Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Local music shop
Features — 10
The guitar was made in China in 2011.
- Body: Mahogany
- Neck: Mahogany
- Scale: 24.75"
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Frets: 22
- Inlays: Big Block
- Tuners: Grover, non-locking
- Pickups: Epiphone Alnico II humbuckers (x3)
- Controls: 3 Volume (1 for each of the 3 pickups), 1 Tone, 3-way switch (Middle pickup stays on through all 3 configurations unless you specifically turn the volume control down)
- Bridge: Tune-o-matic with stopbar tailpiece
- Finish: Antique Ivory
- Hardware: Gold
Sound — 8
I'm a versatile player, I'm mostly into metal but i play hard rock, jazz, and pop sometimes. It does sound good for metal (I mostly play stuff by bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, Metallica, Dethklok, Jupiter, Versailles, etc) but it's not really it's best and it's not the best option for the most extreme subgenres of metal. This guitar is made for rock, specially classic rock, and it does an amazing job for that kind of music. It works great for pop and jazz too. I mostly use Guitar Rig 5 on my PC, but I have used different amps with the guitar (Behringer GTX30, Marshall MS-2, Marshall MG100FX) and it provides a great sound through all of them, specially clean. I use a Boss ML-2, a Dunlop Zakk Wylde Wah and a NuX Pedal Tuner for pedals. The ML-2 really helps in getting a heavily distorted sound that suits metal on this guitar. Without a proper distortion pedal, the distorted sound is not so heavy but it'll still give a decent metal sound. The tone is really warm and bright even witр high amounts of distortion, and you can get beautiful sounds out of it on the clean channel. The 3 pickup configuration gives you tons of different sounds and makes it really versatile.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar came in good shape out of the store, with nice action and well adjusted pickups. But some months afterwards, the volume and tone controls crooked up. The jack unscrewed a lot too, so I replaced the controls for Gibson ones and the jack for a DiMarzio jack. The new controls and jack work great and I got no problem with them since. Tuning stability is OK but I would probably expect more from Grover tuners. The guitar needs to be tuned when you start playing and sometimes the G string will get flat. The gold hardware looks great after 5 years and seems like it'll last a long time. The finish looks flawless and nice, with a beautiful Antique Ivory colour.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar would definitely withstand live playing, the hardware looks beautiful and sturdy (after replacing the faulty controls and the jack), the strap buttons are OK and do they job when I play standing up, even tho I would probably get straplocks to replace them just in case. I could use it on a gig without a backup but I'd rather not just because I'm kinda paranoid. The gold hardware and the finish are pretty much flawless and I think they'll stay that way for many years. The gold finish on the pickups started to fade a tiny bit recently but you have to look close to see it.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is a good match for most of the music I play (metal, rock, jazz, pop), it's not the best at any style but it can do a good job on pretty much any type of music you want to play. The distortion is nice and crunchy and the cleans are rich and warm. I've been playing for 4 years, my other guitars are a Schecter Synyster Gates Custom, an unbranded classical guitar, and the amps and pedals I mentioned before.
- Great and versatile sound
- Great looks
- OK tuning stability
- Comfortable neck with easy access to higher frets (even tho it would be nice if it had 24 frets, but that's just personal choice)
- Flawed hardware (crooked volume and tone controls, jack that used to unscrew a lot)
Overall, a nice guitar with tons of versatility, beautiful looks and a great sound. I'm quite pleased with it after replacing the volume and tone controls and the jack and pretty much everyone who plays it likes it.