Price paid: $ 1098
Purchased from: Flying Pig
Sound — 8
I play a lot of different music, especially as I was a music student. This guitar is great for classic rock metal or blues. It wasn't so great when I had to play pop funk or soul music, but it performs as well as any other guitar with humbuckers would in this situation. I play it through a Marshall DSL and it sounds amazing. The sustainer is interesting, great for creating atmospherics in the way you would usually use a string section, but when the sustainer is off the neck pickup sounds a bit weak. The sustainer can also create controlled feedback at the flick of a Switch, cool for intros/outros.
Overall Impression — 8
Generally this is a great guitar. It's unique, nice to play and sounds great. It is slightly top heavy which is fine if you have a leather strap, but on a seat-belt style strap it will slide a little. I would love to get a customized version of this guitar. I would have it basically the same but with 2 volume and tone controls, move the pickup switch and have regular humbuckers instead of a sustainer. I would also like to fix the weight problem by filling up a little of the hollow space in the body.
Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar is made of tough materials and is put together really well with a glued in neck. It can take some serious punishment. The sustainer needs a battery, and if this goes dead your bridge pickup will not work either even though it is passive, as it is part of the active circuit. As long as you keep your battery fresh I can't imagine any problems. One other minor nigggle is that the toggle Switch is in a position where I occasionally hit it while strumming, but this may not be the case for other people. I once had a problem with the sustainer which had to be repaired. The guitar itself is totally solid, but maybe the electronics could do with being upgraded, I assume the sustainer is made in korea along with the rest of the guitar. The tuners are grovers which never go out of tune unless effected by temperature.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action and general set up was excellent when I got the guitar, but over a year of hard playing everything has slightly gone out of whack, but this is what happens with new guitars as the wood settles. After making a few adjustments it plays great again. Brilliant for riffs or soloing, I don't use it so much for bar chords as some of the notes seem to choke occasionally when you are further up the neck. The finish is truly amazing, probably the best I have ever seen.
Features — 8
I have the 2005 model of this guitar. It is Korean made, mahogany body, rosewood finger board, 5A canadian maple cap. Originally had Seymour Duncan pickup and sustainer. Now has EMG and sustainer as the 2006 models do. One volume, one tone, stop tail bridge. All in a very standard set up, similar to a les paul. The sustainer is a unique feature so extra points there. I would like 2 volume 2 tone controls though and a coil tap would be useful. I think some models which don't have a sustainer do have a coil tap.