Sound — 9
Dear god. The sound of this guitar is amazing. I own an older Fender 212FM and with the more Vintage sound of the amp, leads sound absolutely amazing. When I go for a more heavy, thicker distortion I hook it up to my Behringer UM100 (don't knock it) and I must say, this guitar was made for metal. That being said, bluesy stuff doesn't sound quite as bluesy and the guitar has a somewhat limited genre range, but I can honestly say the clean tone sounds hauntingly beautiful. With full blown distortion I tend to get a hiss from the amp but that isn't the guitar; when I use the Behringer it's dead quiet.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm a huge fan of most kinds of metal. I typically listen to stuff like Morbid Angel or Behemoth, but I'm also a huge fan of Joe Walsh, Mountain, and Clapton, and this guitar covers their styles nicely, though it's definitely a metal guitar. I've been playing nearly 3 years and in comparison with the $700 Schecter I had been playing at The Music store for some time now, this guitar is every bit it's equal. If I found out someone stole this, I'd probably round up a mob and hunt the bastard down that took it if I hadn't beaten HIM to death myself already. For the price, this guitar has no equal.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've taken this to a few jam sessions with friends already and I'm confident it's gonna last for many a year. The hardware is securely placed and not one thing on this guitar creaks or budges. Taking it to a gig without a backup is something I'd try to avoid just because I'm superstitious in general but I think I could do it without much worry. The strap buttons are solid as a rock and I haven't had a problem with them once yet, though I still use straplocks because of my silly worries.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I yanked this thing right out of the box to try it out and it sounded great off the bat. As far as adjustments, I haven't tweaked a thing and I haven't needed to. The action was pretty low like I like it and gave me no fret buzz. The tuning knobs turn cleanly with no trouble and the guitar stays in tune after a vicious assault of bends and strums. The finish is amazing and didn't have a scratch on it.
Features — 10
I bought this from the catalogue of AMS a few weeks ago and I gotta say, this guitar lived up to everything I expected. It's got a very lightweight mahogony body that's slightly more rounded off than the SG Special I own. The body has a beautiful "Midnight Ebony" finish that looks exactly like the sky on a cloudy night with a full moon. The 24-fret ebony fingerboard looks amazing with the blade inlays and feels even better to hold because of the thin D shape. The tune-o-matic bridge allows for easy string changing. The icing on this finely crafted cake, however, is the active EMG 81/85 pickups. Through the 3-way selector gives amazing tonal range and sound. AMS was even kind enough to send me a 15 foot cable with an L shaped end.