Schecter Stiletto Studio basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Keech, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. Keech


    Oct 16, 2003
    All in your head
    I’m surprised how little I ever read about the Schecter Stiletto Studio model basses. I bought the 5-string fretless about a year ago but the 4-string fretless is sweet too.

    If you ever wanted to sound like Pino Paladino or Percy Jones or Mick Karn, then this is the bass for you. It is so sensitive that every nuance can be heard.

    For example, hammering with your baby finger is amazingly expressive! I’ve played basses where hammering with the baby finger is damn near impossible but the Stiletto Studio 5 plays like no bass I have ever handled. I once owned a 4-string fretless Rickenbacker 4003 about 17 years ago, though, that was almost as good—someone stole it. The guy who ripped me off killed himself some months later but never had the decency to give me back my axe before taking his brody. But anyway, the Stiletto Studio 5 sings. It almost plays itself. You can pluck a string, for example, let it ring and then pluck another while letting the first one keep ringing and then slide up or down the neck or both and both strings will keep on singing—none of those clunky notes that don’t ring out. These just sing and sing and sing.

    I’ve been recording with it as well as letting a buddy play it onstage and the results are just super! He never played fretless in spite of the fact that he’s super, super good—much better than me—but he just loves the Schecter fretless and wants one now. A buddy who loves metal also wants one now that he played mine. My younger brother is also a bass-player. He rarely used 5-strings and never used fretlesses because he didn’t like the sound of either. Now he wants to buy a Schecter fretless Stiletto model and is thinking about getting the 4-string. They’re that good!

    The Stilettos came in 4, 5, 6 and 8-string models. The 4 and 5-strings can be either fretted or lined fretless. The 6 and 8-strings are fretted only. They can also come in left-handed models. The design is bad-ass! You can see how pretty it is here:

    It is a pretty bass with that streamlined body and natural finish with the golden pots, bridge and tuning heads (as well as the strap pegs). As my brother says, it’s not just an instrument but a work of art. Indeed! Maybe not quite an Alembic body but still extremely nice.

    The neck is cut from multi-laminate maple/walnut and is, of course, neck-thru design. On either side of the neck are glued two pieces of mahogany/bubinga. This design yields a very nice sustain. The fingerboard is rosewood with 24 frets (supposedly 24 frets on a bass can cause the pickups to not be at the optimum position which affects the sound but really I don’t notice anything). The scale length for the 4 and 8-strings is 34” and for the 5 and 6-strings it is 35”.

    There are two Diamond Custom bass pickups rather than the standard Bartolinis I keep seeing on most active basses. The pots are 2 large knobs and 3 smaller ones. The large pots control the front and back pickups independently and the smaller pots provide superb low, mid and high cut/boost range of 12 dB with an EMG active18 volt EQ circuit. A 9-volt battery is required to power the controls and mounts under a screw-on plate on the back of the body. Just a little turn of a pot can completely change the sound, so you have an almost infinite range of possibilities.

    How does it sound? You’d have to hear it to appreciate it. The deepest bass or utter twang that sounds like its coming through a small radio. The low B string rumbles with wall-shaking power. It has absolutely the best slap-&-pop sound I’ve ever heard—just beautiful. Playing it with a pick also sounds marvelous—nothing is lost. In fact, I’m hard pressed to decide which is the best sound: finger-boom, slap or pick. The Schecter Stiletto Studio model basses kick ass no matter how you play them. As I stated, you can sound just like Percy Jones, Pino Paladino or Mick Karn and if you are familiar with any of the aforementioned gentlemen, then that’s all that needs to be said.

    The price at the website was perhaps a bit steep for some, but $949 for such a bass is actually very cheap. You’re lucky to get a good active bass for under $1200 and those are usually the Korean ones. But you can’t order anything from the Schecter website anyway. You have to go through an authorized Schecter dealer. The one I go to always discounts Schecter stuff and I got this bass for an astonishing $664 brand new ordered straight from the factory. Yes, you read that right $664! No ifs, ands, or buts (I was going to say “no strings attached” but that doesn’t sound right). Try getting an equivalent Alembic for that price (hell, try getting an Lakland--the American 4-94 fretless was $3200!).

    Anyway, I think Schecter is very underrated.

    Schecter’s website is
  2. I really like the Studio 6. I wish I could play one, but I haven't found any in the shops in my area. I would have to order one, and buy it before playing it. I might just do that though.
  3. Keech


    Oct 16, 2003
    All in your head
    Yes, the 6-string is nice! I've played one at the place where I ordered my 5-string. I'm not much on 6-strings but one guy played it and I thought he was playing a lead guitar. He was really going on that thing! He loved it.

    Now, remember that there are various Schecter Stiletto models and I'm specifically talking the Stiletto Studio models. That's just in case somebody wants to know what to ask for.

    Also, remember that you have to purchase Schecter stuff from an authorized Schecter dealer so you probably won't find their stuff in just any music store. Go to the website and use that locator to find the Schecter dealers in your area. You ought to be able to get that 6-string for a steal.
  4. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I have an elite 4 but I am familiar with the studio 4's. I really don't like them. The exessive fretboard into body length and thick EMG soapbar pickups leave little room for slap bassists. The Studio 4 is nice for finger style, but the Elite 4 is bad for just about everything. The wood is a problem in the Elite 4 too. Soft Maple is supposed to be used for bodies and Hard Maple for necks. So the soft and hard maple have to meet somewhere. You might as well buy a bolt-on (which I prefer anyway, I don't like that much sustain). Either that or it's all made out of soft maple, and then you've got $650 guitarbage. I've owned my Schecter for about a year and I loathe it. I prefer my brother's Fender Squire J-Bass over it.

    But that's the Elite 4. The Studio is actually great for finger style. But Studio's are few and far between.
  5. jammadave

    jammadave Rudderless ship Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I have a custom 4, one step down from the elite, and i guess 2 down from the studio, and it's got a similar gorgeous satin finish. I'm getting my ass back to geetar center to see if i wanna trade up to the 5-string, but I agree on how nice these are to play. Apparently all of them have the same nut width too, at 1.67 it feels just a little bigger than a Jazz - so I'm psyched to check out the 5 fretted.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    They look nice, but I have never seen one in person. They have a distribution problem, at least in D/FW. Guitar Center is listed as a dealer, but they rarely have any of the basses. When they do, it is usually one Custom 4. They have plenty of the guitars, but you rarely see one of the basses.

    If they play and sound as nice as they look, they are probably pretty good values.
  7. Keech


    Oct 16, 2003
    All in your head
    Yeah, I played other Schecter basses and I didn't really care for them. I thought they were a little stiff. But I think the Studio models are a cut above. The string action is rather low and that does indeed make it tough to slap and pop but with the active electronix, but the Studios are so forgiving in that respect. If you don't quite hit the string right, it kind of covers for you as long as you didn't totally botch it. And the sound is so nice for slapping that I put up with the low action.
  8. Keech


    Oct 16, 2003
    All in your head
    There's a place here called Low Down Sound which is where I go for all my bass needs. As the name implies, they sell nothing but basses of all kinds. Anything they don't have they can get. They have a Studio 4 and 6. I played the 4 which was fretless and loved it. I said that I would love to get a 5-string fretless with the action of that 4-string. "They make those," said the proprietor. He called the factory and quoted the $664 price and I had to take it. You can't get an active bass of that quality for $664 anywhere else.

    I guess not everybody likes them but I LOVE mine!!
  9. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    i remember considering one of those awhile ago... didn't realize that they were that good! :eek:
  10. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    How is the string spacing on the Studio models? I'm looking at the 6 in particular, but would anyone care to comment on that?
  11. V.Kay


    Aug 16, 2005
    i have stiletto studio 5 ...very nice sound for 950$
    real passive EMG HZ and 18 v 3 band preamp
    string space 16.5 mm on the bridge.