Purchased from: Motor City Guitar, Waterford, MI
Features — 9
This guitar was made in Korea in 2012. It's got 24 jumbo frets on a 24-5/8 inch neck with diamond inlays on an ebony fretboard. Both the body and the neck are mahogany with a transparent glossy finish. The bridge is a neck through B.C. Rich quad, similar to those found on Gibson guitars. It's got two Duncan Designed HB-103 humbuckers, which are lovely. There is one master volume for each pickup and one master volume, a three way selector switch, coil taps, a reverse phase switch, and a five way varitone knob. The tuners are Grover Super Rotomatics. My only complaint was that it didn't come with a gig bag. With the vast array of features and quality hardware and electronics, what's not to like about this guitar?
Sound — 9
I play classic and modern rock, blues, jazz, and some metal, and it suits each of these styles well. Hell, with the reverse phase switch on using both pickups, you can get some Telecaster-esque tones for country. I am playing through a Fender Hot Rod DeVille using the following effects: Dunlop Crybaby, Boss SD-1, Electro-Harmonx Big Muff Pi, Ibanez CS9, and MXR Phase 90. Using the coil taps you can reduce the output to make the pickups sound like single coils. On the plus side, I've found that combining one pickup with the coil tap on with the other off can produce gorgeous clean tones. However, using the taps with distortion produces hum, but that's to be expected.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The factory setup was pretty good overall. The action was close to where I wanted it to be (somewhat high), to my surprise. However, there were a few things that needed correction. The neck pickup was a bit uneven (the end near the low low E string was higher), the intonation needed some adjustment on the lower strings, and the bridge saddle was slightly crooked on the high E string. Fortunately, correcting these issues was no big deal. Afterward, it was some time before the strings went out of tune.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I haven't played any gigs since purchasing this guitar, but I am confident that it will hold up well. The hardware seems like it will last for years. I have no worries about not bringing a backup for this as long as I bring a stand as this guitar is difficult to stand upright. The strap buttons are adequate, but I have replaced them with the Dunlop Dual Design Strap System. It's probably too soon for me to comment on the finish, but i will say that it's very glossy, so it will likely scratch easily on the back side, not that anyone will look there.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 7 years; I also own Fender MIM Strat and a Gibson Les Paul Studio, and I would be worried if I were them because I haven't put this thing down since buying it a month ago. If this guitar got lost or stolen I would buy a new on as soon as possible, but I would consider the version that has Floyd Rose tremolo. I chose this because it's comfortable to play, has a very smooth neck and a lot of tone possibilities, and it's a very unique, eye catching body style - it's just plain sexy as hell. If you're looking for something that's affordable, sounds great, and is different from what your friends are using, check this out.