Price paid: $ 900
Purchased from: Mother's Music
Sound — 8
I play some goofy sh*t, as well as metal and rock and whatever. On this guitar I like to play Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, Mastodon and so forth. Half the time I'm playing unplugged in front of the computer and actually it sounds pretty good and bright. When plugged in I play it through my Engl Powerball into a 2X12 Orange cab... hell yeah it sounds sweet. The pickups have a lot of output and the harmonics are wicked compared to my other guitar. The neck humbucker although a little brighter sounding then I generally go for, sounds very good and clear which is definitely a good thing for the seventh string and it still provides a good amount of bass frequencies. I use this pickup to get smooth sounding cleans and lead tone. The bridge pick up is a real mother puncher, you want heavy sounding riffs? You got em. While brighter then the neck pickup it still has enough bass frequency that it's balanced and not ear piercing.
Overall Impression — 8
The Xiphos 7 string has all the features I was looking for. Kickass pickups hard tail bridge, deadly looks, neck-thru, and 24 frets. Compared to my other guitar (a Fernandes Ravelle X) this plays way different, mainly the action and fret access are major improvements, and the 25.5" scale length makes playing past the 15th fret a lot less crowded. While the flatter radius makes bends easier, sometimes chords are slightly harder to play cleanly and the thinner neck can be hard on the hand when doing excessive barre chords. Before ordering it I tried the LTD Vipe and Steven Carpenter 7 strings. While they were alright I figured I could find something better, and the Xiphos out of all the easily obtainable 7 strings on the market seemed to fit the best. The one thing about this guitar that I'm not fond of is adjusting the goofy gibblerator bridge, though it's good since it allows a wide range for intonating. I would recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a solid good quality HardTail 7 string, but also look into other brands as well. If it was lost or for some reason I wanted to get another 7 string I'd look into getting a Carvin perhaps or something custom, just to try something different.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will eat faces with it's horns, so the real question is will your bandmates withstand live playing with this guitar? This thing weighs about 10 pounds so after an hour or two it can be hard on the back. The hardware is good quality, besides that the bridge has several (unimportant) little pieces that are easy to lose (which I have lost haha)none of the controls or tuners are too loose. No concerns here. Being clumsy at times and having a guitar poking out in many directions I bang it against things a lot but it's solid and takes it all without a scratch. For those concerned about the strap button placement due to balance, I moved the one on the upper horn to the horn's underside easily enough. It's a good spot and actually works about as good as having straplocks.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
When I got the guitar (which I had to order in by the way)it was setup decently, though after playing for a bit I noticed that the neck wasn't quite straight. So I eventually got around to getting it setup. With the truss rod adjusted it's now a lot better. For action I had it real low but since I like to pick pretty hard and play unplugged a lot it was too buzzy so I raised it to where it's about 3 mm above the 12th fret, 3.5 mm above the 24th. Unfortunately I'm a dumbass and I didn't realize that I didn't quite loosen one of bridge bolts enough. So when I raised the bridge the bolt snapped, but I tightened everything else back up and there are no problems. The only flaw on my guitar is a tiny chip in the gloss along the top edge of the guitar.
Features — 8
I bought this guitar for about $1100 Canadian. Made in Indonesia, in 2008 I believe. 24 frets, 25.5" scale length Rosewood fretboard. 5 piece Maple/Walnut neck-thru, Mahogany wings. Grey Chameleon finish, which changes color with lighting from almost a black color to a dark jungle green to a redish purple color. Kinda neat. It has the Gibraltar Custom-7 bridge, string-thru body, Ibanez tuners, 1 Volume 1 Tone, 3 way toggle Switch, in Cosmo Black finish. Two DiMarzio D-Activator 7 pickups. This guitar comes with a case, which is awesome I must say.