Price paid: € 1050
Purchased from: Thomann.de
Sound — 8
The sound is just heavy. That's all there is to say to it. I am using the guitar through a Line 6 HD147, which is one of the best Line 6s around. My music varies from metal to jazz and blues, which it can handle quite well. It has a bright character, because of the maple and alder combination and tons of sustain because of the longer scale and specifically on the lower end because of the reverse headstock. You could never play smooth warm licks on this thing, if you don't massively tweak your amp for a huge mid warmth boost. It is a bright metal guitar, ready to shred.
Overall Impression — 9
I play every kind of music, and unfortunately, it is not that great for jazz and blues, since it is way too bright. But then again, why would you buy a 7 string guitar with EMGs to play jazz or blues on? This is one solid guitar, but a bit overpriced for the features. But if you tweak the sound with your amp, you can get great tones for every kind of music out of it. It has a very fast neck, starting off as a thin C-shape and progressively getting more like a D-shape, but not like an Ibanez. It has a smooth feel and really is for shredders.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will definitely withstand stage life. The tuning is solid, the finish is solid, the bridge is solid. The only thing that can screw things up is a poor setup by the owner. The strap buttons are tightly fitted into the body and will not move in any kind of way. The hardware is absolutely the most solid I've ever seen.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was pretty much perfect from the factory, I tuned it to pitch and it was ready to go. The binding is everywhere perfectly aligned and the finish is very nicely done. The frets are a little bit rough on the edges, but not harming my hand. The tuning machines are a little bit off of the surface of the back of the headstock, since it is the pin type tuning machine. That is the only flaw I noticed.
Features — 9
The guitar was made in 2010 in Korea, it is a solid alder super Strat with a 27" Baritone scale rosewood on maple neck through construction. It has 24 easy accessible extra jumbo frets and has a reverse headstock, which gives more sustain on the lower end. It has a bound neck and headstock, which stands out very nicely on the gloss black body. It has no inlay except for the signature of Stephen Carpenter from 15th fret to 12th. It has a solid Tonepros Tune-O-Matic bridge and string through construction. It has 2 active EMG 81-7's in the bridge and middle position, a volume and tone knob and a 3 way switch. The guitar comes with sturdy ESP locking tuners, which are great tuners, they really keep the tuning spot on.