Price paid: $ 1700
Purchased from: Private Sale
Features: The Caparison Horus Scarab/GO, or, Horus line in general, was introduced in 1995, and is one of many of the hand-crafted models produced by Itaru Kanno in Japan. Now discontinued (this finish), the Scarab/GO is one of the rare finishes you can find, along with the uber-rare Iris Violet (which I had at one time) and a few others.
The Horus features a 24.75" (short) scale (like that of a Les Paul), and inlays that are replaced with Caparison's signature 'Clock' inlays (which show a different time on each clock) that give these guitars a very unique and elegant look! It has 27 frets and features a deep cutaway to provide ease of access to your higher frets. The neck is hard maple and the fretboard is a BEAUTIFUL, light rosewood. I'm not a fan of rosewood, but gosh, it looks really good on the Horus. The neck/body construction is bolt-on and has a type of AANJ joint.
The body is solid mahogany, but light, like that of Swamp Ash (ESP M-II Deluxe for example). The finish is a custom sponged finish, which is hard to come by and very unique to the Caparison line (especially the Horus). The style of the body is that of a strat, coupled with a Schaller Tremolo, which I was VERY blown away by. The quality, feel and look of the Schaller is clean, and it stays in tune and does your 'cricket chirps' with ease.
Electronics are comprised of Caparison designed bridge and neck pups; the neck pup is a single-coil sized humbucker that was built specifically for the Horus and it's 27 frets and scale. These older Horii also featured a single, push-push pup selector knob that made changing pups during mid-play as easy as it gets. The rest of the hardware, tuners and locking nut are Gotoh and a Schaller R2 Locking nut respectively. // 9
Sound: I was turned on to Caparison guitars by Chris Amott of Arch Enemy and Rob Marcello (which I'm getting the Horus he owned, in a few weeks!). I was taken aback by their tone in their solos and how fluid it sounded. The stock pups for the Horus are great and comparable to a Seymour Duncan HOT Rails/SH-4 combo. I am partial to the DiMarzio Air Norton S and Seymour Duncan HOT Rails, so, I swapped the neck pup out for an Air Norton S and of course the tone improved even more! Some other popular swaps are the DiMarzio Fast Track in the neck, Tone Zone in the Bridge, or, Bareknuckle of some sort in the bridge coupled with a DiMarzio in the neck; the possibilities are endless. Each are great for metal, to blues and instrumental rock (which is what I'm into).
For amps, I used a solid state amp and was very pleased with the tone. I acquired a tube amp and I can't WAIT to hear how it sounds through that! Thru my solid state, I played thru a Boss ME-70 pedal. If you go on YouTube, look up feilong29 "In The Cage" solo cover to hear it. Overall, the tone is full, fluid and harmonics are easy to do. This guitar can do pretty much whatever you want it to do! // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Being that the guitar was second hand, I can't comment on the set up from the factory, but, even after being passed around to numerous buyers, the action and finish was phenomenal! Pups were adjusted properly, finish was solid with no flaws, tuners were top of the line and the Schaller kept in tune great as well. Routing for the tremolo and pups were spot on; no issues here. Itaru holds his craftsmanship in HIGH regard, so, I didn't expect anything less than perfection. These are truly one of the top guitars in my book; I have yet to find anything better. // 10
Reliability & Durability: These guitars should be treated with extreme care; after all, you are playing one of the top quality guitar brands in the world! These guitars are being utilized by many big names who play them live, so, it can surely take a beating while on tour or just jamming in the basement/garage. The hardware, like anything, will wear down over time if not properly maintained; the Horus Iris Violet I had, the previous owner didn't take care of it and the Schaller really suffered from oxidation and rust. BUT, the Scarab/GO I had, I never had any issues with the hardware; I kept it cased when not in use, and I took it apart at least once a month and cleaned the body, fretboard and hardware. Everything from the strap buttons to the input jack was solid and well thought out.
And on a side note, if I were to be in a band and on the stage, I could see myself utilizing this ONE guitar... But, that would be silly! I'd have another one just in case; you just never know. Having more than one would be awesome though. These are just GREAT guitars, PERIOD! // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, like I said, this has been the BEST guitar I've ever owned. You feel sort of, prestigious, like you are part of a small and rare community when you own a Caparison guitar. The guitar did go down for a brief stint, but rose up from the ashes with a new product line that feature new finishes and electronic configurations.
I play a lot of metal and want to dabble with instrumental type stuff in the vein of Vai, Andy James and the like. I've been playing over 7 years and have had a Caparison Dellinger, and two Horii (Iris Violet and Scarab/GO). I currently have an Ibanez RG550 and a Schecter Hellraiser C-7 NT, but will be acquiring Rob Marcello's Horus Scarab/GO in a few weeks!
I've definitely done my homework and research before buying my Caparison guitars, and the ONLY reason I got rid of them was to try something new; but it becomes one of those, "Man, why did I EVER get rid of those guitars?" type deals... So, when I acquire this new Horus, I'm not EVER letting it go! If these guitars were stolen, you best believe I will be putting in a claim to get another one. And if I had the money, I'd drop it on another Caparison Horus, PERIOD! I'm actually gonna make sure that this one is insured when I get it.
What I love overall, is the crafstmanship of the guitar. I love the gold hardware, the finish, the feel, the look of the 'Devil's Tail' headstock and the Horus logo that is on it. It's just a unique guitar that is well put together and the stock pups are unique as well. My favorite feature of the guitar are the clock inlays and Schaller tremolo.
As for comparing this to other guitars, I can't say that I've found any that were close; well, not close to the Horus, though I can compare the Caparison Dellinger to an ESP M-II in feel. I know other people's opinions may vary from mine, but, like I said, I haven't played anything that felt as good, solid and expensive as a Horus. If you get a chance to acquire a Caparison guitar of ANY model, DO IT! You can get good deals on them used (prices range from $1000-$2200), brand new they are $2400 and over. The newer, 2012 models come with features that a LOT of owners customize on their guitars. A lot of Horus ownes install a toggle switch, which now come standard on the new models. // 10