Price paid: £ 230
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 9
It suits my music style very well. I play metal (extreme, black, death, thrash, deathcore, metalcore, hardcore) The neck is excellent. The mahogany combined with the maple top gives a very midrangey, crushing, bassy, articulate, rich tone, with pleny of harmonic goodness coming from the maple top. I play through a Line 6 Spider, which admittedly is not very good, but I can tell that this guitar would really Shine through a top notch valve amp. One thing I can fault is that it is rather muddy, even in Standard tuning, but this is mostly because of the stock pickups. I'm going to swap them for EMGs or Blackouts once I get a good amp. I'm not using any effects with it (FX pedals aren't my thing). The guitar could cover any style of music really. It would be very versatile.
Overall Impression — 9
I play all kinds of metal and it suits it well. I've played seriously for a year now, and I also own a Squier telecaster. If it were stolen or lost, I would probably get something diferrent. Nothing against the guitar, I would just use the oppertunity to try something new. I like everything about it, except the pickups and nut, which I hate. I compared it to a Jackson RR5, Schecter Hellraiser but got this cos it was cheaper and just as good. I do wish it came with EMG active pickups or SD Blackouts, and I wish it came with a better nut (Graphtech TUSQ, which I am having a tech put on it).
Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar will withstand live playing, it solidly built and the hardware is good. The strap buttons are very large and hold the strap up great. I could depend on it at a gig, and I would gig without a backup, the only thing that could really go wrong would be a string snapping. The finish is very good. I have bashed it and banged it of walls, doors, lamps and my amp and it has not a mark anywhere. The nut is rubbish, it has recently broken and my guitar is out of use until I get it replaced, so I give it a 9 for that. Otherwise it's great!
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Guitar was set up fairly well(with really low action)from the factory with 10-46 strings tuned to E. I play in B Standard and drop A, so I put on a set of Ernie Ball strings 70-52-38-26-18-14. This gives plenty of tension for low tuning. I had to file the nut, ajust action, and ajust the truss rod. Nothing major. The guitar's finishing is not particularly good. I guess this is down to shoddy Korean craftsmanship. The top is not bookmatched well. The guitar came with a plastic nut, poorly cut, leading to fret buzz. The binding is slightly shoddy. There is white paint smeared on the binding and fingerboard around the 12th fret. This doesn't affect the playability or performance tho. The fretwork seems pretty good. The tuners are great. The bridge seems to be made of pretty hard metal. Everything else seems solid.
Features — 9
Made in 2010, in Korea. 22 frets, medium neck, jumbo frets, rosewood fingerboard, flamed maple top, mahogany body and set mahogany neck. Tobacco sunburst flame top. Dean tune o matic/string through bridge, passive Dean humbuckers. 2 volume, 1 tone, 1 3 way pickup toggle. Grover rotomatic tuners (non locking). No accesories included. Jumbo strap buttons. Overall, a really solid guitar with great specs for the money. Could do with better pickups (if you play metal).