Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Review & Prices

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Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Review
  • From Schecter's 2017 Artist series
  • Nick Johnston Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Contoured 4-Bolt Wenge neck
  • Macassar Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Schecter Vintage 2-Point Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Nick Johnston Custom C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 XL Jumbo frets
  • Schecter/Hipshot Staggered Locking Tuners tuners
  • From Schecter's 2017 Artist series
  • Nick Johnston Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Contoured 4-Bolt Wenge neck
  • Macassar Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Schecter Vintage 2-Point Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Nick Johnston Custom C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 XL Jumbo frets
  • Schecter/Hipshot Staggered Locking Tuners tuners

Verdict: is The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature a Good Guitar?

Made in a country with top quality control, which means you should get a high-quality instrument made with good materials and excellent attention to detail. It's a guitar with decent playability. It has good pickups but might be lacking in terms of versatility. It favors playing solos more than chords. You can find other models with valuable features (locking tuners, stainless steel frets, etc) for a lower price. Overall, a good guitar for the price, especially if you like Hard Rock or similar genres.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 79
Build quality 77
Value for money 68
Overall Score 78
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Black Tusq XL Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • Weight Relief
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Strap Lock
  • Luminescent Inlay

Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Prices

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Is the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $2430, which means that the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature costs around 111% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all guitars in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in United States.

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature was released in 2017 and is part of the Artist series. It is made in United States We'll be taking a look at its build quality, tone, playability, versatiliy and some extras to determine how 'good' this guitar is. We'll use these aspects to determine a final score for this guitar, which you can see at the top of this page.

But since we know that this isn't always possible, we'll try our best at reviewing this guitar for you.

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How well is the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Built?

Where is the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

Now, let's take a look at the quality of the materials used to build this guitar.

Quality of Wood Used in the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature

As an electric guitar, type of wood won't affect the tone and sustain much. Instead, the hardware will be much more important. However, wood is still important for the look and feel of the guitar in general.

These are the types of wood used in the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature:

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Wenge wood pattern used for guitar building
Wenge Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

The body is made of Alder. This is a lightweight type of wood that was popularized by Fender. According to them, it's a wood that offers a balanced tone but that favors the upper midrange slightly.

The neck is made of Wenge. It's a dark-colored wood that resembles Rosewood's warm tonality and has really tight grain and good stiffness.

Finally, the fretboard material is Ebony. This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

Bridge

The bridge is a Schecter Vintage 2-Point Tremolo. This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

Tuners

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature has a Black Tusq XL nut. It's not made of plastic or low-quality materials. They're made to resemble the sound you get from bone and ivory nuts, but with slippery materials so the intonation and tuning are stable. Also, each nut is carefully cut to ensure you won't have tune stabilization problems.

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 72
Features 65
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 77

Does the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Like we already wrote, wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, we'll take a look at the hardware used—mainly the pickups—to determine what kind of tone you can expect.

Pickups

The first step to choosing an electric guitar should be deciding what type of pickups you want. There are multiple configurations and each offers different advantages.

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Schecter USA. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's configuration is SSS. This is the pickup configuration made famous by the Stratocaster. It gives you beautiful clean tones, but also a vintage-sounding distortion. This pickup combination will sound chimey, but you might be surprised at the warmness that you can get from a single-coil at the neck position on a 22-fret guitar. The disadvantage of this configuration is the hum noise that single-coils produce due to their nature.

Next, we can take a look at the quality of the pickups. Some brands like to build their own pickups, but it's preferable when they feature a specialized pickup brand like Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, EMG, etc. Unless we're talking about Fender or Gibson, since they build excellent pickups too.

Versatility

Let's evaluate how much freedom this model gives you to play with more tones, playstyles and genres. We'll take into account things like coil split, fret number, tremolo and the pickup combinations you can have.

Let's start with the switch options. It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Here's the diagram showing the different pickup combinations you can get out of this guitar model:

Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's switch options

What music genre is the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SSS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 70
Versatility 71
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 79

Is The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Easy to Play?

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Now let's take a look at the most important measurements and features that will determine the playability of a guitar:

Nut Width

Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Nut Width
Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Nut Width

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature has a nut width of 42.4mm (1.67''). This is narrower than the typical 43mm (1 11/16") found in electric guitars. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string much easier at the nut.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Scale Length Comparison
Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

Neck Profile

Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Neck Profile
Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

In this case, the measurements of the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's neck is a thickness of approximately 0.825'' (21mm) at the first fret, and 0.865'' (22mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Schecter website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature has a fingerboard radius of 14". Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This makes it more similar to Gibson guitars (12'') than Fender (9.5''). It's slightly flatter than most modern Gibson fretboards though, strong>which makes it more comfortable for single notes, bendings and vibratos, but less comfortable for chords./strong>. If you like the playability of a Gibson, which can be described as ''balanced for chords and solos'', and don't care about having slightly less curve for more comfortable solos, you'll like this radius.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature has the same radius across the board.

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.67'' Nut Width
14'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
10'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
10'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

Frets

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

Finally, these are nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you'll need to replace the frets after a few years.

Fret Size

Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Fret Size Comparison
Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature's frets are XL Jumbo size. These are extra-large frets, which are perfect for people who truly want the least resistance for techniques like vibrato, bending, tapping, and just playing fast in general. You won't be able to feel the fretboard with these frets, so if you press too hard you'll get the notes out of pitch. It might take a while to get used to them because of this.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77

Most Popular Comparisons With The Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature

Schecter Nick Johnston USA Signature Specs

General
Brand: Schecter
Year: 2017
Configuration: SSS
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: Artist
Colors: White, Orange, Blue Nitro
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: Schecter Vintage 2-Point Tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Schecter/Hipshot Staggered Locking Tuners
Fretboard: Macassar Ebony
Neck Material: Contoured 4-Bolt Wenge
Decoration: Silver Ring
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Nick Johnston Custom C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.825'' (21mm) - 12th Fret: 0.865'' (22mm)
Frets: 22 XL Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 14"
Nut: Black Tusq XL
Nut Width: 42.4mm (1.67'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Bell
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Schecter USA Nick Johnston Signature Atomic Set (Single Coil / Passive)