Price paid: € 1150
Purchased from: thomann.de
Sound — 9
I use this one with a Marshall AVT 50 Combo (hybrid: tube preamp+ solid state), Boss SD-1 and Boss MT-2 for distortion and Boss GT-8 for all other effects. I mainly play Metallica, but also some rock stuff like AC/DC, Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath, Guns N Roses and so on, some pop-punk (u know stuff) and sometimes Hendrix. So you see that are some real different sounds. So here comes one of the advantages of this guitar: its versatility. Sure: there are better guitars for metallica, and better guitars for acdc, but this guitar can do all of this at a high level. The sound is relativly bright (even the humbuckers) and has not endless sustain compared to guitars with set-neck. All in all a good workhorse for metal players as well as top 40 players.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for 5 years and I have been playing this guitar for 2 years now. I also own a Yamaha Pacifica 112 and a Schecter C-1 Blackjack. I sold my Fender American Vintage Strat so I can afford this one (vintage freaks, please don't kill me, but I have never regret this).
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar seem solid to me, will survive for decades I guess. Well the neck is quite thin, could probably break when you hit it somevery really hard, but I never did this its just an idea. Finish will last really long, once I dropped the guitar from one meter on stone-floor => only some almost invisible scratches, nothing else. If the strings are new, I would use it without backup (if I only play in standard-tuning
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Factory setup was good, it was a plug and play (very good, remember, it has a free-floating-tremolo). othing negative about the finish, hardware etc. Only problem is that the pickup selector and the volume knob are a bit noisy, could be better for that price. The feeling when playing this guitar is incredible, it has a very thin neck and real low strings, it almost plays itself, verrrrrry good!
Features — 10
Made in Japan 2009 Description on thomann.de: - basswood body, - 24 jumbo frets, - full Shark inlays, - edge zero tremolo, - 1x DiMarzio IBZ-N humbucker (neck), - 1x DiMarzio IBZ-S single-coil(middle) - 1x DiMarzio IBZ-B humbucker (bridge) - mirror pickguard, - includes case. - Colour: Galaxy White - one tone and one volume knob - 5-way-switch - gotoh tuners - rosewood fretboard My opinion: Tremolo-system is a kind of "upgraded floyd rose", what means the system is kept in balance by two spring-systems (in different directions) so the Bridge keeps in the right position if a string brakes or is detuned or so. In the other hand you have to use slightly more power to use the tremolosystem, not a great disadvantage but you will feel it when playing. The system can be converted in an usual Floyd Rose system easily and wihtout special tools or knowledge, so the choice is yours. The tension of the strings can be adjusted without tools (there's a wheel on the backplate so you can do this really fast, very good). Anyway you cannot really change the tuning on stage, it still takes about five minutes! Pickups are medium to high output (passive). Finish is called Galaxy White, its white with very small golden parts in it, looks cool, but you have to come close to see the gold, I doubt that someone will see this when you are on stage. The Pickguard is called "mirror-pickguard" but its more like metal, not a real mirror, looks great anyway. All in all a state of the ART super-strat with excellent and clever features.