The Schecter MV-6 may look a little strange for such a “metal” guitar brand. But it may be more on-brand than you think! Today we take a look at the features and specs of this new versatile machine.
Schecter MV-6 Review
The Schecter MV-6: A Link To The Past…A Step Into The Future.
There’s a really great movement going on with guitar here lately, and I am really digging it. It seems like more guitarists are going for versatility, because they are trying out new types of music. But also for the first time in a while, Progressive and Fusion guitar styles are popular!
This means guitars need to cover a lot of tonal ground, and have more features and options. Newer guitarists are looking for guitars that “can do it all” when it comes to tones. This is good news for me, because this is the type of guitarist I have ALWAYS been!
We have seen Ibanez go down this road with the AZ Series, and I really like the “modern meets shred” ideas that many guitar companies are brewing up. There is something for everyone, and we are truly living in the Golden Age of Guitar.
The Schecter MV-6 (Multi-Voice 6) may seem like a wild move from the brand, since it is known for being the “Metal” company. But that isn’t exactly where Schecter started, which we have talked about before. Schecter started as an “official” Fender replacement parts company.
Schecter made official replacements parts for Fender, and that was a great relationship for a while. That is, until Schecter started building their own guitars out of those parts, and these models rivaled Fender guitars at NAMM 1986. That’s when the relationship ended with a lawsuit threat, and the rest is history.
The Schecter MV-6 is right in line with the guitars that the company used to make, back in the day, but with an interesting spin. The MV-6 is also keeping up with what Schecter has been doing lately. The Nick Johnston Signature was a sleeper hit, and has caused a lot of guitarists to take notice of Schecter.
The Nick Johnston models have been a huge hit, and even years after the release, they continue to sell out across the world. Likewise, the Sun valley Super Shredder Series is a throwback model that has been popular as well. The Schecter MV-6 borrows from both, in the best ways.
The Schecter MV-6 takes a lot of cues from the Nick Johnston Traditional models, as well as the Sun Valley Super Shredder models. I called the NJ Traditional a “poor man’s SUHR” in my initial review and I didn’t mean that as an insult at all, I meant the opposite actually.
I mean, I bought the Nick Johnston right after the review. I also bought a Sun Valley.
I meant that as a huge compliment since the Nick Johnston is such an amazing guitar, and it costs under $1000. While it may not be the level that a SUHR guitar may be when it comes to craftsmanship, it does have that “modern” feel and playability.
Schecter got the message loud and clear, since many of the newer Schecter models are following suit. The Schecter MV-6 uses a lot of the same components as the Nick Johnston models, as well as some design elements from the Sun Valley Series.
So we are going to compare the Schecter MV-6 with both of these guitar models, but only since it shares certain features. The MV-6 has a big secret under the hood, and it is truly an original concept that separates it from anything that Schecter currently makes.
Now, I am not saying that Schecter is going to stop making the trademark Hellraiser, or other Super-Strats like the Reaper Series. Nor should the company stop producing those models. I’m sure that those are not going away anytime soon, so worry not. I seriously doubt that any of the more “extreme” models will fall out of favor as a niche option.
But Schecter has always had another side to the brand, that makes the more traditional/classic designs. The Schecter MV-6 is just adding to that catalog, and actually has something VERY new to offer when it comes to the pickup configurations.
So let’s take a look at what makes the Schecter MV-6 such a cool addition to an already amazing Schecter 2023 lineup. Schecter is blending the past with the future with these new models, and I already know I will be buying one! Let’s see what makes it special…
Features And Specs
The new Schecter MV-6 has a LOT in common with the Nick Johnston models, but it also takes some cues from the Sun Valley Super Shredder Exotic. The most important feature, is the obvious one that sticks out at first glance.
Those pickups, right?
The pickups are slanted, but if you take it just a little bit further, you will also notice that those pickups have an odd adjustment setup. It looks like this is a guitar with a humbucker in the bridge, and a single coil in the neck. But, it isn’t, it is much more unique than that.
All of the Schecter MV-6 models are basically the same, minus the neck woods. So we will go over all of them at the same time, since they are identical otherwise when it comes to specs.
- 4 Colors: Super Sonic Blue, Olympic White, Metallic Purple, Gloss Black
- Neck: Maple or Wenge
- Fretboard: Maple Or Ebony
- Nut: Graph Tech Ivory TUSQ
- Offset Circle Inlays
- Schecter Locking Tuners
- Thin C Carve
- 24 Extra Jumbo Frets
- 14” Radius
- 25.5” Scale
- Spoke Wheel Truss Rod: 2 Way
- Basswood Body
- Schecter Diamond 351 SSS Pickups
- Volume/Tone/ 5 way Super-Switch
- Aged Knobs
- Schecter 2-Point Tremolo System With Stainless Steel Saddles
Feature-wise, the Schecter MV-6 has everything you have come to expect from Schecter, even on the budget models. You get locking tuners, and a TUSQ nut that ensures that you will stay in tune when you are abusing the trem system, just like the NJ models.
Having Wenge as an option for neck wood is becoming more popular with the Diamond Series, but the Maple neck models are no slouch either. These are top-notch features that I would love to continue seeing in the import line (and maybe a re-vamp of the NJ?).
But Schecter being a good deal for the money is nothing new. There are tons of models that punch way above their price point. But what is totally unique is the SSS pickup configuration, and I don’t think I have seen this on many guitars.
NJ Traditional/SVSS Comparison
From Top: MV-6, Nick Johnston HSS, Sun Valley Super Shredder FR
When it comes to features, it may seem like this is just a Nick Johnston model with different pickups. But the Schecter MV-6 is more of a “hybrid”. Yes, it features a lot of the same design as the NJ, but it also shares some of the fantastic features of the Sun Valley Super Shredder Series.
Don’t worry, we will get to the unusual SSS pickup design, and how that works! But there are a lot of cool features that make this guitar interesting beyond the pickups, and it has a ton of different elements borrowed from other popular Schecter Diamond Series models.
If you want to really break down the design of the MV-6, it isn’t anything different when it comes to the features and construction. This new model borrows from several sources, but still undoubtedly a “Schecter Design” that is familiar.
What we are seeing here lately, is more features in the Diamond Series that would usually only be featured in Schecter Custom Shop instruments. Exotic woods are not a new thing for Schecter, but you rarely saw these materials on import models… until now.
The important thing to get out of the way when it comes to the Schecter MV-6, is if you are familiar with the Nick Johnston Models, it is almost identical in many ways. Although there have been some slight improvements over that model, and the pickups on the MV-6 is NUTS.
The neck is nearly identical to the Nick Johnston Traditional, and the newer Trad Pro. If you haven’t experienced this neck yet, you NEED to go somewhere and try it out. The neck is one of the best parts of this guitar, and its predecessors.
I swear, everyone loves this neck from the first chord they play. The Schecter MV-6 will have that same familiar neck feel.
The flat radius, jumbo frets, and slim neck carve makes it feel like you are playing a much more expensive guitar. But is also makes you feel like you are playing a “shredder” style guitar, which is opposite to the more classic “Strat” design and aesthetic, and overall feel of the guitar.
Nick Johnston designed the guitar with Schecter to be this way on purpose. Nick played Fender Strats for years, but once he got with Schecter, he found his home with this hybrid design approach. The Schecter MV-6 shares this neck, and the body style from the NJ models.
The 2-point trem system is also the same in many ways, but Schecter has upgraded the MV-6 to have stainless saddles. These should last a lifetime, since stainless saddles are much harder than the usual plain steel. These saddles are also much less likely to strip out, when adjusting the height and intonation.
The Wenge neck with Ebony fretboard looks a lot like my Sun Valley Exotic, but you will notice that the Logo is the “classier” version of the Schecter logo. On the Maple models, you get a plain version of the wood rather than the roasted variant on the NJ models.
While the neck carve will feel familiar, and very much similar to the Nick Johnston model, this is a 24 fret neck. The NJ models are 22, so this is where the Schecter MV-6 is closer to the Sun Valley models. I think 24 frets definitely changes the way you approach the fretboard in the upper register, at least it does for me.
Finally, the body is Basswood on the Schecter MV-6, instead of the Alder wood that you find on the Nick Johnston, yet the shape is mostly the same. Something else that is changes, is you get an “All Access” neck pocket like the Sun Valley, instead of the classic bolt-plate design on the NJ.
So when it comes to the feel, and construction of the guitar, it is a good blend of the NJ and Sun Valley Series. But now that we have that all out of the way, what is going on with those pickups? Do you think that I am mistaken when I say it is an SSS format? Let me show you what is going on…
The Unique Pickup Layout
Notice anything weird about the photo above? There is a LOT going on here, but not what you may think. Slanted pickups are something we have seen for a long time, even on the Original Fender designs from the 50’s had slanted single coil pickups.
But the deceiving part, is that from afar, the Schecter MV-6 looks like it has a humbucker. Hell, even up close it looks like a humbucker. But what Schecter has done here is something I have rarely seen. The only other guitar I have seen is a Squier Contemporary Stratocaster, that has a similar setup.
The Squier Contemporary is 22 frets, which will change the position of the pickups. It is also a hardtail style bridge, and in a totally different “budget” bracket.
These are three single coil pickups. They are all the Diamond 351 model single coil pickup, and the positions are what is going to cause the tonal variations. Like I said, we have seen angled pickups on plenty of guitars, but this placement is very intentional.
The neck pickup is angled closer to the neck just slightly. This will give the pickup a tad bit more of bass response. Just like a Fender Strat has an angled bridge pickup towards the neck, to kill some of the “ice pick” frequencies.
But when we move to the bridge, this is where things get VERY interesting. Technically, two single coils put together make a humbucker. But these two pickups are not connected as a humbucker. They are independent single coils placed right next to each other, hence the individual height screws.
But now you’re probably wondering, if it isn’t a humbucker… how does it work? Well, the 5-way switch is the real star of the show here. Personally, I think the switching options are nothing short of genius.
SSS Pickup Switching: Redefined
I originally said ” I have never seen a pickup layout like this” on my first draft of the article. But then I found the Squier Contemporary Stratocaster that has a similar layout. Despite the fact that it may not be breaking new ground in design, per se, the Schecter MV-6 does offer some unique tones.
The graph above explains the way that the switching works, and I think this opens the doors to all kinds of crazy tones. Yes, technically you can get a “humbucker” with the two bridge single coils ran in series. But it will not sound exactly like a humbucker.
Likewise, you have two different options for a single coil tone. But the position of those pickups will make the tone much different than you could get from the usual SSS guitar. The pickups are in a slightly different spot anyway, since you have 24 frets.
But the position will make these sound unlike any neck or bridge single coil. They may only be a small distance away from the “usual” spot, but that tiny distance can make a huge difference in tone. The neck will be nice and fat tonally, while the bridge in single coil mode will be “in between” the middle and bridge positions!
Finally, you have an option on the Schecter MV-6 that allows you to have all of the pickups on at the same time, as well as two of the single coils in parallel. This gives you the “quack” position of a Strat in theory, but again… the pickup positions are different in placement.
This makes the Schecter MV-6 an absolute weapon in my opinion. You can get a lot of tones that are far from being traditional or classic. In fact, the Schecter MV-6 is in a category by itself when it comes to the usual SSS pickup configuration.
I would say that Schecter is “going after” the Squier Contemporary, but these are two totally different price points and levels of quality. So while the pickup configuration is not totally unique, you can’t say it isn’t interesting!
Schecter MV-6: Wrapping Up…
The Schecter MV-6 is available for preorder, and I will definitely be buying one of these. I am already very familiar with the body and the neck, so I can’t wait to order mine and see what kind of tones I can get out of the pickups.
Schecter is making an interesting move here, and while I love my Hellraiser and Sun Valley, I also like the practicality of my Nick Johnston HSS guitar. I play a lot of different types of music, so I need a vast array of tones and “feels” at my disposal.
However, looking at it from a different angle (pun intended) I can also see the Schecter MV-6 being confusing, and maybe divisive among guitarists. Just how practical is the MV-6 when it comes to different genres and styles? I guess we will have to see if the MV-6 finds its audience.
If you have been sleeping on Schecter, it might be time to check out what the brand has to offer. While the flashy Abalone shredder models are still around, Schecter has a whole different side that can appeal to just about any guitarist. Just look at the artist roster, and you’ll see a ton of different styles and genres.
Mixing classic designs with modern features, with premium woods and parts, is becoming a staple for Schecter. I wouldn’t say this is a new direction for the brand, this is where Schecter started. Way back when they made a better Strat than Fender in 1986.
I think the Schecter MV-6 is a step in the right direction, taking something classic and making it just a little weird. I hope that Schecter keeps both sides of the brand going strong. Sure, I love a beautiful Super-Strat, but I can also appreciate something classic with a versatile spin.
The Schecter MV-6 is available for pre-order currently on the company’s website, and should be released within the next few weeks.
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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