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Metal Gear: Schecter Blackjack ATX C1 FR

By: Wouter

A special guitar with a good story to tell in this Metal Gear Special. This Schecter Blackjack we got for this article was actually the one that was played by Atilla from Satyricon on Fortarock 2018. This guitar certainly has the looks, but does it have the sound?

Good story?
Ramon, our chief news editor at Lords of Metal received a call from his network that Atilla Vörös from Satyricon did not have a guitar for his festival show at Fortarock. The question was if he knew a solution at the last moment. After an urgent phonecall to Schecter Headquarters and due tot the flexibility of the Dutch distributor, a Schecter Blackjack ATX was fixed in just three hours. On the way guitartech Eelco Slont of Bo~El Guitar Company and Aryeon did his magic to make the guitar gig ready. The guitar stood up to all the violence of the Satyricon gig and I was able to pick up the guitar afterwards at Bo~El HQ in Arnhem for a test.

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Schecter Blackjack ATX C1 FR
The American brand Schecter provides a wide variety of guitars and the source of Schecter is building guitar parts. I know the brand from their endorsees Synyster Gates from the band Avenged Sevenfold and Ernie C from Bodycount. I have owned a Schecter due a trading deal for an amplifier and what I remember is the good building quality and their nice finish. The Blackjack ATX is a Souh Korean built special edition of the C1 model and has a nice look with the aged black satin finish and aged cream coloured binding. Besides the inlay on the 12th fret the ebony fretboard is black. This guitar appearance says metal and is made to play metal music. The top is curved and provides a lot of comfort. The satin finished neck plays nice and is relatively thin with a good access to higher notes, for soloing high on the fretboard. The finish of every fret and the binding is really well done and shows quality. The setup just out of the box could use some work I was told, but I was lucky that Eelco Slont of Bo~El Guitar Company already did some work on the setup. Everyone will have their preferences, but when a pro has worked on it you will know. For the Satyricon gig the guitar was modified to D tuning, I tested it in E standard.

Specs
The guitar is made out of mahogany with an ebony fretboard. This special version is loaded with Seymour Duncan Blackouts (AHB-1) pickups, switchable with a three-way switch. Every element has a volume knob and they share a tone knob. The grover tuners and Floyd Rose bridge constrain the strings and all the hardware is in black chrome.

Testsetup
I tested this guitar with a Peavey 6505MH and a Kool&Elfring XL112 loaded with an V30. I added my Morley Tremonti Wah for a solo.

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Sound
Ready for a small earthquake and a matching conflict with the neighbors I cranked my amp up seriously. Too bad this conflict never happened due to the relatively plain sound of the active Blackout pickups. The pickups seem to have some compression and I personally miss a more organic sound. The separate notes do not have a lot of definition while playing chords. Specifically higher on the fretboard the overtones are not there or seem to be cut off. Afterwards I searched for a more clean sound, the pickups are not made for that, at least not in my test setup. The C1 I once owned had a (classic) EMG 81/60 setup and this also gave more compression and a plain sound. The Blackouts are more modern, so I hoped the sound could have been more developed. Maybe this guitar is not made to be versatile and organic sounding and will a (rhythm) guitar player who wants to lay down a fat sound will be happy with this. I personally think that this guitar will sound a lot better with Bareknuckle Aftermaths or passive pickups to bring the mahogany body more to life.

Conclusion
The Schecter Blackjack ATX C1 FR is a well built and nicely finished axe with good specs on paper. Soundwise I think that the Blackouts will suit a lot of guitarists, but when you search more definition a change of pickups will bring you a lot more.

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