The Schecter Damien Platinum 6 FR-S pulls out all the stops to provide one of the most versatile modern-sounding guitars.
By Chris Loeffler
In an industry dominated by a handful of classic guitar body styles and traditional appointments, guitar players looking for something modern or different often find themselves having to customize and modify their guitars or compromise on quality or functionality in a new guitar to get the features they want. Schecter’s Damien Platinum 6 FR-S aims to do away with all that with a single model that gives players a world of classic and modern features and tones in a high-quality package.
The Schecter Damien Platinum 6 FR-S’s foundation begins with the philosophy and style of the standard edition Damien Platinum 6, featuring satin chrome Grover Rotomatic tuners with an 18:1 gear ratio, a rosewood fretboard over a set-neck three piece maple 24 jumbo fret neck inlayed with platinum bats, and a satin black mahogany body with EMG active pickups and platinum multi-ply bindings throughout. Building on this modern classic, Schecter has added features and functions that dramatically expand on the sonic territory the guitar can cover, including the addition of a Floyd Rose Special bridge, a locked down nut for increased tuning protection, and a Sustainiac pickup in the neck position for infinite silky sustain and harmonic feedback.
What You Need to Know
- A Schecter tradition, the guitar ships perfectly set up and in tune, which is both a testament to Schecter’s quality control and allows the player the immediate gratification of opening the box , plugging the guitar in to play. The craftsmanship of the decidedly modern but elegant design is evident in the quality and solid feel of all the hardware and appointments, with everything switching and turning solidly.
- The bridge EMG Active 81 pickup provides crisp, clear output that is full range and high-fidelity, allowing details lost in more severely colored passive pickups to shine and additional harmonic content for overdriven amps or gain effects to latch on to. Despite the clarity and fidelity of the pickup, the tone is nicely rounded and natural, making the Damien sound as good clean as it does when feeding an overdriven amp.
- The neck Sustainiac pickup provides ample beefy humbucker tones with the sustain switch disengaged, and infinite sustain and harmonic enhancement when engaged. In standard Sustain mode, the pickup magnet vibrates the strings, allowing single or polyphonic bowed instrument-like swells and allowing an excellent recreation of the beginning stages of feedback sustain when standing in front of a loud amp. In Harmonic mode, the ghost harmonics swell up as notes sustain, creating the aggressive sensation of a cranked amp throttling a hot signal and providing intense harmonic octave feedback. In Mix mode, the swelled notes and the upper octave harmonics swell forward simultaneously, enabling sustain and harmonic possibilities at any volume and through any setup otherwise unattainable outside of a high gain, high volume setting.
- With so much sustain and complex harmonic overtones being put out by the pickups, it only makes sense Schecter would include a Floyd Rose Special Series with locking nut to take those sonic effects even further and provide the classic pitch shifting controlled vibrato embraced by metal and modern rock. The tremolo arm sits comfortably accessible without being in the way when not in use and allows for sweeping bends that travel smoothly up and down.
- The Sustainiac, by virtue of its functionality and design, sounds best when played into an amp with some sort of overdrive or distortion already happening. The extra harmonic content creates intermodulated distortion, especially when in mixed mode, that is noticeable in high volume clean tones.
- Although the locked nut is essential to maintaining tuning while using the Floyd Rose Special, it makes on the fly tuning in live settings a bit more burdensome. Fortunately, the locked nut allows the guitar to go much longer without needing tuning adjustments. Having the nut lock tool out of reach is pretty much out of the question for extended sets or frequent tuning changes.
- The zinc sustain block works well and shouldn’t provide any immediate issues, but the softer metal has the potential to wear over time with heavier gauge strings and extensive play.
The Schecter Damien Platinum 6 FR-S possesses an insane amount of sonic options for the modern player looking to explore the heavier side of music and sonic wizardry without abandoning the classic aesthetics typical of guitars, or at the cost of quality for those more standard, mellow tones. The quality of the construction and hardware and sonic versatility make this a pro guitar for those looking to push boundaries and who want to look good while doing it.
Musician's Friend Schecter Damien 6 FR-S catalog page (MSRP $1,069.00, $749.00 "street")
Schecter’s Damien Platinum 6 FR-S web page
Schecter Damien Platinum 6 NAMM video: