Price paid: € 499
Purchased from: promusicstore
Sound — 8
This baby suits my musical style perfectly (blues, rock and hard rock) but I won't recommend it for anything other than that, you CAN NOT play metal on this thing, I didn't even try. I'm using a very old (very loud) Peavey Centurion Mark III and the effects I'm using are: Big Muff Pi w/ Tone Wicker, Micro POG, Octave Multiplexer and a Boss Digital Reverb RRV-10 along with the occasional Dunlop Cry Baby GCB95. As the features would suggest, this guitar has a lot of variety to it in the sound department. It can go from a clean acoustic guitar to a very loud mean distorted sound. The humbuckers produce a rich full sound and the Piezo can give you the same, as well as a very bright twangy ordeal. But, it can not take a very bright distorted sound as it makes a lot of noise when you turn the gain up. So I would suggest this guitar to people playing soft acoustic stuff or if you're into The Black Keys or The White Stripes (in that direction). However I fell in love with it just because it's so loud and noisy.
Overall Impression — 9
For blues or slide-guitar players, this has got to be a must-have, I have been playing for almost six years now, and most of my time playing, I play blues-rock or garage rock. This is absolutely perfect for that, it's loud, it's mean and it's got variety, it actually is two guitars in one. If this were stolen I'd be very sad, and probably save up enough to buy a new one. If I'd come across the guy who stole it, I'll drag him to court and make him pay the sentimental damages he gave me. I did compare it to a couple of guitars: Gretsch G5120, Eastwood Airline and the Gretsch Corvette. I chose this one because of the price and the fact that it plays awesome. I didn't choose the Eastwood Airline because I didn't want to be the next Jack White, and I didn't go for the two Gretschs because they were at least 200 more, and with that, I think that this one stands out because of it's originality and the fact that they are more versatile than the Gretschs.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm pretty sure this guitar can withstand live playing, I would even consider betting on the fact that this guitar would still be able to work after you smack it with a considerable amount of speed against the wall. Everything feels really solid despite having an old Vintage feel to it, like it has lived for over half a decade. There are no wobbly or loose parts, despite the finish having a few blotches, I don't think this finish will wear off after a few gigs. I think it will start it's downfall after about five years, considering you're playing every night. I would however not use it on a gig without a back-up, but that's just because I don't want to bore the crowd by setting the strings in a different tuning.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I didn't have to do anything to the guitar except for replacing the strings and tune it. The guitar doesn't show any building flaws, except for some very small blotches on the edges of the acousti-glass top, but it isn't really noticable enough to make a big deal out of it.
Features — 9
My Italia Mondial Classic was made in Korea, I'm not really sure about the date as there is no way to find it, but I'm guessing it's at least 2 years old and has been hanging in the shop quite a while. The Mondial has 22 medium sized frets on a rosewood fingerboard. What's strange is that the neck itself is bolted on, but with only one and just one screw. The wood used for the neck is maple. The body features a piezo in the bridge and two Wilkinson WVC humbuckers. The wood used is Agathis wood and features a "acousti-glass" top (made from fiberglass). It has two seperate output jacks (one for the humbuckers and one for the Piezo) and features 3 tone knobs, (one for the humbuckers and two for the Piezo). It also features a 3-way pick up selector. The tuners are made by Italia themselves and feel smooth and not too accurate. The guitar didn't come with anything but the store-owner was nice enough to give me a gigbag free of charge. Just 500 for these options made me a very happy Italia-owner.