The budget Schecter Omen 7 was quite an eye opener for me. I acquired mine through an online trade last year. It's retail price averages £300-350 in the UK. What it lacks in areas of build surprisingly makes up for in tone. First up the Omen generally quite easy to use for a guitarist who has been playing for a few years or has decided to make the move to a 7 string. A good budget guitar should make you work a little bit harder but not to much that it's frustrating, unless that is if you are looking to do face melting solos. So Ill get to that first to define the playability. This guitar features a 26.5 scale, flat radius fretboard that is generally easy to set up for low action playability. A standard 9-42 and 52 gauge set tuned to B standard will get you riffing away in no time, with a good level of tension across the board for most styles of playing. Generally I'm not one for flat radius guitars but the neck is contoured and shaped well for what I need with a well balanced D cut. The only thing that lets this guitar down is its upper fret access. Shifting a smooth sweep from the 12th fret to the 21st upwards can be awkward as your palm is brought to an abrupt halt by the lower cut away of the body. You then have to adjust your thumb to compensate where the neck joins the body with a serious amount of wood with another unnecessary restriction being a plate of metal showing off the Schecter logo. As you can imagine this only adds more chunk this girth monster. This particular area of the guitar angles in as if to suggest the thumb can sit on it an let your hand weave around freely. If it wasn't angled you would be facing a mass lump of wood you might as well rest your palm on which only leaves you the option to wow your audience going totally crazy on E string. Ok so that being said this obvoiusly doesn't have the shredder in mind. Unless you were born with a hand with good range you might struggle with this. This is where the Omen 7 could probably do away with the 408mm board radius and probably go down to about 400mm, which would at least make it a bit easier further up the fretboard Ok, that's the negative bit out of the way. The Omen 7 is a solid reliable guitar that keeps tuning very well for a fixed bridge, holding steady with a chunky based Tune-o-matic bridge to a solid nut that is very well cut and set up. There isn't really anything to criticize in terms of reliability. Everything about this guitar is chunky. Its built like a tank, feels as sturdy as a baseball bat and is well balanced being pretty light. You can probably get pretty brutal with this thing and do well as a gigging guitar. For a budget issue, I think the value for money is indisputably good. It is clear that for the choice of of woods used, this guitar has needed the body volume to support the neck and to give it weight. Had it not been, it would have weighed close to an SG standard which would be to light for a 7 string to feel right. Visually the body is a stunning deep red but I find the neck binding a bit disappointing. It is a tanned, with an ivory looking appearance that does not contrast that well, as does the neck of the guitar. The rosewood fretboard is fine although seems a little untreated, doesn't feel completely smooth and the quality of the frets is a bit disappointing. Using a planet waves fret treatment gets them up to a moderate shine but takes a lot of effort and time. The hardware is great though in all fairness. The machine heads, bridge, nut, pots and jack are all decent quality. The string are held solid in their through body pockets. This brings me to the pickups which were the biggest surprise. Featuring a coil tap and three way selector, you can get a good variety of tones from the Omen 7 from a set of rather modest set of Schecter stock humbuckers. Tonally, the humbuckers are reasonably high output pushing out a balanced mid, treble with a slight decrease in the bass range. This emphasizes the "plunkiness" of the fretboard, which acoustically is very prominent, one which the makes the guitar pretty good for unplugged practice. With this said the Omen cuts through a mix very easily and pulls all the notes from a power chord in distinct clarity. Most impressive is that the Omen has no problem with harmonics across the fretboard and can produce some killer screams with considerable ease. Overall, this a 4/5 guitar. Being this was was a traded item I was more than pleased for what I need to use it for. I use this alongside a high end guitar and has absolutely no problem sitting in the mix along side it and with its tonal options it is a great to have when recording for heavy rhythm patterns and melodies. For lighter music the Omen does struggle a bit as the wood composition takes some roundness out of clean tones making it a bit difficult to play a delicate piece of music with a clean amplifier. You will however, make it known this a Schecter guitar with it's signature sound ozzing through bags of distortion and tonal clarity. Personally, this guitar isn't an Omen for all good things. I think a young guitarist, depending on his playing aspirations would become frustrated with it's restrictive upper fretboard access quite quickly. There are plenty of rival guitars that would take care of the problem in a heart beat. No metal guitar should really have the level of restriction this guitar has. However, that being said the Omen is a guitar that is not so much a wolf in sheep's clothing, more the young cub going in for the first kill.