Badwater Review

manufacturer: AXL date: 01/25/2011 category: Electric Guitars
AXL: Badwater
Badwater guitars come in extremely distressed finishes that include worn brown, crackle, and worn white. It's pretty cool.
 Sound: 5.5
 Overall Impression: 5.5
 Reliability & Durability: 5.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6
 Features: 7.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) pictures (4) 18 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 5.6
Badwater Reviewed by: badbrad101, on march 05, 2009
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 7

Sound: 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). // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 5

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 4

Overall Impression: 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. // 6

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overall: 9
Badwater Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 25, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 229

Features: The coolest feature on this guitar has to be the distressed finish. I actually own a Johnson model Badwater (same companies I guess, but mine has the Johnson logo on the headstock vs. Axl) in the Vintage white finish. The distressed bronze hardware is completely awesome, and I like the subtle touches such as the wormholes in the wood, woodburning on the headstock, and the simulated wood pickguard and back panel. The guitar comes in the popular H-S-S Strat style, with a tremolo bridge, and EMG-designed pickups. The 5-way selector and VOL-TONE-TONE knobs control the sound. All in all, this is a VERY cool looking guitar, with a lot of nice functional features you wouldn't expect in this price range. The lifetime warranty is also very nice. My only other request would be Grover tuners. // 8

Sound: This guitar really surprised me when I played it. I play a lot of hardcore punk/alternative rock, and even a little bit of metal. Coming from a "knock-off-Strat" this thing blew my socks off. The distortion is surprisingly punchy, especially on the bridge humbucker. I actually use a Metal-Muff pedal on all of my other guitars, and this thing sounds better without it. I really didn't expect this good of distortion out of such a "cheap" guitar, but these EMG designed pickups really deliver. The clean on this guitar is absolutely heavenly. I honestly could not believe my ears. There isn't much out there (and NOTHING in this price range) that will sound better clean than this guitar. Cover the name on the headstock and play it and people would think it was a $800 guitar (if not more.) There is a lot of variety as well with having the 3 pickups. Just don't expect much out of the tone knobs, which seem to be there just for looks. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Surprisingly, I was very happy with the set-up of this guitar when I got it. I actually didn't have to touch a thing. I have a few more expensive guitars that give me much worse headaches than this guitar. The neck was straight as an arrow, intonation was perfect, frets filed perfectly (I can't even feel that they are there,) nothing is loose at all, and if it did have any visual flaws, they blend right in with how this thing is supposed to look. Everything was PERFECT on this guitar right out of the box. A pleasant surprise. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have heard a lot of complaints on the reliability of these guitars, but to be honest I don't have any worries about mine. Everything seems great. The concerns I had with it staying in tune were erased after my first session on it. I played it for probably 2 hours with multiple divebombs on the whammy, and it was still in tune after it all. This was even on the garbage strings that came on it. The strap buttons are VERY solid (completely embarrasses my Epiphone in this category.) Even the nut on the input jack is tight as a drum, which is an issue I seem to have with every guitar I touch. I wouldn't play it live without a backup however, because A) I like to play all of my guitars, and B) if I were to break a string I wouldn't want to have to deal with it. But I have no doubt it would handle a live show, no problem. // 9

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this guitar is very good, especially considering the price. It is a pretty good match for my style of playing, which I honestly didn't expect at all at a first glance. I also own a Dean Dave Mustaine VMNTX, an Epi Les Paul, and a Jackson Kelly....and this is close in the running for my favorite, believe it or not. If someone stole this guitar, I would definitely buy another one. Like I said earlier, the clean on this guitar is completely unmatched. I love just about everything; from the awesome finish, to the sound it delivers, to how it feels to play (perfectly balanced, nice neck)...and there isnt anything I hate about it. I compared this to a few other guitars in this style(Washburn X-Pro, a few Squier Strats) and this was by far my favorite. Like I said earlier, the only thing I really could wish for is Grover tuners. And I don't really want to put a set on myself because they wouldn't match the awesome distressed bronze hardware. Other than that, the thing is pretty solid. I definitely recommend it to someone looking for an affordable, sweet looking (and sounding) guitar. // 9

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overall: 6.4
Badwater Reviewed by: JugglingGuitars, on december 24, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 280

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: I bought this guitar about a year ago in the crackle blue finish. It was my first guitar. It's got 21 frets (not enough), floating bridge, and pretty cheap hardware. Nevertheless, this guitar looks awesome. They should rename this guitar to the Axl BADASS. Oh, and I second the fact that the tone knobs do nothing at all. // 5

Sound: Well I play post-hardcore and alternative rock and this thing manages to scramble along ok. I use heavy distortion usually and it sounds not too bad when using the humbucker. When using the first sigle coil, this things can smash out some beautiful cleans though. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: Out of the box, this thing was set up great except for the fact that it needed some fret board oil. I also tightened up one tuning peg but it was great apart from that. Of course, this finish is freakin' sick. The neck is a little on the thick side. Also, the bolt-on neck gets in the way a bit when playing solos. // 8

Reliability & Durability: People are bagging this guitar out in the durability section, but I fully disagree. Mine has been perfect. No problems at all. I play this guitar A LOT =D and it's held up fine. I would definitely use it without a back-up on stage, not that I'd use it on stage.. It just can't cut it sound-wise. // 9

Overall Impression: I've been playing for just over a year. Overall, this is an ok starters guitar but that's about it. I recently bought an LTD H-1001 so this one will be gathering dust from now on. If it was lost/stolen, I WOULD NOT buy it again. However, I don't regret buying it either. Just thought I'd bring it up one last time... THIS THING LOOKS SICK! =D // 5

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overall: 3.2
Badwater Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 22, 2010
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 200

Features: I bought this guitar in Malaysia actually from an authorized dealer. It was my first Electric Guitar. The finish is crackle black which looks damn cool. It has the Axl logo branded on the headstock which also looks very cool. Its a Strat shape body. It has EMG designed pickups. // 10

Sound: I mainly play rock n roll, some blues and some metals. This guitar is alright with it. I use a Axl amp with it. Its pretty small but not bad. Really its pretty bad. The clean sounds pretty good though. Distortion isnt that bad but not great really. When I first got it it was my first electric and I didn't care about sound I just wanted to play a cool looking electric cause I'd never played one. Now I've been playing 5-6 years and I am more advance. // 2

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory setup was alright. But really this guitar sucked. I've had it two years and I've had to send it for repair ten times! The whammy bar has snapped and it goes out of tune when I slightly tune the e Sting to drop d. I sent it 3 times in one week to repair and only a month after it stuffed up again.the materials used to make the guitar is very poor. // 1

Reliability & Durability: No. I'd just did a performance at school and right after it stopped working completley. Lucky it didn't go of during. Hardware sucks. Crap material. Really poor. Strings snap easily. The strap buttons became loose very easily. I woudn't depend on this guitar. The finish hasn't really worn of which is good exept for a few tiny ones that don't really bother me. // 1

Overall Impression: This guitar just sucks. Besides its awesome look its a piece of crap. Even a cheap Yamaha beats this. I would be pissed if it were stolen because it looks awesome but I would get over it easily on would waster money on another. I would NOT recommend this guitar. begginers get a Yamaha pacifica. I've been playing guitar almost 5 years and even that would be better. I'm planning to get a new Gibson or Epiphone. // 2

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