Price paid: $ 732
Purchased from: Fairdeal
Sound — 9
I play mainly classic rock (Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy) and modern hard rock (the answer, datsuns) and I play in a grungy-rock band www.myspace.com/whitebeak. I love wailing solos that make you wanna orgasm. This guitars sound is excellent. The emg's give a really really rich, hard grunt but don't go as heavy as the active ones do. I plug into a Laney tf-200 with the heavier distortion channel. I set the gain to about 7 when I'm jamming in the bedroom where there is no noise and to about 5 or 6 at band practice (when I have more volume) and there is a bit of feedback but that is down to mics and small practice rooms mainly. I have a usa Telecaster which makes a lot more buzz than this. This guitar can do most styles: (punk, rock, metal, heavier blues solos) but would struggle for Indie and poppy songs. They sound best with a bit distortion/overdrive and don't have a particually great clean sound, that's not what I want though, I rarely use clean sounds. I also have a DigiTech Bad Monkey which I use for solos and it souns great. I boost the treble full and have about half-way gain and it sounds sweet! It really screams.
Overall Impression — 10
My style is very much any hard hitting bluesy rock and a bit of metal and this guitar suits me great. I have been playing for 4-5 years and I love this guitar, I would definatley buy it again if it were lost or stolen. I love the pickups, the neck, the look of the joint of the neck (it's sexual) and the body of this machine. I don; t 'hate' anything baout it, the clean sound could be better though. I went to fairdeal to buy a jackosn DKMG and came home with this. Its neck is much nicer as is the joint (you can play relly high up the neck). The Jackson did have one thing better, rather than the coil tap on the tone control it had a booster which was a great idea. I have a 3 channel amp and a overdrive pedal though so it wasn't priority. All in all a great axe. Definatley cosider it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
As I said I have suitably abused this guitars vibrato and the rest of this beast and many a band practice and it has survived every one, whilst staying in tune. One string (the top e) has broken whilst jamming in my room but shit happens. I have had strap locks put on this as I have done with my tele to protect it so I cannot tell about the strap buttons. I would take my tele as a back up to a gig as you never know hat could happen..I certainly can rely on it though. There is a bit of oxidisation on the floyd from where my hand has been resting but nothing bad.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar had been left out in the shop so it was pretty bad when I got it at first. The strings wouldn't keep their tune, I couldn't use the vibrato, the strings were worn. After having it set up and serviced by a local hero it couldn't have been better, after beaating the shit out of it at band practice and suitably abusing the vibrato it has stayed in perfect tune. I haven't braved the string change yet but will in the future. There was (and still isn't) any rust, wood prblems, noise or anything like that. The volume and tone cotrols did need a bit of adjusting but that's common.
Features — 10
Agathis super-Strat body with flamed maple top, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, arrowhead inlays, neck thru-body construction, 24 jumbo frets, white binding, licensed Floyd Rose tremolo system, 2 passive ESP emg's, volume, tone (with coil tap) and 3 way selector controls, available in see thru black and see thru red. Case not included. I must add that the playablility and speed of the neck is fantastic.