Price paid: $ 280
Purchased from: Broadway Music/Pawn
Sound — 8
I play anything from AC/DC to Ramones, White Stripes, Sabbath, and Nirvana. This guitar works pretty good for anything. I play through an older Marshall MG10CD and a Boss DS-1 Distortion. Both pickups together put out some fat tones good for rock, grunge, and blues. The bridge pickup puts out some good punk tones. The neck pickup puts out some good metal sounds. The guitar is no slouch on clean either. The bridge pickup is good for playing Can't Stop by RHCP. I get a slight buzzing, but I'm going to credit that mostly to my amp being old and turned up high.
Overall Impression — 9
Buying this guitar was an accident for me, I was intent on buying a Strat and this swayed me in a matter of minutes. The only thing that slightly bothers me is the neck-heaviness of the guitar when playing while standing, but it's no big deal. My other guitar is so far behind it's not even funny. If this was stolen, I would probably buy another one just like it or find one with P90s.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar seems pretty durable, but I don't plan on finding out. The finish looks like it will last a while. The hardware seems pretty durable. The strap buttons work alright, but I'll probably get some straplocks just to be safe. I'm going to find out how it does Live when my band plays next month, but I'd bet that it will do pretty well. Since my only other electric has wiring problems, I'm not gigging with a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Everything is well adjusted, but the excellent condition of the guitar and the Gibson truss rod cover lead me to think that this may have been set up by it's previous owner. That said, the action on this guitar is great, low but no buzzing. The only guitar in the shop that had better action was an Eric Clapton Strat, but I'm not rich. The finish is absolutely gorgeous. Pictures don't do it justice. The cherry finish is a deep, vibrant red. The back of the neck being painted is a nice touch too. I've only found two problems with my guitar; one of the tuners is missing it's back cap, and the black knob on the selector switch slides off and will not screw on. That's probably because it's a used guitar, but they are minor flaws nonetheless.
Features — 7
I bought my guitar used. It's an '03, cherry finish. The SG body style is a classic shape, and it still looks great. I personally prefer the smaller style pickguard to the full style. Mahogany body, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, dual humbuckers, 2 tone/2 volume, 3-way selector. I'm not sure what it comes with brand new, I only got the guitar.