Price paid: C$ 599
Purchased from: Rondo Website
Sound — 10
Well, as I play many styles of music, this wouldn't be the best choice for versatility. However, as I have a Les Paul for everything else, I opted for a purely metal guitar, and this more than does the job. The pups are spectacular, and don't buzz at all, nor make any noise. Of course, my Decimator is probably responsible for that. Whether you're looking for a great, chunky thrash tone, or a buzzsaw sharp DM tone, this will do the job. I have it tuned to Eb, and with a few dials of the knob, I can do anything from Cannibal Corpse, to Metallica, to Black Sabbath. It really is a jem this thing. Right now, I'm using a Mesa Boogie Dual Rec for gigging with my band, and this thing is a beast! Oh my god, I've also tried it with similar amps, such as the Cube 60, Valveking, JCM 800, and a Randall (I think it was the RG50TC?) and it was stellar through each. It lacked a bit with the Valveking however, but that was really nothing a Tube Screamer couldn't fix. As stated, the sound of the EMGs combined with the mahogany body will give any metal lover his fix, although for you Opeth fans out there, the cleans aren't amazing. With a chorus pedal, it is a slight improvement, however if you're looking for great cleans as well as great chugga chugga, you should think about replacing the 85 with a 60, or perhaps an 89. Which I myself plan on doing, as this thing saved me about $500 for the guitar I had originally intended on buying.
Overall Impression — 9
I will use this guitar for metal primarily, and it holds up great, it's an almost perfect match. I say almost perfect, because an OFR would've been nice, but what can you do? I've been playing a little over 9 years now, gigging for three. I own some other guitars, such as an ESP Eclipse, and a Jackson KE3, and this is my new favourite. I'm not going to say I will use it all the time every time, because different tunings prevent that, but I will say that I will use it 90% of the time. At this quality and price, I really couldn't afford not to. One thing I really would've liked it an OFR, and a hardshell case, as I would have gladly paid more for this guitar, and if it were stolen, I would definitely replace it with another. What I love is the overall sound, quality and looks. I'm a sucker for Vs, and kick ass tone. My favourite feature has to be the neck, as other guitars I've played have had something odd about the neck, but not this one. It fits my hand perfectly. What I hate is the inlays, as I would've liked them to be more Iommi, and not poser/douche, but it's a small price to pay for what you're getting with this. I had compared it to various others, such as a Jackson and ESP. However, due to the price, and my fondness of mahogany, I chose this. I'm sure as hell glad I did too, it was more than worth it. If you're looking for a great metal guitar, and/or a V with an amazing tone, and reliable trem, this is for you.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have taken it to practice already to test it out, and it responds amazingly to a band, and my antics. Immediately after I plugged in, I banged the headstock on a crash cymbal, and there was no scratch! I dodged a Bullet there. I had bought strap locks before I got the guitar and changed those instantly so I can't comment on the stock ones it had, but it has held onto the strap locks quite well, no problems at all so far. I think I could depend on this for years to come, and I will probably order a few more from Rondo when the cash flow comes in, and even if the LFR wears out, I can also afford to swap it out for an original Floyd. As for the finish, it's amazing, and wear only adds character! So it won't bother me at all.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action on this thing was incredible when I received it. It was very low, and doing sweeps and legato was made easier, as the pups are active, they respond a lot better to us guys with a soft touch. The pickups were also adjusted to perfection, as they aren't too far from the strings that you have to play harder, but close enough so that they pickup what you play quite well. My one complaint was that it was tuned slightly sharp on the low E when I got it, which bugged me as I wanted to play it immediately. I was however going to tune it to Eb regardless, so it wasn't that big of a problem. It's built like a tank really, everything was sound and fit, with no errors other than the aforementioned. Rondo really know what they're doing.
Features — 9
2008 Agile Reaper Custom in black, made in America, 24 frets, ebony fretboard, mahogany body, licensed Floyd Rose, 3-way switch, EMG 81/85 active pickups, Grover tuners, and roughly 7 lbs. One volume knob, and one tone know, V style body, Randy Rhoads style to be more specific with modifications. Asymmetrical wings. Comes in with the choice of solid black or white finish. I opted for the black. Also has cross inlays, however due to the designer of said guitar, they are upside down, so that may turn some people off of the idea if they're religious. The quality of the LFR is surprisingly good, which was one of my worries when purchasing this, as my experience with LFRs usually isn't good. So that was a pleasant surprise. The neck is another high point of this finely crafted guitar, as it isn't too thin as to cramp your hand, but isn't overly large either that it interferes with your technique. My one beef however is that there was no hardshell case to accommodate the guitar on it's journey, so that may be a worry for some also. Other than that, this is a solid guitar, and for the price, one hell of a bargain.