Price paid: $ 516.06
Purchased from: www.Gak.co.uk
Sound — 9
I play mostly metal with a little blues-rock thrown in and lots of guitar solos and this guitar is great for that. It may not have a super-fast neck like some Ibanez models but I have no problems playing fast pentatonic box patterns or any other of my usual shred techniques. I play through a Marshall MG100DFX combo amp and this guitar sounds awesome! When I first tried one in the shop I was astounded with the level of tone it has - moving up from an entry level Yamaha I just wasn't ready for it! It has a great sound when distorted although the stock pickups may be a little weak, that's why I may switch. I've also heard talk of inadequate wiring straight from the factory but this can be easily fixed. The clean mode could be better but with the neck pickup selected there is enough warmth to satisfy most needs.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a good match for my style of music as I get not only the looks that I want but I get the sound as well. Aside from personal issues with the pickups I would not change a thing with this guitar. I have been playing for 5 years now (about 4-5 hours per day) and I also own a Dean From Hell and a Yamaha Pacifica 112. This guitar has easily the best tone of the three, although it does have the slowest neck. If this were lost/stolen I would buy it again in an instant (or preferably the Gibson version if I had the money). When in the shop looking for a new guitar I tried countless guitars and I chose this one based on the aesthetics and the overall quality I felt whilst playing it. Buy this guitar! You won't be dissapointed!
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar will last for decades if cared for and maintained properly. There are several things that you need to look out for, however. These are: the pickup selector Switch began cutting out when switching pickups after about a year. This can be fixed with contact cleaner. The guitar is very neck-heavy so you need to hold on to it. The strap will fall off it so strap-locks are a must! These are minor issues, however, and detract nothing from the overall quality of the guitar. I have hit it on countless doors and cupboards and aside from the occasional tiny dent on the wings you could never tell. The finish is absolutely perfect in every way. This is a guitar I would have absolutely no problems gigging with, only switching to get my hands on my Dean From Hell occasionally!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
From what I remember (I've had this guitar for several years now) it came very well set-up, with the action and pickups at a Standard rock height. It came perfectly in tune and was ready to rock, straight from the box! I have since lowered the pickups and raised the action on the lower strings to suit my own, personal tastes. This guitar had, and almost has, absolutely no flaws.
Features — 9
This guitar was made in 2005, I think in Japan but I could be wrong. It has 22 frets and a rosewood fretboard. It's supposedly a Korina body but, me not being an expert, it could easily not be! It has the traditional 'natural' finish with gold hardware. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stop-bar tailpiece and grover tuners. The pickups are the regular Epiphone Standard humbuckers but I may switch to some Bare Knuckles soon. It has 2 volume controls (one per pickup), one master tone control and a 3-way pickup selector switch. It came with a strap, cable, picks and a tuner.