Price paid: $ 521.55
Purchased from: Big Rock/Williams Gateshead
Sound — 10
I have used the guitar to play rock and pop and as a jazzbox. It handles all equally well. I wouldn't recommend it as a numetal guitar obviously, but would you use a 335? I use the guitar with a Marshall 80 Watt Acoustic amp, prior to this I used it with a Laney 60 watt electric. I use the guitar through a Boss ME-50 except for jazz. The guitar is not unreasonably noisy, even with a good deal of distortion. You can easily coax a purr or a scream out this instrument.
Overall Impression — 10
One of the sexiest guitars I've ever seen, and certainly my favourite possesion. The bigsby system doesn't badly affect the tuning, unless it hasnt been used for a while. My only regret is that I cannot easily play the higher frets of the guitar (without changing the guitar to an awkward angle) so for any songs that have fast or playing at high frets I have to use a different guitar, or RH tap. For the price I paid, even for the full price, the sound and look of the guitar are amazing. I never expected to find such a good hollowbody for the price. If it were lost or stolen I would cry. I don't know whther I would buy the same guitar again, if my budget was tight (probably) I would definately buy another Artcore. If not I would move up to a high range Gibson or Gretsch. I can't imagine repacing it other than in those circumstances.
Reliability & Durability — 6
My one major concern with this guitar is the reliability. I would not gig without a backup as I have twice had to take the guitar for repairs after the jack socket has fallen back inside the body. I was advised that using not using right angle leads lessens this problem, I am unsure as to whether this is correct. As the guitar is a Hollowbody, it will not stand up to rough handling that a solid body might take. The other day I heard a worrying crackle on one of the tone pots, maybe the electrics will need replacing sometime, but I have given the guitar a few years of playing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action needed slight tweaking fresh from the factory, but its easily done. Otherwise it was well set up.