Sound — 6
I play all metal. For it's price, this guitar has an amazingly nice distortion to it, suited just for metal. Even more amazing is that the clean channel is near perfect- better than my les paul and Strat. I bought this guitar just for the clean- no other guitar built compares (I think). On the down side, the whammy is crap. The guitar will come out of tune after about 5 seconds of play. The worn neck has no finish which makes sliding up and down it very hard. The 8va notes on the guitar don't match the notes an octave lower. Open g sounds nothing like 12th fret g. This makes me very mad. Nothing you do can fix this. The action is high, and the tone knobs have no effect what'soever on the sound of this guitar. Working around these flaws, this guitar is one to buy for clean sounds (as mentioned earlier).
Overall Impression — 6
Cleans are excellent. Distortions is good. Build quality is fair. I've been playing for over three years, and I have four guitars. This is by far best for the clean, but worst for the overall quality. If stolen, I would by again, only for the sound, though. AXL guitars are the worst quality wise, and they are made in china. When it comes to sound, though, these are comparable to much higher end guitars.
Reliability & Durability — 4
I don't feel like this guitar will last more than a few years. I wouldn't have a backup for this guitar, this guitar would be the backup's backup. Enough said. I've dropped it a couple times, however, and it seems to be fine. I'm afraid that by playing this guitar I am going to kill myself by slicing my hands on the frets, but that's okay, since 2 of them have fallen off! The nut fell out when I was changing strings, too.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
On my crackle model, the finish is peeling off like wallpaper. All the hardware, every single little piece, is finished in worn brown. Action is high, frets aren't really cut well. Neck isnt finished witch makes sliding hard. Everything had to be adjusted or redone out of the box.
Features — 7
Badwater guitars come in extremely distressed finishes that include worn brown, crackle, and worn white. I have the crackle model, and like the other three, it comes with two EMG designed single coil pickups and a humbucker in the bridge. One volume and two tones paired with the 5 way selector give the guitar a fat Strat layout. It has a cheap Strat like whammy and c neck. Not one piece of hardware on this guitar is not finished in some sort of worn look. It's pretty cool.