Badwater 1216 review by AXL

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.9 (14 votes)
AXL: Badwater 1216

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Friend

Sound — 9
This guitar sounds great. I play mostly metal from hardcore to progressive styles. I'm currently running it through a Line 6 Spider IV 120 on a clean channel with a MXR Fullbore Metal distortion pedal in front. This guitar sounds great both clean and distorted. Through the neck pickup the cleans are very warm and round. This guitar really shines when distorted though. Through the bridge pickup it is great for heavy low end chugging and riffing. It also sounds great through the neck pickup for soloing and tapping over a held chord.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for 6 years now and this guitar is one of my favorites. I also own a Dean 7 string, a Takamine acoustic, and one other 6 string. If this guitar were lost or stolen I would definitely buy it again. It is a great guitar for the price and does everything I need it to do.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is definitely built to last. I would most definitely use it live with no fear of needing a backup.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I have no idea how this guitar was setup out of factory as I bought it used. However, after getting it setup myself it plays great. The action is nice and low and the pickups are at the perfect height. Also the stock tuners seem to do a decent job at keeping the guitar well in tune. What I am most impressed with about this guitar is the finish. This guitar is made to look old and used and Axl did an amazing job. The guitar is painted in an aged creamy white and has been worn down so you can see some of the wood grains. Also all the hardware is made to look like it is rusted. It looks absolutely beautiful.

Features — 8
This guitar has a lot of high quality features considering it is a lower end guitar. It has a set mahogany neck, mahogany body, TOM bridge with stop bar tail piece. It has 2 alnico humbucking pickups, 2 volume and 1 tone knobs and a 3 way toggle switch. It also has a rosewood 22 fret fingerboard with a 24 and 3 quarter inch scale length.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Well, I happen to be a 20+ year player. I recently tried one out at the pawn shop, and I can say I will definitely be back to buy it soon. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's low quality in by any means. My one and only complaint about this guitar is the plastic nut, but it is well worth it to cut a bone or graphite nut, as this is a highly playable great sounding and beautifully constructed guitar. He who must play a $3000 dollar guitar to get a good sound lacks any ability to produce tone with his hands. Remember, SRV's number one was considered by the man who sold it to him to be the biggest piece of shit in the music shop, but look what Stevie was able to do with it.
    I gave it a 9/10 for the price and compared to other guitars at the same price. Not compared to more expensive higher quality guitars. Not everyone has a lot of money to throw around on guitars so we have to use what we can get and make it work.
    I've got to say that a 9/10 seems fair to me. I'm a guitar luthier based in England and I've got one of these guitars at the moment that I purchased second hand. I basically set them up to a pro standard and sell them on for a little profit. The bit I love about this guitar is the construction at the neck join to the body. It gives far better access to the upper frets than a conventional Les Paul. I'm not a great Les Paul lover to be honest as there are a few design issues that I would have ironed out since its introduction and the neck joint on this guitar is one major issue less. Every guitar is different and can have its own character, this one absolutely sings. Set up properly in the hands of a good player and you'd never know this wasn't a high end instrument.
    Bought the distresed badwater (cause I hate the other colors) off the web the moment I saw it and at close it looked much much better. The sound is great too and the neck and fretboard is good for the fast hands. Not too big not too narrow. No matter the price the stuff on the guitar will not start falling off if you treat the guitar with respect. It's a very cool guitar it looks like it's fresh out of a local custom guitar shop. I wouldn't buy a pre-owned 1216. Get a new one if you can.
    UG, would you please put reviews up of only quality guitars? Dude gives this piece of shit a 9/10? Really? I wanna throw up at the disgusting sound that comes out of any Line 6 amp. We gotta 6 year player here????!!!! Get a ****in clue.
    Have you tried this guitar? Have you gigged with this guitar? Do you have any experience of how much of a quality workhorse this guitar is? If any of these are answered with a yes, then fair enough you are entitled to your opinion. If the answers are NO, then go try one out, so you can make a valid opinion on this guitar, or do us all a favour and just shut the f**k up
    The Spider IV 120 is actually a fantastic amp. I do agree, most Line 6 amps are pretty bad, but that amp is very natural sounding, and very nice for it's price.
    Could you possibly be a bigger *******? No, I don't think so, you sound like the ultimate loser.
    I got one of these in Matte Sunburst, and it is one heck of a guitar! For the price you can't beat it.Really all that sucks about it is the pickups, and that's easy to fix. It deserves a 9/10 .
    I've been playing over 30 years and I have what some would say is a nice collection. I do own valuable guitars, not that they always were when I got them. I have all kinds.I have old classics and modern less conventional guitars like Parker and Steinberger. The thing is I do own really cheap guitars too. I bought Epiphone Dots and own old Stellas and Rosetti's that would be too cheap for people who think money equals a good guitar, or guitar sound. I own an AXL. It's the even cheaper 1216 JNR, not unlike a LP JNR. I was given it to try out and liked it and ended up keeping it.I liked how light it was. I did change the electrics (just out of preference) but I kept the Dog ear P90 and the tuners. It also got redone in TV Yellow with a black headstock. It's part of my arsenal. I do own a TV yellow Les Paul but the AXL is lighter and the way the neck fits means you can get to those upper notes. Why does something have to be above a certain price to be relevant? Brian May has pick ups on his guitar that were considered junk for years. I don't even want to go into EVH's self-built guitar. That wouldn't be worthy enough for this site.It didn't cost enough.