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looking at 8strings ESP or Schecter?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gpx1200, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    so im looking to buy an eight string and since I can't find a spector ill have been looking at a few or the commonly available options and narrowed it down to either a esp b 208fm or a schecter stiletto.
    I cant find either of these localy to try out so im looking for some insights or pros and cons from anyone who has played either of them.
    I like the neck threw construction and the emgs in the schecter but I like the style and looks of the esp better I'm not shore about the pickups in the esp(esp brand?) but either bass will probably get twx pickups like my other basses anyway so im mostly interested in playability and build quality.
    the schecter is more expensive but not enuf to influence my desition
  2. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    To be honest, I haven't played either of these instruments.

    But I wanted to give you some feedback based on my two recent Ltd purchases. I've got a B-1005 and a Surveyor-4. Both are very well made, high quality instruments and I was honestly shocked.

    I don't think you would regret the Ltd, but the Schecter could be a good instrument as well. It's a tough decision, especially sight-unseen.

    Good luck,

  3. I may get flamed for this, but, if it's NOT an LTD, I'd go with the "real" ESP, any n' every time. Back in the day Schecter Basses were the sh!t! As for what they're spittin' out now? I haven't the slightest idea. So......
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I have the Schecter. I don't think much of the pups. The preamp is capable of a wide variety of tones, but the tone sounds pretty anemic if you don't boost the bass knob, and the mids sound pretty strident to me, so I end up cutting those. This bass could definitely benefit from (at least) a pickup upgrade, and maybe a preamp upgrade too. (On the agenda for 2014).

    Playability is excellent. The neck is super narrow and you can get it pretty close to flat without buzzing, even with low action. I found fingering two strings at once fatiguing at first, but I got used to it. S.I.T. Powerwounds are the lightest gauge strings I could find for it, which helped a lot, and they sounded better to my ear than the stock D'addarios too.

    Build quality is mostly excellent. Fit and finish rivals my Carvins.

    The bridge is the sticking point: pretty cheap-looking and looks homemade. Mine even has circular machining marks in it. It's also poorly designed, in that it is difficult to get to the intonation screws. But, in the end, it does its job.

    And, while this is probably common with 8-strings, it definitely neck dives.

    Overall, I do like it, and I get a lot of compliments on the sound when I play it with my band.
  5. My experience with every 8-string I've played.

    But think about it:
    Most pickups are designed to get a workable amount of mids and highs out of a single flatwound (and those who want extra zing just have to use rounds). I seriously doubt anyone makes pickups that are voiced for 8s.

    Add a guitar string to each note and now you've got a fairly bright output (and that's part of our goal with these basses) but to combat neck and action tension, light gauge bass strings are part of the equation.

    Adding to this is that pickup placements are used which are the same as 4/5/6 "normal" basses. (Cuts costs, so can't complain much).

    It's my opinion that an 8 (or 12) string bass needs pickups that have a lot more emphasis on the fundamental bass note, and/or that the pickups need to be closer to the neck.
    There's no other way to get a solid tone that also works on "non-8" songs without having to do some crazy EQ work that shifts entire ranges out of phase, etc.

    We're adding tons of mid/highs with extra strings--we no longer need the traditional methods of adding same to a flatwound .120.

    Mudbucker up against the neck?
  6. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    Interesting thought about the pickup placement. When I play my 8 strings I finger or pick at the end of the fingerboard or even over the neck to make a fuller tone. The Waterstone TP-8 and 12 basses have their pickups nearer the neck. I thought it looked wrong and was wondering why. That could be their reasoning.

  7. Having owned both Schecter and ESP/LTD Products...

    IF it were me i would purchase the LTD hands down in a second over the schecter.

    ESP/LTD has impressed me with build quality across their entire line and at all their price points...they have been consistently excellent whether it was the LTD B-55 ($250.00) i bought my son, or the FB-4 (1,000.00) i purchased for myself I also own a Vintage 214, F-404, B-255

    Had two schecters previously....don't own any ATM nor do i want too...both of them (a C-4 and a Diamond series) both started falling apart roughly 6 months in (Hardware)....terrible build quality and the electronics left a lot to be desired
  8. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    well after doing a little more diging for info I've decided on the schecter even though I prefer the looks of the esp the fundamental extras that come with the stiletto 8 won me over for these reasons
    the neck threw construction and the fact that the neck has carbon fiber reenforcement makes me feel better about all the tension on the neck.
    emg hz's and preamp means an easy switch to tw's, not so shure that the esp pickups would be a direct swap for the emgs without routing or filling gaps
    the schecter body is mahogany while the esp is basswood.
    bolth basses have the same hardware except for the tailpiece of the bridge but im not shure about this either since ive seen pics of bolth basses on different sites with different tailpeces.
    on paper the schecter looks superior to the esp and worth the extra $300 but I guess I will find out next weak.
  9. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Been looking at 8's too. The schecter is the way to go imo. ESP makes a nice bass, but the stiletto is more of what I like and am used to. Toyed with getting one and swapping in Emg's and a tone pump.
    I had a stiletto elite I liked but sent it back for an ns5cr at that time. That's a lot of bass for the money with the schecter. A few finishing touches and their winners imo. They tend to get a bad rap for the pups and pre, but their not that bad imo.
  10. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    I like the look of the Schecter better. I already have a dean edge 8. Sounds fine. Plays fine. I am just not crazy about the look. Also looking at getting a small travel combo this year...... And an eub. LOL. The gas never stops does it?
  11. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    well I decided to go ahead and order bolth basses so I could make a decition bassed on achualy playing them bolth.
    I spent a day on each of them and took each of them to band practice for a night as well.
    the sechecter stiletto 8 is by far the better bass and it should be for an extra $300 even though the schecter showed up with a slight neck buzz on the d string(s) that is easly fixt other than that this bass has realy excellent quality construction and plays beautifuly and a lot better than I expected it to(but so did the esp).
    as for the tone this is wear the schecter has it all over the esp probably mostly due to the higher end components and construction, neck threw,mahogany body,emg pickups and preamp all work togeather very well to give this thing a realy nice full sound that is almost comparable to my spector euros wich have emg twx's.
    don't get me wrong im not knocking the esp either the finish is beautiful and I still think its better looking than the schecter, it played just as well as the schecter although the fret edges could have been a little smother(fretwork similar to cheeper ibanez basses).
    I only had two real problems with the bass one was the bridge was not adjustable for intonation of the octive strings separate from the bass strings ie only one intonation screw for each set of strings.
    the other was the preamp, it has bass treble and mid knobs but turning down any of these knobs seemed to cut the volume across the whole frequency range and boosting seemed to be pretty ineffective except for the bass witch got real boomy.
    all that said I think a new set of pickups and preamp would make the esp a killer bass and the bridge piece looks like it could be swaped out for the schecter one with 8 intonation screws.
    if my budget didn't alow for the higher cost of the schecter id go with the esp in a second and swap out the pickups and pre when I could.
    the best part is weather delayed the shipment of the esp so when I returned it to my local guitar center they refunded all my shipping costs as well so it cost me nothing to try out the esp.
  12. I haven't tried the schecter yet my local mom and pop store just got one so maybe I'll give it a shot. A buddy of mine has the ltd and i gotta say i was really surprised they sell that bass for such a low price.its not a $1000 bass but it manages to make a lot of other brands prices seem like a rip off. Personally for me I'm leaning towards going the warmoth route but still don't know if i should mod a mim fender or just order everything from warmoth.
  13. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    Gpx. Thanks for the write up. I appreciate it.
  14. micgtr71


    Dec 4, 2012
    best 8 string I ever played was a Peavey P bass (Fury maybe) that a student of mine added guitar tuners around the headstock. He had about $100 into the bass and whatever the price of the machines and strings cost. The neck was solid, the strings light and low, and the spacing was great. If you have the skills, it is a great way to make an inexpensive and great sounding 8. I don't remember there being any more neck dive than a regular P bass either, but to be fair I played it sitting down.

    The aforementioned 8s seem to have soapbars and I don't favor them for an 8...
  15. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    yes they bolth have soapbar style pickups the schecter will take an emg 35 sized pickup and the esp will take an emg 40 size one.
    my schecter will be getting some twx pickups or possibly a tw and a p style combo, ive already done the hz for twx swap on my other basses so I know the results will be excellent and I know that the twx has much better high end response the the hz's so they should be awesome for the 8 string
  16. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    Hey GPX.. Any chance you can take a picture of the bass next to another bass or 2 for scale.

    I like bigger bass bodies.. I love tone any playing of my SpectorCore, but the body is a bit smaller than I'd like. If you could take it next to a more standard bass, I;d be able to get a sense of it's body size.

    Thanks if you can..

    all the best... scott
  17. Having played both 8 strings, they both have their own voicing and character. I liked the LTD bass instead but ESP so far has been a bit iffy with a warranty repair regarding the neck of my 8-string bass :/
  18. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    hears a few with my spectors and an Ibanez sr500 the schecter body is shorter neckwise but is a lot wider acros the wings so it feels bigger to me than the specters and the ibanez

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  19. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    one more

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  20. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    Thanks a bunch. It's a bit bigger than my Spector. May be enough. I'm odd I really liking older bigger body styles.

    The rare musician is the body size if the old roadsters. The TP8 from waterstone is pretty big with kind if a slimline Gretch feel. I wish I could try one of them.

    Thank you very much for the pictures. I appreciate it.