Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Roxy Music
Sound — 10
The single coil up front is actually very well-suited for blues music, it is very rich and melodic. The humbucker is awesome, you can literally play any style from B.B. King to Slipknot and Slayer. Seriously. I've played them all, and they all come out excellently. The neck pickup is the only one that is noisy, but duh, it's a single coil. I don't think there's any amp & pedal setup that I haven't used it with. I've used it on my Fender Vibroverb, Super Amp(at the same time), Princeton Reverb, and my Hot Rod DeVille 212. No amp can make this guitar sound bad. My main pedal is a Distortion Factory, but I've used my Vox Wah, Morely Fuzz-Wah, and my Peavey Effects Processor with it. All with excellent results. I was truly amazed at the humbucker's versatility; you play it through a Metal Zone pedal, and you've got a near-perfect Slipknot tone, with awesome pinch harmonics and everything. I had to take it one step further, though, so I installed an EMG-81 in the bridge and disabled the neck pup. Metal heaven!
Overall Impression — 9
My style has ranged from Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan to Slipknot and Job for a Cowboy. The guitar simply suits every style. I've been playing for about 3 years now. If it were stolen, I would find and kill the motherfxcker that stole it. It is my only good metal guitar right now. I love the sound and look of it. I hate the action. My favorite feature is the EMG-81 that I dropped in it. I just wish it had a regular scale, fast, Ibanez-like neck. That would be the perfect guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Oh god. This guitar could take a Live show, and then some. I have: thrown this guitar around a room, onto concrete, against my amps, pulled a Vaughan and stood on the horns and yanked up on the headstock, dropped it while playing behind my head; all to be met with with only minor tuning issues. This guitar is truly built like a brick s#ithouse. The hardware is top-notch. My only recommendation is that you use cords with the 90-degree angle on the end. If you *drop* the guitar on it's face with a straight plug, you will sever your cord, quickly ending your reign of terror. Also, I have never broken a string while playing. Something about the dynamic bridge, just keeps 'em together. I would never use a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
This instrument was set up very well from the factory. Because I tune to Drop-C and sometimes Drop-B, I use heavy bottom-skinny top strings. My only complaint is that, because of the short scale, when you drop-tune, the strings buzz, so you have to set the action uncomfortably high to stop this. The pickups were adjusted perfectly, but I made the mistake of trying to increase the gain by setting the 'bucker really close to the strings. My mistake. That resulted in a sickly, over-trebeled tone. Set it back to factory, and it was perfect. My only gripe is the high action, which is really annoying when I'm trying to play fast metal riffs.
Features — 8
I'm not sure what year I bought, but I got this guitar brand-new. It has 22 frets, I'm pretty sure it's a slightly short scale. The neck is Rosewood and it is very thin, both ways. The body is basswood, which I like. Mine came with an Orange finish, which is just o.k. The body style looks like a Mustang and a Jaguar collided at high speed. Overall, it's pretty small, which I like. My model has a dynamic vibrato bridge, which I hate. It has all the annoyances of a Floyd-Rose, with none of the tuning stability. It has a goofy two switches which are double-throw. I think they have somethin to do with in- and out-of-phasing the pickups. The pickups are a single coil in the neck, and the bridge is a humbucker. Mine only came with the gig bag and the whammy bar.