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More than Bass

Schecter Stiletto Extreme 4 Review

Before manufacturing its own electric and bass guitars, Schecter made spare parts for other renowned guitar manufacturers. Those times are long gone and now Schecter makes high-quality original models at affordable prices. Today, we will test a bass guitar called the Stiletto Extreme 4...

Quickly looking at Schecter's catalog, you'll notice that the brand offers a pretty wide range of instruments including modern-looking models, as well as more classic lines that recall the shape of some Fenders and Rickenbackers. Nevertheless, the latter are no cheap copies: they have their own specifications and do distinguish themselves from the original models. There is certainly something for everyone and almost every model has a 4 or 5-string version.

Among all these models, there's a bass guitar series called Stiletto which combines a light body and a comfortable neck. This series includes five different models: Studio, Elite, Extreme, Deluxe, and Custom. We received the Extreme 4 (4-string version) in Black Cherry finish.

We unwrapped it as soon as we got it...


Unpacking

 

Schecter Stiletto Extreme 4
The first time you take the bass guitar out of the box, you'll be surprised by its small body and its neo-Fender shape. The Black Cherry flamed top looks great and it gives the instrument a classy touch without overdoing it. The model is also available in other colors: See-Thru Black and Trans-Ocean Blue- which allows you to see the beautiful flamed maple top. The instrument makes a very good first impression.

 

The bass has a mahogany body, quite dense and heavy. Fortunately, it has small body so that the overall weight is reasonable. Both the flamed top and the neck are made out of maple. We couldn't help noticing the neck's yellowish wood, which certainly won't meet everybody's taste! Lastly, the rosewood fretboard has 24 jumbo frets. It includes nice V-shaped inlays to make playing easier.  A multi-ply binding borders the neck and the headstock. The instrument has a 34" scale (864 mm) and the bolt-on neck is screwed to the body with six screws.

As for the hardware, this Schecter sports in-house made machine heads, and a quality Diamond Bass bridge. The black chrome finish matches the different color versions of the guitar perfectly: tasteful and nice! The overall finish of the instrument is flawless, and the electronics are simple but effective: two Diamond active pickups (don't forget to unplug your bass after you stopped playing to avoid emptying the battery!), overall volume control, mix knob to set the balance between both pickups, and two tone settings (high and low).

That's for the specifications. Now, it's time to put this baby on your right leg (or left leg if you're a lefty–that's right Schecter didn't forget about you!).


In action

 

Schecter Stiletto Extreme 4
The Extreme 4 is perfect when you play sitting: the headstock doesn't lean forward, the body fits your knee and belly seamlessly, and the rather thin neck will be a delight for small hands. When playing with a strap it is also quite comfortable. The Extreme 4 has a really ergonomic design, it will take you no time to get used to the instrument, which is a good sign. Access to the upper frets is perfect even at the 24th fret. The neck recalls a Jazz Bass a bit, it's slim (without being too flat) and easy to play. You won't have the impression of holding a baseball bat in your hands.  We also noticed that the bass guitar stayed in tune during the whole test which is a good point.

 

As soon as you plug it you'll notice that the instrument was conceived for modern music styles, considering the high output level of the active electronics. The bass sounds equally good if you play it with your fingers or with a pick. You'll easily get a round and deep sound without the need of tweaking the settings. On the other hand, it'll be difficult to get a real bright sound. The pickup balance control provides you with a wide sound range. I only regret the fact that both pickups sound quite similar. This will bring you to use the active EQ, which by the way is quite effective at allowing you to shape the sound. In short, this bass guitar provides a nice sound considering its price. The sound is not really amazing nor does it match its finish quality. Get a taste for yourself by listening to the audio samples recorded with the new TC Electronic RebelHead amp and with a D.I.

Schecter Stiletto Extreme 4
Schecter Stiletto Extreme 4

 

 


Conclusion

Schecter Stiletto Extreme 4

This bass guitar made in China is a nice surprise when it comes to finish and manufacturing quality. The body with its Black Cherry translucent finish looks wonderful. The instrument is well balanced and the neck feels very comfortable. The Extreme 4 is impeccable until you plug it into an amp. Its sound is not amazing, it's just the kind of sound you can expect for the price. Both pickups provide a high output level but they sound too similar and somewhat dull. The balance control doesn't provide enough sound variations and you'll have to resort to the more effective EQ to shape the sound.  In short: it's a nice small bass guitar which deserves better pickups.

 

 


Pros

  • Manufacturing quality
  • Good finish
  • Beautiful translucent Black Cherry color
  • Effective EQ
  • Ergonomically shaped body
  • Comfortable neck

Cons

  • Both pickups sound too similar