Price paid: $ 620
Purchased from: Guitarcenter.com
Sound — 9
I play some jazz, blues, classic rock and some good ol' heavy metal and it fits all of those styles pretty good. I was a bit skeptical because I heard that EMG's weren't very versatile but they actually were IMO. The 85 is quite warm but when the tone knob is turned counter-clockwise all the the way it gets muddy especially when distorted but that could be do to my amp, Peavy Vypyr 30, but I have heard that through a tube amp they sound much better. The 81 is pretty sick because it has that awesome crunch however the cleans are not that great. One thing this guitar isn't is noisy its very quiet when it is left alone and no fret buzz unless you strum crazy like a masturbating ape. All in all the sound is pretty good but I recommend using it for rock/metal.
Overall Impression — 8
It fits the music styles I play and surprised me on how good the cleans were considering all the negativity. I have been playing for 2 1/2 years and have owned an Ibanez GSA60 (great guitar for the money as is this one) and a Jackson DXMG, but this guitar is just better even though it doesn't have a locking tremelo. The thing I wish it came with is a gig bag I mean come on. If this was stolen I would hunt them down and shit in their living room or if it was a hobo I would crap in their cardboard box and take it back and if I couldn't find it I would buy it again. Oh and I am rating this to anything within its price range you whining people that complain that guitar gets "all 10's".
Reliability & Durability — 8
I believe that this guitar will withstand live playing because to me it seems that it is pretty solid. The hardware is also pretty solid and it will last and the strap buttons are solid also so this guitar is just one solid mo-fo. The finish on mine is just so awesome I really believe it will last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was freaking awesome, for me, it was low but not to low, just low enough not to cause any fret buzz. The pickups were adjusted well so I haven't had to do anything to them. The finish was flawless which was awesome so no problem there (its see thru purple). The Grover tuning pegs are OK, they hold tuning for four/five days after like 2 to 3 hours of play a day.
Features — 8
This motherf--king son of a bitch bastard was made in Indonesia but I do not know what year. It has 24 XJ frets and a pretty thin maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, the neck is a set neck so access to the higher frets is easy. It has a Quilted Maple top and has the Strat body just smaller and thinner with an arched top. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge and has an EMG 81 in the bridge and an EMG 85 in the neck. This guitar has a volume knob, a single tone knob, and a three way selector switch. Also has Grover locking tuners.