Price paid: $ 1185
Purchased from: Ted Good Music
Sound — 10
I play pretty much anything under the sun (and a few thngs that fear it), and this guitar handles them all pretty well. It's really hard to shoehorn it into one specfic style. Its sound can go pretty much anywhere you want it to go. It's not as hot as a Strat or Tele, but that's not the point. It has more of a "sonic landscape" sort of sound. Played unplugged, you can hear all sorts of funky things happening that other guitars lack. I use it through a Peavey Valve King, an Orange Crush 15 and a Pignose, and it sounds fantastic through all of them. Like all guitars, it needs some tweaking to get it to the sound you want, which on this guitar is about as easy as it gets. It aint for everyone, though. For me, perfect ten.
Overall Impression — 10
Been playing three years or so, and this is the first guitar I've had that feels like it's mine. The color, the shape, the sound, it all me, baby, and I know a few people Who feel as connected to it as I do. Frankly, all the worries about the bridge seem a little overblown. I'll own this until I die.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Everything feels rock solid on this guitar, and I think it could stand gigs no prob. Use a backup, though, for those cases where a stagelight falls on you or something. Take a moment beteween songs/sets to adjust tuning and you should be good to go. Note: the problems with the strings popping out of the screw threads is increased somewhat if you do a lot of bending behind the nut. I do, and the stings jump around all over the place. I've noticed that picking hard in the direction of the threads will return them to place.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Guitar was set up amazingly well. Considering it came from California to Manitoba in a truck, it played as well as one could expect right out of it's ugly-arse brown case. The action was set pretty low, which made it buzzy, but a little turn of the Alan wrench fixed that. Everything was very solid, and the finish was flawless. Frets well dressed. Pickups set at about right height for me (everyone is different). The case left some weird gold lint all over the guitar, but that's the case's fault. Strings on it are as good as Fender strings can be. Now, the bridge needs it's own paragraph. I like the bridge, for all it's quirks. The strings sit in screw threads and can pop out if you play hard or at an odd angle, but it dosen't happen that often. You can (carefully) deepen the threads if you so choose. The guitar will go out of tune if you use the vibrato a lot, but use a tuner in between songs. Vibrato lock works well, and eliminates a lot of the buzz, and the vibrato itself is very atmospheric (don't expect Hendrix/Van Halen dive bombs) and works like a dream.
Features — 9
Made in 2007 in Corona, California, USA. 21 Vintage frets. Slim, soft C neck, rosewood fingerboard, full 25 and a half inch scale. Real Jazzmaster pickups (unlike the CIJ Jazzmasters). Made of alder, neck is maple. Unique switching system. Floating vibrato (its not a tremolo! Tremolo is volume, not pitch! Volume). Bizzare bridge. Surf green finish, nitrocellouse.