Price paid: € 500
Purchased from: Waltons
Sound — 8
I play a million and one styles. For the purpose of this review, I'll talk about punk, hardcore, blues etc. I play this guitar, usually, through a Fender Frontman 25R. I also mess around with a Boss-ME50 pedal. The guitars tone is pretty sweet. It's a rich sound, and the bite out of it is really tasty. Of course, this was built for the kind of music Tom makes, but that doesn't mean it's a one trick pony. It's got a real bite to it, which I love. I use Ernie Ball Slinky Top Heavy Bottom strings, because I love getting a chunky sound out of it when I'm palm muting or riffing it up. I also down tune a lot. I can definitely use this for more then just pop-punk. My band plays a lot of post-hardcore stuff, and this stands up to the challenge. It is a guitar that is meant to be played loud. It annoys me when people say it has "no" clean sound. That's a lie, the clean stands up perfectly well, even if it is still a bit dirty. It's not "glassy" (really bright), and you don't have the option of switching to another pick up to get a jazzy kind of tone. But it's a cool, crunchy kind of sound, which is different. And I like different.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I love this guitar, and although I do sometimes miss the versatility of the Ibanez, I would probably buy another one if it got lost, stolen or broke. I wouldn't recommend having this as your one and only axe. It's nice to have a bit of variety. But my god, it does it's job well. I love the comfort of playing it, I love the vicious bite out of it, and apart from all of that, it just looks so damn cool as well. I went out with the intention of buying this guitar, and from the first time I picked it up, I was sold.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is made for rocking, and is a tough axe. It's a lot lighter then I expected it to be when I first picked it up, but it's a solid guitar, and has withstood a few encounters with very very little damage. I wouldn't really feel the need to bring a back up guitar to a gig with this in my hands.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I had been saving up for this guitar for a while, and paying it off in installments, so by the time I got to it, the guys in the store knew me and had set it up perfectly for me. Because it was brand new, everything came perfectly. I haven't really needed to change anything since, except for checking the intonation every so often, the saddles etc. It's easy to play, the actions not too high. I had an Ibanez SA before this guitar, and while the action on that was lower, I started having a bit of trouble with fret buzz, and the neck was an awful lot wider too. This suits me down to the ground, and there's been no problems at all with it so far.
Features — 9
This guitar is a semi-hollow body. It has 22 medium jumbo frets. The body is made from laminated Maple, the fretboard is rosewood with white Dot inlays, and a mahogany neck. The hardware is chrome, and the guitar has a stoptail bridge. Of course, you have the two f-holes, and one volume knob for that Dirty Fingers pickup. And Tom's signature on the back of headstock is pretty cool too.