Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: music123
Sound — 9
While this guitar looks full dress metal, it's tonal warmth lends itself better to blues and jazz, though she can still rock when she has to. Through my hand built tube fired amp, by way of a Zoom G2's chorus and reverb, its rather haunting with classical guitar technique. Add some Drive and it's blues. Add more and its somewhere in the classic rock range but comes up a little short for searing leads. The bridge pickup is utter crap while the neck is passable. I intend to upgrade both to a DiMarzio Air Classic neck and a Mo'Jo bridge which seem to be more in line with what this axe wants to be.
Overall Impression — 9
It has a few minor issues but nothing that cannot be overcome, even on a tight budget. Once its bugs are squashed its a lighter than most gig worthy piece of dependable hardware that wont let you down. It's a perfect fit for anything I do in church with it. It looks metal but its heart is blues and jazz. This identity crisis also lends itself well to the environment. It is as responsible as I for forging an acceptable and proper place for the six stringed razor in a place of worship. It looks like a worst case scenario to the unwashed masses and brilliantly proves them wrong. For the price there is room left an almost any budget to upgrade this good guitar into a phenomenal one.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've played this guitar live at weddings, funerals, and many other gigs for 4 years without a backup instrument and its simplicity lends well to its durability. I've had cables fail, power supplies give up the magic smoke. And all sorts of small parts fail in the clutch. But this axe has never been to blame for any failure in its history.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action of this guitar is rather quick and its out of the box setup was pretty close to right with the exception of the nut, where they cut the low E slot a bit too low which caused some fret buzz in F F#. This may be a deal breaker for those who don't know how to make a new one, or know where to have it done. The metal grommets used in the string through body setup benefit from a little superglue for them to stay put. Easy fix.
Features — 8
I bought mine in 08, its SN indicates manufacture in 06 somewhere in China. Full 24 frets in a rosewood fingerboard. Agathis body with quilted maple top maple neck. Finish is transparent blue to pick up the quilted maple top. The bridge is a tune-o-matic type sans tailpiece, addressed with string through body approach. It sports traditional passive electronics three position selector switch, double volume and single tone to deal with its chrome covered BDSM humbuckers. All totaled, its a pretty guitar with a good simple and solid interface.