Price paid: £ 450
Purchased from: Local music store (sale)
Sound — 9
When I got this guitar (2008 some time) I was largely into the mainstream metalcore (A7x, BFMV, KsE) and this suited me well as I could get some great pinched harmonics out of it. There was no excess noise from the pickups, but the volume and tone controls crackled at first, but went. As these are only Standard humbuckers, you can't get the same crunch as EMGs or the like, but for what they are they are very beefy pickups. I think this guitar sounds amazing on the clean channel, especially on the middle setting between the pickups, even better with a bit of Chorus. This is probably thanks to the weighty mahogany body.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for about 5ish years, and in the years I have owned it, my musical tastes have changed and broadened. I've tended to leave behind the mainstream, now into Opeth, Cannibal Corpse, Bodom, Evile, Pantera etc. For clean stuff I would highly recomend this guitar becuase the humbuckers sound full and beautiful. But for any shredder, I'd look elsewhere. The neck is pretty beefy, and its difficult to reach past fret 18 on the high E. The pickups are decent for what they are, but they are no match for EMGs. From what I hear, they feel pretty much the same as a Gibson. I have played a few Gibsons, and I would say there is very little differance in sound. The reason I bought this was a cheap alternative to a Gibson, and I'd say its served me well. If I was stolen, I wouldn't sweat becuase I'm planning on selling it anyway, as I've found what I need in a guitar and am now looking towards slick 7 strings. I have a Jackson RR24 to compare this to, and I must say there is a differance between low and high priced guitars, but if your short on cash and need a decent guitar which will stand up to pretty much anything, this would be a good choice.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've not really had any experience with live playing, though I used it at a school concert, and a local band night set. The guitar is certainly not flimsy and will stand up to anything thrown at it, but it is VERY heavy, so I don't think prancing around the stage is optional. Like I said, the finish on the hardware has very nearly gone, probably due to sweat corrosion. The white finish has yellowed slightly, but instead of fighting this I may encourage it to get a nice Vintage finish. I have accidently dropped the guitar whilst in a softcase, and there is a small chip at the bottom, but it is hardly noticable. So I'd say the finish is very durable.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Now I've become more critical with guitars, I discovered the action had been fairly high when I bought it, but that's just preferance. The pickps have always been set at a perfect height. The bridge isnt going anywhere, that things tunneled into the body. My only complaints would be that: 1. it came with a bit of unremoveable white paint on the fretboard 2. the white finish has started to yellow 3. the gold finish on the hardware, esp. the pickups has rubbed off completely. The Pickups themselves are very good, no excess sound.
Features — 9
I don't know when and where this was made, as I was young at the time and removed all the useful stickers on the back of the headstock. It has a 22 jumbo fret rosewood on mahogany set neck (can be difficult to reach up this far due to the set-neck fitting), block inlays, and a mahogany body with an Antique White solid finish. The bridge is a Standard stopbar tailpiece, 2 humbuckers with a volume and tone for both pickups and grover tuners, all with a gold finish. I had to purchase the hard case seperately.