Price paid: € 400
Purchased from: Local music store
Sound — 5
For starters I use a Randall RG80-ES head combined with a 2x12 cab loaded with V30s. I mostly play metal and have to say that the stock pups don't quite cut that, thrash and power metal they'll get away with but beyond that I found them lacking especially in the lower regions. Variety is decent thanks to the coil split, though the bridge pup in single mode sounded quite thin (even for a single) especially when going through the clean channel. In all it'll somewhat get away with most styles, yet doesn't really do anything particularly well.
Overall Impression — 6
Stock it is a nice looking, decently playing and sounding guitar for a relatively small price. Sadly the main reason it is at this price seems to be the hardware, which feels - quite plainly put - cheap. (all comments in above sections were made on the stock guitar) Main reason I bought it was because it was made out of the wood I wanted, came with a fixed bride and had the look I wanted. I had already planned to change all the hardware before buying it and therefore did not mind the cheap feel most hardware had. After a significant hardware upgrade which included: Grover locking tuners, DiMarzio pups, graphtec nut and proper pots+switch it became an entirely different guitar. It now has the nasty growl I am looking for, stays in tune all night long and can withstand some abuse. Furthermore a proper setup helped as well. In conclusion my advice would be as follows: If you are looking for a guitar to buy and play and not have to worry about, look beyond this one. If you are looking for a solid base to improve upon, this just might be the guitar you're looking for. (overall rating is regarding the stock guitar)
Reliability & Durability — 3
Strap buttons will do, can't say I am having problems with them as of yet. The pots, knobs and switch feel flimsy. I honestly believe they can disintegrate at any moment if you use them a bit too rudely, useable if only playing @ home, definitely not something I'd put my trust in on stage. Tuners are alright, they do their job yet I did find myself retuning at fairly regular intervals. Nut was not cut properly. Bridge is simply put solid (about the only piece of solid hardware on it). Body and neck seem to be solid and well put together.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Seeing as I did not buy it "out of the box" and therefore do not know if it was altered at the store I cannot comment on factory set-up. I will however say that the set-up when I got it was acceptable. It played quite smoothly and action was at a reasonable level without too much fret buzz. Overall paintjob was decent, a bit of overspray on the binding around the neck area and a bit of excess paint between neck&body.
Features — 7
Made in Indonesia in 2010. Specs: - CONSTRUCTION: Set-in - BODY: Mahogany with quilted maple top - NECK: Mahogany, Modern "C" Shape - BINDING: White - FRETBOARD: Rosewood, 12" Radius(305mm) - FRETS: 24 / Large (2.7mm) - SCALE: 25 1/2" (648mm) - INLAY: Abalone dot - BRIDGE: Tone Pros Lic. Locking bridge (CAVR)w/string thru body - TUNERS: Die-cast - PICKUPS: EMG-HZ SA1(F) & TB1(R) (H-H) - ELECTRONICS: 1 volume, 1 tone (w/push pull), 3way toggle - STRINGS: D'Addario USA - HARDWARE: Black Nickel