Purchased from: Gumtree.co.za
Sound — 7
Let me start off by saying, this guitar is rock and metal orientated. A flat neck built for speed with 24 jumbo frets and two high output humbuckers, coupled with aggressive styling give this away. The pickups are well balanced in terms of frequency response as well as volume (one is not significantly louder than the other) but don't come looking for the ringing sweetness of single coil pickups. The clean tones are very reasonable, but because the guitar is intended to be used with high distortion levels it can sound a little bland dry. This however means that the X1 responds exceptionally well to gain, readily becoming driven. What I like most about this guitar, is that it produces a rich saturated sound at extreme levels of gain. I play it through a Peavey Rage 158 and a Boss metalzone pedal. I cut the high mids quite a bit to keep the sound listener friendly, and the amp's eq always flat. High notes ring long and clear, it sounds great heavily driven with a low noise to signal nature, but isn't very versatile in nature.
Overall Impression — 8
A friend of mine bought the same guitar new as his first proper instrument, and he was very impressed. So when I saw this one up for sale I jumped at the opportunity. Initially I bought it because of the good price, keeping in mind that I could patiently wait for another buyer if I was not satisfied. However I became a big fan after a short while of seeing what it could do. I recommend the Cort X1 to any player looking for a reasonably priced good metal oriented guitar as well as novice players with a bit of cash. If you buy this for your first guitar you will have no need for a new "axe" for the foreseeable future.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have confidence in this guitar. There have been no electrical niggles, and the body is sturdy. The finish is brittle though, and where the neck joins to the body two tiny fractures have formed due to the natural give of the wood. But I mean tiny. Like nano-scale. There is no reason why the X1 can't be a working musician's career instrument. This is the first guitar I have owned that I don't have to worry about the strap coming off mid-breakdown. From experience I predict that after a number of hard years the tuners will be the first to go, but this is a reasonably simple fix.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action was high when I got it, but with my very basic luthering skills I lowered it easily enough. There are no build issues, the neck is mounted dead straight, the pickups line up with the strings, the tone and volume pots are sturdy, and the pickup selector switches silently. The tuning pegs somehow seem to be a little lightweight, if we're being pedantic. They stay in tune well, but when turning the keys it feels that they have some difficulty keeping the tension in check. This is just an impression. For the price, the quality is very good.
Features — 7
- Body: Agathis - Neck: Canadian Hard Maple (bolt on) - Fretboard: Rosewood, 15 3/4" Radius(400mm) - Frets: 24 / Jumbo (2.9mm) - Scale: 25 1/2" (648mm) - Inlay: White Dot - Tuners: Cap covered - Bridge: 6-screw Vintage Tremolo (strat style) - Pickups: Powersound PSEG4-1F & PSEG4-1R (H-H)(passive) - Electronics: 1 volume, 1 tone, 5way lever - Hardware: CR (Chrome) - Strings: (042-009) I bought the guitar mint secondhand, but it came with all the original accessories: picks, whammy bar, strap, gigbag. The picks are terribly thick, and the gigbag would offer little protection against anything more than scratches. Personally though I buy a guitar for the instrument itself, which is perfectly sorted. Great pickups for this price range. This is a honest, well built guitar.