Price paid: $ 830
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
Like I said above this suites most genres. I myself play death metal, thrash, metalcore and all that heavy stuff, but I also like to play blues. Settings: low at about 8, mid at 4, high at 8,5. This guitar has the EMG's which is fantastic. The 81 in the bridge gives that warm distortion tone, and chunky palm mutes, I don't really use bridge pickups for lead sounds, but it gives you that clarity, if you want to cut thru more. The 60 in the neck sounds amazing for clean sounds. EMG's quick pin connectors allowed me to quickly change pickup, so I replaced the 60 with a 85, but it lacked that awesome warm and clear clean tone, through I thought the 85 was better for high distorted leads, I switched back to the 60. I'm really happy with the sound of this guitar, I don't think I'm ever gonna find a metalsound that's as good as the 81.
Overall Impression — 9
Best guitar I will probably ever own, I will never upgrade unless if it broke. But if it was stolen or broken, I would probably buy something else just to try something new, maybe in the same price category. The gear I use: amp: Marshall MHZ40 Haze, pedals: Boss Mega Distortion (for metal), MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion (for blues and rock), Haze amp built in effects (chorus, reverb, vibe), Behringer wah wah pedal. Compared to my other axes this is superior, I still love to play them old guitars, but it's the LTD which is my main guitar, and I know that it would never let me down, I love it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The thing is, I live in Denmark, and I bought this when I was on vacation in the US, because the gear is so much cheaper:O and the guitar didn't take any damage on the way home (a looong trip btw) so it sure withstands something, but it's hard to say, I never bring it outside my house, because I'm a bassist for my band, I only play guitar at home for fun (this guitar is good for fun ;)) but it survived two times that I dropped it, it got a little scratch nothing else. There is not a part that has come loose yet.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
It had a lot of buzz to the lower strings, so a thrus rud adjustment was needed. I adjusted the pickup height, put new strings on and of course tuned it. Everything else was fine, I quickly felt really comfortable with it. I just enjoyed looking at the beautiful finish, and the pearl inlays makes it extra "deluxe" as the headstock says. I think this guitar is really playable, and after two months I picked my old Epiphone Explorer up, and I was suprised to find that I could feel a big difference in the action.
Features — 8
I don't know when it was made, but it was made in Korea. It is shaped like a Les Paul, but has a little deeper cutaway, so it's more comfortable to reach the highest notes, it has 24 frets. It's body and neck is mahogany while the fretboard is rosewood. The finish on mine is see thru black cherry, and it looks really cool, and a bit evil. It is loaded with two active EMG humbuckers, the 81 in the bridge and the 60 in the neck. With this sharp and evil look, and these pickups, this guitar both look and sounds like a metalmachine, but it's not for metal only, it can be used for so many different things!