Price paid: $ 180
Purchased from: South Hills Music
Sound — 8
This guitar fits my style very well. I play metal like Miaden, Priest, Gamma Ray, and other stuff like Floyd and Rush. Unfortunately, it takes a while to tune it to alternate tunings because of the bridge. I use a Boss ME-33, which is decent, though kind of digital-sounding. This goes into whatever I can use to get the ME-33 loud enough cleanly. It's probably the ME's fault, but it sounds weak without reverb and short delay. I want to replace the pickup eventually and get a Marshall, but the guitar sounds fantastic unplugged. Great harmonics. The guitar seems to be sensitive to the environment and strings, some days good, some days not.
Overall Impression — 9
Great for metal and progressive. Good clean with both pickups, good distortion on the bridge. I normally only use the neck pickup for double-tracking, because the warmth doesn't suite most of my music. I've been playing for 4 years, and I own a Boss ME-33, Johnson 15 watt amp, and I run the signal through my computer in as many ways as possible to as many speakers as possible, mostly because I get bored or need more volume. If it were stolen or lost, I would want another, but I would get a guitar with either a full Floyd Rose or a fixed bridge. The bridge is the only real problem, and I love the feel. The neck is the perfect shape fro my preference. For giging, I use this with my step-dad's high-end Jackson for alternate tunings. The Jackson has much better electronics, lower action and a thinner neck, but I prefer this guitar's feel (and price). I wish it had better pickups, but those aren't too difficult to replace.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will definetly withstand Live playing. I don't know what kind of wood it is, but it's really light. You might need some minor tuning, it depends on the strings and environment. The hardware is all pretty sturdy. I wouldn't trust the stock strap buttons for any extreme on-stage antics, but it's fine if you just stand or walk around. Strap locks aren't that expensive, anyway. I would trust this guitar through a gig without a backup, but you could face problems if you play songs with different tunings. I wouldn't play a gig without a backup guitar, regardless of what my main was, because I'm paranoid. The finish seems like it will last, with the only visible scratches being from when my crapp stand has failed.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I'm not sure if I have the factory setup or not, because I got it 2 weeks used. I can't remember how the pickups were adjusted. I learned to play on the crappiest acoustic I've ever seen, so I have trouble playing on guitars with low action. This guitar has perfect action until the higher frets, when the action rises (This can be adjusted, I just can't find the right size allan key). I really like the feel of the bridge, it's comfortable for all levels of palm-muting. As I've said before, this guitar is environment-sensitive. Sometimes it stays in tune for weeks, sometime only an hour or two.Sometimes a string buzzes, usually not. The pickups never seem to pick the buzz up though. The volume knob is a bit loose, and the output jack needs a twist every few months, but these aren't even annoying problems. I want to get locking strap buttons too. The bridge is the only real flaw in the hardware. When you try to change tunings to, say, Drop-D, losening the E-string puts more tension on the other five strings. You have to go through all six strings three or four times to get it re-tuned. After that, it'll hold it just fine. The bridge also limits you to either Nine or Ten gauge strings. Don't bother trying to use the whammy bar, because it immdeiately knocks the guitar out of tune, though sometimes I just grab the bridge with my hand for a little vibrato. The finish is fine, it's held up with only a couple of tiny nics and scratches for 4 years. I would want to change the pickups eventually, to get a hotter bridge and a less bassy neck. No truss rod cover, but I don't mind.
Features — 9
My X-2 was made in Indonesia, I'm not sure when, but porobaly between 2002 and Christmas 2004. It's got the full 24 frets, which is nice, because I actually use them all. The finish is a gloss black. It's a Strat-based body, but thicker, more contoured, and without an annoying pickgaurd. The bridge is a non-locking trem. It has a volume and a tone knob, and a 3-way Fender style switch. It's a dual-humbucker axe, both pickups are stock. Stock tuners. Bolt-on neck. Mine came with a gig bag, strap, and cable.