Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Tom Lee HongKong
Sound — 9
I think this guitar suits the metal genre. I'm using it with Boss GT-8. The guitar really sounds great even if it's a stock passive p-ups... It's full, and the mids are more prominent. It sounds good even without the amp.. The mahogany wood creates a deep sound to it. It's not as responsive as an active pups (if you're into metal), and a little muddy, but It's sounds better compared to budget guitar competitors out there. I changed the pickups to DiMarzio D'Activator X and the guitar really sounds great!
Overall Impression — 8
I listen to heavy metal music (like tool, lamb of god, dream theater) and the guitar can do almost any genres to be honest. I've been playing for ore tan 20 years, I own a Boss GT-8 as my main gadget. This guitar is perfect if you want to make a project / custom guitar. I wll buy it again if I lost it. I was surprised of the good quality of this cheap guitar! It looks gorgeous. The one thing I like about is the sound, it sounds like an expensive guitar. I chose this guitar because it's cheap, and Charvel is known for making good quality guitars. The first time I played it, I immediately fell in love with it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar will withstand hundreds of gig, but I think it can barely survive if you drop it from 5 feet. The hardware looks solid though. I'm confident I can use it in a gig without a backup guitar. The finish will last long guess because it's laminated.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The string action is low, but truss rod adjustment was horrible... I need to adjust it to get the low action I wanted. The pickups are also needed to be adjusted, and a little adjustment on the intonation. The guitar nut looks cheap, some excess plastic that needed to be filed. The Tuners are different from the Charvel website's image: The one I got looks like Ibanez type, while the Charvel's image looks like Grover type. On the body finish, I can see some obvious rough lines caused by wood's thin layer on the body. Some screws are loose (on the truss cover in my case).
Features — 8
The guitar was made in China, 2011. The neck has 24 frets, rosewood fret board & mahogany oiled thin neck. The body's finish is a laminated black, very shiny and looks beautiful with the white strip on the edge... Body style is a cutaway bolt on neck. The DS-3 comes with a Charvel stock passive pickups. It has 2 Volume & Tone Knobs with 3 way switch similar to Les Paul. The tuners are black chrome Ibanez type (the image from the website looks more like a grover type). No accessories were include when I bought it.