Price paid: $ 2200
Purchased from: Guitar Asylum
Sound — 10
This guitar is absolutely incredible to play and can handle anything from the lightest jazz to the heaviest death metal, and because of that, it suits my needs perfectly. It maintains clarity in low tunings and even in a messy band situation with thick, harmonically rich chords. Right now I am using it with a Rivera K-Tre going straight into the amp with an ISP Decimator ProRack G in the effects loop. I often don't use effects because I feel they are unnecessary. The guitar is not noisy at all and is one of the least noisy of the guitars played through my amp (without the decimator on), of which there are many ESPs, a custom Jackson soloist, and an Ibanez Universe and JEM. It has a nice warm, rich, full sound without losing crunchiness for doing tight palm mutes. The stock pickups are great and have this unique tonality about them, but I switched them out for a Bareknuckle Pickup Nailbomb and Trilogy Suite. And, though the guitar is a bolt on, it has just as much sustain as any of the neck through guitars I have played.
Overall Impression — 9
As an overall impression, when setup to my specs, the Caparison is easily the best guitar I have ever had and ever played. I have been playing for almost 5 years now (I have a full-time Job, and pay for my own housing and gear), and own a Schecter C1 Classic, about 4 years old, an Ibanez Universe (soon to be replaced with a Caparison 7 string), and a Jackson USA Custom Soloist (Also going to be replaced). I go through a cycle of gear constantly. If the guitar was stolen, I would probably buy another Horus, but this time with a different finish.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This thing is solid as a rock! Literally! The walnut body will probably take a chip or two over the years, but that's not a concern to me at all. The Neck is so perfectly placed in the body, it seems as though the woods meld together. Never has a bolt on felt so solid to me. The hardware seems perfect except the Schaller bridge. I have heard quality control has gone way down on those things, so I may have to do a full inspection to ensure that it will stand the test of time. The strap buttons were solid, but I still switched them out for some strap locks, just as insurance that nothing ever happens to this baby. This guitar is indefinitely dependable. I would never gig without a backup, but I guess if I was forced to, this would be the one guitar I would rely on. As for the finish, with matte finishes, they slowly can turn into glossy finishes with wear. And considering how thin the oil finishes are (which is done for tonal purposes) it can happen quickly depending on how you play and other factors. However, I already have taken some light hits with the Caparison and no damage was observed, so I think that the finish is trustworthy.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar came with a near perfect setup straight out of the factory. I took it out of the box, and it was in tune, so I just plugged it in a played. The action was low, the pickups were placed perfectly, the only thing that I wanted to adjust was the frets, and the string gauge (10-52 gauge strings are way too thin for B tuning). The top was not bookmatched, but the guitar is solid walnut, so I cannot blame Caparison for skipping such a small step. There were no quality flaws with the Caparison at all, so no worries on that part.
Features — 9
Handmade in 2007. 27 frets, maintaining jumbo frets with a 24.75" scale. Solid walnut body with a maple neck, and an ebony fingerboard. Oil finish (similar to a satin finish) on both body and the neck. Strat style. Floyd Rose bridge (Schaller FRT-II). Passive electronics with one volume knob that doubles as a push-push potentiometer for selection between its 2 humbucking pickups. Where one is a regular bridge humbucker, and the other is a humbucker in the footprint of a single coil. The pickups are two Caparison brand pickups specially made for the Horus. Gotoh H.A.P. or Hight Adjustable Tuners. Caparison hardcase with wrenches to adjust the guitar.