Sound — 8
I play a wide range of styles and it will fit most but seems best at the heavy end of things ie classic to hard rock, metal, blues. I'm using it with my trusty PodXT Live as I am between amps. Hardly any noise on all but the most distorted of settings but I think that's more the fault of the POD rather than the Epi. Quite a rich mellow sound at the neck and a brighter sound at the bridge. You can get cleans out of it but it sounds best through a Vintage overdrive or distortion setting.
Overall Impression — 9
It is perfect for my style, although jumping to 11s from 9s was a challenge. I've been playing 3 or 4 years to quite a good Standard. My previous guitar was a Yammie Pacifica. If some git stole it I would probably buy a different guitar just to have something different. I love the finish and being able to play GN'R, Led Zep etc properly. I wish I could get single coil tones out of it but that's what you buy a Strat for. I compared it with an Ibanez (I think it was an S series) but I was taken with the nicer finish and more Vintage tone of this. It ain't perfect but it is a very nice guitar for the price, better than many more expensive options out there.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar should easily withstand live playing, built like a tank. I've knocked it several times and not a scratch. Hardware seems good. Strap buttons are nice and large but due to the large weight of the guitar I would recommend a wide strap and some strap-locks. I would use a more expensive guitar if I was gigging but I would always have a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I haven't had to adjust anything, action nice and low etc. I haven't tinkered with the PUs yet but they seem ok. I haven't noticed any flaws in the finish but I have found the 1st string does get caught under the 5th fret occasionally and the socket comes loose also.
Features — 8
Not sure of year, made in Korea. 22 large-ish frets on a chunky neck, rosewood fretboard and it's a shorter scale length, 24.75". I do believe this guitar has a mahogany body with a maple top, very heavy anyways. Glossy black finish with gold hardware (very pretty). Tune-O-Matic bridge and passive PUs. Neck and bridge Epi humbuckers with 2 vol 2 tone and 3-way selector but you knew that anyway. Non-locking Grover tuners and I got a case thrown in.