Price paid: $ 1600
Purchased from: Musicstore, Germany
Sound — 8
I play all kind of music (from heavy metaldist to clean). The guitar works absolutely best to hard rock/metal (solos). Actually I can't say I allways like the clean sound of the EMG-81s; sometimes it's a bit flat, "twangie" and bass-less (depens much on the amp). I'm using a little Fender frontman 15W, Marshall Valvestat 40W, Hughes&Kettner blue 100w and somtimes my effectpedal DigiTech RP200. It sounds really great with this on dist, but as I said: the clean is just ok. The sound is somtimes, aspecielly with much treble, very bright. The tone is rich and full with the right settings (much bass&middle, 50% treble&reverb). The sound isn't very warm, but not "cold" either.
Overall Impression — 8
I really like this guitar, one of the best I ever played (and I got one). It suits the most music I play, hard and classic rock, very well. I've been playing for three years now, quite seriously. If the guitar was stolen I think I would buy this again, or maybe a ESP M-II (same shit, just more expenisive).
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have played gigs live with this guitar many times, and it works perfectly! The hardware will last for ever, I hope. The only shit with this guitar is the strap buttons. The strap jumps of! Once it fell to the ground and got a ugly flaw. But maybe it's the strap, so I don't count it as a minus. I absolutely depend on the guitar, I could use it on a gig without backup. I think the finish is good enough to last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was very well set-up in the factory. The pickups was adjusted in the right way (I think) and the bridge was properly routed (I think). Actually everything is very god with this guitar. No noisy pickups, loose controls/tuning pegs, finish flaws or misaligned bracing. Now, after 6 months, one or two small pieces of hardware has become a bit rusty. But that's just becouse I play so fast.
Features — 9
Was made '05 in Korea. Has 24 jumbo frets and a necktrough-neck in maplewood. It's a solid and completely black guitar (maplewood aswell). The bodystyle is stratinspired, with a original floyd rose bridge. It has 2 active EMG-81 which is controlled by two volumes, a 3-way pickup selector and a tone control.