Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play mostly classic rock and hard rock and this guitar is made for that style completely. The humbuckers are very hot and give the brightest, richest sound I've ever heard come from my Carvin SX300 amp. It can be noisy if you are close to a powerful amp but it's okay because you usually stand far away from big amps anyway. The tonal control is just about universal. This guitar can handle squeals and divebombs from the likes a Zakk Wylde and Steve Vai, even matching thier "big" tones. I flick 2 switches and turn the Active Tone all the way up and I can get a tone fuller than the "Bother" (Stone Sour) solo (that solo has a very rich, round sound if you haven't heard it) and Corey uses a top-of-the-line Gibson in recording! This guitar can handle pretty much everything.
Overall Impression — 10
I play hard rock and some classic rock, and this guitar was definatly made for it. I've been playing for 7 years and it's my 3rd guitar and I would never trade it for anything. This guitar is amazing and I would defiantly scrape up the money for another one if it were stolen. I love the Carvin versitility, quality, and sound, and I don't think there is anything I don't like.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've played this guitar live and it gives me no problems, except for the feedback problem but again, just get away from the amp. The hardware was in excellent shape underneath the crap I bought it with, so it will last pretty much forever as long as I take care of it. The strap buttons were very solid but I strap-lock all of my guitars so I got those 5 minutes after I bought the guitar. I would use my Warlock to back this up at a gig, but my Carvin is definatly axe-of-choice. This guitar is reliable as long as you care about it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I can't accuratly rate how everything was when it was new because, quite frankly, I didn't buy it new. When I DID recieve it, Guitar Center set it up like crap. The string were so low the pickups kept yanking it out of tune. The neck was completely whacked and the harware was dirty. After an hour everything was the way I wanted it and that's all that matters.
Features — 10
I bought this $1500 beauty for 1/3 of the price at the Guitar Center Memorial Day Sale. I'm not sure what year it is, but it's at least 10 years old because it has a Kahler tremolo system on it. Here are the features: - Alder body/flame maple top - C22/C22N humbuckers with active/passive electronic system - Saphire blue - Mother of pearl inlays - Ebony fretboard - Matching headstock - Neck-thru maple neck - Black chrome hardware - Double locking Kahler tremolo Even with it's age, it is in great shape. Some guy lost it in a divorce and his wife sold it for half price, and then the sale hit.