Price paid: $ 364.17
Sound — 9
Oh good lord, the sounds on this are fantastic. I kid ye not, it's amazing. I play classic '70s/'80s rock & punk, with a bit of Blues in there, & it made more than a few people jealous in terms of sound. Okay, the bridge/rhythm pickup is far too muddy for my liking, but the neck pickup is an absolute Godsend. A few more pickup controls would've been ace (there's only a 3 way toggle and 1 volume knob). Would be ace to try & have a similar way of controlling as I have on my Les Paul (where I've got the rhythm pickup on half volume so it adds some low end to the treble/neck pickup's sound)
Overall Impression — 4
For what I do, it does look a little OTT. Although if I ever do get around to forming a Gothic Glam rock band, I'll know right where to go! I had been playing for just over 3 years when I got it. In hindsight, I wish I'd asked if there was any reason why it's previous owner had traded it in, then I might've learned about the faults I lost patience with! I'd be annoyed if it were stolen, but to be fair, if somebody nicks it in it's current state, they're utterly dim. I love the look of it & that treble pickup's tone, they're purely perfect, & what made me try to fix the guitar. The rhythm pickup was a problem, but I just ignored it in the end, but that tremolo system is what's killed my interest in it in the end. When it's got a better bridge, it may well see light of day, but now, it's just in it's gigbag, a hollow taunt of what might've been. Just a shame they ain't making anymore, they could've possibly done a deal to put a better floyd rose in & saved the guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 3
Oh, just read above for the gripe on this guitar. Everything else on this damn guitar is in superb condit., and should last me a Long way yet, but it's just the trem. I know I shouldn't have ripped the tremolo out of it because it's a discontinued guitar model, but sod it. If I feel confident enough, I'll buy an original & get that installed, & see how that goes. Otherwise, I'm tempted to salvage to do several salvage jobs with it, such as put the pickups in a 67 type V guitar, where I can control the volumes of the pickups separately.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
I got the guitar second hand, & the action was nicely done, but I can't say whether it was a factory job or owner-done. What I do have a gripe about is the Licenced Floyd Rose system. Oh, good lord it's bloody awful. Refuses to hold tune for more than 5 minutes no matter what you try. In the end, I've now decided 'sod this' & ripped the unit out, saving up for either a simpler tremolo system or a Stopbar type system. It might just be a naffly built set, but this guitar's put me off trying Floyd Roses now, I just can't be arsed with the hassle of having to go through everything 3 times as quickly. It also had a pair of cracks in the neck right where the screws bolt it onto the guitar, but these don't seem to be doing anything adverse to the guitar.
Features — 10
Haven't a fragging clue when it was made, but as EPis are, parts inspected in Gibson HQ before been shipped to Japan to be put together. Mahogany body with a rosewrood freboard, 22 frets. The finish is a bit of a weird matt black with a Diamond steel pick guard. The look of the guitar is sort of half-way between a normal SG and a BC rich Warlock. 2 humbucking pickups, not sure if they're Alcinos or owt fancy like that, but they're high-output. Grover tuners, with an Epiphone made Licensed Floyd Rose Tremolo system. Nothing with it, but I did get get a leather strap & backpack gig bag dirt cheap. Was also half price, so I don't mind at all, I got a good deal, far better than the 515 I paid for my Epi Les Paul.