Price paid: $ 552.21
Purchased from: Steve's Music Store (Montreal)
Sound — 9
I play music by many different rock bands, but pretty much just rock. I play through a Marshall MG15CDR (only until I can afford a new amp) and I have an M-Audio Black Box FX unit. The black box has a noise gate so I can't really say if this guitar is noisy or not but it doesn't seem like it is. The guitar can make pretty much any sound you can imagine. I feel that it's quite versatile. The clean sound is actually quite good. It's absolutely stunning compared to my old guitar, an Ibanez GRX40.
Overall Impression — 10
I don't really have one style of music, although I am a huge U2 fan, but my band likes to choose a wide variety of covers to do sometimes and this guitar so far has adapted to each song perfectly. I've only been playing guitar for 1.5 years but I take it very seriously and I practice almost every day. (when there's no school I practice every free moment I have). I can't think of anything I could have asked before I bought this. Now if it were stolen or lost, well I can't imagine how someone could steal a guitar, but I don't know for sure if I would buy the same one. Not because it's not good, but I always like to try different things. But then again when I bought it, I compared it to the Epiphone les paul's and this one was better. So if I was limited to this price range, I probably would buy it again.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar would survive Live playing without a doubt. I've done some small shows (~200 people) with a crappy Ibanez guitar, so this one could surely survive Live playing. The hardware seems very well built and installed, as do the strap buttons. I could depend on this guitar without a doubt. I would use it Live without a backup, although I may on occasion bring another guitar just to eliminate the time lost to re-tuning if a song requires a different tuning. The finish seems well applied and I'm not expecting it to come off anytime soon.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar's setup is great. It was built in Korea but it was tuned and inspected in the US. Even the sticker on the back saying this is hand marked to prove this. There is no fret buzzing, unless you hit the strings so hard that they're about to break off. They seem a bit high up but that's probably just because my Ibanez was set way too low, it always buzzed. I haven't seen any flaws in the hardware or in the neck. The only thing I noticed was a slight chip in the paint on the back edge of the guitar, but it's very small and I may have done this myself.
Features — 9
My EC-400 was made in 2006 and is slightly different from the 2005 model. It has 24 frets instead of 22 and has an EMG 81 bridge pickup and an EMG 60 neck pickup. The one I bought has a Vintage sunburst finish. One thing that's different about this guitar is the active pickups. But battery life can go up to 3000 hours so I'm not terribly concerned. There are 3 control knobs: 2 for volume (one per pickup) and a master tone control.