Price paid: $ 503.25
Sound — 8
I play mostly metal/hard rock with my band. This suits my style very much, this is excellent for Metallica/Pantera/anything metal, and as well as classic stuff like Zep, Sabbath, Deep Purple etc. I'm using a Randall RG100 with ValveDynamics which I only got last week (review on it soon) and well, put it this way, Dimebag would be proud of it. But believe me this guitar can play so much more styles, contrary to other reviews, I find that the clean is excellent on the neck humbucker with the coil pulled up to a single. I could go on all day about the amount of different tones, but you'd be better to do it yourself. I don't really use the middle pickup, but that's because I havn't got over the bridge or neck yet. Although I would consider changing these with some EMGs as there's a humm at high volumes when you take your hands of the strings/hardware which gets annoying, though I'd definatly keep this coil tap.
Overall Impression — 9
I had a 1000 budget, I could have got an actual Ibanez RG, Strat, Gibson, Jackson, ESP etc, I tested a lot of them, I chose this. And I wouldn't go back on that, even if Kirk Hammett was willing to sell one of his own. Even if this guitar doesn't suit your genre, this make is excellent and I suggest you check out the other models. I've been playing for 5 and a half years, I own a Fender Strat as well as a 15W Fender amp, and now own a Randall RG100, I also own the Cort AC15 which is also very good. I would have liked to get the black X-6 still, but color doesn't matter too much. If it were stolen I'd firstly hunt down and kill the bastard who took it, or failing finding him, I'd definatly buy another. I love the Coil tap and body, but the thin maple neck and floyd are my favorite features. I give it a 9 because I would love for some EMGs. but when you're paying 300 for an guitar that's so well built and sounds so good, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I will definatly gig this beast, in fact we've got a festival comin up in april and it shall certainly be my first choice guitar, though I'll have to string a week before that or any other major gigs as I wouldn't risk breaking a string. I'd always have a backup for this and any other guitar for that matter anyone Who says they don't need a backup is obviously a moron, but I'm really confident about giggin this. The hardware is real cool, it's black and seems really dense so it will last decades. Strap buttons are so solid that I would rely on them and a leather for a rock climbing journey as oppose to a rope, really strong holding. I don't know how long the finish will last as I don't know about that side of things, but it's seems pretty long-lasting.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The shop set it up really well for me, the action is really low which I prefer. the top is totally level and the bridge is sitting where it should be. I have a lot more control over this guitar than I did with my old Strat, for drop tunings it's a bit questionable for me as this was my first Floyd/locking nut axe. But I'm figuring it out. Haven't broken a string yet but restringing a floyd rose guitar is meant to be pretty complicated. the only problem I have is there's a bit of buzz of the first few frets on the 6th string, but it's unoticable when your actually plugged in so I don't care as you can't even hear it on clean.
Features — 10
This is a 2005 model, made in Indonesia. 24 frets, Jumbo 2.9mms. The neck is the best I've ever played on, it's maple with a modern you shape and a bolt on. The neck is superb compared to anything else, it increased my speed a great amount as I'm used to playing on fatter necks. The body is basswood with a metallic blue satin finish, I was gonna get it in black, but they didn't have black til the end of March so I just said f--k it and went with blue, I'm glad though as it adds a bit more character. It's in the style of an Ibanez RG although the body contours are much more detailed which is cool. Floyd Rose trem. Volume, Tone (which is also the Coil tap control) 5-way selector. Config: H/S/H, 2 Mightymite Bluesbuckers, Mightymite single coil, though all can be switched to hummers or singles with the tap, so you really got 10 choices.