Price paid: € 250
Purchased from: Band Aid Music
Features: For my first review, I'm doing my Aria MAC-40. Bear in mind please that I've had this guitar for 5 years now, and I've been playing for ten. I have no idea when this guitar was made, but I purchased it 5 years ago at a discount, due to a small paint defect near the neck. Not sure where it was made, but I think its China. The maple neck is bolt-on with 24 frets. The body is carved top alder, with a metallic-blue finish that changes to purple in the light. Its got this Ibanez-type body shape, but I prefer this to any Ibanez (believe me, I've tried). The tuners work perfectly. I have never had a single problem with it. // 10
Sound: I play everything from freeform jazz to metal, but I prefer using this particular guitar for more instrumental Paul Gilbert, Satch, Vai, etc. stuff. I run this through(in order) tuner, MXR 6 Band EQ, Bad Horsie Wah, EHX Doctor Q, Dunlop Uni-Vibe, EHX The Worm, Danelectro Milkshake chorus, MXR Super Comp, MXR Blue Box. In the effects loop - Volume pedal, Boss DD-7. All this goes into a Randall RG75 with reverb. It sounds awesome. It really does. It has a coil tap, H-S-H pickup configuration and a licensed floyd rose. There isn't any noise at all, not even with the Randall's distortion on full. The neck pickup has a really warm sound (think Tender Surrender), the single coil a lovely twang (think Johnny B Goode), and the bridge pickup an awesome crunch ( think The Extremist).
With the coil tap engaged, everything changes into this Paul Gilbert-style sound. It makes me happy :) I gave it 9 because I replaced the coil tap switch...cause I'm a Savage and an idiot and I snapped it at a gig. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up a tad high, but this was because of the gauge 10s. I changed them to 9s and lowered it easily. Everything is neat and tidy. As I mentioned before, I got it cheaper because of a tiny paint defect. The pickups were set up a bit low too. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I have used this guitar live thousands of times, and it has never failed me. Not even when I broke the Switch :) The floyd is very good, better than any Edge Pro. I know this simply because the other guitarist in the band has an Ibanez with an Edge Pro, and it goes out of tune even with a perfect setup. The Hardware will last, no doubt about it, as will everything else.
I always go to gigs with 3 guitars because of the variety of styles I'm required to play, but I would gig without a backup. // 9
Overall Impression: I'm actually looking for a candy red version of this guitar so that i have the playability and different looks, but the same guitar. I would kill anyone who touches this guitar. The only thing I wish I had is... a Sustainer :) But thats just me on my weird-sound-quest thing :) // 10