Price paid: £ 749
Purchased from: G.A.K.
Sound — 9
I mainly play classic hard rock and blues, but I also play some thrash and even some hardcore stuff, through a variety of amps, particularly an Engl Blackmore. The amp and guitar are a perfect combination, a real "plug in and play" setup. The pickups make the guitar sound even more compressed through the already very compressed amp, but this helps as I like to have lots of controlled feedback and sustain. The pickups aren't as dynamic as a PAF for example, but still clean up very well if you roll back the volume. But the guitar also sounds great through my little Fender practice amps and even my Bassman 4x10.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar suits my style(s) of playing very well, very comfortable, powerful and LOUD. I'm saving for another as a backup, but I suppose I don't really need one anyway, it's not going to break on me any time soon. The one time I've broken a string so far, I just popped another one in, gave it a couple of stretches, tightened up the nut and the song continued. You won't regret buying this if you're a rock 'n' roll guitar player, even my beloved Les Paul is getting neglected at the moment!
Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar sounds and holds up great in a live situation, in recording and in rehearsing. It doesn't squeal or anything like that. The hardware is very solid and has taken a fair beating already from my heavy hands. The guitar also came with strap locks so no worries about dropping it!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I gigged it the night I got it, and nothing broke or went out of tune. Everything was set up very well from the factory, in the two months or so of having it I haven't touched anything except raise the action slightly and adjust the truss rod for my heavier strings. The finish scratches easily and is starting to fade ever so slightly in certain areas, but that's why I bought a guitar with this specific finish! A guitar needs its character.
Features — 9
I wanted a simple but reliable guitar and that's what I got. Although Mexican made, it's built with true American quality, the neck is extremely comfortable, although the frets initially a little sharp, very reminiscent of a Charvel. EMG pickups are not as I expected, as they still retain a lot of the guitar's natural tone without being over the top. The Bridge is very tough and with the heavier gauge strings I use, not one has slipped from the tailpiece or the locking tuners. A very stable and comfortable guitar.