Price paid: A$ 700
Sound — 10
I play most anything except thrash, probably prefer bluesy rock. The Viking D has a rich, bright sound with or without amp. Whilst I have not yet given it a full gig session, many youtubes shows how versatile this beauty is. I have only scratched the surface so far and am amazed. Great sustain and a truly lovely neck for me. I have big hands but not super long skinny fingers like a Vai. The HJ600 had a great sound and action, and the VD was not far behind. The VP2 came up short in that it felt less sturdy.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar will help me with two things. Firstly developing my skills with a guitar that can handle just about everything and anything. And secondly enjoying it while I am at it - and this is so important. I have been playing on and off for 40 years, pretty heavily early on then had a break for about the last 20, having started again about a year ago. I researched the Haggy brand and models heaps and was prepared to be little let down given the rave reviews here and elsewhere. What I found and got is a fantastic value, high quality, very flexible and enjoyable guitar that looks, feels and sounds great. I am excited by playing the VD and that is half the battle I reckon. What more can I say?
Reliability & Durability — 9
All the hardware looks fine - I jiggled and fiddled with everything. It looks and feels like a quality axe and I will have no dramas gigging with it. Apparently the 18: 1 machine heads are great and hold tune really well. I guess I will find that out. One of the many features is the glossy finish which not only looks great but also looks resilient. The shop demo looked in great shape with only a little grit on one of the pups. The strap nuts are solid, though I will replace them with locking nuts just to be safe. Only reason I rate this 9 is I have not gigged with it yet.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Straight out of the box after a quick tune up was excellently setup with great action, no buzzes or fret issues. One machine head needed a little tightening but hey, I can cope with that. I tried a couple of these in the store. The demo was excellent, the one out of the box was better. No flaws, except a slight buzz on fret two on the demo. The neck just feels great. The composite material plays beautifully. Plugging in to a mid range amp it sounded clean with many tonal options available. Overall amazing quality and feel of the guitar. It is a joy to play.
Features — 9
This looks like it is a 2011 model, black with gold hardware. Looks fantastic, feels great with excellent balance. Viking is a semi hollow body with the Haggy s-shaped holes on the body. Other reviewers have covered the basics well so I won't repeat. It has 2 x 50 humbuckers. As a comparison I also played a HJ600 Tremar and a Viking 2P. Comes with a hard case that is in retro style. Another customer in the store thought it looked great as I was walking out with it. Well padded, sturdy custom case.