Price paid: $ 190
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 6
Leans toward metal rhythm with lead potential. Hand built tube fired 300W amp with Zoom G9.2tt and G2. Unplugged, the guitar is quite resonant, much more so than most. This should lend to thunderous rhythm warm clean tones yet the pickups don't seem to pick this up. Instead they feast upon its upper frequency crispness and does quite well with pinch harmonics. It needs a Seymour Duncan overhaul. The BDSM's have slid off in quality and are probably a marginal match to this guitar anyhow. Something warm in neck position and a Dimebucker bridge would wake it up. I suppose the fact that the pickups suck might be a plus since you wont get attached to them they encourage you to make it yours with an upgrade.
Overall Impression — 6
I love metal, I play just about everything that qualifies as music to include classical. This one finds a home in distortion dependent forms and after a pickup upgrade, should serve very well with clean tones. Off the rack, keep an eye out. These budget axes do have a few quirks, and are probably prone to flaws that will render some specimens useless. Check for excessive fret sprout, cracks and warps that are sure to happen. China don't care. Once past inspection (don't buy one sight unseen) I doubt you will have to put much effort into making this a world class axe for less than an additional $250 Its a HOT rod. Its not meant to remain stock. If your afraid of modifications, look at a higher grade variant.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The guitar itself should survive the apocalypse... Its hardware... Not so much. But for the price its not that big of a deal to upgrade its tuners and pickups and fine tooth comb the small details. All up this one will cost me a grand total of $350 (purchase of the guitar included) to make it perfect. There's nothing particularly fragile about it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
It seems these will run the gambit. I've had a few minor quirks with a Masterpiece Bich of similar overall construction. This one they missed some serious bases. The action is decent with the strings a touch on the high side but not overly so. The real issue was the truss rod in the neck. Yeah they installed one but never bothered to adjust it. There was no counter tension set at all. It was two full turns loose and the neck would have warped had I not caught this. Watch the string grommets on these guitars and have some superglue ready when you change the strings. Its no big deal really once you properly glue em into the body they stay put, the same treatment was needed for one of the bridge posts as well. One of the tuners, while useable, is an obvious reject having a very stiff spot in its travel.
Features — 9
- 2011 made in China - 24 frets - solid body - maple neck, rosewood fingerboard Agathis body - black with red wartribe flames - tune-o-matic ish wrap around bridge - passive BDSM pickups - 1 vol 1 tone 3 position switch - 2 humbuckers by whoever is makiking the BDSM's for BC Rich lately - diecast BCR tuners