Price paid: € 349
Purchased from: Thomann
Features — 9
It was made in China, no idea when. It has 24 frets and a 25.5 inch scale. The fretboard is rosewood with abalone inlays, which are really beautiful. The body is mahogany and has a neck-through design mahogany neck, which is a 3-piece neck and it has no finish on it? It only has a little oil on it, takes a little time to get used to, but I like it. The bride is Tune-O-Matic or a Floyd, mine has Tune-O-Matic. The frets are really big and are probably designed for shred. It features a set of EMG 81/85 pickups, a 3-way toggle switch and 1 volume and tone. Mine came with a crappy 2-meter cable. The tuners are locking Charvel tuners.
Sound — 10
This is a obviously a metal guitar, but you can play beautiful clean and blues on it as well. I'm playing it through a home-use Fender G-Dec Jr, which is a pretty OK practice amp. Because of the active EMGs, it produces no extra noise or anything like that. I play mainly heavy metal, rock and some thrash metal and this guitar does it all. Really good for Metallica and that sort of stuff. As always, EMGs are really bright, but I like it, so no complaints whatsoever. I think this will suit a guy who leans towards metal, but likes to play other stuff as well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Out of the box it was pretty much perfect. The pickups were a little out of sync, the neck was a little louder and higher than the bridge, but I like it that way and its very easy to adjust. The trans red finish on mine is awesome, no flaws with that. The action was ok, although I would have liked it a little lower. The flame veneer is matched PERFECTLY, better than most of the todays Gibsons. The way that the neck meets the body is really clever, it sort of ends near the body. That actually inspired the Chapman ML-2.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is a tank, it has really big strap buttons and good electronics. The hardware is really good as well, no complaints. Not tried it on a gig yet, but soon I will. Seems like it will last. The finish is pretty deep, so it can take a few smaller knocks, although a good gigbag or a case wont hurt you. A good strap might also be good, because if it falls, it probably will break something, like the finish or the headstock. I really like the fact that the headstock has a bit of an angle, but not as big as the Gibsons, more like the PRS guitars, so you don't break it when you lean it against the wall.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for about 2 years or something like that and I consider myself an intermediate player. I previously owned a Squier Affinity HSS Strat and this is much-much better. Because Charvel don't make these anymore, they sell them on a 50% discount and a guitar with a neck-through body and EMGs for 350 euros is an insane deal. The only thing that let me down was the headstock, I think it's a bit ugly, but you know, whatever. If it were stolen Id probably beat the shit out of the thief and take back my guitar. Overall, it's an awesome guitar.