Purchased from: MusiciansFriend.com
Sound — 9
The factory Infinity pickups are awesome and quite loud. When I Switch guitars I have to turn my amp way down before hooking this guitar up or my cats all piss at the same time. I run it through a Korg effects board, Peavey 400 watt concert amp and two Peavey P215's. The humbuckers are silent but the single coil has some low level noise that can be treated by using higher end cables.
Overall Impression — 10
When cows start quacking I'll expect my electric to sound like an acoustic; until then I'll just Switch guitars if that's the sound I want. This is a killer electric and it sounds like a killer electric. All kinds of electric. It handles the "touchy feely" solo's and arpeggio's like a fine work of art, but I think it really wants to shred and powerchord it's way through time. It definitely excells at running hard, racing through "Crazy Train," screams through anything "Linkin' Park" and cries like a baby on "Sweet Child O' Mine." The mid's and low's are have plenty of crunk so singing the blues is well within it's range. I have been playing off and on for around 35 years and have too many other guitars to mention here, but suffice it to say this S470 is my dream date. Unlike the amp used by Spinal Tap, this scale only goes to 10, otherwise I'd gladly give it an 11.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't played it enough to properly rate it for durability but there are no readily apparent areas of concern. The Wizard II neck could have a bit more clear coat on the back-side perhaps, but I regularly polish it and use Finger Ease so there's very little friction. I'm giving it a 9 rating here, based on nothing more than liking it over-all.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Mine was fairly well set up at the factory; all I had to do was tune it. The intonation was pretty much dead-on. Tuing was a bit of a challenge at first because I hadn't ever tuned a guitar with a floating bridge. As the strings tighten, the bridge floats and effectively "loosenes" the strings you've already tuned, so you have to just keep tuning until the combined string tension reaches equilibrium with the bridge. Once that's done, lock down the strings and fine tune using the bridge screws and it's set. I thrash fairly hard, dive on the trem, etc. and it seems to stay in tune very well. No flaws throughout. I'm still using the factory settings for string action, which is on the low and fast side of the scale, for two reasons. First, the bridge still scares me, so I'm reluctant to start adjusting it. Second, the factory action is where I want it anyway, so I'm in no hurry to mess with it.
Features — 10
Mine is a 2005, Korean made. The Wizard II neck is extremely sweet. Just a light touch is all you need to get clean, clear notes. Easily playable into the upper registers thanks to the cut-aways. Just one volume and one control with a 5-way selector, so you can't run both humbuckers simultaniously. Came with a great instruction booklet for setting up the ZR Floyd Rose bridge and some allens for adjusting string height and locking down the strings at the top bridge. Once the strings are locked down, fine tuning is done using hand screws located on the main bridge, a very nice feature.