Price paid: € 727
Purchased from: Power-Sound
Sound — 10
The D Activators sound great with all music styles I play (pop to metal), both clean and distorted. Obviously, this is a metal guitar and the distorted sound is incredible, especially palm mutes. There's also almost no noise at all. If you try the XPT700 acoustic, you can really hear how well it plays and the sustain with its neck-thru-body is some of the best I've seen.
Overall Impression — 9
Pop to metal, clean to distorted, this guitar sounds great. I've played about 1-2 years and this is a real keeper. While my other guitars keep changing, this one will not (at least not in a long time). If it was stolen or lost, I might look into similar guitars with a fixed bridge instead, but it's very well possible I'd get this one and just block the floating tremolo again. I love the sound, finish and overall feel of this guitar. I hate the extra tweaking and floating tremolo. I ended up getting this one due to the affordable price, neck-thru-body build, great sustain and the amazing look & finish. The other "contenders" at the time were the Jackson JS30WR and Ibanez XPT300. They come with a bolt-neck and cheaper pickups. I wish it had a fixed bridge, but you can always block it. For its price, the XPT700 is excellent quality and value.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I see no reason why this guitar couldn't be played live, but due to the FR-type tremolo, it would obviously need a backup guitar. If a string breaks, all the other strings go out of tune and replacing strings with a floating tremolo is not a 1 minute work like with fixed bridges. The finish quality seems very high and nothing feels cheap about this guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Negative things first: the guitar was poorly set out-of-the-box as it needed a lot of tweaking and tuning to get it in playable shape. The strings were even fret-buzzing at the first frets. And, unfortunately it requires much more tweaking in general than my other guitars. The pickup height needs to be constantly adjusted to get a good sound and Edge III Tremolo (and FR in general) is a pain in the ass - I ended up locking mine with blocks of wood under it (where the springs are located). It seems the D Activators are extremely sensitive to the height they're set to. If they're not exactly on the correct height, the sound is garbled/muddy crap. My other guitars are nowhere near as sensitive about the pickup height. The finish and outlook of the XPT700 are great, however. I have the red chameleon color and it always manages to impress people when I open the case and show the guitar. It truly looks fantastic.
Features — 10
My guitar was made in Indonesia, but the build quality is high. Seriously, this guitar looks and sounds great! There are 24 jumbo frets, the body is in a kind of an X shape (copied from Jackson's Warriors?), pickups are passive DiMarzio D Activators and the bridge is an Edge III tremolo with locking tuners. There is a 3-way selector switch and volume & tone knobs. I got a hard case with my guitar for the same price, which was a very nice inclusion.