The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT model has been the subject of ridicule lately. In fact, it has divided the Schecter fan base. Today, we get REAL about this guitar.
Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT: There Are Some Haters…
Being a Schecter player, I lurk on all of the forums. The Nick Johnston Models were a huge surprise to everyone in the community. Not only were these some fantastic guitars, I think a lot of us became fans of Nick’s music through this guitar. I know I did!
Schecter Guitars has a huge roster of Artists, both big and small. All kinds of people have played Schecter guitars on stage and when it comes to the PT models, Eddie Vedder is a big fan apparently. But the PT models were originally made for Pete Townsend, sort of.
Actually, the PT comes from a guitar that Pete built out of Schecter parts himself. This was even before Schecter made guitars, and the company only made parts. So when it came to a “T-Style” guitar, Schecter named the lineup after the guitar that Pete made for himself, and the PT was born.
The PT has not been the best-selling model when it comes to Schecter guitars. The new Nick Johnston PT Models are an effort to fix that. Even the massively versatile PT PRO models rarely sell very well. This seems strange, since the PT is the antithesis of your usual Tele.
However lots of players do enjoy the PT models, from all walks of music. I see lots of PT PRO Models being played on stages around the world, since those are pretty “flashy”. The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT is in the PT PRO family, since it shares a lot of the features. But it has caused a literal uproar in the community.
The last time I checked, Machine Gun Kelly was a rapper, and had some “beef’ with Eminem. But apparently I was wrong, so I checked out his “punk rock” album that features this guitar. I don’t mean to start any beef myself, but this is a generic pop-punk record. It has a ton of Spotify plays, so someone is listening to it. It isn’t great to my ears, but it is hardly an affront to music in general.
This is a good thing for Schecter, since the whole purpose is to sell guitars. The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT is something that is obviously marketable. He has millions of plays on Spotify alone. I am not a fan of his music, but I have bought signature guitars before without even knowing the artist’s music. Because it is about what the guitar has to offer, not the name associated with it.
The name is just to help sell the guitar, and the bad press that everyone is giving this guitar is still press. You can get attention two ways usually, through positive press, or through negative. Either way, people are talking. Personally, I think the Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT looks pretty fun, and cool. I can’t wait to try it out actually, and I have liked it from the get-go.
So today we will be testing the Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT based on the merits of the guitar alone. I don’t care about the name affiliated with it. I care about this guitar being as good or better than the PT PRO line, and if it plays as well as those guitars considering it is the same price.
Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT: Features And Specs
The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT has a lot of upgraded features that Schecter is known for lately. You get just about every upgrade that you can possibly imagine. There is also beauty in simplicity, with a single volume knob/single humbucker for the control layout. Hey, it was good enough for EVH.
- Alder Body
- Maple Neck
- Thin C Shape
- Ebony Fretboard
- 14” Radius
- TUSQ Nut
- 25.5 Scale
- 22 Jumbo Frets
- Locking Tuners
- Single Volume Control
- Kill Switch
- Traditional Bridge
- Single USA Pasadena Plus Pickup
So what we get is a lean, mean, single pickup Tele that is ready to shred and rock. The neck shape is almost identical to the Schecter PT PRO models, as I think that is the guitar MGK was playing originally. It has all the same appointments as that lineup, except the PT PRO guitars come with a neck humbucker as well.
Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT: Testing
I think it is only fair to compare the Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT to the PT PRO guitars, since they are so much alike, and the same price. These are very comparable guitars, and they are share almost the exact same features. This comes from the top of the Diamond Series Range so these are great guitars, usually.
The Schecter PT PRO has the option of splitting the coils for more traditional sounds. But other than the headstock shape, everything is almost identical between the two guitars. The only real change is the pickups and the headstock. You get the same awesome neck, and similar features.
We got both models of the Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT to try out, and they are mirror images of one another. I personally like the black-based one, but the pink was the first to be released. I have a Pasadena Plus Humbucker in one of my other guitars, and it is perfect for high gain tones.
Out of the box the setup was great, as usual with Schecter Guitars. The neck was pretty straight, and the intonation was dead on. Both models I tried had a perfectly cut nut as well. The fretwork is also the usual Schecter quality, and the pink model had a couple of sharp fret ends. It is Fall, and the humidity has dropped, so that is to be expected.
After a quick tune-up, I lowered the action just a little bit since these have such a flat radius. These guitars are made to have a super-low action. The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT has the same slick neck as the PT PRO, but has a thin coat of matte paint on the back. It may be a slightly different feel, but the shape is the same.
The Neck is one of my favorite Schecter necks next to the Nick Johnston models. They have a similar feel, being nice and flat (14” Radius). But the back has the “Thin C” profile that actually feels like a C shape and not a D shape. The NJ models are vey similar, and while they make look like a “traditional” shape, these necks play much faster than a Tele.
The jumbo frets also feel great, and this draws another comparison to the PT PRO. The necks feel identical to me, and soloing on the “dusty end” of the neck is fantastic. The feel is not something you would ever get from a Fender, and that’s exactly the point.
The Body is lightweight Alder, which would be the “normal” choice for guitars that are shaped like this. I like that the Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT has a belly cut. Both guitars, pink and black, have a thin black binding, but you only see it on the pink model. You can see it up close on the black model, but it doesn’t stick out as well.
The matte paint is something you either love or hate, and I actually enjoy most matte paint jobs. I didn’t see any imperfections, but keep in mind that it will shine up over time. Friction will make the matte finish shine up, even on the neck finish. So just something to take into account with the black model.
The aesthetic choice to put stripes on the body, in between the strings, is a strange choice for me. I like literally everything else about this guitar when it comes to the “looks”. I don’t know, the 5 stripes in between the strings is just an odd choice. The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT also has two “X” marks on the 12th fret, being the only fret markers.
I don’t mind the dual X inlays at all. I also don’t mind the fretboard not having any traditional dots for inlays, and the blank neck looks spartan and cool to me. The whole look of the Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT is sparse, and I like a guitar that does one thing really well.
The Sound is where this guitar really shines, and this is why I like the spartan design so much. The single Pasadena Plus Humbucker is not meant to be tame. This is a super hot humbucker, and the only way to tame it is with the volume control. I LOVE single pickup guitars, because they force you to think a lot differently as you play.
I don’t know if MGK uses this guitar to its full potential, but using the volume knob on a high gain setting will move you over to “crunch” territory. The Pasadena Plus humbuckers are super hot, and this actually helps you when it comes to using the volume control. You don’t lose a lot of volume or clarity, just the gain.
Speaking of clarity, the string to string resonance is great with this humbucker. Every note rings out with complex chords, even under high gain. That being said, these pickups were made for high gain. Unlike the versatile PT PRO models, this is a one trick pony for the most part. You can do some fun tricks with the volume knob, but that’s about it.
The kill switch is gimmicky, and should probably be a button for doing momentary tricks. But as it is, the switch works well when you need to mute on stage. I don’t use these very much, but if that’s your thing, this will work just fine.
Overall, the The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT is a very fun guitar, and if you have never had a guitar with a single pickup/single volume setup, it should be something you try at least once. I tend to focus a whole lot more on my playing and tone with this setup. Sometimes, limitations are the fundamental building blocks of creativity.
Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT Review: I Like It!
Other than the god-awful stripes that are in between the strings, I would totally rock this guitar. It is every bit as good as the other Schecter guitars in this price range, and it sounds huge. The single pickup setup is no-frills, and it would be even more fun with a whammy bar. As is, this is a great guitar.
I mean, you get locking tuners, a proper TUSQ nut, and a rock solid bridge that has modern-style string saddles. The neck is smooth as butter, and will work great for shredders and chuggers alike. I dig the old-school headstock design with the more “classy” Schecter logo.
Someone just posted in a Schecter forum about this guitar the other day. The hive-mind of internet replies started to flow in. Why does MGK get a signature guitar? Well, he has moderate success in the industry, regardless of his level of talent. That will sell guitars, and the fact that grown adults cannot understand this, is disappointing.
If you want to get personal about this, I don’t think half of the Schecter Artists “deserve” a signature guitar. I think a lot of the models are edgy, silly, and downright gaudy in some cases. Look, I play Schecter exclusively, and I am saying this. But these models SELL.
Schecter makes amazing quality guitars for a great price. If this guitar had no name attached to it, I don’t think there would be half the fuss. Pink guitars are definitely popular right now, especially in the Metal community. The Nick Johnston “Atomic Coral” models are constantly sold out.
What matters is how a guitar plays, and how it may suit your needs as a guitarist. If you want a hot-rodded PT that comes in some wild color combos, then this is your thing. The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT is a fantastic addition to the lineup, and offers some cool features for the money.
Schecter is a company that offers a lot of different guitars for different types of players. I am looking at my rack here in the studio, and I have a lot of “classic” bases covered with my Schecter guitars. But I also have some dripping in abalone with a Floyd Rose. Schecter has been trying to shed the “Metal guitar” image for a few years now, and be more well-rounded.
The Schecter Machine Gun Kelly PT fills a gap in the Schecter lineup with a model/shape that is not as popular. The PT series is often an afterthought, and until the PT PRO series, we didn’t have a ton of options. I think this is a super cool guitar that fills a niche, but also offers something new and different. How much did MGK have to do with making this guitar? I don’t know, probably not much.
But I also don’t care how much he was involved. Without the name on the guitar, I think this model would probably get lost in the sea of Schecter guitars that rarely get any attention. The fact that people are talking about it, will only help push sales. Even if it is vile, negative comments.
If you want to be mad at Schecter for an artist guitar that is undeserving, check out the Jack Fowler traditional model. Not only is it literally just a NJ with humbuckers, I don’t think Jack is even promoting the guitar. I know I couldn’t find anything about him using them online, and he is no longer active with his band. Is Jack doing on-the-road clinics like Nick to promote the guitar?
He isn’t, and it was disappointing to find out this was just the Nick Johnston model by a different name. Nick worked for 3 years with Schecter to nail the Diamond Series models. They are very close to the USA counterparts, and have sold like crazy. All to have someone else slap their name on it. So save the outrage.
Christoper HortonChristopher has been playing guitar, bass, and piano for 28 years. He has been active in the professional music industry for over two decades. Chris has toured for years with several bands and music projects across the United States. He worked in Los Angeles as a studio musician and engineer working with many genres, but mainly Pop, Rock, and Metal. In between giving private lessons, he is usually recording under his various projects at home in Georgia. Christopher plays Schecter Guitars, BOSS Amplifiers, and uses STL Tones in the studio.
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