Purchased from: zZounds.com
Sound — 10
I had the bridge pickup replaced with a DiMarzio Evolution and it sounds so much clearer, but the original pickup is quite good as well. It's great to play any form of rock and metal with distortion, and most people will say that that stuff doesn't matter for crap unless it can be clean to play, say, Red Hot Chili Peppers, but in the 2nd and 4th position on the pickup selector, I get an amazingly clean sound. I have a friend Who plays on single coils, and he was even jealous of the clean sound I got from the pickups, so I won't hear anyone saying it can't clean up its act, so to speak. It's pure bliss.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I know it sounds like I'm biased towards it since I own it, but after 7 months, the initial infatuation wears off, and yet, I still find this guitar amazing. Even though most of the stuff I play it through is rather cheap (a Crate 15 watt, actually a rather nice amp, a DigiTech Hot Head Distortion, and a Dunlop Original Crybaby. I spent most of my money on the guitar itself) I still get a great sound from it, a la Metallica, or even punk music. It's a freakin' awesome guitar, and if you're thinking of getting one, I definitely recommend at least trying one. You may just buy it straight off, right there. I guess you should take money with you when you go to play it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've played it live twice, I play it every day as practice, and I jam with my friends all the time. It's never failed me yet. I still plan on getting a backup guitar anyway, just for the sake of string breaks and other such freak problems like that. The hardware is stable and dependable. The strap buttons haven't failed me before, except when I'm sitting down and the strap bends and falls off, but that doesn't matter since I was sitting down anyway.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It came very well setup from the factory, with the pickups adjusted to the right height and the action low and fast, without buzzing though. I couldn't have asked for a better stock setup. The stock strings didn't even sound that bad. The finish had no flaws, and still doesn't. Although, there is a patch of finish on the back that looks somewhat inconsistent with the rest of the finish, but I think that may only be mine, and I'm not even completely sure it's not supposed to be like that, but whatever. The pots and hardware are all top-notch. No complaints.
Features — 10
Mine is a 2005 model, made in Korea, and I don't care what people say, I've had mine for 7 months and it's very solid, not a scratch on it (other than minor pick scratches, of course). The finish on mine was rather darker than the internet photos of it, but it still looks amazing. I polished it and it was more shiny, but that's what it's supposed to do. It has 24 frets, a very smooth, fast neck, and the inlays, don't even get me started. The mother of pearl and pearloid combination on them, it's brilliant. It has a flamed purple top, sounds almost kind of gay, but when you see it, you just want to hold it and never let go. The locking bridge is very stable; I think I've tuned it 2 or 3 times? Something like that, and like I said, I've had it for 7 months. The tuners are sensitive though, when you need to tune it, very stable. It has a vol-tone knob setup and a 5-way pickup selector.