Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Sam Ash
Sound — 10
I enjoy playing mainly hard rock and this guitar is perfectly suited for that genre. In fact, that is it's main selling point... and why its so popular with rockers. It sounds excellent under distortion. I'm using a Zoom 606 Multi-Effect pedal, and every distortion 'patch' sounds excellent. Also, it can probably suit almost any other genre when its clean/under other effects. Certain pickups selected allow you to have a rich, bassy sound while others bring out the treble in the notes.
Overall Impression — 10
Not much else to say besides this is probably one of the most excellent guitars I've played in the price range I've paid for. If you're looking to play some hard rock, go with an RG series from Ibanez... great value and excellent features. I'd buy another if something happened to this one. Only people that probably should look elsewhere are people who don't really need a tremelo and would absolutely hate having to untighten the locks to change tunings.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I don't do much live playing and haven't done any with this guitar, but just from the way it feels and plays, I wouldn't be worried at all going live without a backup. The worst that could go wrong is to change a tuning and having to unlock it. The strap buttons feel like they'll never come off, but you never know with so many guitars that do so. It's Moon Shadow color (the model that I have) is a sparkly silver.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I checked it out at the Sam Ash store, it didn't look like it had been played with much so when I got it home, it's action was almost perfect. All I needed to do was to tighten to locking bridge so it would stay in tune. The tremelo plays nicely. All of the frets feel perfectly smooth, no dead notes, and pretty much everything else has gone right so far. The finish on the guitar is amazing. There wasn't one scratch, dent, scar, whatever...
Features — 8
This particular model was made in Korea in 2003. It features: Wizard II neck Maple Neck Material Basswood Body 24/Jumbo frets Rosewood Finger Board Edge Pro II bridge PSND1 (H) Neck PU PSNDS (S) Mid PU PSND2 (H) Bridge PU Pearl Dot Inlay Chrome Hardware