Price paid: € 375
Purchased from: Seedamm Music Store
Sound — 9
As I read somewhere on the internet before buying this guitar, the sound was really versatile. When the neck pickup is used and the tone knob is cranked up to the maximum I get both heavy and cutting metal sound through a high gain distortion (like Line6 Insane sound on max). When keeping silent, there isn't lots of noise at all (less than in a higher priced Ibanez JS-series guitar of a friend). Turning the tone dial down enables a very bright blues or rock sound when using the crunch effect and switching to bridge pickup makes it warm and smooth, perfect for clean blues or jazz (RHCP Californication was the first song I played with this guitar... And it sounds so natural). All in all I am very happy with the sound of this guitar, though I might switch to a Q-Tuner bridge pickup to get even more pinch harmonics (even though they're very good as they are now... But hell, there's GAS too; ) ). I give it a nine because very good is not perfect.
Overall Impression — 10
Since I mostly play metal in most directions this guitar fits me very well, both the looks and the hardware. Additionally I like practising really hard technical stuff, which will work well on this guitar as well (I've been playing guitar for two and a half years now and I can do quite some sweep picking already). Just barr chords are tricky because of the almost flat fretboard, but you can't have both a flat and a curved fretboard. This guitar combined with the great effects in Line6 Spider3 15W (first amp) or Line6 Spider Jam (current amp) is just wonderful. As far as the gear I could play anything with this, now I just need to practise to get to the same level as the guitar. I really love this guitar, because it can do everything I want it to do and when I can't do something it's me not being good enough yet. If it were stolen I would definitely get one again, no but's here. I love the looks of it, the feel and how well it fits me. My favorite feature is the strap attachment mechanism I made up for the guitar with the single strap lock, though sometimes I don't like that because sweep picking gets a bit harder but not impossible. And sometimes, but only sometimes the looks get annoying, because they're extreme. For me it's just to look away a second and then back and then it's really great again. That's probably the hardest one to take, because it just really doesn't fit when you play wonderful jazz or rock music with it. When I was looking for a new guitar I just could not decide, but when I saw this one I just couldn't resist and after checking up on the internet it was a no-brainer to buy this guitar. Though sometimes I wish it had a tremolo... But that's another story and will later be another guitar for me. =)
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will definitely withstand Live playing, though I have not played it Live yet. It does not get out of tune at all (temparature crashes like when I open the window in winter won't even make it go out of tune). Only the audio jack will have to be replaced with something of higher quality, but anything else will work perfectly. I'd say that I can depend on this guitar because the only thing that could break would be a string. And I won't count in things like crashing to the ground, since that would break any guitar. This guitar will definitely last me a couple of years to come, though I will add a second guitar with a tremolo system (yes... That's GAS).
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was well set up at the factory with no fretbuzz and well intonated, juste tune and start rocking. After some while I wanted slightly lower action (costing a slight bit of fretbuzz), but that's personal preference of mine. All in all this guitar was very well crafted, no tiny scratches in the finish at all and as far as the construction is concerned there's nothing to complain about. One single flaw in paint was at the edge in the bottom cutout next to the fretboard, but from a distance of more than half a meter it can't be noticed anymore. All the electronics were well made and very solid. Just the audio jack is of a bit lower quality than the rest, since after a while (a year of playing this guitar) there was a slight buzz in certain positions. It may be my cable too which is a tiny bit smaller than what is common. All in all this is a very solid guitar and it has survived some rather hard bumps without a single scratch (just a mark where I slipped when adjusting the action... Screwdriver vs wood doesn't work well on any guitar). The horns have no marks at all. There's one huge flaw with the design though: Because of the heavy neck and headstock the guitar cannot hang on a Standard strap, it just tilts down and the head touches the ground. On the platinum series there's a strap holder on the plate where the neck is bolted on, on this Standard series guitar that holder is in the top horn. My solution to this problem was to drill an extra hole next to the plate on the back of the guitar and attach both ends of the strap to that holder. Adding an Ernie Ball straplock that works like a charm and enables me to spin the guitar freely in front of me. In the end the flaw turned out to be a feature, more or less, but because of that I'll only give a 9, since sweep picking isn't easy when the guitar likes to follow the hands.
Features — 10
My guitar has been made in China, presumably in January 2008 and I bought it in March 2008. It has 24 jumbo frets on a 25.5" scale. The fretboard is made out of ebony, the body out of mahogany, so it's quite luxurious. The neck has detailed celtic style inlays (endless knots symbolizing the eternity of the world) and a rather wide fretboard (compared to my beginner's Strat-clone). The fretboard has a very big radius and is almost flat, perfect for fast playing. The whole woodwork is pitch black, covered in a piano like finish. The body has a flat top and features a well crafted Tune-O-Matic bridge with string through body. The electronics are passive (B\.C\. Rich BDSM Humbuckers) and there's a volume control, tone controle and three way pickup switch. The tuners are B\.C\. Rich branded tuners. As all other metal parts on this guitar they feature an aged look which fits perfectly to the guitar's intention and style. Since I bought this guitar as-is, there were no included accessories at all.