Price paid: $ 630
Purchased from: Bhargava's Music House
Sound — 10
The Z- Custom offers a versatility in tone that is unmatched by others in its price range. I play a wide variety of music and the Cort manages to live up to the standards I expect from each. The mid-tones are rich and powerful. Even as a great fan of metal music, I feel reluctant to Switch to distortion as the cleans are outstanding. Played just directly through a Roland Cube-30, it sounds just great. The sound is rich on most settings, and the coil tap and 3-way toggle allow for some beautiful tones. There is plenty of sustain, and there's practically no hum at all.
Overall Impression — 10
For anyone with with wide tastes in music, the Cort Z- Custom would be my recommendation. It offers a surprising versatility in tone and the cleans are just beautiful. I play classical guitar as well, and I'm used to high action and a very wide fretboard, so this one did feel a little cramped; but it's no trouble to play and I didn't worry about this much (or at all). I've been playing for over four years, and this is one of the best instruments I have come across. For anything from blues to progressive to classic rock to metal, the Cort certainly performs better than its counterparts. I tried out a Greg Bennett or two, a PRS SE Custom, Ibanez, and a Fender Strat, but for my tastes and the price range, the Z- Custom was an easy decision.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is a very reliable instrument. The strap buttons are solid, the hardware is gold and has never given trouble, and the guitar has withstood plenty a gig without disappointing. The finish is thick, and the guitar stands up to a lot of playing without wearing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The instrument looks great. Pickups were well adjusted, and there was only a minimal error with the first fret that had to be adjusted- however that was not an issue. The action is a little lower than I look for, but with the quality of sound I was getting I preferred not to get it altered.
Features — 9
Built in Indonesia, it features a single cutaway mahogany body with a quilted maple top, and a maple neck with Rosewood fretboard. Frets: 22/Large (2.7 mm) Scale: 24 3/4" (629mm) 2 volume controls, 1 tone, coil tap with 3-way toggle offer a variety of sounds. It has locking tuners, and a locking bridge with string-thru body. The stock pickups are Seymour Duncan, and I have never felt the need to replace them. The hardware is all gold and with a mother-of-pearl inlay on the 12th this guitar looks magnificent.