Price paid: A$ 420
Purchased from: Go West Music
Sound — 5
I'm the kind of guy who will play anything from Grunge to Speed Metal and Acoustic Ballads. This guitar will get you sorted for heavy things (not only in sound but also in looks), even though the sound could be a lot heavier. Clean-wise, this guitar is rather lacking. It's sound range really isn't that versitile. I have used a few different amps with this guitar, but have had most use with a Vox. After some getting comfortable and sorting out, I was able to establish a solid, reliable heavy sound. As stated previously, the clean side of things really did not Live up, but as an intermediate or beginner player you will certainly find a lot of joy in this guitar before growing out of it. It's sustainability became an increasing annoyance for me. Bends and long holds seem to fade out too quickly with this guitar, and it's sound quality only peaks at the middle frets. Aside from that, there is no prominent nags with this guitar, however, it is fairly easy to outgrow.
Overall Impression — 7
This guitar matches heavy music that isn't shaking the walls, but more laying down a tasty riff. I would further not use it reliably for clean material. I have been a guitarist for 3 years and have gone through countless guitars, of which this was one of my first. I play solidly throughout a day, whether it be practising or gigging and this guitar has been through alot. It is not all doom and gloom by any stretch as I still have this guitar and will have it until it is in a million pieces. I use it in almost all of my gigs and is one of my practise guitars of choice. If it were misplaced, I doubt I would get another of it's kind because I have far outgrown its quality and performance, but you can have this thing for years and be satisfied and for what it is, it looks pretty badass too!
Reliability & Durability — 7
I've had my one for about over two years and in that time, it has taken a lot, but has also had its fair share of problems. The first thing I noticed is that the paint job is considerably weak. Within about two weeks of having it, there were wood-exposing chips on the back and sides. The hardware does not look like it would stand up to anything over 5-years of solid playing (as explained above) and has frequent jack problems. The strap buttons are the most firm and reliable that I had on a guitar for a very long time. I would take this guitar gigging and would suggest it be a very good Live guitar for those Who are getting their first licks of Live performances. After a while however, I felt that I would not play a show entirely on this one guitar as it has limits and seems to get more limiting in time. I personally would not use it without a backup, but more, as a backup if one of my other guitars failed for whatever reason.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Over all, this is pretty good. Though I have had a few action problems. This guitar does have a tremolo and my version doesn't have a FloydRose. In about a month of having this guitar, the bridge had been raised excessively. I thought that this was only due to my whammy bar (even though I used it less-than-frequently) so I took the whammy out. I opened the back of my guitar to notice that one of the springs had dislocated and the screws and bolting weren't entirely secure. This process has happened several times. The bridge screws have also been known to come undone and fall out completely. Fixable but annoying none-the-less. Also the pickup selector head has come off on stage while alternating pickups.
Features — 7
This guitar is a very good guitar for dedicated beginners or those who are at an intermediate level. I have a plain black, rosewood-neck version with chrome hardware. It has two sets of humbuckers and a traditional tremolo arm. It also features a volume and a tone knob with a three way pickup Switch, (which I found dissapointing). This guitar looks pretty brutal in terms of cheaper-ranged guitars and definitley has a presence. It would be bette suited with a 5-way selector.