features…this is a STEAL.
The thing about the Schecter SVSS series, is some people just cannot deal with a Floyd Rose bridge. For me, I prefer one in most cases, but I am in the minority here. I can see why people don’t like them. A Floyd Rose can be a real pain to set up, and keep set up over time. There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s never as easy as a “5 minute string change”.
After the original line of Schecter SVSS came out, an updated “Exotic” edition was released. These models retained most of the same features of the original SVSS, but got a huge upgrade in wood choices. These exotic woods were accentuated by not having any color finish applied, and instead went completely natural. I think the SVSS Exotic looks classy! But the complaints remained…it was only available with a Floyd Rose.
I am a part of the official Schecter group on Facebook, and the opinions on Floyd Rose guitars seems about half and half. Some people love them, while others refuse to use them. More than once, I saw members asking for an SVSS hardtail version. But it was not just the people in our group saying this. It was pretty wide-spread.
People all over the place asked Schecter to please make the SVSS series in a fixed bridge, particularly the customers wanted a Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail. This way, you still had a beautiful shred guitar, with all of the features and specs, minus the Floyd Rose. Schecter listened, and now we finally take a look at the new Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail!
The Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail: Features And Specs
The new Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail has all the same great features that the original version had, minus the Floyd Rose bridge. There are two different models to choose from, using Zircote wood for one model. The other model uses a gorgeous Black Limba wood. Both are a natural, matte finish.
Neither of these woods are a stranger to guitar manufacturing. Both woods have been used before by many custom shops. However, they are usually found as fretboard material. The fact that Schecter decided to use these woods for the body of the guitar, makes this a seriously unique option. The Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail models both share the same set of features:
- Bolt-on wenge neck with Thin C profile
- Ebony fingerboard with 24 extra-jumbo frets
- Schecter USA Custom Shop Sunset Strip humbucking bridge pickup
- Pasadena humbucking neck pickup
- Fretboard Material: Ebony
- Radius: Compound 12-16
- Fret size: Extra-jumbo
- Number of frets: 24
- Nut width: 1.62″
- Fixed Bridge
- Locking Tuners
I have talked before about the Sunset Strip/Pasadena pickup combo, but just to reiterate, and refresh your memory… These are not just “Schecter in-house” pickups. These are made in the USA in the Schecter Custom Shop and they retail for about $300! I rarely like a passive pickup over EMG actives, but Schecter had me sold with how versatile this pickup set is. It’s a hot set, but it also cleans up nicely. I have this set in another Schecter guitar model, the E-1 that I reviewed last year.
The pickups do look different depending on the model. You have metal covered style humbuckers on the Zircote model. The Black Limba model has the cream/black vintage open-coil inspired look to them. The hardware reflects this also in the switches and knobs. Otherwise, the two models are almost identical.
The entire construction of the Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail feels really solid. Unlike most of the Schecter models made in South Korea, this is not a neck-through. This is a bolt-on, and a lot of players prefer the “snappiness” that a bolt-on can provide, tone wise. This is also congruent with the “80’s Vibe” of the guitars.
The compound radius is something that just really doesn’t get talked about enough these days. It has become commonplace, but what are the advantages of a compound radius? What does it even mean? Is it noticeable?
A compound radius is when the lower end of the guitar, starting at the first fret, is rounder than the higher parts of the neck. This means that the neck gets flatter the higher up you go, making solos a lot easier to play for most people. Likewise, this means chords are easier to play on the lower frets, since the neck is rounder. It is kind of liking having two guitar necks in one! I have really became accustomed to this type of neck, and I definitely miss it on a guitar with a solid radius.
Schecter uses only the most premium hardware on the more expensive models, and the Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail is no exception. You have locking tuners, and a Hipshot hardtail bridge that should be stable as a rock. I have never had a tuning issue with any Schecter guitar, and the new SVSS Exotic is up there with the best of them.
Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail: Wrapping Up
From what I can see from the Schecter official release, these are going to be about $1100 street price. For some people, that’s going to be a lot of money. But this is about the price point where you get into the “Law of diminishing returns”. This means that a guitar around this price should be top-notch right out of the box, feature-wise.
Anything after about $1500 when it comes to guitars is going to be based on aesthetics and rare wood choices. This is also the price point where guitars that are Made in the USA start. So is the Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail expensive?
Not really, for what it is! You are getting premium woods, hardware, pickups, and construction. I would put this Schecter against any USA made guitar in the same price range, and the Schecter would come out on top, for sure. If you re looking for a classy Metal machine with a fixed bridge, the Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail is the perfect choice. It oozes “high class” while retaining the ability to be absolutely brutal!
The Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic Hardtail will be available late Fall.