Price paid: $ 310
Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 7
I play metal and hard rock, ranging from Between The Buried And Me to Rush. Obviously, a guitar isn't as important as an amp when it comes to this aspect, but once I switched out the humbucker (I use a Dimebucker), it sounds good for both styles and in between. I run it from a Line 6 AX and just like an other guitar, if you run a noise suppresor with it, you won't have noise. If you upgrade to an Original Floyd Rose, you expand the tonal qualities you can get with this guitar.
Overall Impression — 6
Metal is my primary genre and with a couple upgrades (humbucker/bridge) this guitar definitely satisfies any metal head's needs. I now play this guitar in line with my upgraded Dean Vendetta and Ibanez S470. I prefer the other two to this guitar, but it serves it's purpose- a guitar that I use when my band covers songs in Standard or Drop D tuning. It's a great guitar for a begginer who isn't sure about being serious but wants a good foundation and something that once you've become serious, you can upgrade and make a Standard part of your playing.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is durable- it's survived drops off chairs, amps, whatever you can name. Obviously you should get straplocks. I always carry a back-up guitar, but if I was not able to, I wouldn't feel the need to borrow one to gig with. I play hard, especially Live, and I sweat a lot. A big lot. The finish hasn't marred or anything from either sweat or abuse.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As with any floating bridge system, you're going to have to adjust it to get it setup the way you like. Fortunately for me, ESP included a booklet detailing how to adjust all aspects of the Floyd. The finish is very nice, a dark blue with the Standard quilted maple top. It's a good looking guitar with the contrast from the maple neck. All the setup and build of this guitar is perfect according to it's specs.
Features — 4
This guitar was purchased basically on inpulse, as an "upgrade" from my Dean Vendetta. Turns out, it wasn't that intelligent of an idea. This guitar is made in China, with a basswood body (a quilted maple top) and a all maple neck/fingerboard with 24 XJ frets. The neck is by far the best feature of this guitar- it's very fast, and a little thick, especially for people used to Wizard necks, but comofrtable and easy to adjust to. Moving downwards... The stock pups are two single coils and a humbucker. The single coils are decent and get good cleans, but the humbucker should be immiediately abandoned. Also, the Liscensed Floyd Rose is an atrocity. The only way you can keep it in tune is to not use the Floyd at all. I've actually replaced it with a Standard Les Paul style bridge. The guitar stays fairly in tune now. Otherwise, I've never had trouble with any electronics.