Purchased from: Guitar Gallery (Scottsdale, Az)
Sound — 10
With the Seymour Duncan pickups, you are more set for either a punk sound or a alt rock sound (in the middle positon). Change those guys to EMG 81s, and you have a sound similar to Metallica or latter day Testament. Those are the two companies with the best sounds. Trust me when I say the sound is worth the insane price for a pair ($150-$225).
Overall Impression — 10
I had a choice between a Jackson DXMG or this guitar, and man am I glad I chose this one. Jackson used to be crazy good, but their NEW guitars suck. Only the actual 80's Jacksons are awesome, and I'm jealous of people who have them. ESP guitars are good for faster metal like Metallica, as opposed to slower metal guitars like Ibanez. And I would choose an ESP over a BC Rich anyday of any lifetime. I would cry if this guitar was wrecked or stolen. I like it that much. Solos are incredibly easy, but don't try anything slow, like blues. It simply will not work. The only thing that would make this guitar better is if it had another volume control. Then you could have a killswitch on your pickup Switch.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Lets put it this way: This is my prefered performance guitar. It is eye candy, and the feedback is very easy to control, but be careful when you're playing high gain, full volume because even the shortest release of the strings can give powerful feedback.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I've only had this guitar for about 2 1/2 months now, but I'm already noticing some problems with the input jack wiring. It tends to wear out a little easy, but that is nothing compared to new Jackson guitars. Since Jackson was bought out by Fender, they cut corners like crazy, especially in the re-released Randy Rhoads series. Sad but true.
Features — 10
This is a 24 fret SOB that originally came with Seymour Duncan Detonators, but i plan to change them into a pair of EMG 81s. That's Kirk Hammett's true sound. It has a 5 way Switch and a volume and tone knobs. Most of this model has a transparent blue finish, but I've also seen it in black. It also has a locked tuning system and a Floyd Rose bridge. The downside of that is that you have to restring the guitar just to drop the tuning a half step. Otherwise, the tremolo is easy to pilot and isn't really sensitive like most Ibanezes tend to be. The Xtra Jumbo frets are also a soloist's dream. Try harmonic minors on it. It's so easy to fret that most solos are easier to play than on Squiers, Fenders, or Gibsons.