Price paid: $ 1000
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 9
I play mostly just plain old fashioned rock mixed with some blues and occasionally some finger styled stuff. I'm playing this work of ART through a Fargen Olde 800 1X12 combo amp with an Eminence Wizard in it. When I bought the guitar the previous owner had installed Seymour Duncan 59's in both spots. I tried the guitar with those before I replaced them, but they were pretty dull sounding to my ears. Even then, the guitar had a nice upper-midrange cut to it that, if not tamed, could kill small animals and children. Once I put in my HighOrders that cut became a double edged sword that takes a great deal of eq'ing to wield without killing yourself. The Ash body is bright, but makes the bottom end nice and tight (I like to think of it like a playboy model, lots on 'top' that'll get you heard, with a nice and firm, but not too big, 'bottom' that's the envy of everyone else). This guitar was born to shred faces at 50 yards. The pick attack caused by the rosewood board is such a treat. It'll be just as snappy as you want, but it gets nice and mellow and weepy when you need it to. Long story short, this guitar has a multi-faceted personality (you just have to know how to bring each one out). I'm giving this a nine because, first off, no guitarist is ever going to find a guitar that sounds exactly like they want, we're always searching for something better. But this thing is as close as I've found.
Overall Impression — 10
Excellent guitar. In fact, when it comes time to buy a second guitar, I'm seriously thinking about buying another one! This guitar matches me quite well. It's made me rethink certain ideas I had about what an electric guitar should be. And in the long run, I think that's what counts. The instrument you play should inspire you to play more, better and be more creative in how you play. That's what I was looking for in a guitar, and I've found it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has seen a few gigs, of that I'm sure. And I'm also sure that it's a couple of years old, but it feels solid as a rock. I have No Doubt I could use this guitar until the day I die and that it'd hold together just fine. Oh yeah, I'd definitely gig this thing without a back up. The body finish has a good amount of pick scratching, but doesn't feel worn down or torn away or however you want to say it. So yes, I think the finish will last just fine. This gets a nine just because I haven't been able to test the durability myself as of yet.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When the guitar arrived the action was so high off the fretboard I could have drove my truck in between the strings and the frets! So I had the action professionally adjusted and wow is all I have to say. This is my favorite neck ever. I've played on other Axis guitars with the maple necks, and they just don't feel as good as that rosewood does. Couldn't explain why to save my life, but it's excellent. The finish had a few little dings on it when I got it, but I don't care in the least, it just gives this already amazing guitar so much more personality. A more diverse portfolio if you will. Plus I don't feel so bad really getting into playing it. I'm giving this a ten because, for me at least, this is the best playing guitar I've ever played, hands down, discussion over.
Features — 8
Not sure what year it is, that's not important anyway. All rosewood neck and headstock, tall, thin frets (22 of 'em), forgot the neck radius, neck shape is a small c, locking tuners. Rosewood top on an Ash body, two humbuckers, volume, tone, 3 way Switch. The stock features are fine, but I never could leave well enough alone (I have, and will continue to modify this guitar as I go). So far all I've done is remove the tone knob and installed my custom HighOrder Pickups (a 7.5K A5 neck pickup and a 10K asymmetric A5 bridge pickup).