Price paid: € 838
Purchased from: The Musicfarm
Sound — 8
Now this was kind of tricky. I usually play metal music in the more extreme genres, but am open to blues, jazz and fusion. I bought this guitar to use it just for metal. I tried to find one to try it out before deciding whether to buy it but I could not and my impatiente got the better of me. After this small prologue I would say that I must be one of the few people that was dissapointed in the begining. I have had this guitar for 4 months now and my oppinion has changed for the better. The problem is that my main guitar is Carvin DC-400T which is a far superior instrument with a wide sonic range and hotter pickups than the EMG's. Also the last 8 months I have been playng through a Mesa triple rectifier with the oversized 4X12 Mesa cab and NO effects. So my first impression was not very good. It sounded a more bassy, I had to increase the gain to have the same intensity in the distortion. And the fact that it was my first V it was a bit hard to get used to it. Everybody was saying about it's amazing sustain, due to the neckthrough and EMG's but I would rate it as a decent sustain but certainly not endless BUT what I did notice form the begining was how quiet the EMG's were. Also the sound had of the pickups had the famous EMG compressed sound that give them sharpness and clarity (again not as much as the Carvin pickups). After playing for a month with this guitar only and experimenting with the amplifier, I managed to have a very heavy sound. It required some extra mids to and some fine tuning of the presence knob but finally I got the sound I was looking for. And the cleans are very decent too, especially the EMG 85 that produces a rather warm sound (something I did not expect from it from everything I have read for the EMG's). The EMG 81 sounded weak but it was just problem of hight that was solved easily. Also the jumbo frets help you play quite effortessly. So now I really like this guitar, I just had to remind myself why I bought it. I still think it is a bit bassy in general but the notes sound sharp and well defined even with a lot of distortion. About variety, well you can play different styles and sound quite good but this guitar kind of makes you want to play heavy music hehehe!
Overall Impression — 8
For the metal genre distorted and heavy sounds it performs very very well. You should be careful because some times the initial setup may dissapoint you. Also it would be wise to test the guitar first just to see if you like it. I have been playing for 11 years and as I mentioned I also own a Carvin DC-400T and Mesa triple rectifier. I also have a couple more guitars but these two are my main guitars. The thing I wish I had done is find it and tried it first, but maybe I would not have bought then (which finally would have been the wrong decision). If it was stolen or lost I would like to get it back, but probably would not buy it again. What I like in this guitar is that it is actually easy to play when you get used to it (if you play it with a strap). I have quite good access in the higher frets and the sound is clear and cuts through. It can give you a beefy sounds and quite good cleans. It has a lot of features that give a good money/value ratio. I tried the Dean Mustaine signature and was very dissapointed. It is better than that one and costs around 300$ less. But I don't know how it would fare against the Schecter atx blackjack V or the Demmelition King V or RR24 Jackson. I would have liked more detail on the finish and with less imperfections. My comments may seem a bit negative, but I prefer to give a more harsh and honest review than just feature the positive elements of a guitar and over evaluating it.
Reliability & Durability — 6
I honestly don't know how durable it will be. The Feeling I get from this guitar is that the hardware and general construction would last in time, but not the finish. It is a light guitar (strange for a mahogany guitar), which is good for playing Live, but it doesn't feel like a real real guitar. I would not tour or play Live without a backup due to the fact that it has a Floyd Rose, but also for the reasons I mentioned before.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I don't know if the guys in musicfarm did a setup or they send it with the factory setting but when it arrived it sounded bad. The E, A and D strings where buzzing like crazy and the Floyd was a bit high and leaning forward. I don't know whether the overseas journey influenced theguitar so much but it needed a good setup. What I didn't like at a first glance was that the workmanship was mediocre. Maybe I am too harsh since I was kind of comparing it with the Carvin, but there is a kind of discoloration just near the joint of the neck with the main body and near the strap button. It is not so big but it is annoying for a new guitar. Also at the Floyd cavity you see some slight discoloroation of the onyx color at the edge of the routing. The pearl binding is not the best I have seen since, especially, on the body there are a lot of small pieces and not a big one forming the lines. A major thing for me also was that the fact that the first everytime I played my fingers would be black from the fretboard, which made me suspicious of the quality or the wood species of the fretboard. The gloss finish is kind of annoying. It is too gloss for my tastes finally. The strap buttons are in decent positions, making it only slightly neck heavy. I must say that the guitar looks a lot better in photos, but in close inspection I would rate it so and so. It is still very impressive but I expected more. Maybe I was too optimistic for the price I paid but that is just my feeling. So...
Features — 9
The actual price from musicfarm was around 710$ with a BC Rich hardshell case for their V guitars, but with shipping costs and customs (sent to Europe) the price went a bit higher. UPS managed to rough up the case a bit (I am never using this company again!). This is a 2008 model made in S.Korea, featuring a mahogany body and a maple neck with a 25.5 scale. It has an ebony fetboard with a kind of coffin inlay in the 12th fret only and 24 jumbo frets, a bound fingerboard and body with pearl as well and white binding. The top is flat and the color is onyx(black) with a gloss finish. It has an original Floyd Rose but not the ones made in Germany, it has two active humbuckers the EMG 81 on the bridge and the EMG 85 on the neck, with a 3-way pickup selector, two volume knobs for each pickup and a tone knob. It also has the grover kidney tuners. As you may have read from other reviews this guitar has a lot of features for a it's price so for all it has to offer it gets an almost prefect mark. I should point out that one of the main reasons I bought this guitar was for the looks!