Price paid: $ 553
Purchased from: Musique Richard
Sound — 8
It's basically a shredding guitar, but its capable of a nice range of convincing sounds. The bridge pickup is best. Full whack its sustain will last far beyoned what you actually need if you need to hold a note for ages. It's got a lovely stitting bite too. Loads of power and lovely for sweeping leads. The excellent neck will speed up your playing very noticeably too! It's great. Roll back the volume and you can get nice early AC/DC type sounds and at low volume you can get nice clear bleusy sounds. The volume controls gain more than actual loudness, which is just what I like. The middle pickup is single coil. Not a bad Strat sound from this one! Quite good really! Nice classic bluesy sounds and Gilmore type sounds possible too. All controlled by the volume knob. I never use the neck humbucker, but its clearer than on most gutiars I've owned. I've owner two Gibson LP customs. This is better built! Yes! it plays faster, and the neck is better. I played metal on the LP's and they're not as fast. Time moves on. Technology changes. These guitars are better than the classics. Like a Yamaha up against a Harley Davidson. The Harley looks lovely, but which one is going to perform better on virtually every point. Anyway, I'm getting boring etc.
Overall Impression — 10
I play all styles. It's best as a metal shredder, but could even be used for jazz lead playing. I've been palying for 25 years. I'd definitely buy another one if lost or stolen. Whatever the new model is, I'd buy it. What I love I said already. I definitely don't dislike anything about it. It's great!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Veryt versatile guitar. I'd take it anywhere. I own a 1970's Strat, and its better than this too. The basic design is so good, I expect it to last. If it gets rough looking it will still be a beautiful instrument to play.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Lovely tight setup. Pickups fine. Everything nice, tight and well put together.
Features — 10
Japanese made. Very well put together. 24 jumbo frets. Basswoood body. Very tidy construction. The neck is very good. Nice and shallow and ridiculously fast for lead playing. It's basically a super-Strat design. Very nice elegant design I think. Metallic blue is very nice. The licenced Floyd Rose seems great to me. Again, a nice solid feel to this also. 5-way Switch. The bridge humbucker (Ibanez stock pickup) sounds great to me. It's got plenty of power and it's got quite smooth bite too. Very satisfying for high gain playing.