Price paid: £ 1300
Purchased from: Cranes-Cardiff
Sound — 10
Caparisons are really known for metaller's and shredders and I do play some of this, but also some surprisingly blues, rock, mellow stuff too. Don't be fooled that the TAT is 'Kill em all' metal and nothing else, it has some great tones in clean and with mild overdrive. Here is an example to prove it... I have a USA maple neck Strat to play Chilli's, Pink Floyd etc... but I have taken to driving through the PH-R pick-ups and using the TAT now for Comfortably Numb because the sound and sustain is superior to the Strat. I did not think I'd ever do that song on anything other than a Fender, but the TAT makes my version of Gilmore's solo's sing bright throughout the range, from low to high notes. I just Drive the guitar through a Marshall with a small amount of delay and chorus and it's perfect. If you want to shred, it is good too, and pinch harmonics ring long and bright on the TAT. Spend a lot of time with your amp and the settings and you can make this guitar sound jazzy, bluesy, rock and hard core with no flat spots across the range. It is the best three-pickup guitar I've ever had and sadly, bumps my Strat off top spot (and I've owned 3 Strats and loved them all)
Overall Impression — 10
I think this guitar is an even better match to my music than I anticipated. As I said, it already has found it's way into tracks I had other guitars for. I Drive it through my Marshall MG and I also have a Boss GT-8 but don't use it much with the TAT/Marshall providing most of the sounds I want. I actually bought this to play some screaming Muse (like Hysteria, Supermassive Black Hole etc... ) but it goes well beyond that. It can apply itself to most jobs, and plays with ease. If you would prefer PR-N style pickups to the 3 pick-up setup, have a look at the Caparison TAT II, I guess it would feel mucht he same as this one... and that is excellent. My comparisons with other guitars... well I had a Jackson DK2 but the TAT is leagues above it (and I enjoyed the DK2) and I also tried some higher range Ibanez RG's and a Jem and the TAT is way better than both of those. I have also heard from another TAT player that it is better than a Jackson soloist (not surprising as the designer of the TAT also did the soloist). This should make you think because a good soloist is dearer than a TAT! I have been playing for 23 years and have owned 3 Gibsons (SG, LP, ES175), Strats, a Telecaster, Jackson, ESP and this TAT is the second best guitar I've ever had. If my TAT got lost/stolen I would place a new one on order immediately. My 1st best guitar, well that's my other Caparison: Angelus ACE SE... that is seriously sweet! Both of my Capa's are 2007 models, and I predict if the guitar world has any sense, then Capa's will go stratospheric in the next few years. You can't get quality like this at the price you pay, yes it's over a grand, but you're getting a guitar that feels twice this and seriously challenges good examples of PRS, ESP's and hand made Jacksons that cost over 2500 (UK).
Reliability & Durability — 10
It is built like a tank and I think it will be fine. The set up, finish and hardware are all solid and it will take a serious amount of gigging. I see in the US there are several people gigging all the time and some with only one Capa... that is the mark of a good guitar, and great Faith in the owner.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action was great from the case as set up in Japan. The pickups were well balanced and I find there is plenty of Drive direct from them with the volume up to 10. I'm very happy with the way it's set up, the only thing I've had to do is settle the tuning in as it was still so fresh (I.e. the strings still needed a stretch), but thrashing to a couple of Metallica tracks sorted that out! The finish as I said above, is flawless. They sure know how to make a good guitar.
Features — 10
This is my second Caparison, a TAT in Frozen Sky. TAT is a through body neck guitar (hence name Through and Through = TAT)with the neck at an angle of 15degrees to the body allowing easy playing at the top frets. This is definately true and works well. The TAT comes with 24 frets on an ebony borad with those famous clock inlays, a Schaller SRT2 Floyd Rose (so locking set up) and three pickups: Capa SH-N in bridge and neck and Capa PH-R by the bridge. The pickups are selected with a classic 5-way selector and there is a one tone and one volume knob. To all non-Capa people, note the tone has a push-push function to coil split the SH-N pickups for great tone variation on top of the pick-up switching options. The finish is superb and you would not be disapointed by the looks and the Standard Capa case is very stylish and protecting.