Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 7
This guitar is very suited for metal - it's big sounding and very tight in the low end - and that's what I play. It's very quiet due to the low impedance active pickups, even at high volumes and high gain. The EMGs are surprisingly versatile, and are able to do very nice cleans provided the amp has enough headroom on the clean channel. I run through either a Peavey 6505+ 112 or a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB interface into Peavey Revalver and it sounds quite nice. Again, I'd prefer passives (I'm not too into the EMG sound) but they sound decent enough.
Overall Impression — 9
I play metal - and since this guitar is basically purpose-built for metal, it fits my style nicely. I've already mentioned the other gear I run this through, and it does its job nicely. I'd buy another if it were lost or stolen, for sure. I had an Ibanez RG7620 before this guitar - and while being just as nice, I didn't like the neck as much and the floating bridge got on my nerves. The only thing I don't like about this guitar is the pickups, but they can be replaced fairly easily. I wish it had some nice passives (Dimarzio D-Activator 7s or a Crunch Lab 7/LiquiFire 7 set), but outside of the pickups there isn't anything I'd like it to have.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar is built VERY solidly, as is the hardware. The strap buttons are very solid - enough that I felt as though I didn't need to install strap buttons. I'd never gig without a backup because of Murphy's Law, but if I had to this would be a guitar for it. The FINISH on the bridge (a black chrome plating) wore off very quickly - this might be due to my sweat being rather acidic - but it doesn't affect the function of the bridge at all. The body finish is very nice and hard and difficult to chip.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar came strung with .010"-.058", which is too light on the bass side for my tastes - I ordered a custom set with a .066" for the low B. It was well set up from the factory, but the action was a little high for my tastes - but I like my action very low. Frets were very well done - leveled, crowned, and polished nicely. The only flaws were a not-quite-perfect veneer top and a loose tuner, but they're nearly unnoticeable and don't affect the guitar at all.
Features — 8
This guitar is a 2011 model, made in the World Music factory in South Korea. 24 Extra Jumbo (about Dunlop 6100 sized) frets, with a mahogany body and I believe a maple veneer top. It's got active EMG pickups, an 81-7 in the bridge and a 707 in the neck, controlled by a master volume and master tone and a 3 way blade switch. The strings go over a tonepros locking tune-o-matic bridge, with strings anchoring through the body. The neck is a 3 piece maple, set in with a carved heel, and are wound around ESP locking tuners (which are very similar to Schallers, but made in Korea). Overall, well specced for the price I paid. I'd have preferred passive DiMarzios, but they weren't available at the time.