Price paid: C$ 450
Purchased from: John Bellone's
Sound — 10
This guitar is perfect for the type of music I play. I play mainly 60's and 70's influenced rock and progressive rock and some blues, and this guitar is perfect. I play lots of Rush and this guitar is a warhorse if you're aiming for an Alex Lifeson-esque sound. I run it through a Vox Valvetronix (which runs through a Marshall 4X12 cabinet) and it seems to be a very dynamic combo. When put together with my Boss CE-20 and the rest of the toys...wow. The clean sound is very crisp and mesmerizing with a beautiful warmth, and through the gain channels this guitar has that unique stinging bite and undertone growl that the Gibson 335's have. There is also that trademark semi-hollowbody feedback squeal that would probably attract dogs from across town, use at your own risk! This guitar can be used for nearly everything: blues, funk, progressive rock, classic rock...however hevy metal might be challenging, but running through the right equipment it could probably work.
Overall Impression — 10
I play lots of old classic rock and prog rock (Rush, King Crimson, The Who, Cream etc.) and this guitar is perfect for those styles. I've been playing a few years now (first guitar was in grade 6...off and on til grade 12...now i'm almost 20. Put it together...probably 7 years, but only 2 1/2 years seriously)and I'm fortunate to own a lot of other fun and exciting guitars and accessories, but this one is by far one of my true gems. If someone stole this guitar, I'd never be the same (I'd probably perform some not so legal acts to whoever stole it and end up in prison). I'd buy another for sure, but I'm very sentimental towards the one I have right now. I love The Feeling of picking it up, I love the weighting of it, I love the thickness of the neck...I guess I love just about evrything about it. I had been considering a Fender Stratocaster but settled with the Dot because I felt it was a better guitar for MUCH less money. One thing though is that I wish they came with tremolo bars on them, like a 355 does, but still, it's not hard to put one on yourself. Also, the black pickguard on the black guitar with the 'e' didn't quite cut it for me...so I fixed on a cream pickguard to match the trim. Yet again though that's quite changeable.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar withstands and will withstand more Live playing. I suggest though, if you like to exercise a bit on stage, that you purchase some locking straps. After all, semi-hollowbodies are larger instruments and some care should be put into making sure they don't slip out of a regular leather strap. The hardware will do fine (one thing I might change over time is the nut, because ever since I attached the Bigsby it has been falling out of tune a little easier) and the current specs will work for years. I would always take a back-up, that's just how I am, but I fully rely on this baby anyway. Oh, and the finish is quite strong, so far after over a year of owning it and playing it ALL the time there hasn't been one fade or anything.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar was assembled to par, as far as I have seen. The only thing I had to bring it in for was to get it professionally set-up, and I had to lower the action. However, I usually do that with all of my guitars. After a few months of playing though, the input jack fell into the body and I didn't have the proper tools to get it out...but the repair guy Who had the right tools fixed it right in front of me for free. I don't hold any grudges for that, and I still think that it was one beautifully made guitar.
Features — 9
I believe mine is a 2007, and it was made in China. This guitar has 22 frets, the high ones being very easily reachable due to the cut-out style. I purchased mine in Ebony with the cream trim, and the finish is quite satin-like and reflective. It could be a mirror. It features a tune-o-matic bridge, and I had to buy the case separately. It has controls for each pick-up (two tones, two volumes) and the selector Switch is three-way and is well attached (one of the only guitars I own where the Switch head doesn't unscrew itself everytime I hit it...not a big deal but rather convenient). I attached a Bigsby B7 to mine and it functions beautifully, even though it's just minor vibrato (I wish you could buy 335's with one like you could a Gibson 355...Varitone Switch would be genius as well). The guitar has all of the features you would expect for a Standard semi-hollowbody guitar.