Price paid: $ 722.85
Purchased from: Chapells Of Bond Street
Sound — 10
This guitar suites my style, very well, classic rock, shred, blues and a bit of jazz. I use it with a Boss DS1, Dunlop crybaby, Marshall Guv, nor and a Ross compressor. All the positions sound lovley, the Godin humbuckers have a punch, the bridge is great for leads and clean stuff, the in between sounds are just like a Strat, but a bit warmer than you may expect. The middle single coil sounds just like all middle single coils reaaly. The best way to describe this guitar is like having a Gibson like bridge and neck sound but with the three middle Strat tones, which is, in my opinion, no bad thing. This guitar can do everything, clean jazz, warm blues, rock rythym, rock lead all the way to shred. Great variety of sounds, and easy to dig them out too.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is excellent for my style of playing (and budget). The only thing I could want would be a floyd rose, but he model with one sounds and looks much wrse in my opinon, too much geared for aggressive playing. I bought this over a Gibson SG Special, a Highway 1 Strat with the bridge humbucker, and a bunch of Ibanez's and a Maverick F3 (a great guitar). These guitars are incredibly undervalued when you consider that their nearest equivalent (Fender USA Strat H/S/S) costs 800/$1000, so this is a serious bargain, well worth looking at, esspeccially if you can only afford one instrument and need versatility. My only gripe is the whammy-loose bar, unstable tuning, but a bit of tape round the bar and restrained usage remedies that to an extent.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar seems very solidly made. The hardware is nice and sturdy and the strap buttons are nice and solid. If you treat this guitar with respect and a little care then you should be fine. If it wern't for me having floated the trem, then I would use it without a backup, but thats a personal choice about the trem. I could certainley rely on this guitar live.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This guitar cam well set up and intonated. The tuning peg buttons slip a bit and there are a few (very small) untidy areas of finish, but otherwise, good.
Features — 8
This guitar was made in 2004 in Canada and America. It has 22 frets, H/S/H pickup layout, non-locking whammy, master volume and tone controls and a 5-way Switch which coil taps the humbuckers in positions 2 and 4 n the Switch. It has a gorgeous flame maple top, in the lightburst finish. The neck is much more comfortable than anythng I've played before, flatter and a better fit in the palm than a Strat, but still good for faster stuff. The whammy works for gentle stuff, I have mine floating and its good for everything up to the vai stuff that doesn't require huge amounts of up or down movement of the bar. Only problem is the arm can move around, so always points to the ground, so it can be hard to get it into your hand, but thats not a major issue. Be careful though, because the tuners are non-locking, so it can detune fast. The included gigbag's very nice too.