Sound — 10
My musical style is everything from AOR, melodic rock through to heavy rock and metal which makes me somewhat of an unusual Caparison buyer (I.e. Not a dedicated shredder etc..). This guitar is even more versatile than the Caparison TAT I own and although it looks a bit like a Les Paul (with two double humbuckers) it can sound like a Les Paul, but it can also be made to sound like a single coil guitar using the coil-split switches and changing the balance of volume to both pic-ups. The possibilities are endless and the sounds all rich, with no dull regions from 1st to 24th fret and on all strings. Played clean the sound can be rich and round or bright and shiny using these combinations and once you go to overdrive, the level of natural sustain (without pedals) is awesome. Notes ring on and on until you want it to stop. Pinch harmonics come easy, and the speed of the neck is excellent due to the Precision in the action set up from the factory. Playing this guiatr through a Marshall MG is wonderful, if only I had a JCM. I think it would sing like an angel. So lots of variety. It is not a one trick pony, and I think most people would love it, regardless of their favourite genre. One thing I do notice, is the pick-ups can overdrive a lot more on this guitar at high volume than even my Les Paul could do. So I find careful balancing of the volume is key to getting exactly the sound you want.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for 23 years and this is my all time favourite guitar. It beats my Gibson's, Fender's, Jackson's and ESP's that I own (or have owned) because of the flexibility of the split-switching but also because of the build quality. This guitar is a work of ART as well as having a great sound. I was lucky and got this with almost 1, 000 off it's list price but even approaching 2, 500 this guitar is worth it and in my opinion, plays better than a Les Paul Custom (which I also had in white). And the ACE SE is cheaper than said LP! As I said in the TAT review, watch out for Caparison. They are a foce to be reckoned with, great guitars, very well-built, and play like angels sing. Even hard rock angels!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is even more of a tank than the TAT I own, built to last by Caparison. However, this does not mena it's chuky and combersome, it is a delight to hold and play and your hand slips up and down the neck with ease. I would quite hapily depend on it for gigging constantly.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action is low, but not too low and there is no fret buzz at any point on the guitar. All the adjustments made in Japan were perfect and the guys in Cranes said they rarely have to touch the Capa's when they are shipped over, so good is the set up at the factory. As I said above, the finish is flawless, to die for, and the maple flame coming through the trasnparent white. Makes you drool!
Features — 10
The Caparison Angelus ACE SE is a special signature edition guitar made for some guy called ACE Who is big in Japan. I have never heard of him, but the guitar he produced with Itaru Kanno is an awesome piece of kit. I saw it on a stand in the shop while having a few days away, played it, and went back the next day and bought it. It comes in two colours, transparent red or transparent white; I have the white version; being built in 2007. It comes with 24 frets on an ebony fingerboard on a mahogany neck with pearl prayer inlays. The body is mahogany with flame maple top (visible through the trans white, making a pinky hue to the top) and has a black stripe around the outside (making it look like a licorice allsort). The body style is Caparison Angelus, not dissimilar to a Les Paul shape. The hardware includes a SRT Floyd Rose locking trem (which mnakes it a unique Angelus) and two Capa PH double humbucker pickups (PH-N at neck, PH-R at bridge). The guitar has no tone knob, but independent volume for each pick-up and a three way Switch. Don't be concerned about no tone knob because there are two coil split switches (one for each pick up) to provide some amazing combinations of tone and Drive. The guitar comes with a sturdy and stylish hard case as well. The overall finish is flawless and everyone I know Who sees it says it's drop-dead gorgeous to look at. Wait until you've heard it play!