Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: a friend
Sound — 6
I play metal like periphery, dream theater, meshuggah, megadeth, all that good stuff. I use the guitar with a Line 6 PODXT through speakers or headphones at home, and at band practice I use an old Marshall 8080 solid state. Just like everyone who plays metal, I use the "big bottom" setting on the pod xt for that tight djent sound. On the coil-split settings its a little noisy, but mine had no major issues with that. The guitar isn't bad for a metal sound in general, but the stock bridge pickup was a bit muddy so I put in a d sonic 7, currently with the bar towards the neck. As of now, its really tight on all the strings, but the low b is still just a tad bit loose, so I might test the bar towards the bridge. Overall, it can get a fair amount of other sounds with its coil splitting options and such, but its meant for metal.
Overall Impression — 9
Most people who buy this are metal lovers looking to expand their range at a low cost, and it does that perfectly. Its a steal at 400 dollars. I've been playing for 2-3 years, and it holds up against my brother's Ibanez S prestige. It plays great for shredding and can sound great if you know what you're doing. If it were stolen or lost, I might look at something else, maybe an LTD, but that's just because I've never owned any seven strings other than ibanez. I love how simple and well-playing it is, the only problem is the crappy stock pickups, but that's replaceable. If you're putting good pickups in it, I'd take a look at all the different dimarzio's, bareknuckles if you have lots of cash, and if you're into the EMG sound the EMG 707/seymour duncan blackout.
Reliability & Durability — 6
The guitar will withstand live playing. The electronics failed on me once (not at a show thankfully) but this was probably because of the previous owner (idk). But either way, it was a simple fix, all that happened was one of the wires to the input jack got unsoldered. The strap buttons are fine, and I've gigged with it without another seven string before. The finish doesn't look like it'll have any problems.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Keep in mind I bought this guitar from a friend but knowing him he probably didn't change the factory setup much. The action wasn't bad, but for shredding I wanted it a little bit lower, so I had to get a hex set (metric) as the screw for changing the height of the bridge saddles is 1.5mm. The pickups were at a good height, I don't think I ever had to adjust the stock pickups, but even so its no big deal. No other flaws really.
Features — 9
Made in 2006, indonesia I'm pretty sure. 24 pretty fat frets, wizard 7 neck, ebony fretboard, 25.5 inch scale, which I guess is short scale for a seven string. Solid black finish, basswood body, RG body shape, string through body/fixed bridge, passive pickups, stock Ibanez neck and bridge humbucker, 5 way pickup Switch (has some coil splitting options). A well featured guitar for the price (which is $400 new).