Schecter Hellcat VI Electric Guitar (Gloss Black) Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Schecter Hellcat VI Electric Guitar
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Got this a few months ago but wanted to wait until after the "honeymoon" period to write a review.....

First off, totally ignore what Amazon states here in the description. IT IS NOT an "Extended Scale Baritone Guitar." It is a short-scale, 6-string bass!

It is tuned like a standard guitar E to E except one octave below that of a regular guitar. For the record, baritones are usually tuned A-A and have scales of 28" or so as opposed to the 30" scale of the Hellcat VI. A bit of history...Short-scale, bass six stringers (primarily the classic Fender VI made in the '60s) were used and still used by a number of artists. Some examples...Robert Smith of the Cure on many recordings as well as The Beatles on some of their later albums. Peter Hook in Joy Division/New Order. Joe Perry played one on "Back in the Saddle." Jack Bruce recorded the first Cream album with one. The Schecter - unlike some other short-scale bass 6 stringers - is set-up for gauges .095 to .025 which I think bring out the best in this type of instrument as well as provide maximum versatility.

If you are looking for a Fender VI-type instrument and either can't afford the thousands of dollars a vintage one costs or can't locate one - this is your instrument! Personally, I love the sound of it and enjoy both its bass guitar and regular guitar characteristics. BUT.. it really is neither. Nor is it a baritone guitar. It's its own animal. It can function very well as a bass. But, it also shines playing melodic leads in the mid and upper-register. Chording is also possible in the mid and upper ranges as well.

Excellent build quality. Fine fit and finish. Lots of possible adjustments and sound combination are possible with its three tap pick-ups. Wonderful tone. It's got it all. And at a very reasonable price. No, its not a vintage 60's Fender VI. But, it is not that far off. In fact, reading through the forums it was apparent that a number of players preferred the Hellcat VI vs. the much more expensive Fender Bass VI reissues.

Best played (IMHO) though a bass amp to do it justice and accentuate the lower frequencies. Effects sound really great with it. Especially modulation such as delay, chorus, reverb, phaser, vibrato and/or tremolo. The VT Bass pedal by Tech 21 - an Ampeg emulator -also helps brings out and fine tune the excellent sound characteristics.

Another positive is LaBella now makes strings - in both roundwound and flatwound - specifically manufactured for it.

While it is great out of the box some players are doing some great mods/replacements of the pick-ups to make it even better. Check out the Short Scale Six String forum on [...] as well as the Schecter Hellcat VI Players group on Facebook.

This instrument isn't for everybody. But, if its for you it is a fine choice. The only limitation is your own creativity and imagination. YMMV.

I wanted the black finish and at the time I could only find it at Amazon. Arrived less than a week later. Impressive packing job. With their no questions asked 30-day refund guarantee I felt there was no risk.

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Schecter Hellcat VI Electric Guitar Gloss Black (BLK)

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