Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: Guitar Center - used
Sound — 9
The body wood is alder, which is more louder than other woods, ideal for metal. Since this guitar is made by ESP, and the signature model of Jeff Hanneman from Slayer, it is a no brainer for most buyer. I have never had a problem with sustain at all, and I did occassionally managed some Spinal Tap-esque squeels and sustains here and there. With a Floyd Rose, you may have some problems when you are doing some long dive-bombs, but that is probably because of the setup of your tremolo. I ran it through several amps, but I mostly use it for my amp simulator software(amplitube 3 and guitar rig 4). I onced used it on a friend's JCM 2000 and I had no idea that the guitar had such a monstrous sound. If you play around with the settings, you can get a tone to rival some Steve Vai-esque tones. Can't say much about cleans though; this is a metal guitar. Though, my teacher was impressed by the sound it produced when I played some blues through his Fender Reverb.
Overall Impression — 10
If you play any type of metal and enjoy leads, this is it. Been playing for about 4 years, and consider myself skilled. If this guitar was twice the price, I would buy it. If someone slapped an "ESP" or "Jackson" and tripled the price...I'd wait for myself to make the money. I am considering to swap for a Ibanez Prestige 2550E, but that is mostly for other reasons and personal preferances. This card kills the KH-602, Hellraiser and has a leg up on the M and MH 1000s. I bought it for $600. I was lucky. Buy it on ebay while you can.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I once held this guitar up high, without noticing that it was about to hit the ceiling fan. The fan stopped, a chip of the fan fell and my guitar was unscratched. I heard some guy killed his friend with one of these, and I believe. It may be too soon to say this, but when I put on this guitar, I know for a fact that my fate will not be the same as the Great Dimebag at his final concert. Jeff Hanneman has a fascination with old Nazi Germany and you can really see that here, considering this guitar is engineered like a panzer in WWII.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I am going to state a contraversial clame: USA-made means nothing. This guitar is a testament to that. This guitar may have been made in Korea, but its construction, fret leveling, intonation, and finish far exceeded my expectations. Even Jacksons can't touch the Koreans. I don't know much about the lower level ltds, but the upper level ltds are untouchable. As I said previously, the neck just fits so perfectly with the body, as if they are just one piece. The action was perfect, as well, and I had o idea that I was depriving myself of such ease when I first picked this guitar up. At the same time, my skills did not become rusty with other guitars for some reason. Then again, I did have a Fatstrat to practice with, so I would suggest you Switch between guitars, just incase you are one of those players that just gets used to playing one type of guitar.
Features — 9
This is a "redo" of an old, rather emotional, review. This is guitar is basically an M-model, and has the characteristics of what you would expect froma super-strat; thin neck, 24 extra jumbo frets, ebony fretboard, mother of pearl inlays, white bounds, an original Floyd Rose(made by Schaller) and some screaming pickups(EMG 81 & 85, to be exact). There are two knobs, volume and tone. I would like to note that the neck is not thinner than a wizard neck, but the neck-thru construction is one of the best I have ever seen. These qualities are what you would expect from a USA Jackson. A lot of these features would make this guitar work thousands, especially if it were made in the 80s or even 90s. Still, itis 2010, but the features still kick ass.