Our next stop on the USA Road Trip takes us to the home of Schecter - join Dagan and the crew as they get the lowdown on the Guitar Research HQ and Custom Shop
Just northeast of Los Angeles, out in the San Fernando Valley region, you’ll find Sun Valley.. and if you listen hard enough when you get there, you’ll hear the sultry sound of shredding in the air.
This is where you’ll find Schecter’s USA headquarters and Custom Shop, located not far from where Schecter was originally founded back in the 70’s. Two huge white buildings adorned with ‘Schecter Guitar Research’ in that iconic font - it was pretty exciting, and that’s before we even got inside!
Walking through the entrance there was gold record, after gold record, after platinum record on the walls, with a couple of signed artist signature guitars thrown in for good measure - Syn Gates, Zacky Vengeance & Johnny Christ from Avenged Sevenfold, Robert Smith from The Cure, Papa Roach’s Jerry Horton, and even a stage smashed Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe signature bass to name a few.
We saw some secret guitars that we can’t talk about right now (but they were amazing!), and then we were led onto the Schecter Showroom where we met Adam Murphy, Schecter’s Artist Relations dude, who showed us round the new 2022 models. We looked at the specs, features, and tasty new colours only Schecter can pull off! Check out the new 2022 Schecter models video over on the PMTVUK YouTube channel to see just how awesome these new guitars and basses are! They also had replicas of Prince's Symbol & Cloud guitar which were sold through Paisley Park after Prince's passing. They were pretty awesome to see and play, but I knew they were gonna get way crazier later on!
For the next video we headed down to Schecter’s USA Custom Shop. This is where all the stars get their guitars handmade, and all the prototypes come together - from the affordable models all the way through to the top-shelf models. It’s really interesting how small and intimate the team are - everyone knows what everyone else is doing, and they know when it’s their time to shine and show what they can add to the final guitar.
We had the pleasure of meeting the painter ‘Chewy’ in the custom shop. Chewy is an absolute legend in the guitar biz - this guy has designed and painted some of the most iconic guitars of all time! He’s responsible for some of Dimebag Darrell’s (his close-friend) most memorable guitars over the years, as well as Scott Ian from Anthrax and Paul Stanley from KISS to name a few! It was unbelievable to meet that legend.
Speaking of legends, we then went to see Schecter Master Builder Tetsu Yuyama! Tetsu doesn’t only design and build absolute works of art that you can play - these are the kind of guitars you can only imagine come to life with the hands of Tetsu! Not only that, but he was also Prince's guitar luthier. Later in Prince's career Schecter was making the iconic Symbol and Cloud guitars in all variants; even the bodies of his Fender Strats were made by Tetsu at Schecter, and he’d also reshape the necks too.
We shot a separate video from the Custom Shop tour about the new guitar pickups that Schecter makes in-house. This is quite a new venture for Schecter but they’ve hit the ground running and are already climbing the ladder in the name of ‘must-have’ guitar pickups! They’re all handmade too, as you can see in the video, by a very small team that certainly knows what they’re doing when it comes to great tone. In any genre too - they’re more than just a metal brand!
After the pickups we went to check out final finishing, where the parts are checked over after painting and sanding, everything’s put together into a final piece and set up by some of the best guitar techs in the biz. The attention to detail is just unbelievable in this place!
Then stuff got real! We were asked if we wanted to see and play one of Prince's actual Symbol guitars made by Tetsu, that was actually played by Prince himself - it had all the battle scars to prove it! That was extremely special, we were all gobsmacked!
We can’t thank Schecter enough for their hospitality and for showing us their epic facility and their stunning new 2022 guitars! We hope you enjoy the videos too and we show just how amazing it was over there!