Price paid: $ 1200
Purchased from: Local store
Sound — 10
I play most blues and heavy metal (Clapton, Cream, Deep Purple, Gary Moore, etc.), and I think this guitar is a do-it-all, it all depends on the selector position, volume and tone, it can scream as loud as a Les Paul and whisper as soft as a Strat. I play it through a Blackstar ht club 40 tube amp and a DigiTech RP 1000 multi-effect pedal, and I get a rich sound, DiMarzios with a tube amp work just great, sometimes, I use nothing but the tube amp and it's two channels, and the guitar still sounds great. I also played it through a friend's Egnater Tweaker and a Fender Blues Deluxe, and sound only gets better. I played it through a PA system, and obviously sound wasn't as great, but was nice, clean and not bad at all.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar will fit almost any music style you play (maybe except jazz), from the softest ballads to the hardest rock, it's good for riffs and solos, I just like it a lot. I play since I was 17, and that is mmm, about too long! Lol. I also have a '87 US Fender Strat and a Gibson Les Paul 2012, and my 1520A fits right in the middle. If it were stolen, I would get too sad, because this is a Limited Edition, so, I won't find another like this. I really like this guitar, but I have to say that a friend of mine who only plays blues, don't like it as much as I do, he goes with tone all way down, and he says he would like to go even lower, but the guitar doesn't have that option.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I think this guitar is fully dependable, is well built and has no flaws, the hard case is also a good thing, will keep it safe on tours and gigs, any way, is a good idea to put some good strap locks to it. I don't think electronics will fail at any time, they are really well built. I installed Schaller strap locks to it, it's something you should do to all your guitars. Anyway, it's always a good idea to have a backup, but, in case you don't have another guitar, I think this one will get you through your gig with no complain.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I had the guitar just out of the box and play it and get a great sound out of it, but it came with 09s strings, when I switched to 10s, I had to take it to a pro to set it up again. Action is good and low, it allows me to go very fast. The only work I have to do about twice a year is to clean the selector switch, which get noisy when dirty/rusted. Finish was wonderful at the beginning, now you can see some pick scratches, I would like to have some way to protect it, or to fix it, a pick guard would be a good thing, but guitar looks awesome as is without it.
Features — 9
2009, limited run, 24 jumbo frets, super-thin basswood body, superstrat style, edge pro tremolo, DiMarzio-Ibanez PUs, in short: GREAT! Only problem: 5-way selector get noisy with time, I have to clean it about twice a year. It has non-locking Gotoh tuners, they work just fine. It came with a hard prestige case, which is very good. It was made in Japan by the JCraft Team and came with tools and owner's book, I think it would be great to have some extra (strings, cable, strap), but it didn't have any. I bought it 2 years ago and I'm really happy with it.