Sound — 10
The range of sounds is the clincher with this guitar. I tried it out in a CD shop that had a few random instruments on a wall, just killing an idle few minutes as I really didn't need another guitar. That was through Fender Champ. At home I run it through a Boss 60 and a Peavey combo, and oldish one, and in rehearsal it goes through a Trace Elliot speed twin. The humbuckers are full and powerful without getting muddy, for blues and such other tiresomeness it is a dream on the neck pick up, the bridge is sharp enough without losing body. Distorted I find I have to take a fair bit of gain off to get some sort of control, these are passive pick ups but they kick: they are considerably louder then the Rockfield Mafia pups in a BC Rich Assassin, which surprised me. For punk or older metal they are heaven made. New Metal stuff is not out of the question either, but EMG actives are hard to ignore. Pull out the coil tap, on the tone pot and you are in heaven, a distinctive set of sounds that are uniquely voiced, they can do all the rhythm tricks that I always used strats for, without being particularly stratty in themselves. The clarity for lead and picking is astounding, they will embarrass you by revealing your every mistake too. I veer between pure chopped funk playing and snarling power chord dementia and they are both there in abundance. I play lead less often, but the humbuckers make me sound far better than I really am: and a shot of gain in the bridge single has you in snap and snarl heaven, it cuts right through in a sexily evil fashion. A touch of hum on the single coils disappears when you turn back the volume or tone pots one or two notches, and there is never enough noise for it to be a problem anyway. Variety is the watchword, it can do almost anything, and do it with conviction.
Overall Impression — 10
For funk, rock, and harder stuff it's great, for Indie jangle it is a dream, only if I was joining Skipknot would I consider using another instrument. I have played for 30 years and have played most of the iconic guitars, I am firmly in the emperors new clothes school when it comes to the point of paying thousands for a guitar, much as I love Gibsons or strats, they are not THAT much better than a decent Yamaha or such like. So unless you are of the opinion that an August 53 Les Paul is the holy grail you would find this Cort deeply satisfying. At present it competes for my attention with a B C Rich Assassin Fx6, a Gibson SG and an Ibanez Jazz box and it competes well. My jam buddy has a les paul and swears by it, and it's nice. I know this because every time we jam he steals my Cort and plays it for hours while telling me the Gibson is better, I get the Cort back when we pack up. it's all subjective of course and strong opinions are the sign of ignorance with guitar comparisons, but for a brilliant price this is a brilliant guitar, pro quality at amateur prices, anyone would be pleased with it as a second guitar, the range of sounds is just a dream, and most intelligent players would be pleased with it as a first guitar. I didn't need another guitar, but it gave me no choice.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Everything is solid, I have played it daily for a year or and no glitches. I have also used it with no back up when need be, and it's versatility makes it the perfect guitar for turning up and finding out what is needed.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Everything was well set up at purchase, despite there not being anyone in the shop Who knew which way up to hold a guitar, I guess that was factory set up and it was fine. It's about like an SG in terms of action, the neck is not too slim, but it plays superbly. Really everything was in place perfectly and I only tweaked to get it closer to my own tastes. It is very hard to put down, and it invites you to try different things. A 9 I guess, as 10 must be reserved for million dollar guitars.
Features — 9
Korean I assume, year I don't know, the guitar came with no papers in a Moscow shop, 22 frets mahogany, flamed maple, tan colour, rosewood board EMG HZ Pick ups, 3 way selector. Coil tap. The finish is beautifully done, no flaws anywhere, a PRS style more than anything in terms of shape. It's a very solid, fairly heavy guitar, feels good in the hands. The price is absurdly low for such quality.