Price paid: A$ 169.5
Purchased from: $1695.00 retail, but this was a brand new stock liquidation
Sound — 10
The cheap sapwood mahogany isn't going to adversely affect the sound here. You could put EMGs into a guitar made of plywood and it will still do the one sound they were built for; METAL!!! That's all I want hehehe. In all honesty why else would you be buying this guitar? For an Indie band? The Floyd and Grovers are anchors for the strings.
Overall Impression — 6
The best way to describe this guitar is like putting $5000.00 worth of sound system into a $500.00 car. DBZ guitars are capable of great things, but they need to up their quality control if they wish to justify the AU$1695 price tag. Bought to play metal! Guitarist for 15 years. I only bought this because of the liquidated price. The heel is a serious design flaw that needs to change.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Despite this guitar's flaws it looks tough enough to take on the rigours of metalhead rough housing it. Sans the cavities the finish is even better than some Ibanez's I've seen. Never gig with a Floyd and no backup and always replace strap buttons with Jim Dunlop strap locks.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Two critical things here: 1) The spring cavity rout is incorrect for the Floyd because you cannot access the trem arm assembly without taking the bridge completely off! This cavity is for bridges with the non adjustable screw type arms, only found on older style bridges, that this guitar clearly does not have! - 2 points off. 2) I had to take the locking nut off to ascertain what type it was; an R3, but the locking nut shelf was not properly finished at the factory! It looked like it had been aggressively prepared with a router, with significant chunks of the rosewood taken out, and it WASN'T SANDED when they put they installet the nut! Seriously there was still sawdust on the shelf. A little wet 'n' dry sandpaper fixed this, but I shouldn't have to! - 2 points off.
Features — 4
+ What year was it made? Where was is made? Early 2010's build, made in Korea. + How many frets? Neck/Scale 24 frets, 25.5" scale length with jumbo frets, well dressed. +Body and neck woods? Although listed as having a mahogany neck and body the light weight of this instrument leads me to believe that cheaper mahogany sapwood was used, which is not acceptable in a guitar worth over $1500.00 - 1 point off. + Finish The finish on this guitar is a pre printed graphic called "Monster". There is only one word to describe this UGLY! Whoever designed the graphic needs to go back to ART school, and whoever okayed it to go into production needs to be shot. I'm going to wrap it in gaffer tape to conceal it. On the other hand the gloss black finish on the back of the body, neck and headstock is exquisite, but inside the control cavities is appalling! No primer was used, so the paint has started bubbling and peeling off the bare wood. I've seen budget 50 series LTD's with better treated control cavities! - 2 points off. The fretboard is listed as "ebonised rosewood" meaning rosewood dyed black. It was unusually dry for rosewood, but when oiling it I noticed that the dye began to come off onto my oiling rag! This dye had pushed most of the natural oils out of the rosewood and when putting oil back the excess dye started coming out. It could have been tolerable had this been done in the factory. Also it is bound black, which is not listed on the website and increases the maintenance costs when refretting needs to be done - 1 point off. + Body, neck and headstock style. Flat top superstrat with really aggressive bevelling on the inner side of each horn. Forearm and tummy cuts well placed and very comfortable. Neck has a very comfortable soft 'V' shape to it that can feel both thick AND thin at the same time; depending on how you rotate your hand around and place your thumb upon it. Here's where we find the biggest let down of the whole guitar, although this is a set neck instrument THE HEEL IS BIGGER THAN SOME BOLT ONS!!! Seriously this heel begins to thicken aggressively at the 14th fret and reaches almost the same thickness of the body by the 16th! Why DBZ? WHY!!? I have had to alter my playing position so I can reach past the 20th fret - 2 points off. The headstock is a 3 over 3 paddle style that is incongruent to the shape of the body. It should come to a point. But on the plus side the tuners are standard Grovers. I'll let this element slide. + Bridge style Original Floyd Rose in Black. One of the best trems you can buy. + Pickups and controls EMG 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck. Master volume and a three way toggle switch. Personally I find the toggle to be in a poor position, but others will have no problem with this. I'm replacing the volume with a push/pull volume switch.