Price paid: $ 667.95
Purchased from: GuitarAmpKeyboard.com
Sound — 9
My style is mostly metal, ranging from Slipknot to Metallica. This beast can do all of them. It even has that unique opening sound when playing the intro to Aerials by SOAD. Only problems, that isnt really a problem for me because it makes up for my lack of equipment, is that when using the up Switch on the 3 way Switch when turned to zero, then you will still get a bit of distortion from te other pickup. This is actually the perfect SOAD sound when doing songs such as Aerials, Hypnotize and Lost in Hollywood. amps wise, this thing can go with anything. It even sounds amazing on my crappy Stagg amp that I got with my first guitar. The strings are a basic 11 - 48 which are medium but I'm replacing them with some thicker ones. This has an extreme metal sound. It has that overall sound that fits SOAD, Disturbed and Slipknot. To be honest you could probably fit many bands guitar sounds. However I'm also aiming to change the pickups because I can't get a decent pinch harmonic out of it. Frets make it perfect for short to medium length solos, however due to it's history of use it is seen as a rythm guitarists guitar. Overall, a monster of metal.
Overall Impression — 9
Perfect for all metal, and hard rock but is probably a bit much for 'normal' rock. I've been playing for a year and a half, owned 3 guitars unincluding this one and by far this beats them all. if I lost it, I would wait years just to get it again. If someone stole it, I'd find them, break their knees and hit them on the head with it (and this guitar wont even dent). What I love: looks, weight, accessability to frets, sound, hardware, almost everything. What I hate: weak pickups, strap buttons, input jack and size (though that's more a dislike). Favorite feature: it's overall rock solidness. I would compare it to other wierdly designed, great sounding guitars such as the Flying V, Ibanez Iceman/IC400 and anything from B.C.Rich. I would choose this above even an SG because of it's looks really, but also because it has the 'System' sound that no other guitar has. This guitar is reminiscient of an idol of mine, James Hetfield Who although uses ESP's, I thought this was the next best thing. It would be awesome if they released one with EMG's, an EMG 81 and an EMG 85, because those pickups are quite bad and also I wish it came with a special bag for it because of the shape because I have to use a bag made for a large size accoustic guitar. This is definately a very good product, Epiphone cheapness and garuntee with Gibson quality and sound. Absolutely perfect.
Reliability & Durability — 9
As before, I really recommend strap locks. the X shape means you'd have to tip the head downwards or a strap is quite likely to slip off. Hardware is briliant, aluminium most likely and is estremely resilient. Only problems with it is that the paint. Especially when playing Slipknot and you get the urge to jump like a monkey with eveyone else. This guitar is as hard as brick. Really. At Most you could only scratch the paint, which is about 3 layers thick. however it's size means that it is quite cumbersome at times. If I ever brought it to a show, I'd buy the same one again for when I change tuning and that's it. Very good stuff.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This guitar has a glued neck that hardly shows. this is extremely well made, not having a single thing out of place. Pickups were unevenly placed but it was hard to rectify so I didn't bother. Also the input jack washer can become loose quite quickley so you need to tighten it. Hardware can't oxidise, unless you purposely remove the paint, which is pointless. Paint on body and hardware is perfect and of very good quality, but extremely static. It picks up dust like a vacuum cleaner and transfers all of it to the pick board to give you raised hair, which is very uncomfortable. Controls were easy to use and don't unscrew unless you really mess with them.
Features — 8
Comes with a nice matte black paint job that is extremely good and much much better than a normal coat on other guitars like a Strat, black pickguard, 3 way Switch, 2 volume knobs and a tone knob, painted black chrome hardware, locking tuners, open humbucker pickups, basic Tune-O-Matic bridge, not sure about the fretboard but it has 22 medium frets but this guitar is generally well made. Not sure what it's made of but it's definately much lighter than most guitars I've played, even if grotesquely large. it's in a flattened X shape in my opinion. 'Twas made this year (2008) at around may, in Korea. Only problems with it is the strap buttons. One time you can be playing then your Epi will just hit the floor. I seriously recommend strap locks. Also it doesnt't come with any accessories such as cables. also I suggest tightening the washer at the input plug, as that likes to unscrew itself alot. Overall, simple yet satisfying.