Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 10
The 3-way pickup selector and tone control allow this guitar to go from pristine and crystal clear to a wide range of possible distortions. The semi-hollow body on this thing makes the distortion resonate immensely, kicking the volume up a notch without sacrificing anything in sound. I play a general mix of Foo Fighters and Silversun Pickups through a Peavey Bandit 112 Transtube, and this sounds like heaven. I own a Mexican made Strat, which is versatile enough and I'll choose this over my Strat for pretty much any gig. The sound can be completely manipulated for your sound so don't let me choice of music discourage you. The only genre I wouldn't recommend this for is metal, because you have somewhat of a hard time getting past the 19th fret (the cutaway joins here).
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is perfect for me. I'm not a veteran when it comes to music, I've only been playing guitar for about 5 years. I would replace this if lost or stolen without a doubt in my mind. If you want a hard rocking guitar with a kick, or simply a guitar to play like an acoustic, get this. I promise you it's worth it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've played this guitar Live at some local bars and I'm a bouncy fellow, and this guitar has held itself. During practice sometimes I'll end up moving around too much- and this guitar has never let me down. Not a single fault with this guitar for me. Everything seems extremely durable and of great quality. The finish is of nice depth and won't wear off from common playing. I generally don't use backup guitars at shows, and this has become my fronting guitar. The only time I would need a backup is if I'm pushing a set too much and popped a string, and this guitar has been pushed a lot and I am yet to pop a string from rugged playing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The moment this came out of it's package it sounded great. Everything was in fantastic condition, I almost didn't believe it traveled across the country. The looks make it beautiful, and all the attention to detail to keep the tremelo working perfectly paid off abundantly. Everything was tight and in place, I read a lot of reviews before buying this guitar saying when they received it, it wasn't in good condition. Maybe I got lucky, but that's a chance you take when you order something offline.
Features — 9
This is a beautiful guitar. Off of musiciansfriend.com you get the choice of Red or Blue finish (400 usd) or a classic Black finish (300 usd). I personally went with the classic Black, it's cheaper because you can't see the pick-up guards as well as on the Red or Blue models. It's a bulky guitar and sounds absolutely amazing with a few tone adjustments- I play Indie Rock and I've neevr been disappointed by this guitar. The Neck is maple with a rosewood fretboard and block pearl inlays starting at the first fret. The Body is maple top with 2 F-holes. To string this beast you need to handle the bigsy style tremelo arm and tailpiece, which is a lot easier than may be perceived. Sadly, I didn't get any accessories, but considering the price I paid for such an amazing guitar, I feel like I ripped Ibanez off.