Price paid: $ 170
Sound — 8
This guitar sounds pretty good with about all of the styles I play. It can give some dark, heavy crunch out of the neck pickup and bright, harmonicky sound out of the bridge. The middle single-coil helps balance the pickups out if you want some in-between sound. I can get some nice outer-space-sounding music out of this thing with a little phaser and delay from my Zoom G1X, or I can get some good, ballsy crunch with heavy distortion. The noise level is universes lower with this than with my old Crestwood electric. That helps a whole lot with my scales and up-high riffs.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar seems to work well for my punk/metal style, but it's definitely too good of a guitar for someone who has only been playing a year, as I have. This guitar is FAR better than my other electric and sounds unbeleiveably better. If it were stolen, I would first put all of my energy into killing the person who took it and reaquiring it, but if that failed, I would definitely get another one of these, or just the best guitar that I could afford. I don't think I hate anything about this guitar, but my favourite feature is definitely the Zero-Resistance vibrato system. I play with the whammy bar quite a bit, which I really shouldn't because the pressure pad is missing at the nut, so the guitar goes way out of tune when I use it a lot. I didn't really compare this axe to anything else, because it was a chance that my brother gave me that I totally jumped on (I mean, if you had the chance to buy a seven-hundred-dollar guitar for two hundred bucks, would you jump on it? I think you would!). The only things I wish that this guitar had is some Dimebucker pickups and the guitar's name (Violette) in gold-leaf lettering below the bridge. This guitar is absolutely badass. I highly reccomend it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I wouldn't bother bringing a backup guitar to a gig with this baby, but even though I'd expect this thing to last for a long time, I'm still treating it like a robin's egg (partly because my brother would kick my ass if anything happened to it), so I'm probably not going to be doing any neck-spins or shit like that with it. The strap peg that is still on the guitar seems like it's pretty sturdy, and when I get the other one put in, I'd probably trust them both with the weight of the guitar. I'm confident that the hardware will last a good while, and even if it doesn't there's always the option of having a luthier replace it with something else. I'm not sure about the finish on this guitar, partly because of the scrape that's already on it and the fact that it's so thin that they probably didn't bother with putting much finish on it, but I'm not worried about looks as much as sound.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The action on this Saber might be a little high for real shredders, but for Mr.-Lead-Fingers people like myself, it's pretty comfortable at about 2-2.5 mm above the frets. I see nothing wrong with the wiring on it and I haven't had any problems yet. Three big things are wrong with the finish: There's an inch-square patch of scratched-off paint that's all silver (I don't mind it that much; it gives the guitar a little character), there's a nasty gash near the bottom-left (looking at it on a stand), and the strap-peg seems to have been ripped out, because there's a big hole there, and it's so deep that I can't put in a new peg (which could be fixed with some woodfiller or Bondo in a real jiffy). Because the finish on the front doesn't show the wood grain, bookmatching on the body can't be defined accurately, but the headstock-neck joint was pretty seamless to my eye.
Features — 10
Complete with a 21-jumbo-fret neck, a Hum-single-hum setup, and a Floyd Rose ZR vibrato system (unfortunately missing the pressure pads and plug-in arm), this Japanese-made, thin-body superstrat is a really sweet battle-axe. A beautiful, rich purple colour on a mahogany body makes it look as good as it sounds. My brother hooked me up with a great case and a fresh set of strings with this babe as well.