Price paid: € 750
Purchased from: Music Shop
Sound — 10
I play pretty dry (no effects) through a full valve Marshall JCM 2000 (50W) and a Marshall 4x12 Vintage Cab. I play different type of music, from very soft (jazzy, Eva Cassidy like) to really heavy (but not metal-core like). The Neck pickup is very warm, extremely good sounding (to me), perfect for Jazz and Lead, clean and distorted. The Bridge pickup is bright, good for bright distorted rhythm, harmonics friendly. Overall, the guitar is very bassy (which can be good of course), so may want to play with the tone and volume controls to get the wanted sound. The humbuckers are not single coils: do not expect the instrument to sound like a Vintage Strat, although it is actually possible to get that funky sound with the help of an equalizer (I use a parametric one) and the volume turned down. The sound definitely gets a 10.
Overall Impression — 10
I play soft and heavy music. I use no effects at the moment (only a wah and eventually an equalizer. The distirtion comes from the amp. I get most of the sounds I want just by playing with the tone and the volume knobs. This guitar is just what I was looking for. Nice sounding, solid build, fantastic looking! If it where stolen or lost, I would not be happy at all (and would have to buy it again)!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will withstand anything you want (except burning smashing etc, you know what I mean). The Hardware is solid. Strap buttons are very solid, but beware: by design, there is a bad angle for the button at the neck. You have (!) to get the locking strap button, if you don't want your guitar to fall. I trust this guitar. 9 because of the wrong strap button placement.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was perfectly set up. I like higher action, so I tweaked it a bit. Pickups needed Adjustment. With my setup, the neck pickup (despite the electronic specifications) is a lot louder than the bridge one, so my neck humbucker is way down and the bridge one closer to the strings: this way there is no unwanted volume difference, plus the neck pickup is not in the way when you pick, plus clean sounds on the neck pickup are really clean and loud (perfect if you ask me). The only thing are those edge stripes (bindings). If you look very closely, you will notice that they are not perfect. I've seed better ones. So this is not a miss-best-finish-guitar of the world. On the other hand, every played guitar get scratches (from nails etc), so this is not an issue for me. The guitar is very shiny. 9 because of the bindings.
Features — 10
Made in Indonesia, don't know the year (purchased in 2011). Five pieces Wizard III Maple/Walnut neck-thru with titanium reinforcement, 24 Jumbo frets, Gibraltar custom (fixed) bridge, string-thru solid body, DiMarzio D-Activator (passive) pickups, one volume and one tone controls, 3-way pickup selector (neck, both, bridge), dedicated guitar case. I switched the default pot-knobs (without numbers) for the Gibson Speed knobs (beautiful, with numbers) and this baby now has no weaknesses. By the way, you may want to take some Yoga courses to overcome your weakness: this guitar is very heavy!