Price paid: $ 628
Purchased from: www.riffcityguitaroutlet.com
Features — 9
This guitar was made in 2015 at World Musical Instruments in Korea, which also manufacturers guitars from PRS, Schecter and LTD. The guitar has 22 jumbo frets, has a 25.5-inch scale and is made of a solid mahogany body, maple neck and a 13.75" radius rosewood fingerboard with a single infinity inlay at the 12th fret. The body is a strat style and has a clear coat finish to it, the neck is a reverse tele style with a satin finish to it. The guitar has Seymour Duncan pickups in a HSH config: Jazz/SSL-1/JB with 1 tone & 1 volume knob with a 5-way pickup selector switch. The guitar has Grover tuners and also comes with a quality padded gig bag and a genuine Wilkinson Tremolo bridge. It also has a 3-ply pick-guard. Given the quality of the components, it would be difficult to not award it at least a 9/10.
Sound — 9
This guitar was designed by Lee Anderton, who is associated with the founder of Chapman Guitars, Rob Chapman. Lee is primarily known as a blues player, and created this guitar based on a Fender custom guitar that he has modded over the years to fit his style. However, I personally use this guitar to play metal as most if not all of the Chapman guitar line is really aimed at this market. The Seymour Duncan pickups really set this axe on fire and it really shines through my EVH 5150 III amp with a Mesa Rectifier 2x12 cab.
There is no other guitar I can think of that I've owned that has as much variety as this guitar. I primarily use positions 1 & 5 only but the single coil alone or phased with a coil from the neck or bridge pickup really adds variety to the types of sounds you can get out of this guitar. I will say that due to the body being made of mahogany and not the typical Alder or Ash that a strat would have gives this guitar a darker sound, and you may have to adjust your amp settings for it. I'm giving this a 9/10 sound rating primarily due to the pickups, wood and general construction of the guitar. It really has a great acoustic resonance when unplugged.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Riff City sets all guitars up that they ship out to customers, so it was in perfect playing condition when I received it. I looked over the guitar for any flaws and could come up with none. There was not a ding, scratch or manufacturing mistake on the guitar. The frets are properly finished, the tuners are solid, the nut is cut properly and all the switches and knobs felt of the best quality. As I said above, the guitar resonates acoustically, which is a good sign of great craftsmanship. It truly is an instrument and not a toy for a kid to "djent" on.
The only drawback to this guitar for me was the bridge. The trem arm doesn't lock into the bridge and it can fly out easily if you were to tilt your guitar forward or were playing it quite aggressively. I've own and have owned many Japanese made ESP & Ibanez guitars as well as American made Gibsons and Fenders. I can tell you that the craftsmanship of this guitar would be hard to tell apart from that of an Ibanez Prestige or Fender Stratocaster if you closed your eyes. 9/10 on Action, Fit & Finish.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This has been created to be a working man's guitar, and is meant to be played daily. The hardware is top notch and is made of quality wood and has great craftsmanship. The finish is simple yet indicates that it will last, and the satin neck allows you to glide up and down effortlessly while playing. No need for a backup with this guitar. Korean made guitars from World Musical Instruments have caught up to Japanese and American made guitars.
Overall Impression — 9
There is always room for improvement: I replaced the strap buttons with locking buttons, I probably will change out the tuners for locking tuners. I also has the bridge blocked because I don't use a tremolo at all. I love how this guitar sounds through my rig, it really shines while playing metal or '90s alternative. I don't really play blues, but this guitar was designed to play the blues, so it has some versatility. This guitar is an outstanding value and really rivals some of the Japanese and American made guitars that I have owned. I definitely would buy another one if it was stolen or was misplaced or was a victim of an act of God.