Sound — 6
I play metal with my band, mostly Iron Maiden down to Slayer type thrash. I use it along with my Boss MT-2 and Korg AX10G, on heavy distortion, I can control my sound well, sustain is good and on the neck pickup, I get a good lead sound, pickups are sensitive to pinch harmonics and tapping. I get a good sound also in the lower registers of the guitar. However on clean, the guitar is not so great. The coil tap does help, but it takes time to pull it, and if you pull it too hard, it falls off. So I suggest if you get this guitar that you buy your own volume and tone knobs. These fall out easily and there aren't any numbers to tell you what your settings are like. With careful tweaking, though, I reckon one could squeeze a metal sound out of this beauty. The single coil pickup is pointless, just leave that there, If I were to change anything, I'd put in an emg 81 at the bridge and keep the same neck pickup so I can use the coil tap to get a fairly decent clean sound. Although I wouldn't do that anyway.
Overall Impression — 9
I had to wait 11 weeks for this guitar since ordering it. It wasn't the shops fault, Cort simply had a problem with their dealer in the UK and had to spend 10 weeks manufacturing and shipping these guitars over from indonesia. I play metal as I just said and it fits it perfectly with my rig. I own a Squier Strat and have been playing since not very long ago (I forget). I am quite happy with this guitar, it is all aesthetics for this guitar in my opinion. If it were stolen, then I'd hunt down the dick Who stole it, punch HIM and then string the strings through his genetalia and then get a sledgehammer and, well you get the idea. I'd buy this guitar again if I wanted to stay in this budget range. I'm sure though if I had the money I'd go for something more expensive like the ESP M-1000 Deluxe. I think this guitar is going to last me long enough for me to see the paintwork wear down completely, everything looks failsafe. in the process of my choosing a guitar, I kicked out every possible guitar out of the league, firstly because they all were too expensive, (over 100 more than this), secondly this looks nicer, and thirdly if I bought one of those I would need to change the pickups anyway. I wish that this had a proper floyd rose, the floyd rose here will do but it will wear down some day. I compared this guitar to the ESP M-200FM, the B.C. Rich's Speedloader Warlock, and some Ibanez guitar, but I liked this much better.
Reliability & Durability — 6
As with all guitars with a floyd rose or any other floating bridge, when a string snaps, you are buggered big time. However, I wouldn't worry too much, since even if you had a fixed bridge guitar and a string snaps, you can replace it with a new string but the string would keep stretching anyway. So I'd gig with a backup anyway. This guitar is more reliable than my old Squier, and I've gigged with that (how embarressing). It stays in tune very well because of the locks at the nut. Paintwork looks great but there has already been a chip (I bought it new three weeks ago) and the paint is cracking around the bolt. The machine heads don't look too sturdy, and neither are the strap buttons. The strap buttons are tiny, either change them or buy some straplocks.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Mine was setup already by the shop, however they messed up the truss rod a bit and the neck is bending in a bit. The action is so low that there's a bit of fret buzz, but I find it comfortable. The guitar arrived in tune, the strings were locked at the nut. The pickups were adjusted as high as possible without hitting the strings when I move the floyd rose. Intonation is good. The only disappointment was the tone and volume knobs which come off easily. The side of the neck looks silly though, because it is plastic. but it will last. The shop also filed down the corners of the frets (maybe because they were too sharp).
Features — 8
Very nice features, very good value in my opinion. this is a 2006 model, made in indonesia. Absolutely beautiful bodywork, trans red. passive pickups (aren't great but they do the job well) mine came with a lead and that's it. This guitar is heavy, heavier than my Squier Strat, which I had before this one. The trans red finish looks nice, has a nice varnishy feel to it. beats a lot of other guitars on looks anyday.