Schecter Solo II Supreme Guitar Review: The BEST Single Cut Of 2022?

Schecter Solo II Supreme
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The Schecter Solo II Supreme is the newest of the lineup when it comes to the highly praised Solo Series. But what has Schecter added this year to make them so “Supreme”? Today we find out!

Schecter Solo II Supreme: Why Is No One Talking About This?

If you go over our Schecter guide, you will know that the brand is partnered with all kinds of companies. From pickups like EMG, to hardware like Floyd Rose and Hipshot. This has lead to some shortages, as we all try to catch up due to the global pandemic. So Schecter has been releasing models in 2022 as the parts and materials become available. The Schecter Solo II Supreme was one of those models, this year.

The last two years has been scattered for most companies, as usually new models are announced at NAMM, twice a year. It seems like we are getting back on track now, but the last two years guitar companies had to wait for parts shipments. Especially Schecter, a company that has deals with Sustainiac, Floyd Rose, Grover, EMG Pickups, Fishman Fluence, Tone Pros, Hipshot, and Lundgren.

Being partners with all of those companies is nice, since you get deals when you buy those products in bulk, and those savings are passed on to the customer. But if Floyd Rose, for instance, is backed up? Then you have to wait until the company ships the parts to finish your guitar. This isn’t even factoring in the wood that comes from various different companies needed to actually build a guitar!

So because of this scattered schedule, I think the Schecter Solo II Supreme might have been a little lost along the way. I remember some promotion for the guitars, but they came out at a random time this year. This why you do not see very many reviews for the Schecter Solo II Supreme online. I think it was announced, and then released later without much fanfare, advertising, or backing.

I saw on the Schecter Facebook group that someone was interested in buying a Schecter Solo II Supreme, but there were hardly any reviews for it! Well timing just happened to line up perfectly since a nearby source happened to have two to try out. I am excited to finally try these out! The thing is, this guitar has so very big shoes to fill.

Anyone that has played one of the older Solo II models knows that this is an amazing guitar. Schecter took some cues from Gibson, definitely. But it is a far cry from being a “copy” of a Gibson. If you want it to “do the Les Paul things” then it will definitely deliver all of those tones. But the difference is in the construction, features, and feel.

The Schecter Solo II is built as well, if not better than any USA Les Paul. I will die on this hill for this opinion, as I have played a lot of both. The neck volute prevents the usual Gibson headstock problems, and the neck itself is a combo of traditional and modern design. The Solo II is evolution in practice.

The compound radius is a joy to play, whether you like to chug power chords or shred like a mad man. Everything about these older Solo II guitars just screams quality. How could the Schecter Solo II Supreme possibly be any better? I am a bit hesitant about this review, since the price is much higher than the original Solo II models.

So let’s dive into the Schecter Solo II Supreme, and see if it compares to the already amazing original Solo II Series.

Schecter Solo II Supreme: Features And Specs

Schecter Solo ii supreme review
Schecter Solo II Supreme

The original Solo II series had a lot of features that pro musicians look for in a guitar. It has a reputation for being a “Gibson Killer” in a lot of different ways. I always recommend one over a Les Paul Studio. So how do you improve upon something that was already an improvement on a classic? Well, you take the best, and make it even BETTER.

The Schecter Solo II Supreme has literally every feature you could want, even if you are a professional guitarist that tours 200 nights a year. The are upgrades that you would usually do yourself, as a pro guitarist. There is something for everyone that can appreciate a well-made “single cut style” guitar.

  • Mahogany Body
  • Flame Maple Top
  • 3 Different Finish Options
  • Stable 3 Piece Satin Finished Mahogany Neck
  • Carbon Fiber Reinforced Two Way Truss Rod
  • 24.75 Scale Length
  • Graph Tech Ratio Tuners
  • Ebony Fretboard
  • 12-16 Compound Radius
  • Mother Of Pearl Inlays
  • 22 Extra Jumbo Stainless Steel Frets
  • TUSQ Premium Nut
  • Calibrated Lundgren Black Heaven Humbucker Set
  • Cream/White Binding
  • Tone Pros T3BT Bridge And T1z Tailpiece
  • Volume 1, Volume 2, Master tone (Push/Pull) Control Layout
  • 3 Way Switch
  • Silver Reflective Logo

There are a couple of stand out features here that the original Solo II Series did not have. For example, my 2019 Solo II in Trans Black did not have a belly carve on the back. This makes things much more comfortable while playing. My original Solo II also had the more “classy looking” cursive script logo. So there have been some subtle design changes if you are already familiar with the Solo II Series.

The inlay change from the usual Abalone blocks, to the dual lines is also a welcome change. I always thought the block inlays made the Solo II a little too close to Gibson. The Schecter Solo II Supreme solves that issue. The neck carve is the same compound radius as the original, but the new neck is a little different, and we will discuss that.

The hardware has been updated, and the Tone Pros bridge has a more substantial tailpiece. This adds weight to the Schecter Solo II Supreme, but not in a bad way at all. We also have knurled knobs, that make it easier to pull the coil tap, instead of the older “classic” knobs. The new Ratio Tuners are not something I have even experienced yet!

All together, the Schecter Solo II Supreme is exactly what the name suggests. It took the original Solo II and just enhanced it with every upgrade that you can imagine. The goal was to breathe new life into the Solo II Series, and add a more “vintage feel” while still distancing it from the competition.

Schecter Guitar Research Solo-II Supreme Cat’s Eye Black Burst
  • Flamed maple top with a mahogany body
  • 3-piece mahogany neck in a thick “C”-shaped profile
  • Ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl line inlays

Right Out of The Box:

The two models of Schecter Solo II Supreme that I got to try were the See Thru Blue Burst and the Cat’s Eye Black Burst. Both looked really great right out of the box, but I prefer the Cat’s Eye version, as it looks more classic. The gloss finish continues on the back, but the neck itself is a satin finish, a standard Schecter trademark.

The Schecter Solo II Supreme is a beefy guitar! We weighed both of the guitars that we had, and they average out to be right at 8.5lbs. The Blue one was slightly heavier, but they were very close in weight. This body style is thinner than a Gibson. So you might expect it to weigh a little less, but it feels very “substantial” when you hold it. It balances well on the strap we had, with no neck dive.

Stainless steel frets are a great upgrade to any guitar, but they also have to be done right. With regular nickel frets, it can be easy to fix any sharp edges or high frets yourself on a new guitar. Stainless steel requires harder tools and more time. Luckily, there were not any high frets on either of the models. The fret ends were tad bit sharp on the bass side of the Blue guitar, but it does not affect playability.

We also combed over the entire body and neck of both guitars looking for any finish imperfections. Both had a couple of spots near the bottom strap pin where the binding could be… better. Otherwise, both models were virtually flawless. The Cat’s Eye had an amazing looking piece of Maple on the top, as seen below, but it was hard to really get the 3D look of it with harsh overhead lighting.

Schecter Solo II Supreme
Look at that Flame!

The Setup was also really good right out of the box. The Schecter motto is “Set Up and Ready To Play!” and these were certainly playable right out of the box. That being said, when we review guitars we always put on a fresh set of strings and tweak a few things. Both needed a 1/8 turn of the truss rod to get the neck dead-straight, and I lowered the bridge of the Cat’s Eye model.

The pickups on both Schecter Solo II Supreme models needed adjustment as well. I felt they were too low on both models. This was a quick turn with a screwdriver, and something that have come to expect when getting a new guitar. Every new guitar usually needs a few tweaks right out of the box.

Both guitars were intonated perfectly right out of the box, so we didn’t have to do anything with the TOM bridge. The break angle was a bit too steep on both, so we raised the tailpiece a few millimeters on each guitar. But these are nit picks, and in reality I could have taken it out of the box and played a show after a string change.

So is it worth the price tag? Being in the higher range of the Schecter price tier, I weighed my options with other guitars that were similar value and style in the store. The Epiphone Prophecy was a good comparison, as well as the Gibson Les Paul Tribute. Both comparison guitars are very good, and built well. I feel that the Schecter is built better, and offers more features than either of the comparisons, despite the higher price.

I also compared it to some higher priced guitars, like a Gibson Les Paul Standard. The Schecter Solo II Supreme has the same feel as the Gibson. What I mean, is that you know that you are holding a professional instrument. It gives off a very “premium” vibe, which can be hard to quantify with words.

It can be very hard to describe how a guitar is “built better” or how it just feels nicer in the hands. But if you have ever played a USA PRS Guitar, or anything from a Custom Shop? The you know what I am talking about when it comes the “feel of quality”. A lot of work went into both models we have of the Schecter Solo II Supreme, and it shows just how far Korean-made instruments have progressed over the years.

In terms of quality, this is the best Schecter guitar I have played in a while. That is saying a lot, since I happen to own one of the best, which sets the standard for all other Schecter guitars I review. It sits right up there with my E1 Koa, and the KM MKIII Series in terms of build quality and features. The Schecter Solo II Supreme belongs right at the top tier of any import guitars. People say Korea is “the new Japan” when it comes to quality, and I agree.

So how does it sound, feel, and play? Because it can be built wonderfully, look beautiful, and still have no “soul” or “magic”. We put in some extra attention to detail when it comes to the actual review of the Schecter Solo II Supreme, because we are so impressed with the quality out of the box. So how does it sound?

Schecter Solo II Supreme: Testing

We tried out both models but I am not going to lie, the Cat’s Eye model appealed to me more. Some guitars just speak to you! So I tried out both models, but used the Cat’s Eye Burst guitar for any sound demos you will hear later. We used our trusty BOSS Katana, STL Tones Amp Hub, and a Peavey 5150 ICONIC.

I wanted every type of amp represented for the tests. I feel like most players that will buy a Schecter Solo II Supreme should fall into one of these categories listed. Lots of guitarists use amp sims exclusively, and the BOSS Katana is very popular with all kinds of guitarists. Likewise, many people still use tube amps, and the 5150 is used a lot in Metal.

The Schecter Solo II Supreme feels like a Les Paul but only in the most shallow ways, such as the shape. Playing an actual Les Paul back-to-back feels like two totally different types of guitars. When it comes to tones, you can get some of those classic sounds that we all associate with a Les Paul, like the smooth and buttery solo tone of the neck pickup. The Solo II Supreme does “the Les Paul thing” if that’s what you want.

Let’s start at the top with the Graph Tech Ratio Tuners. I have never used these before, but I am a huge fan of locking tuners! So Ratio Tuners work a little different than other standard tuning keys. For example, my Schecter Hellraiser has Grover Tuners. The Grover Tuners are very nice, and have an 18:1 ratio, which means it takes 18 turns of the peg, to do a full wrap around the string post.

The Graph Tech Ratio Tuners are not just one ratio for each string. Each tuner is a different ratio, and this blew my mind. When I was tuning up the Schecter Solo II Supreme, it felt so alien! The tuners have a tighter ratio for the low E string, sitting at 12:1 since it is a thicker string. So tuning up, feels much more accurate across each string, and each full turn equals a whole tone. Going to Drop D tuning was a smaller turn than usual!

Now, I say each full turn equals a whole tone step, but that can change depending on your string gauge. Obviously, if you plan on tuning down and using a much thicker string, then the gear ratio will change. But the company states that one full turn is “roughly” a whole step.

This is a dramatic difference, and if you plan on using the Schecter Solo II Supreme for alternate tunings, then this will be easier than you have ever experienced! You really have to feel it to understand how it works. But tuned to pitch, the Solo II Supreme never needed any adjustments until I put it in Drop D. It held tuning perfectly, the entire time.

The Neck on the Schecter Solo II Supreme is where this guitar really shines. If you are familiar with the original Solo II neck, then this one will be a little bit thicker on the back of the “C Shape”. It just fills out your hand a little more, while still being shred friendly! It feels like most of the Schecter C Shape guitar necks, with the trademark satin finish transition.

The more rounded profile fits your hand perfectly, especially higher up the neck. I liked the original Solo II neck a lot, and this is similar. The shoulders of the neck are just more pronounced. I prefer this, since Ibanez-style necks usually make my hand cramp after a while. This is a true “C Shape” and the satin finish makes it fast.

The compound radius is something that I really enjoy, because it feels very natural when you are playing open chords on the first 7 frets or so. That 12” radius is what you expect from this kind of guitar. But further up the neck, it flattens out. I had the action set very low, and being able to do fast runs and bends above the 12th fret was amazing. Even with the action bottomed out, I never had any “choked” notes on the higher frets (15-20).

This is by far my new favorite neck when it comes to “Gibson Scale” guitars. Not just from Schecter, I mean in general. It just feels so natural to play, no matter which end of the neck you gravitate towards. The Extra Jumbo frets make a big difference when it comes to a 24.75” scale length, since you can really dig onto the bends. My E1 Koa just got knocked out of first place!

I could talk about the neck all day, but there’s way more to this guitar than the neck! The body is slimmer than your usual Les Paul, or even most Les Paul copies. The belly carve in the back makes this feel more like a Strat when you are playing it. The binding is touch of class, and it looks amazing with the Flame maple top. The multi-ply binding even continues on the back of the guitar.

But something changed in the design that I actually miss. I compared the body to the original Solo II, and it was missing a small detail that matters mostly to people with big hands. The deep cutaway on the lower horn is missing. I know it was designed this way, so binding would be visible on the lower horn. This not a deal breaker by any means, just something to point out, as I like those cutaways.

Schecter solo II supreme

This is a small detail, but I thought it was worth pointing out. Personally, I will take the belly carve for comfort on the Schecter Solo II Supreme, over the lower horn cutaway of the Original Solo II. Otherwise, the body is perfect, and I love how Schecter has changed things up, and continue to innovate. The belly carve takes cues from the USA Solo II models, in fact.

The Schecter Solo II Supreme also has stainless steel frets, which is finally becoming more common on guitars. This means less work, and more playing on your end. The attention to the frets is impeccable.

When it comes to feel and playability, the Schecter Solo II Supreme might be my favorite single cut style guitar on the market. I also like the ESP EC Series, but that guitar is much less subtle when it comes to being a guitar “made for Metal”. The Schecter on the other hand, can be used for just about any type of gig and not be “out of place”. This is a beast, with a bit of class!

Hardware And Pickups

The Schecter Solo II Supreme has some great hardware features, and I am already sold on the Ratio Tuners! In fact, I plan to buy some for my other guitars, but I might also be swapping out some other parts as well. Specifically the Tone Pros bridge!

The Tone Pros T3BT Bridge is fatter than anything you will find on a Les Paul, as it has more mass all together. The actual saddles are also fatter, and just…more substantial. TOM bridges have been around for a long time and while there are only a few ways to make them. You mainly want them to be stable, and not cause any buzzing.

The Tone Pros T3BT is also a locking bridge. Which means that it will stay on the posts, even without string pressure. But it can also make the guitar sustain more, since there is more solid contact with the body of the guitar. Both of the Schecter Solo II Supreme models we tried had a loud acoustic sound, and gobs of sustain.

But the star of the Schecter Solo II Supreme is the Lundgren Black Heaven Pickup set. This is a calibrated set, which means they are made at the same time, and paired together after being measured electronically. This makes the set very balanced when you switch back and forth (depending on height). Have you ever had a bridge pickup that was much hotter than the neck pickup? That can be annoying when switching pickup positions.

Schecter Guitar Research Solo-II Supreme See Thru Blue Burst
  • Flamed maple top with a mahogany body
  • 3-piece mahogany neck in a thick “C”-shaped profile
  • Ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl line inlays

Like the neck of this guitar, I could talk about these pickups all day. I have no experience with Lundgren, but these have blown me away. I have never heard a humbucker that has so much clarity and articulation. When you play an open G chord with the gain turned up on the Lead Channel of the 5150? You can hear every note ring out perfectly. This is because they are high output, but unlike any other high output pickup I have ever tried.

The bridge pickup has a super tight bass response, and tons of midrange output. I did not use an overdrive at all to “tighten up” the sound of the amp. Usually a high output bridge pickup can sound shrill, and I have had this problem with Duncan Invaders. The best way to describe the sound is CLEAR and clean, not matter how much distortion or fuzz you throw at it. Harmonics and squeals just jump out at you!

The neck pickup is also unusually clear, and I had to dial back the tone knob more than usual to get that “creamy smooth solo” tone. But with the pickup wide open on the tone knob, chords are still clear and articulate. The lead tones I was able to get are very unique, and I have never heard a neck pickup that is this… rich. There are harmonic overtones when you let a note ring out, or when you catch a big bend. I am blown away.

The coil split option is a staple of Schecter guitars, and the Schecter Solo II Supreme has this option with the Lundgren set. Now, these coil tap options never quite sound like an actual single coil to me. But this is different, because the Black Heaven pickups are already so clear. This gets you much closer to an actual single coil sound, although there is a slight volume drop when the coil tap is engaged.

I love the 3 knob layout of the Schecter Solo II Supreme, since I like having just one “master” tone knob. The Lundgren set is extremely responsive to the volume controls, as well as tone control. This was most apparent with the 5150 cranked up, but I had the same result with the Katana as well! You have so much control over the output, and you never lose clarity when rolling down the volume.

I originally just had individual sound samples for you to hear with the Schecter Solo II Supreme. But while that sounded good, I decided to let you hear what it sounds like in a MIX. I used the Katana, with a mic for one track. The rest are STL Tones, and the 5150 with a mic in front of it. There are 6 guitar tracks total, with varying stages of gain. I think it sounds immense! The track is below:

While the Schecter Solo II Supreme is clearly a Metal monster, it can also be dialed back. The Lundgren Pickups are high output, but playing clean sounds great as well. Through a Fender Blues JR it can pull off some tasty Blues tones, clean and overdriven. The coil split sounds a little anemic on the bridge pickup with clean tones, but the middle position and neck pickup sounds great with some reverb.

I know that Lundgren Pickups are usually thought of as the “Meshuggah” pickups, and they get lumped in with all the other “Metal” pickups. But the clarity that these produce can work for any genre. You will be sure to cut into the mix of any band situation, and you can even roll the tone knob down for some Jazz licks.

Schecter Solo II Supreme Review: Final Thoughts

The big question at the beginning of this review is how could Schecter improve on the Solo II series? It was already a nearly perfect guitar in every way, that rivaled the “Big G” when it comes to quality. If it came down to the Schecter Solo II Supreme, or a Gibson Les Paul for me? This guitar wins in every department.

Who is this guitar for? I think any professional guitarist will be able to appreciate the Schecter Solo II Supreme. It has every upgrade that makes playing shows and recording an easier experience. With the Ratio Tuners, I don’t think I had to retune the entire time I was playing these guitars. The pickups are versatile, and sound amazing through all the different amp types I used today.

I would tour with these guitars, no hesitation. I would play a local show with just the one guitar, no backup. The versatility means that I can play just about any type of show from Metal to Blues Rock, and never have to switch guitars on stage. So if you are a pro, or a weekend warrior, this might be the guitar for you.

Likewise, I did not have to stop and retune at all while I recorded the demo track in this article. So if you want a solid guitar that has loads of different tonal possibilities for your studio? A reliable single cut that can replace the Gibson on your studio rack? This is definitely the guitar for you, as well.

I still think that the Schecter KM6 and KM7 MK III models are the best import guitars that the brand makes. But the Schecter Solo II Supreme is equal to the KM in every way. This is the absolute best quality that you can get from the Schecter Diamond Series. I was hesitant at first, since the original Solo II is such an amazing guitar, but the Supreme takes it up a notch. And then it takes it up another notch!

As this year is coming to a close, I was thinking about all of the guitars I have played this year. I have played a lot of really great guitars, and even kept the Omen Elite that I reviewed. When it comes to price and features, the Schecter Solo II Supreme might be the best guitar I have played all year. I would love to see Schecter give this treatment to some of the other models, making them the best they can be.

I also thought about the name brand hardware, the pickups, and the Ratio Tuners. I wonder how much a company like Gibson would charge for such an incredible guitar? I think a guitar is only as good as the sum of its parts as a whole. There is absolutely no comparison to the Schecter Solo II Supreme on the market today, from any brand. I am more than impressed.

Now, I suppose I am going to have to buy one! Definitely the Cat’s Eye Burst model! These are in stock at Guitar Center!

Schecter Guitar Research Solo-II Supreme See Thru Blue Burst
  • Flamed maple top with a mahogany body
  • 3-piece mahogany neck in a thick “C”-shaped profile
  • Ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl line inlays

Is The Schecter Solo II Supreme Worth The Price?

You would be hard pressed to find a guitar in this price range with all of the upgrades that this guitar sports. It has Ratio Tuners, a TUSQ nut, Ebony fretboard, stainless frets, and Lundgren pickups!

Does The Schecter Solo II Supreme Come With A Case?

Unfortunately no. None of the current Diamond Series comes with a case. But the SGR case, and any universal LP case will fit just fine.

Does The Schecter Solo II Supreme Come In Left-Handed?



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2 responses to “Schecter Solo II Supreme Guitar Review: The BEST Single Cut Of 2022?”

  1. Scott Clydesdale Avatar
    Scott Clydesdale

    Hi Christopher,
    What an excellent review of this guitar, much better than YouTube reviews I found.I am vacillating between Custom and Supreme. In Canada, the Supreme is $400 more than the Custom.
    I play blues rock mostly, and it seems I would spend most time playing with the tone rolled back with those Lundgren pickups. The Custom also has conventional locking tuners, which I value, but they are not calibrated to each string. So it appears I would be spending $400 more for the Stainless steel frets.
    May I ask if those SS frets are significantly superior to the nickel frets in the Custom for bending? That’s what I’m after, and the longevity of course.
    Thanks for your review and inviting comments and questions!

    1. Christoper Horton Avatar

      Hi Scott,

      They certainly do feel different. Stainless frets do not wear down, so that is a huge plus. They also never tarnish, so you will not have to polish them. Bending is like butter! I cannot play regular frets anymore.

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