Price paid: £ 330
Purchased from: thomann.de
Sound — 8
I have had a 6 string for about 2 years and my music taste got heavier and heavier so I eventually had to get a 7 string, I am talking about bands like Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Deftones etc. It is generally good for all of these type of bands, it has a crunchy tone coming from the ESP passives. I'll admit the pickups aren't brilliant, they aren't as good as say active EMG's but they are still decent pickups, they will be fine for a while until I decide to put something else in, like a Blackout or EMG 707. They have a slight hum coming from the pickup when you aren't playing but it's barely noticable to be honest. I am using my Roland Cube 60 which has a decent tone for metal music and using this guitar with it is a decent combination to get the right kind of tone I want. This guitar is very nice for cleans, it has a very warm tone, especially switching it to the middle pickup I think. The middle pickup with distortion though seems a bit pointless to me though, oh well...
Overall Impression — 9
The guitar is very comfortable to play and it's the perfect first 7 string, it's affordable and has great features. I love the neck and the overall look of this guitar, it looks much more expensive than it actually is, I was amazed when I first saw it, it's sexy as hell. The fact that it is routed to fit EMG sized pickups or similar is an added bonus as I was thinking of changing the pickups anyway, but the Standard pickups aren't bad at all really. I would like a neck pickup on this guitar but I think just having a bridge and a middle pickup makes it looks very unique which was my initial attraction to the guitar, there isn't a guitar like it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Let me tell you now, this guitar is built to survive nuclear war! Haha. But seriously this thing feels so sturdy it almost feels like one piece of wood, it's built really well. The strap bottons also seem very solid, I think I could rely on this guitar for years and years.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was setup almost perfect apart from the intonation on a couple of strings. The strings that came with it had such a bad tone though, it was criminal so I put some Daddario's in it. There is no buzz from any of the strings which I heard was a problem with this guitar... Might have been the previous model because this one was fine. Everything looks great, it's a very well balanced guitar and the finish on the body is great. Also the fretboard is gorgeous, bending on this thing is very smooth, compared with my Washburn 6 string, this has a much nicer neck. People said to me this would have a fairly chunky neck and I found that that wasn't the case at all, the neck is very slim, probably similar to an Ibanez size and it's fretboard is so much more awesome! It plays much better than I ever expected it would, it plays like a high end ESP would!
Features — 8
This guitar is made in china but you wouldn't know it. It's has 24 frets total and the 24th has the sc207 inlay on it which is a nice touch I think. Bolt on neck, 25.5" scale with XJ frets. The wood used on the body is basswood and the neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard, it's a lot darker in colour than I imagined, the fretboard is very dark in colour which looks great. It's a fixed bridge guitar which makes it easy for you to change tunings on this beast. The pickups are passive and it has a middle and bridge pickup wih a 3 way selector for them. It has the Standard tone and volume knobs. No accessories come with this guitar but that's not a problem now is it?