We’ve been mixing it up, matching different colors and stuff. Then it has a switch with three different points in it, one for the note that you actually play, an octave above on the middle position and then the third position is two octaves above. On this last record, I use it at the end of “Requiem.” I hate giving away little secrets, but that’s what it is. At the very end I flip the switch, and it goes to two octaves above at the last note and kind of dive bombs from there. They sent us the mock-up of the shape with the devil-horn headstock. I knew what pickups I wanted to play; that was really fast. Schecter’s always been really good about making things affordable for kids, to the best of their, or our, ability.
We get really cool combinations like the white and the gold. So you can get these really cool harmonic textures. You get a lot of bang for your buck, and there are a lot of great features, a lot of fun stuff on there. Definitely, I feel complete with the model that I have right now.
I basically wanted it to be exactly what I would use live. It’s everything I’ve ever looked for in an amp, from, obviously, tone and playability to the best clean sounds that I’ve ever f*****g heard. It’s got cleans that are mind blowing, especially for a metal/rock amp. I sent this guy, James Brown, who did the [Peavey] 5150 and worked for Peavey exclusively for many years. He does a lot of really old, cool pedals that sound unreal. SG: Pretty much the Axe Fx and the Hellwin are different. I went through a bunch of different amps—5150, a bunch of stuff.
I mean they rival the greats, like Princetons and VOXes, Fender Tremolux, all that. I sent him my favorite amps and told him what I loved, what I disliked and what I thought could be cooler about them. Sent a couple of prototypes until it was pretty close. But sometimes you can mic up a Cube, and sometimes that’s just fucking translating better in a studio. It’s always been a half stack through a guitar, you know?
As lead guitarist of Avenged Sevenfold, Synyster Gates is one of the top shredders in the metal world.
With the popularity of his finger-twisting, mind-bending, high-octane fretwork that lays much of the foundation of the A7X sound, he’s now making his unmistakable tones available to the masses with Schecter through the Synyster Gates series of guitars and his new Hellwin amp—which made its recording debut on the band’s latest album, .
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That creates all sorts of warm, unbelievably rich-sounding effects, the way I use them.SG: They came to me and asked if I wanted to design an amp with them.Like I said, we’re good friends, so we probably discussed it over a few beers and said, “Let’s do an amp.” I was very honored when they came directly to me.They hadn’t heard of us at the time, so they were like, “We don’t really know.We’ll check it out.” Once the record came out, there was a decent amount of underground success, and they were the only company willing to give a small metal band a chance.The black and the gold are probably my favorite at this point. You can do pretty much anything with it, but it’s not over the top. If I needed something that was a little different, that necessitated a different body style or whatever, I probably would do that. SG: We use Dunlop picks, I believe it’s the 2.0, really thick bastards.I wanted to iconize the fingerboard as well and just kind of put my name on it. Schecter model guitar, most of them now, at this point, have the Sustainiac in it.They gave us a bunch of guitars, and just a couple years later, they asked if I wanted to do a signature model with them.I was honored, and have been doing that and hanging with those dudes ever since. I’m definitely a tone guy as well, but I just like things that play well. I picked a couple of things from their existing guitars.I’m not sure which wireless system I use, but through that into my amp, which is the Hellwin, another endeavor with Schecter.We spent a few years developing that with the world’s best amp designer, James Brown. Just the coolest amp of all time, in my humble opinion.