Price paid: $ 749
Purchased from: Sam Ash, Cherry Hill, NJ
Sound — 6
Play mostly classic rock music and this guitar fits the bill great. I use a modified Peavey Classic 30 witha Marshall 1936 cabinet loaded with Avatar Hellatone 60 speakers. Excellent bottom with guitar, but a tone control would be nice. Not especially suited to stoner rock and metal due to the straight up in-your-face Nature of the Charvel guitar set-up. I do not use the neck pick-up, in fact it is set low because aggressive playing throws the high-E under the pick-up. Could be used for other styles of music if there was a tone control. This is pretty much a Rock'n'Roll guitar suited for a nice 80's Marshall JCM or Boogie. Played this through a Fender Hot Rod at Sam Ash, not a great match.
Overall Impression — 8
If the guitar were stolen, I would definitely try to find another (harder with a discontinued model). The San Dimas Style 2 is great for me, I like Tele bodies. This guitar isn't a one trick pony, but if you just play through an amp and have no modeling effects, you may be dissapointed.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I've gigged the guitar regularly with no issues, except for string breakage stemming from aggressive playing. Guitar stays in tune day after day with only some minor tweaking to center the fine tuners every now and again. I play Standard tuning and can't give an honest assessment about drop tunings. I always have a back-up guitar but only play it when I want to. I've had to oil the FR pivots and thats about it. Your finish wearing off is a sign of play time and love. If you're wearing off the finish, you're doing something RIGHT! lol
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Here is where I will give the guitar a high score. Fit and finish were close to flawless (and that is off a rack). The bridge is great, however, FR is not for everyone. The neck had a broken in feel from day one. Tuners work great. Some set-up will be involved, not everyone plays the same. I took my Charvel to DS Guitar in Newark, DE. Dave Sumner worked his magic and the guitar is fantastic with a floating bridge. I had to replace the three way Switch after about 4 months of playing, no biggie.
Features — 7
2009 production model, Made in USA 22 frets, Quarter sawn Maple, oiled finish, jumbo frets Multi-piece Ash body in Candy Majenta Tele style body, no comfort cuts Original Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo Seymour Duncan JB bridge and '59 neck Three-way switch, one volume knob Pickups are HH Mini grover tuners with a FR nut Gig Bag