The Schecter Sunset Triad has been making some serious waves around the internet. These two new models offer a lot of tonality, with the spotlight on the unique pickup layout. Today we take a look at how it works, and why you might want to snag one of these!
Schecter Sunset Triad Review
The Schecter Sunset Triad: Crazy Innovation!
Everyone knows that we love Schecter around here, and I play them exclusively myself. People often ask my why I am so loyal to Schecter, and that answer is very simple for me. In fact, I think most of the Schecter fan base shares the same opinions that I have.
I play Schecter because you get amazing features for an affordable price. Price is one thing, but you also get very innovative designs that range from all-out metal guitars meant to shred, to much more tame models that lean into traditional designs.
On top of being an amazing value, Schecter also offers features that most other companies gloss over. While Fender, Gibson, and PRS are still the “Big 3” of guitars, Schecter often includes features that you only see on custom-made guitars like Keisel.
You get features like stainless steel frets, USA pickups, name brand hardware, locking tuners, and even Sustainiac Pickups. The best part is that you get these features on the affordable import guitars, not just the custom shop offerings.
Now that isn’t an insult to PRS SE or Fender, by any means. But neither of those companies offer those kinds of options on the lower price tier. Schecter is in a league of its own when it comes to bargain, and have been for years.
These are instruments meant for gigging guitarists, and they are workhorses that are built to hold up to rigorous conditions. The popular Hellraiser models have been seen on stages for a long time now, and used by big artists like Papa Roach and Nevermore back in the day. But Schecter has came a long way since the early 2000s.
So far, we have seen a plethora of models released this year from Schecter. These range from the more traditional MV-6 Series, to the metal-focused Reaper Elite Series. It seems like Schecter has something to offer just about everyone this year, and the company continues to surprise us!
The Schecter Sunset Triad is the newest model in 2023, and it has been causing quite a stir on the internet because of the pickup layout. So how does the new triple Apocalypse humbucker work? What is the difference between the 6 string and 7 string variants?
Today we go over everything you need to know about the Schecter Sunset Triad, and talk about the crazy amount of features that you get for a much lower price than you would think! Let’s dive in and check these guitars out…
Schecter Sunset Triad: Features & Specs
The Schecter Sunset Triad is a new design, that pulls features and spec from other models that are very familiar. The pickups are definitely front and center with this model, but there is a lot more “under the hood” than just a triple humbucker.
Before we launch into our full review, we need to talk about the features you get from the new Schecter Sunset Triad for under $1000. Schecter has offered plenty of great budget models in the past under a grand, but nothing like the new Sunset Series:
- Nyatoh Body
- 5-piece Maple/Rosewood Neck
- Bolt On Construction With All-Access Neck Joint
- Ultra Thin C Neck
- Ebony Fretboard
- Offset Aluminum Circle Inlays
- 24, Extra Jumbo, Stainless Steel Frets
- 27″ or 25.5” Scale Length
- TUSQ Nut
- Locking Tuners
- Hard Tail Bridge
- Schecter USA Tripocalypse Triple Coil Humbucker
- Schecter USA Apocalypse Single-coil
- 5 Way Switch
- Single Volume
This is a lot to take in from a “budget” guitar, and it offers a lot of specs that most shredders are looking for these days. The Ultra Thin C neck is very close to being like the Keith Merrow Series, which is something Schecter fans are very familiar with.
The body style also borrows from the KM Series, as well as the John Browne Signature, with a sleek super-Strat design that looks sinister. The neck joint allows you to reach all the way up to the 24th fret with ease, especially with the generous cutaway. You have plenty of room to get to the high notes, totally unobstructed.
The locking tuners and stainless steel frets are features that we usually only see on premium Schecter guitars, and signature models. I think this is a welcome change for the mid-priced Schecter models, and I hope we continue to see more stainless steel frets on these models.
We also get a 6 string version with a standard 25.5 inch scale, as well as a 7 string with a 27 inch baritone scale. Almost every Schecter 7 string usually comes in a 26.5” scale, which is on the brim of being a full baritone guitar. I think it is safe to say that the 7 string is meant to be tuned LOW, and we tuned ours to F# with the stock strings.
The Schecter Sunset Triad Guitar is designed to be a reliable companion on stage and in the studio. Its sturdy construction ensures that it can withstand the rigors of live performances, while the innovative pickup system guarantees a rich tonal palette that adapts to any musical scenario.
But I am sure you are wondering about how the pickups work, right? The Schecter Sunset Triad is a great budget shredder with amazing features, but the pickup layout is what has everyone scratching their heads, so let’s dive right into it!
Schecter USA Tripocalypse: How It Works…
The Schecter Sunset Triad has an extremely unique pickup layout, and I don’t think I have ever seen this on ANY guitar before. The picture above pretty much lays it all out for you, but just what does this all mean?
The Apocalypse Pickups are unique because of the magnets that are used. usually, you only see one magnet type listed for a pickup, but Schecter blends Alnico V and Ceramic 8 Flanking Magnets that offer a pretty hot output.
First Position: This is a standard bridge humbucker sound, which if you are familiar with the Apocalypse Pickup set, you know this is a beastly tone.
Second Position: This where things get interesting. With all three coils turned on, you get not only a regular bridge humbucker, but also another coil blended into the mix. You would expect a jump in gain, but the way the pickup is wired, it stays constantly clear sounding.
Third Position: This is the first coil on the Tri-humbucker all by itself. This gives you a similar sound to the middle pickup on a Stratocaster, but it is slightly warmer due to it’s physical position on the guitar.
Fourth Position: If you have a dual humbucker guitar with a 5-way switch, then you are already familiar with this sound. I often use this position on my Sun Valley SS Exotic, since you get an almost P90-like tone from this combo. This is a warm tone that cuts the gain from your amp in half.
Fifth Position: This is the slanted neck single coil all by itself, which gives us a very familiar tone to work with. This position is can be used for some glassy clean tones, or overdriven blues tones. let’s be real-it is just like the neck pickup on a Strat, but a little different due to physical position.
Something that all of the different positions offer is clarity. This is especially true if you turn down the volume just a tad. You can hear every string even under high gain setting, allowing you to use complex chord voicings without getting muddy.
All of these pickup positions offer a ridiculous amount of tones, making the Schecter Sunset Triad an absolute weapon in the studio. You can get everything from bone-crushing chugs to bell-like clean tones out of one guitar.
We often talk about guitars that have ultimate versatility, something like the Nick Johnston HSS for example, can do just about any tone that you want. In fact, I often recommend an HSS setup for anyone that wants to play multiple genres. But the Sunset Triad takes all of that to the next level.
Review & Build Quality
We like to review everything right out of the box usually, but since this guitar just came out, we only had 3 samples to check out from our affiliate. We got to check out 2 6 string models and one 7 string model. Like most of the Schecter guitars that are under $1000, these are made in Indonesia.
Setup and overall construction is way above the price point in my opinion. The TUSQ nuts were cut and installed perfectly on all three, with the action sitting at about 2mm across all three models. There were no paint blemishes, and everything looks great.
All three had really great fretwork, which is a plus to most players since stainless steel is difficult to repair on your own. One guitar had some slight fret sprout, but all of the frets were level. These being stainless, they looked great right out of the box.
The neck feels a lot like the Mach Series or the KM Standard models. This is particularly nice on the 7 string, and I had no problem getting used to the baritone scale. On the 6 string this feels pretty close to an Ibanez to me, so if you like thin necks, you will love the new Sunset Series. The neck is satin, and easy to play.
We have already talked about the switching options, and the Apocalypse pickups look really cool with the see-thru bobbins contrasted against the piano black finish. The single volume/single tone is really all you need for a guitar like this, in my opinion.
The Apocalypse Pickup clarity is honestly worth mentioning again. These are USA made Custom Shop pickups, and it definitely shows. The combination of different magnet types in each pickup really pushes a tube amp, and sounds articulate with amp sims. This is especially important for lower tunings, like the 7 string is designed to handle.
The bridge is pretty much a Hipshot, without the mass that those bridges usually feature. All three guitars came setup pretty well, and the bridge has shorter adjustment screws than usual. This is great, since fixed bridges on budget guitars can usually dig into your hand when palm muting if the screws are too long. The whole bridge is low profile, and out of the way.
These guitars are pretty much in the middle weight-wise. Both versions weigh in at about 7lbs, which is perfect for long nights on the stage. These feel solid, and the Sunset Triad is a testament to what Indonesia is making these days.
All together, there were no glaring flaws on any of the models we got to try, and this really comes down to how simple they are. This is a fixed bridge, bolt on guitar. The design is very simple, but it definitely works with the innovative, unique pickup system.
I was going to do a sound demo, but Schecter recently released a video that I will just post here, since it is much better than anything I could do! We also didn’t have a lot of time to play these guitars, unlike our usual reviews.
Final Thoughts: Wrapping Up…
Some of you may think that I just favor Schecter in most of these articles, but I have been critical before. The Jack Fowler model, for instance, was just a Nick Johnston model with humbuckers without any further innovation. I definitely pointed that out in my review, and there have been other misses as well over the years. No company is perfect.
You are getting a LOT of features with this guitar, and looking at the dual humbucker Sunset models, it looks like this might be Schecter’s new “mid-range”. If we can expect stainless frets and locking tuners on lower priced models, then Schecter is definitely going to give the competition hell.
The Schecter Sunset Triad is and interesting “what if?” type of design. The triple humbucker design is a really cool idea, and being able to blend tones with the switching options opens up a world of tones. I really hope that Schecter continues down this path of experimentation.
Now on the other side, the Schecter Sunset Triad is not without criticism. Make no mistake, these are very minimal guitars when it comes to design. I also wish that the Triad came in other colors rather than just plain black. We may see other colors in the future, but I think most shredders are a bit tired of the “blacked out” look.
With all of that said, this is a big risk that Schecter is taking. The idea borders on being a novelty, but in practice it can definitely be useful. The Schecter Sunset Triad has a lot to offer a creative player that likes to experiment with different tones, especially the single coil/phase options.
As I mentioned above, these are settings that I use a lot in the studio, especially the P90 tones that you get by blending the outer coils. The single coil in the neck of the Triad is also a versatile tool in the studio, allowing you to get some really beautiful tones.
So while the Schecter Sunset Triad may be a shredder at heart, and a bit of a gimmick at first glance, it is actually a a huge tonal canvas. Its seamless blend of classic and modern features, coupled with the revolutionary Triad pickup system, ensures that guitarists can evoke creativity through their playing.
Whether you opt for the 6-string or 7-string model, the Sunset Triad Guitar invites you to explore uncharted musical territories while basking in its simplistic design coupled with the innovation of its technology.