Price paid: $ 999
Purchased from: Wood Bros. Music
Sound — 9
I play mostly 80s rock such as Bon Jovi, Extreme, Winger and Whitesnake, but I dabble in Megadeth, Dream Theater, and other metal bands. I'm playing into an Egnater Renegade and Tourmaster 2x12, and it literally screams in this setup. Boosting it with a Fulltone OCD, I get rich, smooth overdrive absolutely perfect for 80s metal. The JB is too bright and harsh to be played clean, so I Switch to the SD '59 for a nice clean tone. With a sharp, defined pick attack, the '59 rings clearly. Otherwise, the '59 can become a muddy mess, so it really varies from player to player. The guitar covers everything I play, but the brightness from the bridge pickup could turn some people off.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 5 years and this is my second guitar. I absolutely adore it, and the simplicity of one knob and a pickup Switch on the body lets your eyes focus on the finish of the guitar rather than a myriad of buttons. I would certainly purchase another one if it were stolen, not just because of the quality, but because it is a great price.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar has withstood live playing perfectly. However, I did have one issue where the sound would cut out on the neck pickup. A quick soldering job did the trick. Since it has a Floyd Rose I would not gig without a backup for it, although I have never broken a string using the floyd. Beside the small pickup issue I had, this guitar is rock solid.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything arrived from the factory perfect. The action was great and the finish was flawless. The only thing I adjusted was lower the height of the bridge pickup, because it was a bit too hot for my liking.
Features — 9
Made in USA. 22 frets. Solid alder body painted in slime green. 1-piece bolt-on maple neck, with a compound radius. The compound radius neck is wider near the headstock so it is more comfortable for chording, and thinner near the body for fast soling. It has an original Double Locking Floyd Rose which has no problem staying in tune. The guitar layout is very simple with only a volume and a 3-way pickup switch. Some people may miss the option of a tone knob, but I've never really found a use for one. The guitar is set up with a Seymour Duncan JB at the bridge and a Seymour Duncan '59 at the neck. It came with a gig bag. For the price and features of this USA made guitar, you can't really go wrong.