Price paid: A$ 236
Sound — 8
The guitar is able to produce a decent range of sounds, in part due to the coil tap, which allows the humbuckers to become single coil pickups. My style is rock/alternative/metal/progressive, and I have played music from bands such as Feeder, Metallica, Muse and Porcupine Tree on this guitar with a large amount of success through a Vox VT15 amp. I imagine it being able to play a wide range of styles, though the EMG humbuckers make it more inclined to heavier music. The coil tap on the guitar is good, though not excellent. The difference is noticeable, but you can't go from pure EMG humbucking sounds to say, a Telecaster twang with this. The tone knob itself seems to have a limited effect between either end of its radius, but that suits my style of music fine. However, turning it from Full to the richer tone reduces the amount of noise (string crackling etc) that is produced by brushing the strings lightly.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I find this guitar to be a really well made, rounded, instrument. I play rock/alternative/progressive/metal as mentioned earlier, and this guitar seems like a good match for it. I've played for 9 years, and this is my third electric, after a Squier pack and an Epiphone LP, which regretfully I was unable to bring with me when I moved to Australia. This guitar is great for me, and I got it at a great price too. For the price I bought it, I don't think there is possibly another guitar with the quality of this, though this is only an extreme case. If it were stolen or lost, I would be angry as hell. I'd also struggle to find another guitar like this for the price, Though I'd probably save up and buy a higher end Epiphone LP or an ESP. Overall, this is a good guitar. Well built, with a good list of features. What makes it excel is the price I bought it for, though this is an extreme example :D.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is extremely reliable. It has lasted both heaving practicing and some light gigging. The only issue with hardware is the strap buttons. They are a little small, and have torn the leather on one of my older straps. However, with a good set of locks they should be fine, and with a decent strap too. I would use this without a backup for a shorter set (4 or so songs), but would take a backup simply in case the strings were to snap for a longer gig. The hardware on the guitar is great, and the guitar itself feels very solid. The finish is fairly good, and will last for a while. Even if the guitar gets scratched, they wouldn't be noticeable due to the colour of the guitar. Aside from the large scratches on the back of mine, the finish is great, looks brilliant, and that sums the guitar up itself.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitars setup when I bought it was great. Needed tuning, but hey, don't most guitars. Bridge had been set well, and the action was to my liking. The strings looked a little shabby, but I bought new ones anyway. Also, the knobs on the tone/volume controls come loose fairly easily, though I am looking into replacing the actual heads anyway. The tuners were fine, and the guitar was great, apart from the large scratches on the back of the guitar. The shop assistant told me that he thought it had slid along a cement floor at some point, though this is a mystery seeing as it is a factory new guitar. Apart from the scratches however, the finish was great, the titanium metallic finish that is standard on the Aussie model. My one issue is the painted neck. I don't normally get sweaty hands, though it has been known to occur under lights on stage, so the issue of sticking is present. However, as I say, I'm yet to have a problem with this.
Features — 7
Made in 2007 in Indonesia. Came with Dual EMG-HZ humbuckers as standard. Has a Les Paul styled body, but with two comfort contours on the back of the guitar and one for resting the arm on. Features include a Mahogany string through body and neck, 22 jumbo frets, a graphite nut, two volume and one tone knob, 3-way selector switch, and a coil tap accessed by pulling the tone knob up. Tuners are non-branded locking, and seem to hold fairly well. Strap buttons are a little small, but are also fairly sturdy. Guitar is a comfortable weight, nowhere near a Les, but has a quality feel to it. I bought my guitar as new, but the dramatic price drop is due to some large scratches on the reverse of the guitar. These do not impair the playing quality however, and are not noticeable when the guitar is being played. Didn't come with anything apart from a stand, and I managed to pick up a discount on a new lead due to buying them together.