Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: TNT Custom Guitars
Features: Assuming made in 2012-13... China Kit. This is a "Build it yourself Kit" advertised as "Apply your own finish" and put it together. 21 fret 25 1/2" scale Maple neck... Doesn't fit 24 3/4" scale body. Thin "Burled" maple veneer on Basswood body, you finish it yourself. This is a "copy" of a Music Man Axis style guitar, with a chrome Floyd Rose unit, one volume control and a 3-way switch. 2 humbucker configuration. Tuners are no-name. Comes with a patch cord and strings. Again, this is a "Build it yourself" kit. // 1
Sound: Once I got this guitar together, there were MAJOR problems (outlined in my "Overall Impression" review). Pickups are hot, but very thin, and aren't anything special at all. No bottom end, no discernible top end... just... bland. I'm running it through a basic amp setup. No effects other than some amp reverb. My Strat and Kramer Striker sound awesome through this amp. The 3 way switch is VERY noisy, and impossible to not hear a 'creak and click' when switching pickups. Volume knob seems ok. Even roll off. // 1
Action, Fit & Finish: Again, this is a "Build it yourself" kit, and advertised as "You paint/stain/finish it yourself, and put it together." Everything is supplied, all hardware (screws etc), parts (tuners, Floyd Rose bridge/nut etc) and pre-drilled Body (including binding around edge of body), predrilled and finished Neck (for tuners, not for attaching to body). So where do I begin? Out of the box I saw that the edge binding wasn't applied properly, and had a "bubble" along the bottom edge. Had to be cut an reglued, so it's not a "seamless" install. The predrilled hole for the pickup switch was drilled off center, so in order for the switch to fit, I needed to modify the hole... The Floyd Rose "whammy" arm didn't screw all the way on, so it was impossible to tighten it, so it swings all the time... But these are minor annoyances compared to trying to set the intonation on this kit once built. It is impossible. Drove me nuts for about half an hour, when I realised that I couldn't move the bridge saddles back far enough to get the intonation setup right. So, oout came the ruler. Measured the neck and found it's a 25 1/2" scale neck. But in further measurement, the bridge post holes are predrilled at a spec for a 24 3/4" guitar. So, in order for it to possibly work, I needed to either set the neck farther back about 7/8th's of an inch (!!!) in the neck hole, or get another neck of the proper dimensions. So, basically this is an unplayable kit as it is out of the box. I got around this because I had a spare 24 3/4" neck from another guitar that I fit onto this kit, but I shouldn't have to supply my own parts. // 1
Reliability & Durability: Within a week, the cheap Floyd Rose nut that came with this stripped out a thread hole on one of the clamps (I know not to overtighten FR string clamps, I have one on my Kramer) but this was hardly tightening it. So now I have to get a replacement nut already. Don't think the Floyd will hold up to regular abuse. I doubt that this is indeed a licensed FR, but that's just my speculation. I would need to do major part replacement before I would consider using this live (pickups, switch, etc). The finish should hold up... Heck, I finished it, although the "burled" Maple top on this is as attractive as plywood grain. Just shows "Cheap." // 1
Overall Impression: I play an EVH style, but tend to lean more to the Blues side of playing (SRV, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top etc). I've played for over 20 years, and have several other guitars like my 68 Strat re-issue (which I've beaten to hell and back), Kramer Striker, Gretsch Electromatic, Steinberger "Spirit" and others. I've made my own guitar bodies as well with parts from other guitars (which is why I had the spare neck). I wish I had asked the Youtube guy that I saw these kits used before I bought one. I'm sure he would have steered me away.
With all the failings of this guitar, I found the biggest failing to be from Ken, the owner of "Dragonfire Guitars"/TNT Custom Guitars and his customer service. When contacted about the scale/neck problem, his only solution was for me to send the Floyd Rose bridge back (at my expense) and he's send me another Floyd Rose that had "more range of motion." I had to insist that it wasn't a FR problem, as per specs directly from FR's website, the post holes would still be wrong, and I don't know of ANY FR saddle movement that will compensate for almost an inch out of adjustment. While he ignored my request for him to show me a pic of such miracle Floyd Rose, as I wasn't going to drop another penny on this P.O.S. kit, he only replied once I got angry and sent him another email, to which he effectively just wrote me off. No effort to make me happy... No other solution.
I've seen other message boards since I've got this kit, with some people loving his stuff, and other hating it, but the most common complaint I see is his Customer Service. I was planning on buying more of his kits later on, but with the experience I got from this one alone, as well as his "non-action" at all to make it right I'll never send this crook another penny again.
I would NOT recommend ever buying this Kit, nevermind ever dealing with DragonFire Guitars/TNT Custom Guitars/GuitarPartsOnline.com (all the same company).
You have been warned! LOL... Cheers. // 1