Price paid: $ 799
Purchased from: DZPL
Features — 9
This guitar has a single cutaway mahogany body with a maple cap finished with a flamed maple veneer. Mine is the tri-sunburst and is, in my opinion, absolutely beautiful. The binding is what they call a scraped binding which is basically a thick band of blond maple around the edge. If you look at a picture of one of these and notice how the burst looks almost 3D, well, it is. The top and back are deeply carved tapering from about 1.5" in the center to a 0.5" at the edge. The body is over-sized - about the size of my Sheraton II or a Gibson 335 - but the thin profile makes it hug nice and tight. The set neck is maple with the Z-Glide etching on the back with 22 medium-jumbo frets, and a 12" radius, rosewood finger board. The Z-Glide is really nice, but may take some getting used to. It's not a bad thing at first, just a different feel. To round it out, we have a rosewood veneered head stock with grover locking tuners, a tune-o-matic bridge and stop-tail. The dual HB pickups are Korean made G&B, I believe. You have one volume and one tone, and the volume is a push/pull for splitting to single coil. All in all, I love this thing: looks and feels phenomenal.
Sound — 10
I play a little bit of everything. Haven't gigged in a few years, but when I did I played classic rock to blues to country to fusion to jam band stuff. Hell, give me enough to drink and I invent genres. This guitar covers them all very well. To describe the tone of this guitar I'd have to say it strikes me as a warm, bright mid-range. Not the bright twang of a strat and not overly bassy... Somewhere in between. I used to play a '78 LP Custom and this guitar is actually warmer and slightly more ballzy, I guess. Tone is so subjective but I can say the bridge pickup is bright but not shrill and the neck is warm but not muddy. In single coil mode you get a poppy, brighter, sound with more distinction between the notes. Every HB guitar ought to have the coil splitting feature, imo, it just adds a whole tonal dimension I missed out on for years with my LP. I've run this guitar through the 3 amps I still have around: a 1979 Fender Princeton Reverb, a Dean Markley solid state 2X12 Combo and a Line 6 Amplifi 75 - the latter of which I plan a review of soon... Really impressed. With the Fender and DM I run an Ibanez multi-effects processor and through the Line 6 I just plug in. I really like these pickups. I've replaced pickups in my Epi Sheraton but will not be doing so with my Zenyatta. It's great just how it is.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I did adjust the factory set-up. It was a little high for my taste, but it certainly wasn't bad. I do fiddle-p-ss with every guitar I own and buy, so that was just me being me. I also played with the pickup height, but pretty much ended up back where I started. This guitar does have a dual direction truss rod, so any bow in the neck can be corrected. The hardware and electronics all seem in good order - no noisy pots or anything. The only "flaw" I see is a slight gap on the bass side of the nut where it doesn't quite sit flush. I checked the string height across the board and all is good. It may have been shimmed or something. It is VERY minute, and is actually a nit-picking thing on my part, but it is something to mention. As far as the finish of this guitar... It's gorgeous, not much more to say. Reminds me of why I fell in love with PRS guitars back in the '90s - lovely wood work and finish.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The Zenyatta would hold up to any live gig situation and I would be confident to walk on stage with this guitar with no backup. Solid construction and finish. I'm sure it would road wear after a time, but no sooner than any other guitar. The strap buttons are rather large and really don't require lockers to keep the strap in place. This is a well built guitar and feels like it. For the thin profile, it still has substantial mass, and can take a good beating. The hardware seems quality enough to where I wouldn't be concerned about saddle burrs or any other anomaly that might cause me hassle in the middle of a show. Again, this guitar seems to be sturdy and solid.
Overall Impression — 9
I love this guitar. I've played for 25 years and I've played Fenders and Gibsons - mostly my old trusty Les Paul, and this guitar is equal to, if not exceeding in quality and tone, and it's certainly prettier than most guitars I've owned. I would definitely replace this guitar if it were lost or stolen. If I had to compare it to other guitars on the market, it would be a good competitor to the PRS SE Korean built line. The pickups are from the same manufacturer and the fit and finish is just about the same. The DZPL guitars are excellent instruments and the price is right. My next purchase will be a Tagliare so I can add a 25.5" in scale back into my collection. I highly recommend.