Price paid: $ 702.31
Purchased from: Fleet ProSound
Sound — 8
Guitar has a great sound, made for rocking. My other guitars are a Fender Custom Telecaster FMT HH, with Seymour Duncan humbuckers which can be coil tapped, an Epiphone Flying V and an Epiphone Dot. This guitar doesn't have the range that the Tele does, but I did not buy it for that, I bought this one for rockin'. I am playing this through a Genz Benz El Diablo (Great amp, by the way). This guitar has nice sustain, and can really do any style of music, but the DiMarzio's pick up pinch harmonics etc very nicely and Shine on the higher gain stuff, from Van Halen right on up to thrash and beyond.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing on and off for 16 years, and this guitar is turning out to be one of my favorites in a long, long line of guitars. I've sold off all of my "classic" style guitars (Gibsons, Rickenbacker, PRS). The Korean Custom Fender Tele, and the Japanese Ibanez RG2550 are my two "go-to" guitars, strange but true. I play mostly rock stuff, and this guitar helps me get my Van Halen whammy fix, but I find it really has a nice feel for any lead playing, from jazz to rock to progressive. The neck on this thing is amazing and really feels fast but precise. If it were stolen, I would not hesitate to get a new one, and I guess I would end up getting the new option of being able to set the trem to the zero point, (the 2008's have this). I have cut way back on my guitars, effects and amps, but this thing with my Genz Benz El Diablo can do everyting from Brad Paisley, to Dave Mustaine, to Eddie Van Halen, to Dimebag, to Vai. Not that I can do all that. Great guitar. You won't be disapointed if you pick one up!
Reliability & Durability — 9
Seems pretty solid. Haven't played out with it yet, just the odd informal thing with friends, but you can tell this will hold up well. Hardware is solid, including strap buttons, which are fairly nice and large. I always bring backups, that's why I bought the Epiphone Flying-V, but this baby is solid. This doesn't have the new "ZPS" system to make the bridge return to zero, so a broken spring live would be nasty, but I have yet to break my D'Addario's with this thing, even when I'm doing some nasty Dimebag-style whammy tricks, good bridge I guess.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar is beautiful. This is my first floating trem guitar, and I was a little nervous, but this thing is definitely good quality. Everything on it seems solid, even the volume knobs. It was set up quite nicely when I bought it, but I did adjust the spring tension, and it worked out just fine. The other thing I did, and this is just me, was to lower the middle pickup. This is my first guitar that hasn't just had 2 Humbuckers, and I guess my sloppy technique can be blamed, but I kept hitting my pick on the middle single-coil. I only use two of the five positions on this particular guitar anyway (neck for leads and some clean, Bridge for everything else), so it's not a big deal. Loved the neck and action right from the store. I also really like the "sharktooth style" inlays, I saw some negative comments about them, but I guess it's just a matter of taste.
Features — 10
2007 model, made in Japan. 24 medium/jumbo sized frets. Body is Basswood, I believe. 5 piece neck is maple/walnut with a rosewood fingerboard. Finish is "Galaxy Black", which is a slightly metallic, beautiful color. Edge-Pro Double-Locking Ibanez bridge. DiMarzio pickups, which are pretty hot, 2 humbuckers and a single-coil. 5-way selector switch, one volume and one tone knob. Came with a beautiful case which fits the guitar perfectly, I have to line the guitar up just so, to get it in there. Also came with allen keys and a couple of extra teflon washers for the tremolo arm.