Price paid: $ 220
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
This guitar cranks an enormous rock tone. I pair it with a Marshall DFX combo amp for recording purposes. It doesn't take much gain to have this guitar crunching. As a rhythm guitar it will deliver your power chords and driving choruses into the floor, while not overpowering any technical fingerwork. As a lead guitar, your solos will ring and your melodies will sing, although I much prefer it in the rhythm line. For all of you non-rockers, hold on to your hats! Turn the volume down a bit and drop the tone and you have an absolutely gorgeous warm jazz tone, too, very suiting for a small jazz combo or anyone looking to accompany or solo on jazz standards. This is where my guitar is set 90% of the time, even for light rock songs and virtually anything in the calmer end of the musical seas. This region of the guitar's sound offering is where it is at its best, regardless of being presented as a hard rock guitar. It resonates beautifully in the lower ends and rings light and crisp in the high ends, never losing quality or clarity the whole way through. Coupled with effects and processors the sound does not diminish or get lost in a fog of noise. It remains crisp, clear, and simply gorgeous.
Overall Impression — 10
As a jazz and rock musician whose primary focus is on recording, the beautiful sounds this guitar produce are unmatchable. It handles perfectly and has never hindered me from accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish. It is my primary electric guitar in everything I do and will be for quite some time to come. The GAX75 is a fierce competitor to the higher-end more expensive guitars and delivers a solid performance every time.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have moved three times with this guitar. It has hung on walls, sat in corners, and been balanced in places where a fall is inevitable. It has spent maybe a month of its lifetime in a case. It has never scratched or dented and is still in pristine condition. I would take this guitar to a gig in a heartbeat. It allows for smooth changes in selections and offers too beautiful a tone to leave at home.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This guitar remains as it was when I bought it off the shelf. The only adjustment I had to make was a tightening of the knobs at the store. They have become a little loose since, but not enough to affect playability. I replaced the low E string with a bass D string for some added depth a while ago, simultaneously shifting all of my strings up a spot to acheive a very deep Baritone sound. This guitar just thrives in the low depths of the sonic spectrum. Unfortunately, bass strings do not fit in the drop D Switch so any retuning must be done manually, but it is a small price to pay for the incredible deep mellow tones I recieve.
Features — 9
This guitar is beautifully made. The flat charcoal finish and solid body shape make it a metal monster for rock but the design is still conservative enough to find its place in other styles as well. I was very attracted to its dark metallic edge for its mere quintessentiality. The drop D switch is ideal for anyone playing modern hard rock, and for those willing to try something different, it can be dropped even lower if you so desire. The selection knobs and dials all move smoothly, although my knobs have had a recurring tendency to become a little loose.