The Schecter Guitar Research repair shop was opened in 1976 by David Schecter in Van Nuys, California. This is where it all began for the future guitar manufacturing company. The repair shop manufactured replacement guitar parts and eventually supplied everything you would need to build a guitar but did not build any of their own guitars at that time. Their main customers were custom repair shops and the two big guitar-manufacturing companies, Gibson and Fender.
Finally in 1979, Schecter started making their own guitars to sell to the public. The designs were based on Fender guitar designs and were very expensive to purchase because of the high quality parts and the small amount they made available. Also around this time, Pete Townshend from The Who got a Schecter guitar from his guitar tech and immediately liked it. In fact he liked the sound so much that it ended up being his main touring guitar.
Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits was the next high profile artist to discover the Schecter guitar. He ended up with many Schecter guitars over the years and one even sold at an auction for $50,000 in 2004.
In 1983, Schecter ran out of resources and could no longer meet the demand for their guitar. Schecter ended up selling the company to a group of Texas investors who were well aware of the great reputation of the Schecter name and the top quality of their guitars. Knowing this, the new owners expected to make a profit by expanding the operation and moving the company to Dallas, Texas. This unfortunately turned out to be a bad move because most of the original employees wouldn’t move to Texas and this eventually led to poor design and quality decisions by the new staff. The guitars that were being produced at this time were being mass-produced and getting a bad reputation for their poor quality.
Even though they were going through this rough time, Schecter did manage to get an amazing guitarist by the name of Yngwie Malmsteen to endorse their
guitars. They also released several new models including the Telecaster style guitar that Pete Townshend was using called the Saturn. Their other popular model was the Scorcher, which was based on the Stratocaster design. Even with these new designs and making their guitars more affordable, sales were very poor due to the lack of quality.
In 1987, the company was unloaded to a Japanese entrepreneur by the name of Hisatake Shibuya. Hisatake was no stranger to music and guitars; he also owned ESP Guitars and the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. He moved Schecter back to California and soon brought the reputation of the company back to the way it used to be. The company went back to their old ways of producing high quality, high priced custom guitars. The guitars were also made in fewer numbers and made available to a smaller amount of dealers.
In 1996, Hisatake hired Michael Ciravolo as president of Schecter. Michael was an experienced musician and had been an employee at a guitar shop owned by Hisatake. Ciravolo ended up bringing in some high profile musicians to endorse Schecter guitars including Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) and Sean Yseult (White Zombie).
Michael Ciravolo also disliked the Fender style designs, so he developed new designs in the Avenger, Hellcat and Tempest models. He also wanted to produce a more affordable guitar and opened up a factory in Inchon, South Korea to build them. This time though, Michael made sure that they were high quality guitars as well as being mass-produced. The parts were made in the South Korean factory and then shipped to their U. S.