Purchased from: MusicFest SA
Sound — 9
Good crunchy sound on bridge pickup, deep tone on neck pickup. The tone control fills in the gaps so you can get any tone you want. I play metal and other heavy styles so it fits in very nicely. The hot pickups can be noisy when speed-picking, but if you get your angle of attack right it sounds brilliant! I use a Crate GTX212 amp and it sounds good on both overdrive channels and clean. On clean it sounds best using both pickups, as single pickups can give a dull sound. The mahogany gives a rich, dark tone, as it's a very dense wood. This guitar would look and sound rediculous on a scrawny punk-head. It's a meaty metal guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
As I said, I play metal. This is a metal guitar. You can play anything you want with it, even ska, but it'll only really feel at home screaming and growling with the grindcore boys. I'be been playing for 7 years and this is the first guitar I didn't feel like it was holding me back. If it was lost, I'd have another one made. They've been discontinued. What do I love? The shape, the weight, the sound, the way it just does what you want it to. I wanted it for 2 years before I finally had the cash to buy it, and I've never regretted my purchase.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've played with this guitar in every situation thinkable and never needed a backup. I've snapped strings, but that's not the guitar's fault. Hardware is fine and isn't showing any sign of wear (after 7 months intensive use). Finish shows fingerprints a little easily, but nothing a dust cloth can't fix. No chips, only a few small scratches. Strap buttons are stuck fast. Only negative is that one of the strap buttons is an extention of one of the neck's bolts on the back, so you can't put a strap-lock on there. It's never slipped off, though.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Factory settings are good. Low action with minimum buzz, strings are close enough for speed work, but your fingers don't feel cramped. Pickups are a little noisy. I'd get a nice EMG 81 and 85 combo. Bridge is typical Floyd Rose. Padded in the back so you don't damage anything when you go insane with the wammy. Not a single flaw.
Features — 10
Mahogany body based on a SG shape, but with a 3rd cutout. Maple neck, rose wood fretboard, 22 frets. Floyd rose Tune-O-Matic bridge. Matt black finish, tread metal scratch guard, black hardware, 2 Epiphone Ultra-Hot pickups. 3-way pickup selector, volume control, tone control. Looks stunning, feels nice and steady cause it's rather heavy.