Price paid: € 530
Purchased from: Pro Musica Cork
Sound — 10
I play a lot of Metal, and this guitar couldn't be suited better to it. The active 81's give really strong (collosally loud) sound, with amazing sustain, and the best pinch harmonis I've heard so far. The clean sound leaves a little to be desired, but its still pretty good: this is because the 81's are built for attacking metal sounds. If you play a lot of Clean you may want to concider replacing the neck pickup wiht an active 85, the 81s's clean-designed counterpart. I use it with a Peavey Vypyr 15 watt, which is a truley amazing amp for 115 euro, and the sound off it is pretty amazing. The main setting is the XXX modal on full pre and post gains, and a metal equiliser (bass 10 mid 0 treble 10) The guitar will also capeable handle less violent sounds, but because the pickups are active theres still going to be quite a bit of bite. The Floyd Rose sounds great, but pressing on the strings or Bridge at all alters the tension, which is annoying. Its so sensitive that if you tune it lying flat, it will e wrong once it s put verticle again- thank god for fine tuners. thisis however very handy for dive bombs and the like.
Overall Impression — 9
I can think of a single thing I'd would want from this guitar that it hasn't already got, other than (maybe! ) an EMG 85 in the neck pickup, for better clean. If it was stolen I would track down and kill the teif and his/her family- I love it that much, and imeadiately but a new one. No other guitar on offer has its combination of awesome hardware, active pickups, and such a low price tag. The only ting I hate about it is having to change tunings, because it can take up to 15, 20 minutes, but that is to be exoected of all floyd roses. I did my research on thoman, looking at all guitars priced between 400 and 800, but none stood out like this one did. I realis this sounds glowing, too good to be real, but its all true:)
Reliability & Durability — 9
I get the impression that this guitar will last for ever: its never once failed me in any regard. The Strap buttons are solid, but a little smaller than I'd like. I'd bring this to a gig any day, but not on its own, as there is no way you could change tunings mid gig, even in or out of drop tuning, it simply takes way too long. If I was staying in the same tuning however I wouldt fell anyreall need for a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
the guitar arrived well set up, but completely out of tune. I made the mistake of not getting it tuned in the shop, so tuing it the first time was a disaster, as I was tuing right down to drop c, and the Floyd Rose wasn't to happy with that, so I was forced to retension the Bridge springs myself, which I wasn't very comfortable doing myself, but it turned out of in the end. The pickups arrived way to high, there's only about 2.5 ml between the Bridge pickup ant the strings, which makes it a little awkward for some things, but thats easy enough to fix. other than that, theres nothing wrong with it at all. low action, perfect intonation, and perfectly fit together. Only thing to note is that the extra jumbo frets are so deep that pressing too hard changes the note by a whole semitone, which made tuning it confusing for a while, until I figured out what was going on. Its very comfortable to play, and with the Ernie Ball strings I have on it your fingers really glide over the frets.
Features — 9
This is a brand new guitar, only out in 2010, and its made in Japan. Its quite hard to find offline, as it so new. I had to order mine, and it took 6 weeks to arrive from japan, as it was out of stock everywhere else. Its got 24 xJumbo frets, Maple thru- neck, Rose wood fretboard, whit real pearl inlays, 648 ml scale with a 42 ml nut, it has 2 EMG active 81 pickups (the best feature by far), a special Floyd Rose Tremelo, EMG locking tuners, and what I believe to be Chrome hardware. Simple black finish (all it neets), 1 volume and 1 tone control, and a 3 way selector switch. I also got a free gig bag with it. The body Shape is like a super strat, but really pointy, and gothic looking.