Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Features — 8
- Country: Indonesia
- Frets: 24, Jumbo, Rosewood
- Body: Solid, Laminated top
- Finish: Glossy black
- Body Style: Odd-bodied strat, essentially, it looks like a strat with chunks ripped out of it
- Bridge Style: Floyd Rose
- Controls: 3-way pickup selector; Volume + Tone knob
- Floyd Rose Arm
- Pickups: 2 Humbuckers
- Tuner: locking, ESP tuners
- Accessories: Cable + tools.
Sound — 9
It plays a wide range. I have played everything from polka to heavy metal on it, and it sounds fine. Turn off distortion, clear as a bell, crank it up, chunky as Metallica. While some may complain about nosiness with distortion, any true metal fan will realise that you can remove this effect using simply editing software if you are recording a song and if you are just jamming, it really doesn't matter, I've gotten oohs and ahhs at gigs with it just fine, even with scratchy sound, because, with metal, that sounds ok, nice even. When you turn off the distortion, you lose the scratchiness which is a plus, the sound is clear as a bell.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The sole factory set-up was completely fine. Everything was tight, the pickups were fine, there were no flaws, bridge had proper placement. The problem came with later playing. Any player that has locking tuning machines knows the struggle of having to undo the lock every 3 months or so to check tuning. The metal of the screws was so soft that, not only did the tuning lock screws get stripped, the actual string saddle cracked, and I had to replace the entire Floyd Rose bridge. But, for $150, you get what you pay for. Just run over to Amazon, and buy some replacements, it'll last you a lifetime, and you'll spend $250 tops. In fact, I wasn't a big fan of the chrome plated screws and bridge, so I replaced it with matte black hardware, and it looks even more slick.
Reliability & Durability — 8
As I said earlier, if you replace the metallic parts (screws, bridge, machine, etc), then this guitar will last forever. I've played on stage with it numerous times, so many I can't count, and its lasted through everyone of them without fail. Would I use it at a gig without a backup? No, I never play without a backup in general, as every guitarist knows you gotta cover your ass when it comes to on-stage problems. Everything is ship shape and will last a lifetime, granted you spend the $75 for replacement metal parts.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I think that this guitar is perfect for players with a lower budget, who play a lot of guitar, who would use it on stage, and who play a wide range of music. I play everything, I mean everything, from polka to heavy metal, the Beatles to Slayer, and this guitar can emulate the tones of every single one of those guitar (of course, not perfectly, that would be impossible). But yes, I love the look of it, it has a slick body, perfect for any kind of rock, and I love its durability and versatility, granted parts are replaced. If I lost it, and I had the option of replacing it, I would, but, being me, if one of my guitars fall in action, they are laid to rest, never replaces. There can only be one Arya (her name), and if it falls, I would buy a new, different model of guitar. I do wish that the guitar had one non-humbucker pickup with a 5 tone switch though, because that would only add to the versatility of the guitar. Other than that, perfect.