Price paid: $ 325
Purchased from: Craigslist
Sound — 8
I play metal, blues, rock, etc. I can't really comment on the stock pickups because the previous owner put in a DiMarzio PAF Pro and Super Distortion in the neck/bridge. This guitar sounds great with those pickups. Clear distortion and clean tones, harmonics jump out of this guitar. However I was not impressed with the stock single coil. I rarely use it and am contemplating removing it entirely. It's very noisy. I noticed a lack of bass response in this guitar compared to my Schecter. Perhaps it's the alder body. Don't get me wrong, this guitar has great metal and lead capabilities, but if you want the chugga chugga brootz tonez I'd look for something mahogany bodied and with EMGs. This guitar can do it all, but it really shines with lead instrumental playing (Steve Vai, Satch, etc.)
Overall Impression — 8
I play mainly metal, rock and blues. This guitar is a great match for all. With it's classy style and versatile sound this guitar would fit into any situation. It's a lot more versatile than say an ESP or Schecter guitar with EMGs (which I also love, but they are distinctively more metal). I've been playing about a year and own a low-end Schecte, and play through a Randall RG200G3. If this guitar were lost or stolen I'd be very upset, but since I like to change up my equipment I'd probably try a Jackson or ESP instead. I love the fast fretboard and overall smooth feel to this guitar. I'd describe this guitar as having a very fluid feel. I think for the price this guitar is among the best values, and unless you're one of those guys who can't play a guitar without EMGs (in which case there are more ideal guitars for you in this price range), it's a very solid buy indeed.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Despite it's light weight, this is still a very solid guitar. I'm gentle with my guitars, but even after owning it for a few months everything is still in good shape. The volume knobs are a little loose, but that's an easy fix. I would use this guitar on a gig without a backup, but since it's a floater that's still not a smart idea. However I trust this guitar and my ability not to hit the strings so hard that they break.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Since I bought used I can't really comment here. The guitar was in very good condition when I bought it (beside the pickup change everything was stock). I play with a higher action, and I still get some fret buzz. Nothing major, but I think this guitar might be due for a set up. Nonetheless this is still a very well made guitar. I can't blame the fret buzz on the factory.
Features — 8
Since I bought it used I'll have to change the way I review this guitar, so some sections might be very short. As for ratings 1 = sucks, 5-6 = average, 10 = WOW 09 model 24 frets, 25.5" scale Wizard II neck Alder body w/ maple neck and rosewood fretboard H/S/H w/ 5 way switch ZR Bridge with ZPS system I have the white model. It's really beautiful and always looks brand new because the finish is resistant to fingerprints. The neck is very fast and thin, as all Wizards are. I'd say this is the thinnest neck I'd feel comfortable playing. I find that extremely thin necks are not as good for legato as slightly thicker necks (think ESP or Jackson), but it's still easy and not a problem on this guitar. The ZPS system does a good job at keeping the guitar in tune, at the cost of increased resistance when you push down the trem bar. That's alright if you don't abuse the trem, but if you're more of a Steve Vai type of player I'd recommend taking out the ZPS spring system. It's easy, only takes a few minutes. After taking out the ZPS some tuning stability is lost but you gain the ability to flutter and manipulate the trem bar with a lot less effort. I like the option to switch between using "ZPS mode" and "free floater mode" The seller gave me some allen wrenches that he got with the guitar. This guitar definitely gives you some nice things to play with. Very versatile IMO, but nothing mind-blowing.