Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 7
I play mostly metal and this guitar really does sound excellent through my Crate half stack. It has a nice low end and growls with the stock distortion on the head. I do notice there is a small "hum" or "buzz" that this guitar creates (which none of my other guitars produce at the same settings on my amps). I don't exactly like the guitar when it is clean though. Overall, for the price I paid when the model was Brand New and the beautiful metallic blood red finish, I couldn't ask for a better guitar.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall this guitar is a fantastic beginner to intermediate guitar for metal and hard rock! The price is unbeatable and this guitar has provided me with years of perfect service. I wish there was a whammy bar and that holes for the string-through were bigger. Other than that I would recommend this guitar to anyone willing to turn heads an make ears bleed. If I ever lost this guitar I wouldn't think twice but to replace it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have never had an issue with my strap slipping off the buttons and for the most part the hardware is good (except for my pickup height adjusment screw). This guitar stays in tune with NO PROBLEMS and keeps it's sound throughout the performance. it's taken quite a few bangs and bumps but still only has a few surface dings. I would use this guitar without back-up but any musician knows that the threat of a broken string is always a factor so I always have a back-up for that reason alone.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar played excellent the first time out of the box. It lasted through Live shows, rehearsals, and studio play. I, too, have the fretwire problem that oters seem to have experienced with this model as well. Overall the guitar has held up and feels solid! Most of the aesthetic flaws are from a couple years of abuse (which I can't fault the manufacturer for). Although I did notice something thoug, while playing one night the screw that adjusts the bridge pickup fell out and now the whole pickup is loose and sunken in to the body. This have never happened to me before wih any other guitar. So a word of advice, keep tabs on the hardware and make sure everything is tight.
Features — 7
The rosewood board on this axe makes for very fast and smooth play. I especially love the finish on my guitar. I opted for he metallic blood red, it is absolutely gorgeous! I never thought (before I purchased this as my first "V" style) I would be comfortable playing a Flying "V" style guitar but this guitar is deceptively nice feeling. I like the chrome covered humbuckers and their punchy sound.